Business Ethics

An ethical argument
Fundamentally, an argument that is moral and ethical in nature is one that constitutes moral standards (Shaw and Barry). The moral standards in turn come together with the premises which results in the creation of a morally sound conclusion.

An ethical argument is one that is one in which the premises of the argument entail the conclusion of the argument (Shaw and Barry). Also, a valid ethical argument cannot have any counterexamples and does not violate the law in any manner. It is based on logic and facts as well as upon moral principles that are acceptable.

Ethics and its presence with law or religion
Ethics is not the same as law or religion because while religion influences us to perform a good deed for a person out of a desire for blessings and positive religious appraisal, ethics motivates us through a desire to assist the person in need(Shaw and Barry). A commonly made argument in this regard is that if ethics and religion were similar in their influences upon the good deeds performed by a person then atheists would not have any character and would be anything but their current generally moral and upright selves. Furthermore, it is the presence of the polarity of the nature of an evil deed which asserts the presence of what is ethical and what is not.

The practice of thieving out of the greed to acquire riches is one that comes forth as immoral and unethical without having to refer to any religious text or legal declaration (Shaw and Barry). Therefore, the practice of living without thieving becomes a morally sound act free of the scope of religion and the same. Another extremely important element is the fact that religion does not constitute the right to argue about principles while ethics entails the right to provide and debate upon explanations.

The Principle of Utility and the constituents of utilitarianism in an organization
The Principle of Utility holds that actions and decisions that are right and morally correct are ones that seek to increase happiness and decrease unhappiness. Utilitarianism is a doctrine under this theory through which all acts should produce reasons to be happy and decrease reasons to be unhappy. In the context of an organization, utilitarianism comes into play when policies have to be formed and conflicts have to be resolved (Shaw and Barry). Utilitarianism also entails the achievement of results through morally sound decision making. There are six different constituents of a decision that is made under this doctrine each of which shall be elaborated upon through individual examples.

Firstly, if a decision is being taken in an organization to take one fourth of the staff on vacation, then utilitarianism will require that the extra workload on the three fourths of the remaining staff is taken into consideration before doing so. Secondly, a decision taken to raise the height of the divider between two cubicles out of the intention of generating increased privacy for the two shall require that the other people in the office are taken into consideration for the sunlight that the raised divider will block out for them. Thirdly, giving an employee a promised raise will not be an action that submits to the principle of Utilitarianism if the maintenance of the promise comes at the cost of giving the employees subordinates pay cuts. Fourthly, Utilitarianism holds that a decision cannot be taken to temporarily increase happiness and promote unhappiness in the long run (Shaw and Barry). For instance, taking the employees on a picnic will not be justified if they are made to work extra hard for the rest of the month. The fifth element is that the decision should be taken with the best of intentions in cases where the future cannot be subjected to estimation or approximation. The sixth element of Utilitarianism can be observed through the example that a manager does not need to give the employees a raise if it means that the manager will be giving them their increased salaries out of his own salary. Utilitarianism therefore requires prevention from exercising biasness in the establishment of decisions (Shaw and Barry).

The First and Second Categorical Imperatives of Immanuel Kant
The first categorical imperative of Immanuel Kant holds that no good deed can be considered to be morally sound unless it is free of any prerequisites. It should not be in any way reliant on the variables that surround it. The first categorical imperative holds that the deed is one that would be performed without regard to the surroundings or the subject of the deed (Shaw and Barry). Should the circumstances differ from those at hand, a legitimate act of good is carried out in the same manner nonetheless.

The second categorical imperative holds that the act of goodness cannot be considered to be a legitimate and right act if it has been performed in lieu of a subsequent event that yields benefit. An action performed with the expectation of a return or with the consideration of a subsequent event taking place is not an act of good (Shaw and Barry). An act of good is limited to its performance.


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