finish the homework 600 words plus 100 reply Theories of Consequence Ethics: Traditional Tools for Making Decisions in Business when the Ends Justify the M

finish the homework

600 words plus 100 reply

Theories of Consequence Ethics: Traditional Tools for Making Decisions in Business when the Ends Justify the Means

Considers ethics that focuses on the consequences of what is done

instead of prohibiting or allowing specific acts.

What’s more important in ethics—what you do or what happens afterward because of what you did?

Consequentialists will want to know about the effects.

The question, finally, for a consequentialist isn’t whether or not I should lie, it’s what happens if I do and if I don’t?

The central ethical concern is what kind of outcome should I want?

Traditionally, there are three kinds of answers:

the utilitarian

the altruist

the egoist


Utilitarianism: The Greater Good

Utilitarianism is a consequentialist ethics—the outcome matters, not the act.

The utilitarian distinguishing belief is that we should pursue the greatest good for the greatest number.

So we can act in whatever way we choose—we can be:

generous or miserly,

honest or dishonest…..

…..but whatever we do, the result should be more people happier.

The utilitarian needs to know nothing more to label the act ethically recommendable.

In rudimentary terms:

Utilitarianism is a happiness calculation.

When you’re considering doing something, you take each person who’ll be affected and ask whether they’ll end up happier, sadder, or it won’t make any difference.

Those who won’t change don’t need to be counted.

For each person who’s happier, ask, how much happier? For each who’s sadder, ask, how much sadder?

The greater sum indicates the ethically recommendable decision.

According to utilitarian reasoning, you’ve done the right thing ethically

For a utilitarian, the question is, does the situation serve the general good?

Basic utilitarian rule:

What ought to be done is determined by looking at the big picture and deciding which acts increase total happiness when everyone is taken into account.

Uncertainty represents a serious practical problem with the ethical theory.

For the utilitarian, it’s not enough to just decide what brings the most happiness to the most individuals right now; the future needs to be accounted for too.

Utilitarianism is a global ethics; you’re required to weigh everyone’s happiness and weigh it as far into the future as possible.

Can Money Buy Utilitarian Happiness? The Ford Pinto Case

The basic question of utilitarianism is qualitative: how much happiness and sadness is there?

To build or not to build?

The cost of building and cost of life vs. cost of total recall and refit.

The decision was finally made in utilitarian terms. On one side, the company totaled up the dollar cost of redesigning the car’s gas tank. They calculated:

• 12.5 million automobiles would eventually be sold,

• eleven dollars would be the final cost per car to implement the redesign.

On the other side of the Pinto question, if the decision is made to go ahead without the fix, there’s going to be a lot of suffering but only for a very few people.

Ford predicted the damage done to those few people in the following ways:

• Death by burning for 180 buyers

• Serious burn injuries for another 180 buyers

• Twenty-­‐one hundred vehicles burned beyond all repair

Ford sent the Pinto out. Over the next decade, according to Ford estimates, at least 60 people died in fiery accidents and at least 120 got seriously burned

The total cost came in under the original $49 million estimate. According to a utilitarian

argument, Ford made the right decision.

Versions of Utilitarian Happiness

Four varieties of utilitarianism are hedonistic, idealistic, act, and rule . These seek to maximize human happiness, but their definitions of happiness differ.

Hedonistic utilitarianism

Pleasure and happiness are ultimately synonymous. This means seeking to maximize pleasure…..just about any sensation of pleasure…..felt by individuals……

…..getting pleasure right now is good but not as good as maximizing the feeling over the long term.

Idealistic utilitarianism distinguished low and highbrow sensations.

Pleasures with higher and more real value include learning and learnedness. These are not physical joys so much as the delights of the mind and the imagination.

Soft from Hard Utilitarianism

Soft utilitarianism is the standard version: general happiness level probably goes up.

an act is good if the outcome is more happiness in the world than we had before.

Hard utilitarianism demands more:

an act is ethically recommendable only if the total benefits for everyone are greater than those produced by any other act

It is not enough to do good; you must do the most good possible

If a hard utilitarian drives a decision, go for the jugular, and then use it to do the most good possible

Act and Rule Utilitarianism

Act utilitarianism

Act utilitarianism affirms that a specific action is recommended if, when applied to everyone, it increases general happiness.

Rule utilitarianism

Rule utilitarian asks whether we would all be benefitted if everyone obeyed a rule

If the general happiness level increases because the rule is there—then the rule utilitarian proposes that we all adhere to it.

Rule utilitarians aren’t against stealing because it’s intrinsically wrong, as duty theorists may propose. The rule utilitarian is only against stealing if it makes the world less happy.

Disadvantages of Utilitarian Ethics in Business

Subjectivity. It can be hard to make the theory work because it’s difficult to know what makes happiness and unhappiness for specific individuals

Quantification. Happiness can’t be measured with a ruler or weighed on a scale; it’s hard to know exactly how much happiness and unhappiness any particular act produces.

Apparent injustices. Utilitarian principles can produce specific decisions that seem wrong

The utilitarian sacrifice is the selection of one person to suffer terribly so that others may be pleasured


An action is morally right according to the altruist, and to the ethical theory of altruism, if:

the action’s consequences are more beneficial than unfavorable for everyone except the person who acts.

A suffering life may be an effect of altruism, but it’s not a requirement.

Living for others doesn’t mean you live poorly, only that there’s no guarantee you’ll live well. You might, however, live well

Some Rules of Altruism:

Altruism is a consequentialist ethics. No specific acts are prohibited or required; only outcomes matter.

The goal of their lives and the reason for their actions is bringing happiness to others.

Hard questions altruists face concerning happiness:

Exactly what counts as happiness?

How do we know which is worth more? For example: the alleviation of suffering from a disease vs. the warm happiness of serving a good cause?

How great is the difference, how can it be measured?

Another altruism difficulty is happiness foresight…..

…..are the recipients’ lives really going to be happier overall

Altruism is a variety of selflessness, but it’s not the same thing….. people may deny themselves or they may sacrifice themselves for all kinds of other reasons.


A soldier may die in combat, but that may not be altruism; that could be loyalty: it’s not sacrificing for everyone else but for a particular nation.

Personal versus impersonal altruism distinguishes two kinds of altruists:

those who practice altruism on their own and leave everyone else alone, and

those who believe that everyone should act only to benefit others and without regard to their own well-­being


Altruism connects with business in three basic ways:

altruists who use normal, profit-­‐driven business operations to do good

altruistic companies that do good by employing non-altruistic workers

altruistic organizations composed of altruistic individuals


Ethical egoism: whatever action serves my self-­‐interest is also the morally right action

What’s good for me in that it gives me happiness is also good that it’s the morally right thing to do

Ethical egoism mirrors altruism:

If I’m an altruist, I believe:

that actions ought to heighten the happiness of others, and

what happens to me is irrelevant

If I’m an egoist, I believe:

that actions ought to heighten my happiness, and

what happens to others is irrelevant

Egoism and Selfishness

The word egoist – an ugly profile typically comes to mind:


In maximizing your own happiness in the world, you might find that helping others is the shortest and fastest path to what you want.

Egoists aren’t against other people, they’re for themselves, and if helping others works for them, that’s what they’ll do.

A contrast between egoism and selfishness.

egoism means:

putting your welfare above others

working with others cooperatively can be an excellent way to satisfy their own desires, they may not be at all selfish; they may be just the opposite.

selfishness is:

the refusal to see beyond yourself.

Selfishness is the inability (or unwillingness) to recognize that there are others sharing the world….. callous and insensitive to the wants and needs of others

Enlightened Egoism, Cause Egoism, and the Invisible Hand

Enlightened egoism is the conviction that:

benefitting others—acting to increase their happiness—can serve the egoist’s self­interest just as much as the egoist’s acts directly in favor of him or herself

Enlightened egoist will admit that he is out for himself but happy to benefit others along the way

The enlightened egoist’s generosity is a rational strategy, not a moral imperative


I agree not to steal from you as long as you agree not to steal from me

Cause egoism

Cause egoism works from the idea that:

giving the appearance of helping others is a promising way to advance one’s own interests in business.

the cause egoist claims to be mainly or only interested in benefiting others and then leverages that good publicity to help himself

The Invisible Hand

It is the force of marketplace competition, which encourages or even requires individuals who want to make money to make the lives of others better in the process

The invisible hand is the belief that businesses out in the world trying to do well for themselves tend to do good for others too.

…..It may even be that they do more good than generous altruists

The person in business generally intends only his own gain, but is led by an invisible hand:

promotes an end

which was no part of the original intention

promotes that of the society, and

does so more effectively than when he directly intends to promote it

Some Rules of Egoism

Egoism, like altruism, is a consequentialist ethics: the ends justify the means.

Personal egoism versus impersonal egoism

The personal egoist in the business world does whatever’s necessary to maximize their own happiness. What others do, however, is considered their business.

The impersonal egoist believes everyone should get up in the morning and do what’s best for themselves and without concern for the welfare of others.

Rational egoism versus psychological egoism

The rational version stands on the idea that egoism makes sense. In the world as it is, and given a choice between the many ethical orientations available, egoism is the most reasonable.

The psychological egoist believes:

putting our own interests in front of everyone else isn’t a choice; it’s a reality

we’re made that way…..something written into our genes

it’s part of the way our minds are wired

.….but regardless, we all care about ourselves before anyone else and at their expense.

Why would I rationally choose to be an egoist?

if I don’t look out for myself, no one will

almost everyone else is that way, too, so I better play along or I’m going to get played

doing well for myself helps me do good for others too

Looking for this or a Similar Assignment? Click below to Place your Order