Ethic Argument - Essay Example

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Consequences of an action should be important criteria for the people. You should not put Sparky in the microwave because it is unethical to torture a defenseless puppy for personal amusement. It is also true that the strong always have an obligation to defend lesser creatures that are weak and helpless. …
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Ethic Argument
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Ethical Argument Main theme: Actions should result in happiness for all Two main supports; it is unethical to torture a defenseless puppy for personal amusement
the strong always have an obligation to defend lesser creatures that are weak and helpless
Consequences of an action should be important criteria for the people. You should not put Sparky in the microwave because it is unethical to torture a defenseless puppy for personal amusement. It is also true that the strong always have an obligation to defend lesser creatures that are weak and helpless. Utilitarian theory of ethics of Jeremy Bentham explicitly states that people’s actions should maximize happiness and minimize unhappiness for maximum number of people. Since animals are living creatures they also deserve equal consideration irrespective of their abilities because they have also the same capacity to feel pain as human-beings and it would be ethically correct to respect their interests with regard to causing them harm through one’s actions.
Benthams theory is important because it promotes morally correct ethical actions that are designed to maximize happiness for maximum people. According to Act Utilitarian of Jeremy Bentham, an action that results in the happiness of one and all is a good act. He said ‘when choosing a course of action, one should always pick the one that will maximize happiness and minimize unhappiness for the greatest number of people’ (Bentham from Rosenstand p.176). Thus it follows that actions which alleviate pain are morally right and it is the duty of every person to realize it. One can therefore assert that Sparky should not be put in the microwave.
Another very important aspect is that morality can only be defined by rationalizing about ‘whether one is inflicting evil on others’. Emmanuel Kant has been emphatic that moral obligations are imperatives and his two Rules define the categorical imperatives: Rules of Universality; and Rules of Respect (Schneewind, 1990). The first one makes says that people at all time must act appropriately and the second rules promotes the value of respect and says that well being al all individuals is important and therefore, one should not use others for their own vested interests or gratification. Putting the puppy in microwave for one’s amusement is therefore, morally and ethically wrong.
Last but not the least important is the fact that ethical conduct is all about making choices and one’s value system and religious beliefs lend credence to one’s action in making those choices. Michael Josephson (1997), an eminent sociologist has proposed six values or ‘six pillars of characters’ as the ground rules for ethical decision making. Three of the six values that can be applied in the case are: respect that promotes honoring the worth and dignity for others, fairness supports equality and impartiality and caring encourages caring attitude and genuine concern for the welfare of others. These values clearly endorse that the defenseless creatures, weak and the helpless beings must be protected by the stronger beings in a civilized society. Just as the mother protects her infant child from the dangers of the world, the defenseless animals like puppy should also be protected from the harm and painful acts and not put in the microwave.
Indeed the philosophy of using the Golden Rule for moral and ethical actions has long since been in existence. Various philosophers like Confucius, Aristotle etc. have proposed that one should act only in a manner that one would expect the others to act (ibid, p21). Putting the puppy in the microwave is heinous act that one would not like to experience and therefore, the puppy should not be put in the microwave.
Josephson, Michael. (1997). Making Ethical Decisions. 4th Ed. JIE. CA.
Rosenstand, Nina. (2002). The Moral Of the Story with Free Ethics PowerWeb. McGraw Hill.
Schneewind, J.B. (1990). Moral Philosophy from Montaigne to Kant: An Anthology. Volume II. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. Read More
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