Category Archives: ETHC 445 Devry

ETHC 445 Week 7 DQ 2 Assemble and Test Your Personal Ethics Statement

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This week we will work on creating your own statement of personal ethics. 

To get started, read summarizing review of our great and famous ethics and what they have taught us — found in our lecture this week.
Then, let’s work on creating one for you.

Your goal for the end of this thread is to have created a personal ethical philosophy and be able to tell your classmates from which philosophies you created it and why the contents are important and meaningful for you. List its precepts. (You will need to do this on the Final Exam.)

After you have assembled and posted your personal ethics statement, responded to what others may have said to you and thought about what you have posted to others, then take your statement and use it to work through the famous case of the Ring of Gyges.

One of the great examples of ethics and morals in all of literature comes from Plato who wrote about the Ring of Gyges in 

The Republic, Book II, starting at paragraph 359a.

For those who wish to read the whole story, it is in the Doc Sharing tab and here is a link to the story — Ring of Gyges.

The story goes that Gyges was a shepherd in the service of the King. In a most unusual circumstance he came upon a dead man, removed the man’s ring, and discovered that it made him invisible. He conspired to take the periodic report of the shepherds to the King — once there he seduced the Queen and eventually took control of the Kingdom by conspiring with the Queen. Plato continues the story:

“Suppose now that there were two such magic rings, and the just put on one of them and the unjust the other; no man can be imagined to be of such an iron nature that he would stand fast in justice. No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, or go into houses and lie with any one at his pleasure, or kill or release from prison whom he would, and in all respects be like a God among men. Then the actions of the just would be as the actions of the unjust; they would both come at last to the same point. And this we may truly affirm to be a great proof that a man is just, not willingly or because he thinks that justice is any good to him individually, but of necessity, for wherever any one thinks that he can safely be unjust, there he is unjust. For all men believe in their hearts that injustice is far more profitable to the individual than justice, and he who argues as I have been supposing, will say that they are right.”

This story raises up the question of what sanctions prevent people from just taking any liberties they are inclined to take.

The whole subject of ethics, seen in large scale, is that of accepting and living under moral standards.

1. Using YOUR personal ethical statement that you have created, what would you do if you had that second ring?

2. What else within this course helps in responding to this fictitious situation or in explaining it?

3. Respond to your classmates’ posts. Are they holding true to their own personal ethical philosophies in their resolutions of this dilemma?

Pick one or more of the above, and post below! 

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ETHC 445 Week 7 DQ 1 Business Ethics and the Hovercraft Debacle

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This week, we looked at two more ethical codes—one for the Project Management Institute, and one for Engineers. 

(Find links to these professional codes in the Week 7 Assignment tab along with the Week 7 readings.)

You can see that both of them are much simpler than the Legal code we looked at last week, and even simpler than the Medical code of ethics. Appropriate professional behavior, practice, and discipline varies among professions and reflects the needs and values of the professional society in question. 

Let’s then assume professional roles as we work on this fictional scenario:

It’s 2020, and General Foryota Company opens a plant in which to build a updated mass-produced hover-craft. This hover-craft will work using E-85 Ethanol, will travel up to 200 mph, and will reduce pollution worldwide at a rate of 10 percent per year. It is likely that when all automobiles in the industrial world have been changed over to hovercrafts, emission of greenhouse gasses may be so reduced that global warming may end and air quality will become completely refreshed.

However, the downside is that during the transition time, GFC’s Hover-Vee (only available in red or black), will most likely put all transportation as we know it in major dissaray. Roadways will no longer be necessary, but updated methods of controlling traffic will be required. Further, while the old version of cars are still being used, Hover-vee’s will cause accidents, parking issues, and most likely class envy and warfare. The sticker price on the first two models will be about four times that of the average SUV (to about $200,000.) Even so, GFC’s marketing futurists have let them know that they will be able to pre-sell their first three years of expected production, with a potential waiting list which will take between 15 and 20 years to fill.

The Chief Engineer of GFC commissions a study on potential liabilities for the Hover-vees. The preliminary result is that Hover-vees will likely kill or maim humans at an increased rate of double to triple over automobile travel because of collisions and crashes at high speeds — projected annual death rates of 100,000 to 200,000. However, global warming will end, and the environment will flourish.

The U. S. Government gets wind of the plans. Congress begins to discuss the rules on who can own and operate Hover-vees. GFC’s stock skyrockets. The Chief Engineer takes the results of the study to the Chief Legal Counsel, and together they agree to bury the study, going forward with the production plans. The Chief Project Manager, who has read the study and agreed to bury it, goes ahead and plans out the project for the company, with target dates and production deadlines.

Our class is a team of young lawyers, project managers, engineers, and congressional aides who are all part of the process of helping get this project off the ground. In fact, according to the first letter of your last name, you are the following team:
A-G: Attorney on the GFC team
H-N: Project Manager on the GFC team
0-S: Engineer on the GFC team
T-Z: Congressional Aide

Somebody sent a secret copy of the report to you at your home address. It has no information in it at all, except for the report showing the proof of the increase in accidents and deaths. The report shows, on its face, that the CLO, CE, CPM, and your Congressional Representative have seen copies of this report. On the front there are these words typed in red: They kupdated — they buried this. Please save the world!

Each of you feel a very loyal tie to your boss and your company/country. You all have mortgages, and families to feed. It is likely if you blow the whistle on this report, you will lose your job and your livelihood. You’re not even sure who wrote the study in your envelope or who actually sent it to you.
Now to the task at hand:
Utilizing your profession’s code of ethics, what would be your first step? Who would you talk to first? Would you go to the press? Would you go to your boss? Should you do anything at all?

What’s your first step? To whom do you speak first? What about the press? Your boss? What if you do nothing?

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ETHC 445 Week 6 Quiz

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What school of ethics would drive the commanding officer (CO) to follow rules and procedures?

For the CO to think about what is best for all indicates what kind of decision making?

If the CO’s conscience was bothering him while making a decision, reading up on what ethicist would have made him aware of his thinking and deciding?

For the CO to be excessively afraid of upsetting the carrier air group commander displays what about his ethics?

The maxim “I uphold only the ethical view that all rational beings ought uphold” follows _____.  

The CO’s practice of moderation in not taking excessive risks connects him with what concept of ethics?

When the CO seeks the utilitarian solution for his dilemma, his reasoning follows what principle?

If the CO fails to take action for the injured sailor’s welfare because it might damage his professional reputation, what kind of ethics is operating in the situation?

To speculate about “what would the crew want to happen now” engages the CO in what ethics?

A decision to ask the injured seaman what he wants to happen is what kind of ethics?

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ETHC 445 Week 6 DQ 2 Working Conflict Resolution Methods

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Different ways to analyze ethical behaviors and dilemmas exist, and many of them will help direct you to the correct or “best” solution to a problem.

As we discussed in week 1 in the “tough choices” .pdf, sometimes right vs. right or wrong vs. wrong decisions have to be made.

In the lecture this week, you are given three ethical dilemma resolution models to try out on a dilemma provided there. Please review that interactive before posting to the threads this week, and let’s bring your questions and comments about the “proposed” solutions here to the threads.  We will talk about that through mid-week, and then I will post a updated dilemma here where we will, as a group, begin analyzing it using the different methods.

You will need to be able to use these three models (Blanchard and Peale, Laura Nash and Front page of the Newspaper) on the final exam … so let’s be sure to practice all three of them together this week.

So, to start this off, let’s address the dilemma in the Week 6 Lecture interactive (at the bottom of the page). You MUST read the lecture and run the interactive in order to participate in the threads this week!

1.    Review the sample solution to the Laura Nash method.

Do you agree with that analysis? If so, what parts do you think really helped you work through the dilemma? If not, which parts do you not agree with?

2.    Review the sample solution to the Front Page of the Newspaper method. 

Do you think this is one of those types of dilemmas for which this model works? If not, why not? If so, why? How did using this method help you work through the dilemma?

3.    Review the sample solution to the Blanchard and Peale method. 

Do you agree with the analysis? If not, why not? If so, in what way did this help you analyze this dilemma?

Pick ONE of the above 3 questions and let’s get started. Or, respond to another student with details about why you agree or disagree with their analysis. Feel free to kindly debate with each other. Do not take things personally if someone disagrees. Be sure to show that you have viewed the lecture and interactive and that you attempted an analysis for “high quality” posts this week. After Wednesday, I will bring in another scenario and we can analyze that one together as a class.

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ETHC 445 Week 6 DQ 1 Applying Rand’s Objectivism

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Ayn Rand’s Objectivist philosophy has been touted by her detractors as the philosophy of self-interested selfishness.  

Her four epistemological principles are: 

1. Metaphysics: Objective reality of the world and the objects in it.

2. Epistemology: Reason as the one and only key to understanding.

3. Ethics: Self-interest in what behavior is but also what it should be.

4. Politics: Capitalism through the performance of deeds by individuals who are self-interested.

In the early 1960′s, a student asked a spokesman for Objectivism what would happen to the poor in an Objectivist’s free society.

The spokesman answered, “If you want to help them, you will not be stopped.” 

If one reads Rand’s works, Atlas Shrugged, or The Fountainhead, one will conclude that this would be the answer Ayn would have given to that student as well. 

What do you conclude from the answer given by the Objectivist spokesperson? 

Is Objectivism, like Moral Relativism, the opposite of ethics?

And what clue in what she taught leads to your conclusion?

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ETHC 445 Week 5 DQ 2 Dealing With Emergencies and Outcomes

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Chapter 9 of our text includes the terrorism situation at the 1972 Munich Olympics, and it needs to be read before engaging this discussion.

The principle of utility involves maximizing happiness as a desirable outcome of decisions. Although it does not get directly said, there is an inverse intention to minimize the undesirable outcome of disaster. Utilitarian decisions are directed toward outcomes—that is, the consequences of decisions.

The Olympic hostage situation was a high-tension moment, full of dangerous surprises and strategies to deal with the situation that did not work out for the best. Among the strategies was the idea to kill the leader of the terrorists so as to disrupt the terrorist plot and to allow a good outcome in which the

hostages would be saved. In the situation it was also entirely possible that a terrible outcome might occur in which all would die. The situation was an emergency.

The German legal system might eventually take the terrorists and their leader to trial, but first there was the need to end the hostage situation. The account in our text ends with, “But it was the lesser of two evils.”

As utilitarian ethicists this week, how shall we reason through to the decision of the law enforcement authorities at the 1972 Munich Olympics?

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ETHC 445 Week 5 DQ 1 Life and Death – Politics and Ethics

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There are three basic propositions in standard Utilitarianism (Please be sure to listen to Mill’s audio lecture before joining this threaded discussion)

1.    Actions are judged right and wrong solely on their consequences;  that is, nothing else matters except the consequence, and right actions are simply those with the best consequences.

2.    To assess consequences, the only thing that matters is the amount of happiness and unhappiness caused; that is, there is only one criterion and everything else is irrelevant.

3.    In calculating happiness and unhappiness caused, nobody’s happiness counts any more than anybody else’s; that is, everybody’s welfare is equally important and the majority rules.

In specific cases where justice and utility are in conflict, it may seem expedient to serve the greater happiness through quick action that overrules consideration for justice. There is a side to happiness that can call for rushed decisions and actions that put decision-makers under the pressure of expediency.

Here is a dilemma for our class:
You are the elected district attorney. You receive a phone call from a nursing home administrator who was a good friend of yours in college. She has a waiting list of 3,000 people who will die if they don’t get into her nursing home facility within the next 3 weeks, and she currently has 400 patients who have asked (or their families have asked on their behalf) for the famous Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s (fictitious) sister, Dr. Jill Kevorkian, for assistance in helping them die. The 3,000 people on the waiting list want to live. She (the nursing home administrator) wants to know if you would agree to “look the other way” if she let in Dr. Jill to assist in the suicide of the 400 patients who have requested it, thus allowing at least 400 of the 3,000 on the waiting list in.

1.    How would we use Utilitarianism to “solve” this dilemma?

2.    What ethics did your friend, the nursing home administrator, use in deciding to call you?

3.    What ethics are you using if you just “look the other way” and let it happen?

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ETHC 445 Week 4 DQ 2 Kant Accomplice to Crazed Murderer

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Kant’s famous First Formulation of the Categorical Imperative reads:

“Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” Kant taught morality as a matter of following maxims of living that reflect absolute laws. “Universal” is a term that allows for no exceptions, and what is universal applies always and everywhere. Lying, for any reason, is universally wrong.

Be sure to listen to Kant’s audio lecture before posting this week!

So, consider the famous case of the Crazed Murderer. In your town the Crazed Murderer comes to your door looking for your friend and wanting to kill him. You know that your friend went home to hide. What do you tell the murderer? When he leaves and runs up the street to your friend’s house, what do you do?

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ETHC 445 Week 4 DQ 1 Ethics of Controlling Environmental Innovation

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Increasing food supplies are necessary to sustain growing populations around the world and their appetites for great food, quality products, and continuous availability.

A great deal of expensive research is invested in developing technologies to deliver productive agriculture. Horticultural efforts to breed hybrid crops are seen as far back as history can observe, and there have been efforts to domesticate improved animals, as well. Gene splitting was a 1990s technology to improve the health and productivity of farm crops. With the 21st century have come genetically modified foods (GMF) through the use of nanotechnology to cause changes at the genetic and even molecular levels. These are very expensive technologies, and many updated products have been patented and otherwise protected as proprietary products of intellectual property.

Drive out to the country during growing season, and you will see signs identifying that the crop has been grown with a protected seed that cannot be used to produce retained seed for planting in the next growing season.

In terms of this week’s TCOs, what ethical issues are raised by this legal process of patent protection, and how do we see the primary schools of ethics used in these proprietary measures? What, in this deontological week and in our learning to date, informs our understanding of this situation, and what should be done about it?

 

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