Explore BrainMass

Using Ethical Systems

You are a manager of a retail store. You are given permission by the owner of the store to hire a fellow classmate to help out. One day you see the classmate take some clothing from the store. When confronted by you, the peer laughs it off and says the owner is insured, no one is hurt, and it was under $100. "Besides," says your acquaintance, "friends stick together, right?" What would you do?

Explain what you would do based on ethical formalism, utilitarianism, religion, and natural law.

Address each of these ethical systems in relation to the scenario.

Thank You

Solution Preview

Dear Student,
I have taken the liberty of discussing the various points raised in your post regarding the scenario. I did not answer 'in-character' being that I preferred to look into it from an 'advisory' point of view so as to give particular ethical systems room for discussion. I suppose you can easily answer in-character after using this guide I created for you.

OTA 105878


Natural Law & Utilitarianism

While it is easy to assume that one of the reasons that the owner allowed you to hire a former classmate to help out in taking care of his store is that familiarity permits camaraderie & easier workflow between personnel (being that this is an assumption within natural law), the manner by which your 'friend' took advantage of the position & friendship you have offered is also one of the many negative ethical considerations that one ought to consider when hiring 'friends'. When we talk of ethics within natural law, we ought to consider what natural means. Natural is usually seen as opposed to 'common/standard/positive law' that communities & groups of people establish to put their particular grouping in order in pursuit of peace and balance. Natural law was discussed by Philosophers & Moralists like Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas & Thomas Hobbes. If we take on Hobbes' definition of reasons behind desire, being that what all men seek - happiness (according to their personal sense of what it entails) is a subject of contention according to the common standards of the society in which they have to negotiate to acquire what they seek wherein for it they usually have to personally exhibit a selfish protective manner of acquiring it; we can come to a conclusion ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a situation-based answer to an ethical dilemna using concepts of natural law & the utilitarianist ethical system. While it is not an 'in-person' solution it provides viewpoints that one can take up to answer a particular ethical dilemna.