Week 1 Discusion
Utilitarianism, Deontology, and Virtue Ethics: Case Study: Starbucks
This discussion assignment requires you to submit at least four posts: an initial post, two reply posts to fellow students in threads other than your own, and a revised post in response to the professor’s feedback.
Prepare: The initial post in this discussion must be informed by the required material for this discussion. Your preparation should focus on three classical ethical theories that are fundamental in any ethical analysis: utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics. Since the subject of your examination is the Starbucks case, make sure to view the relevant multimedia carefully with an eye toward the various ethical problems that this company has had to confront.
Reflect: Keep in mind that although the notion of the moral good will vary among ethical theories, they often produce the same or similar results. So you should focus on the differences in (a) the intent and (b) the consequences of the action under examination. In utilitarianism, for example, the consequences of the action are weightier than the intent. Accordingly, even if the intent was morally questionable, the action is nonetheless morally good if it achieves good consequences for most. The opposite would be the case if the action were being examined from a deontological point of view. These reflections will aid your selection of an ethical theory for your initial post, as well as your critical examinations of the analysis from fellow students.
Write: Start your initial post by identifying two characteristics of utilitarianism, two characteristics of virtue ethics, and two characteristics of deontology. Organize this part of your post so that it is clear which characteristics belong to which ethical theory. You can do this by means of subtitles, or by presenting a table. You should aim to write one complete and clear sentence for each characteristic rather than just one or a few words.
Then, take the position that Starbucks is guided by utilitarianism and analyze how the notion of the moral good in utilitarianism leads to a unique approach to ethical problems. The way to do this is as follows:
Week 1 Quiz
The idea that character traits can contribute to or take away from a happy and meaningful life describes
If Mr. Swanson, a college professor, says that there is no such thing as right and wrong and treats questions regarding what is good and evil as relative to an individual’s values and culture, this is an example of the theory of
An example of an intrinsic value for an employee would be
accomplishing something of real value.
getting a pay raise.
receiving a bonus.
being rewarded with a gift card.
The idea that we are born with basic moral principles that we use to judge people’s actions describes __________ theory.
Which theory of ethics says that we should make decisions that produce “the greatest good for the greatest number”?
Which of the following ethical frameworks explains that our decisions should be based on the overall consequences of our acts?
Social contract theory
The idea that women place a high value on caring and nurturing others is the _____ theory.
Which of the following would be an immoral act but not usually considered an illegal act?
Lying on the witness stand
Stealing from an employer
Driving over the speed limit
Cheating on an exam
The main idea of utilitarianism is its focus on
principles of virtue.
the importance of the consequences of your actions.
following rules with no regard to consequence.
Which of these statements about moral values is true?
We are born with them.
We learn them in ethics classes.
We learn them from family and friends.
We inherit them from our parents’ genetic make-up.
According to philosopher John Locke, which of the following statements about human rights is true?
Human rights are created by governments.
Each human has basic rights to life, health, liberty, and possessions.
What human rights you are entitled to depend on where you live.
Human rights do not stay with us during our entire life
Janelle gives to charity because she enjoys the gratitude and recognition from the people she helps. This is an example of
Which of the following ethical frameworks would support child labor if the consequences produced better overall results than the available alternatives?