5Consequentialism & Deontology Consequentialism – rightness depends on consequences Deontology – rightness depends at least in part on a formal moral rule or principle
United States vs. Holmes (1842) 6Consequentialist or deontological ethical reasons? • Save the majority • Murder is absolutely prohibited • Bad effect of corroding moral standards • Must engage in due process
8Sample ethical problem“You’ve got to help us,” Clarence Woody said. “Keith is… was… our only child, and he meant the world to us. When the police came and told us he was dead, all Sara and I could think of was how we could get him back.”“ But you can’t get him back,” Dr. Alma Lieu said. “Even if we prepared one of his cells and implanted it in your wife’s uterus, the baby wouldn’t be Keith.”“But he would be his genetic twin,” Clarence said. “He would be as close as we can get to replacing our son.” His eyes filled with tears. “Won’t you help us?”
9Sample ethical problemIf a father has no other way to raise money for surgery necessary to preserve the life of his child, would it be morally permissible for him to sell a kidney?Should we hold him morally blameworthy if, given the opportunity, he refused to do so?
Situational “Intensity” social consensus – the degree of social agreement that about the moral value (e.g. evil) of a proposed act. magnitude of consequences – the sum of the benefits/harms done to victims/beneficiaries of the moral act in question. concentration of effect – how spread out or concentrated are the harms/benefits of the proposed action. probability of effect – a joint of function of the probability that the act in question will actually take place and that it will actually cause the harms/benefits predicted temporal immediacy – the length of time between the present and the onset of consequences of the moral act in question. proximity – the feeling of nearness (social, cultural, psychological, or physical) that the moral agent has for the victims/beneficiaries of the evil/good act in question. - Jones, 1991
Ethical Decision-Making:the ABC model Law Organizational policies and norms Professional duties Culture situation context person AWARENESS BALANCE COURAGE • relevant facts • Ideals • intention to act •issues • Obligations • skillful action • stakeholders • Utilities • stakes • options
Issue intensity LawObedience to authority OrganizationalPeer pressure policies and normsSlippery slopes Professional dutiesSunk costs Culture situation context metacognition Character Affective state person learning AWARENESS BALANCE COURAGE • relevant facts • Ideals • intention to act •issues • Obligations • skillful action • stakeholders • Utilities • stakes • options Ethical Decision-Making: the ABC model
Beware these common stumbling blocks1. Ignorance (though one can be negligent or reckless in 5. The path of least resistance one’s ignorance, and one may make it easier to do can also choose to be the wrong thing ignorant) 6. A lack of courage to do2. Failure to consider non- what’s right and deal with obvious alternatives the consequences3. Using oversimplified decision 7. Peer pressure / rules that are inappropriate in organizational culture more complex circumstances distorts our moral perception or reasoning4. Settling for an option people can live with, even if it’s not the best option.