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Utilitarian and Deontology View of Steroid Use in Baseball

Using the Utilitarian and Deontologist views, discuss whether Alex Rodriquez should be banned from playing Major League Baseball, for using steroids.

For background information refer to:

Candid Cam: A*Rod, steroids and "My Cousin Vinny"
Cam Inman. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, Calif.: Feb 17, 2009.

Abstract (Summary)

-- On secretly doing steroids: "I knew we weren't taking Tic Tacs. I knew it potentially could be something that perhaps was wrong, but I really didn't get into the investigation perhaps like I would've. But again, when you're curious and you're ignorant, there's a lot of things you don't tell a lot of people, not just that and that was one of those things I decided not to share with anyone." That's understandable. Bank robbers don't sit around and talk about their boosts, do they, well outside of "The Usual Suspects" movie?

-- On if he considers himself a cheater: "That's not for me to determine." Uh, yes, it is, if you read the question again. He continued: "I'm here to say I'm sorry, I wish went to college and had the opportunity to grow up at my own pace. If you're young and stupid, you're young and stupid. I'm guilty of both of those." If he went to college, would it be a pharmaceutical one?

-- On if the home-run record would be tainted if he conquers it: "I'm trying to get by the day today. It's been a difficult week, been very painful for me and my family. I'm trying to take my medicine." Wait, isn't the record already tainted? Oh, that's right, Barry Bonds said upon breaking it that it was not tainted. At all. Period.

Solution Preview

Dear Student,
Hello. This solution should get you started. I shall assume that you have studied this particular subject (A-Rod's steroid use) and that you are familiar with these ethical viewpoints - hence the solution below is a guide; it is a sample which you can use to put together your own. It is also attached as a print-ready paper referencing web,print & video resources. If you want to expand on the information provided, you can also use the listed references. Good luck!

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

An Ethical Discussion: The Morality of Steroid Use in Professional Baseball

What makes an act right or wrong?

There are 3 major normative ethical systems that help people answering the questions of the rightness or wrongness of an action. Mostly, they fall into the two major groups, teleological and deontological ethics. However some argue that the third group - virtue ethics is also as important as it emphasizes the character of the moral agent, a classic Aristotelian view. Both Deontological & Teleological Ethical systems take into account the consequences of the action & the moral judgement is based upon it. Deontology though focuses on the validity of the action ascertaining whether the action itself is right or wrong with that focus weighing more than the resulting consequences. Teleology focuses on the consequences weighing the validity of the action & the reasons behind it less than the consequences that resulted from it, the opposite of a deontological position. The 'War on Terror' from a Deontological perspective is right based on the reasons behind the action (strike at the heart of terrorism before they can cause more damage and fear to the American nation & the free peoples of the world), especially after 9-11. A deontological argument will save a soldier from moral and ethical judgment when he follows orders to bomb a safe house of the Taleban or the Al Qaeda because the cause behind the action is deontologically acceptable. Among the most argued deontological theory is that of Immanuel Kant known as Kantianism, it contends that the actions people perform are informed by some underlying maxim or principle and it is from here where the worth of the action ought to be judged. For example, if a single mother chooses to prostitute herself to feed, send to school and provide for the needs of her children, then her 'act' - the choice of career - becomes a 'sacrifice' of sorts with the underlying maxim being that she is sacrificing her dignity and self-worth for the welfare and future of her children. The criticism of deontological ethics is primarily the blind eye it turns towards appalling consequences. Take for example the bombing of Hiroshima - if one uses the Kantian view - that the act ended WW2, then the action in itself is right and just. But what about the lives of ordinary Japanese that was obliterated that day and the decades of horror that the disfigured and the orphaned as well as the city faced? As long as the intention is good must the damage not matter? It is in this regard that the teleological or consequentialist ethics rise. One of the most commonly cited virtue/teleological (it straddles both) position is utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is an ethical position opposite of the Kantian view, it declares that the moral worth of any action is judged according to its overall utility. While there are many versions of the applications of Utilitarianism as a form of normative ethics; its classic version however is still seen as the most appropriate form. It is also known as ...

Solution Summary

The solution is an extensive 2,081-word response that explores a utilitarian and deontological study of the utilization (and abuse) of steroids in the professional sport that is baseball. The cases of popular athletes (including Alex Rodriguez) is explored for philosophical analysis. a word version of the solution is attached for easy printing. References are listed for the purpose of expansion.