UTILITARIAN APPROACH

Read John Stuart Mills, Utilitarianism

 (Links to an external site.)

 and Louis Pojman 

 (Links to an external site.)

“Strengths and Weaknesses of Utilitarianism”

 (Links to an external site.)

After reading these files, 

  1. Choose 1 of the cases from our Week 2 Cases
  2. Download Week 2 Cases
  3. Complete a Case Study Analysis (see below for outline) of the situation using the UTILITARIAN APPROACH. 
  4. Be sure to follow the steps outline in the Framework for Ethical Decision Making
  5.  (Links to an external site.)
  6.  we discussed during our first class together.

Rubric & Case Study Analysis Outline: (MAX LENGTH – 2 pages)

Be sure to use the section headers in your posts.

  • Identifying Ethical Issues (2pts) – 1 paragraph
  1. Could my decision or situation be damaging to someone or to some group? Does it involve a choice between a good and bad alternative, or perhaps between two or more “goods” or between two “bads”?
  2. Is this issue about more than what is legal or what is most efficient? If so, how?
  • Articulating the Facts of the Case & IDing Ethical Stakeholders (2pts) – 1 paragraph
  1. What are the relevant facts of the case? What facts are not known? (Note, most case studies we cover will lack information and you will need to ‘play along’ by assuming certain things that seem reasonable as background information when thinking through the cases)
  2. What individuals and groups have an important stake in the outcome? Are some concerns more important? Why?
  • Listing Possible Actions & Outcomes (2pts) – 1 paragraph
  1. What are the options for acting? What might the relevant persons and groups say if consulted? Have I identified any creative options?
  • Ethically Evaluating Actions (2pts) – 1 paragraph
  1. Evaluate each option in (3) using the UTILITARIAN APPROACH
  • Making and Providing Moral Justification for your decision (2pts) – 1 paragraph
  1. Considering your options, which best addresses the situation? Why? 
  2. What objections could be levied against your choice? What response can you offer to that objection? (Be sure to outline at least 1 objection & 1 response to that objection) 
  3. How can my decision be implemented with the greatest care and attention to the concerns of all stakeholders?

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