Write an ethical dilemma.
Find a business-related story in the news that you think involves a business person making an ethical dilemma. Remember that a dilemma is where there is a conflict between two sets of values. The formula for the dilemma is something along the lines of, “Should business person X do Y.” Do not use government-related questions. You want an agent (business person) deciding between two sets of values. The dilemma does not need to be the explicit focus of the story itself. The story just needs to contain information about a situation where a business person has made or has to make a decision regarding practices at his/her business or place of employment.
Write an ethical dilemma.
Resolve the dilemma as though you are the agent and you are a utilitarian. You should explain thorough, in your own words, how a utilitarian makes a decision and how a utilitarian would specifically make this particular decision. This is not an essay, so you can use bullet points or paragraphs, but no required essay format.
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Here is an example of the steps needed to be included & how the case resolution should look like:
A utilitarian is only concerned with the consequences of an act. They want to maximize the NET happiness/utility and/or minimize the NET pain/unhappiness.
Step 1: What is the ethical dilemma? Should the CEO of Takata have ordered a recall of all cars with defective airbags when the defects in the airbags were understood to be a problem?
Step 2: What are all of the categories of people who will be affected by the consequences of the act? Customers who own the cars with affected airbags; family members of the people who own the cars with defective airbags; Car insurance companies who have covered claims related to the accidents and resulting injuries/death; Car dealers and employees who will have to provide the recall repair and who carry the cars for sale that currently have the defective airbags; Takata stockholders; Takata employees who may be affected by financial difficulties at the company after the recall; the families of any Takata employees whose employment/wages/benefits are affected by the recall; Can you think of other groups that should be included in this list of people who will be affected by the consequences?
Step 3: A utilitarian would then find numbers to correspond with each group, so an accurate accounting of the happiness/pain or utility can be determined.
Step 4: A utilitarian would then multiply each category by some factor of 1-10 units of happiness or unhappiness, accounting for the intensity and duration of the pain/pleasure/utility.
Step 5: Finally, a utilitarian would calculate the NET maximization of happiness/utility or unhappiness/pain/lack of utility to determine which action will produce the greatest happiness/utility or least amount of pain.
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