Friday, March 24, 2000

moral philosophy

In this paper, I am going to address how a person’s individual moral philosophy influences their business decisions. Secondly, I will compare and contrast the two moral philosophies, teleology and deontology.

I believe of all the values that a person may inherit as their own, the one that stands out should be integrity, because without one’s integrity; all else fails. What integrity means is that the person takes the responsibility for his/her actions, right or wrong. In such jobs as firemen or nuclear engineers, there is no room for error and their decision-making skills have to be top notch. They need to have an ethical character in order to protect those around them such as individuals, environment, coworkers and society.

Their moral philosophy would rely on virtual ethics, such as, trust, self control, fairness, empathy truthfulness, gratitude, learning, civility, and moral leadership. In business activities, a quality such as trust is an aptitude for doing what you said you’re going to do. This promotes reliability in expectations that can be viewed as reliable. Self control is avoiding instant gratification for oneself in order to obtain long-term benefits. Empathy is the ability to share feelings of others; thereby, enabling to anticipate the needs of the customer or others. Fairness is to cultivate the balance in doing the right thing in smaller issues which can eventually promote long-term business relationships. Truthfulness is putting emphasis on the facts and correct information vs. deception. Gratitude knows that one does not succeed alone. Civility is respect, politeness, and consideration for others in order to be culturally correct; thereby increasing trust. And finally moral leadership, the contentment that one acknowledges about him/herself that provides behavior based on virtues. In summary, one could assume that integrity, character, personal virtues promotes good business sense as far as taking responsibility for society’s well being, as well being of the company he/she works for. [Business Ethics, pg 158, 2008]

There are two moral philosophies, teleology and deontology that one may use to evaluate activity of his or her ethical actions. Teleology is an act that is morally right if it produces some desired results. Consequentialist is a today's form of teleology which hold “the consequences whereby the end justifies the means.” a particular action that forms a basis for any valid moral judgment for action; whereby, the weight given to the consequences and evaluating the rightness and wrongness of the action.

A consequentialist is also a utilitarian. A utilitarian is also concerned with consequences; however, the utilitarian searches for the greatest good for the greatest number of people. An example of rule utilitarian would be philosophers David Hume, Jeremy Bentham, William Godwin, James Mill, John Stuart Mill, Henry Sidgwick, R. M. Hare, and Peter Singer because he determines behavior on the basis of principles. Rule utilitarianism would calculate the costs and benefits in society at large if everyone acted in a particular way. Ford Motor Company of the 1960s was a utilitarian company. The Ford Motor Company used that cost benefits over safety when they knew the Pinto’s fuel tank had the potential of exploding when rear ended and manufactured it anyway. [Business Ethics, pp 150-153, 2008] [raifoundation, pdf, 2009]

Deontology refers to moral philosophies that focuses on the rights of individuals and on the intentions associated with a particular behavior rather than on its consequences. Rule deontologists believe that rules dominate decision making; so his/her team is just as important such as a defense company working for the Pentagon. Deos is the Greek work for duty. Rule deontology is to carry out the duty according to the rules created even if the conclusion is wrong. Act deontologists believe that rules are useless from particular experiences and that that deciding on particular situations as they show up is best. Act deontologist differ on what how their judgments are made out. It promotes the greatest balance of good vs. bad. An example of a deontologist would be the automobile manufacturer, Hyundai, located in South Korea, who is conscientious in making a economical car with safety in mind. A 2007 Santa Fe or Veracruz was two cars which had a five star rating from the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. An example of nonconsequentialist where rightness is focused on the individual, not society is the story of Admiral Charles Larson teaches his new midshipmen about ethics. The story goes where an Admiral ut his career at risk when he persisted in telling the truth about the design failures of magnetic torpedoes. This man used truth over consequences which ultimately relieved him of his command as a submarine lieutenant commander. This Admiral eventually became a commander to another submarine and received a Medal of Honor by Congress in 1944 for destroying a Japanese Convoy. [Business ethics, pp 153-156, 2008] [josephsoninstitute, 2009] [Streetdirectory, 2007]

A moral philosophy is based on how people make their ethical decisions. Teleologist and deontologist have their own advantages and disadvantages that benefits people in different industries. It is a choice they make based on their working principles. Most people do one or the other based on the perplexity of problem solving situations for which their ethical values are put into effect to get a desire outcome.

Ferrel, O. C., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2008). Teleology. In Business

Ethics - Ethical Decision Making and Cases (pp. 150-153).

Ferrel, O. C., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2008). Teleology. In Business

Ethics - Ethical Decision Making and Cases (pp. 153-155).

Ferrel, O. C., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2008). An Overview of Business Ethics. In Business

Ethics - Ethical Decision Making and Cases (pg. 158).

Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Anonymous (2009). Wildland firefighting values: duty, respect, integrity

Retrieved February 15, 2009, from Talkingproud website:

Anonymous (2009). Utilitarianism – It’s Meaning and Nature [data file: PDF]

Retrieved February 15, 2009, from Rai University website:

Thomson, J. (2007). Hyundai receives excellent safety ratings

Retrieved February 15, 2009, from Streetdirectory website:

Anonymous (2009). The Power of Character: Training Leaders by Admiral Charles Larson

Retrieved February 15, 2009, from website:

Anonymous (2009). Utilitarian Philosophers

Retrieved February 15, 2009, from website:

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