(minimum 500 words: but write as much as you want or feel you need.)
This week in our Journal we will examine a case and again reflect on our own values and how they influence how we evaluate the problem. ALSO, we will practice applying two theoretical approaches to the problem, Kantian moral theory, utilitarianism.
Consider the following case (this case is adapted from a case from the Markkulla Center for Applied Ethics):
“Try to put yourself in the position of “Janice,” a single mother of four. Janice is divorced and living in a shelter with her children. She has a low paying job and is saving money to afford rent in a cheap apartment, but the struggle seems unending. And, she has medical bills as well as a sick mother, who also has very little money.
Janice sees a young woman dressed in expensive, designer clothes emerge from a Tesla electric car–which she knows costs around $90,000. The woman’s wallet falls from her purse to the ground, but the woman does not notice it.
Janice scoops up the wallet up and discovers that it is stuffed with hundred-dollar bills, at least ten to fifteen thousand dollars worth. She has only an instant to decide whether to chase after the woman or slip the wallet into her own purse.”
ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:
1) What should Janice do? Again–TRY TO PUT YOURSELF IN THIS POSITION. WHAT WOULD YOU DO? EXPLAIN WHY YOU WOULD CHOOSE THE WAY YOU DO? IF YOU ARE NOT SURE WHAT YOU WOULD DO, EXPLAIN YOUR POSITION.
2) Compare your decision and rationale in this case with the values and beliefs that you described in JOURNAL 1. Do you think that your values are represented in your thinking? Be honest and forthright. Try to explore and critical examine the values your hold dear and how they influence your decision on this case. And, if you find yourself changing your mind, and not sure how to answer, explain and reflect. Try to take into account your own perspectives and perceptions and how these influence your interpretations of these cases.
3) Explain how the TWO following approaches might apply to this case:
Kantan moral theory
4) Finally, address the question: how does my approach and rationale compare with applying utilitarianism and Kantian moral theory? Is your approach utilitarian? Kantian? Or, maybe your approach is different from both. Explain, and try your best to describe own beliefs and values and how they compare these theories and concepts.
If you are unclear on how these theoretical approach apply to this case, ask a question in the JOURNAL FORUM. The instructor will respond.
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