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If Fred Were A Deontologist (Kant), What Would He Do?

2109 words - 9 pages

1. Suppose that you had been one of the MBA applicants who stumbled across an opportunity to learn your results early. What would you have done, and why? Would you have considered it a moral decision? If so, on what basis would you have made it?

If I were in the same situation as the other applicants, I definitely would have checked my status. Getting into Harvard is probably one of the biggest accomplishments one can make in their professional career before completing business school. Upon graduation, a graduate’s door is blown open to exclusive networking mixers, job assistance searches, and invaluable connections made with peers. Therefore, if I had to wait another month, I probably ...view middle of the document...

I believe that in terms of egoism the applicants were not acting morally. The applicants’ choice to “hack” into their file and view their application acceptance early would in no way promote their long-term interest. Whether they found out that they were tentatively accepted or tentatively rejected, it would not make a difference in the long-term. No matter what the outcome of their acceptance, it isn’t something that wasn’t going to happen, the outcome was already determined, and finding out early would not be beneficial to their self-interest. If the applicant chose to wait, they would be acting more egoistic because egoists believe that “temporary sacrifice is necessary for the advancement of one’s long term interests.”

From the point of view of utilitarianism, the applicants are morally right as long as their action produces the greatest possible balance of good over bad for everyone affected by their action. Act utilitarianism states, “that we must ask ourselves what the consequences of a particular act in a particular situation will be for all those affected. If its consequences bring more total good than those of any alternative course of action, then this action is the right one and the one we should perform.”

In terms of utilitarianism, the applicants were not acting morally. Act utilitarianism states, “we must ask ourselves what the consequences of a particular act in a particular situation will be for all those affected.” The applicant must not only consider themselves and their future, they must also consider their family, other applicants, the university, the current student body, and future applicants. Finding out their early acceptance might seem like a good way to solve their current anxiety, but the outcome might be an unhappy one, and if caught their reputation is on the line, which is exactly what happened.

Kant’s Ethics
From the point of view of Kant’s ethics, the applicants’ actions were anything but moral. Kant maintained, “that an action is morally right if and only if we can will it be a universal law.” He asserted, “it is not enough just to do the right thing; an action has moral worth only if it is done from a sense of duty—that is, from a desire to do the right thing for its own sake.” When we act out of feeling, inclination, or self-interest, our actions have no moral worth.

The applicants to the prestigious MBA programs were not doing the right thing, and in no way was it done in a sense of duty. They were acting in their own self-interest; they did not take into consideration their motivation and if that motivation was out of moral conviction and not only for their own benefit.

Ross’s Pluralism
From the point of view of Ross’s pluralism, the applicants’ actions were not moral. Ross contended that we are faced with different moral duties that cannot be reduced to the single obligation to maximize happiness. Different relationships and different circumstances generate a variety of...

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