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    Ethical issues in the news

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    So you have to do the following regarding the answers for the MPI quiz result.
    * Select a news article from a newspaper or magazine (Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, National Post, MacLean's, etc.) that you feel to be an important ethical issue.....OR.....an ethical issue related to your field of study.

    *Use these questions to verify that the topic is a moral/ethical issue:
    a. Could people easily have different points of view on the topic?
    b. Is this a topic where there could be right/wrong, good/bad, better/worse perspectives?
    c. Could the issue be 'figured out' by thorough research? If so, it's not an appropriate topic for our purposes here.

    *Keep your MPI results handy.

    What to Write

    *Introduction: explain what your paper is about and how it is organized.
    a. For example: "In this paper, I will explain...., then I will describe...."

    *Describe your personal MPI results. Identify your highest score and your lowest score and what this means about how you approach moral/ethical issues.

    *In a paragraph or two, briefly explain your topic and the range of perspectives that people might have about this topic.

    *Summarize and solve the ethical issue through two forms of analysis - using your highest and lowest MPI scores. Be sure to explain why in both cases.
    a. For example, if your topic was capital punishment, you would summarize the issue and solve it with an analysis from a utilitarian perspective (your highest MPI score) and why a utilitarian would think this way. Then, you might do the same from a deontological perspective (your lowest score) along with why a deontologist thinks in such a manner.

    *Reflection: write a brief reflection - about a paragraph - on your learning from doing this exercise.

    *Conclusion: briefly conclude the paper with your closing thoughts.

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    Solution Preview

    I have the original paper.
    Your highest is egocentrism and utilitarianism (these are easily thought of as one). The lowest is existentialism.

    The article I picked from the New York Times
    Walsh, MW (May 4 2011) Claiming Fraud in A.I.G. Bailout, Whistle-Blower Lawsuit Names 3 Companies. New York Times

    My ethical scores put utility at the highest and existentialism at the lowest. This makes sense because the position of existentialism seems to have no relation whatever with utility. The existentialist would scoff at any attempt to define happiness or to implement it. Neither of these things are definable. Happiness can be anything, and it is usually a false or dishonest concept of happiness that comes from cultural power rather than reason. Reason itself, of course, leads us nowhere.

    Utilitarianism is concerned with results. It takes a standard or baseline view of human happiness (maybe a better word is satisfaction) and seeks policies that will spread this to as many human beings as possible. The nature of satisfaction is historical and relative, but in a broad sense, it might be serviceable. Politically, it might come down to fairness, equality of opportunity, basic civil freedom, security and a clear sense that tyrants are not easily able to take over. While broad, these are consequences of policies that few would deny are important. While they do not tell us exactly what to do, they can serve as a baseline.

    The question here is a 2011 fraud complaint against AIG, the famed corrupt insurance firm that was caught colluding with banks in projects they had a mutual interest in seeing go forward. The article from the Times deals with bailout money, and before that, emergency loans from the Federal Reserve. Both of these were fraudulent. The bailout, all told, came to well over $115 billion.

    The ethical implications here are tremendous. Everything from the existence of oligarchy to mass concentrations of wealth come up. Economic giants are so close to the state that they can secure loans, bailout money and special favors. Even worse, the Fed is not a government agency, but a consortium of private bankers. This means that a triangle is formed: the world's largest ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution discusses ethical issues in the news.