In this session, you have been considering moral-ethical dilemmas you yourself faced or that you know of that you either resolved or failed to resolve, but hopefully learned from. You may never have given much thought to ethical theory nor what ethical premises/paradigms you have unconsciously held.
You will be focusing on this case for this assignment:
Jane Doe is a nursing student at University X. Jane is in week eight of a course entitled: “Introduction to Ethics”.
For the week one discussion, Jane copied work done by her friend John Doe in the same class two months ago (with a different professor). John told Jane it was okay to use his work as John’s professor never checked any work in the class using Turnitin.com. John claimed to have earned an A on the work also.
In week two, Jane went to StudentPapering.com and paid ten dollars for a week two essay done by a student (not John Doe) who took the same course four months ago. StudentPapering promises that all its archived work is of excellent quality and cannot be detected as copied. Jane then uploaded an exact copy of the work for the week two assignment.
In week three, Jane paid a worker at PaperingStudent.com ten dollars to write for Jane a brand new essay after Jane shared with the worker the essay assignment instructions.
In week four, Jane relied on her knowledge of Esperanto. She felt pressed for time and found an article by a professor from Esperanto on the week four topic. She translated Esperanto into English using Moogle Translate, and the translated text served as her week four paper.
In week five, Jane was running late again. Jane purposely uploaded a blank paper hoping that she would later claim it was an innocent mistake and not be assessed a late penalty. In a previous course on History, she had done the same (with an earlier paper from the History class rather than simply a blank) and had not seen any late penalty assessed.
In week six, Jane took work she did in a nursing course from a year ago and submitted that for her discussion posting in her current class. She simply copied and pasted the work she had labored intensively on a year ago (even though University X forbids this practice as ‘self-plagiarism’). Jane was confident her Nursing instructor never checked that work using Turnitin.com or another method.
In week seven, Jane copied and pasted work found on website.com for the paper. Jane did not use any quotation marks or other documentation to show the text was not by Jane.
Since Jane’s Ethics professor did not check papers and posting for any issues by using Turnitin.com or another method, the professor graded all of Jane’s work unaware of Jane’s actions throughout the weeks of the class. Jane feels her actions are morally justified both because her economic situation requires her to work too much to devote time to school (although other students are well-off enough to have such time) and her religion forbids cheating, but Jane ignores her religion’s teachings.
Now that you have had an opportunity to explore ethics formally, create a reflective assessment of your learning experience and the collaborations you engaged in throughout this session. You will submit both of the following:
• A written reflection
For the written reflection, address Jane Doe’s and respond to the following:
• Articulate again your moral theory from week eight discussion (You can revise it if you wish). What two ethical theories best apply to it? Why those two?
Discussion: My own moral compass is mostly guided by Kantian ethics and utilitarianism, with an accent on the significance of always treating other people with respect and decency. My viewpoint is that it is unethical to ever treat other people to an end and that everyone has the right to be regarded as though they are an end in themselves. In addition, I believe that the action that would bring the greatest amount of happiness to the largest number of people is always the action that should be taken because it is the ethically correct thing to do.
When I apply the principles of my ethical philosophy to the situation of John Doe, I concluded that it would be immoral for him to continue working at the company if he is aware of the unethical actions that are being carried out there. If, on the other hand, he is unaware that the corporation engages in unethical acts, then it is not unethical for him to continue working for the company in question. If he does decide to speak out against the unethical actions of the corporation, he should do so in a manner that is courteous and dignified, as well as one that does not put anybody else in danger.
If John Doe’s situation were examined through the lens of ignorance, the results of the investigation might be very different. John would have no way of knowing because he would be operating under a cloak of ignorance, whether he would be the only individual injured by the immoral acts of the firm. Because of this, he would be more likely to conclude that it is not worthwhile to speak out against the unethical actions of the corporation because the risks would be greater than the rewards.
In the instance of John Doe, differing philosophies of justice would inevitably result in divergent inferences and judgments. For instance, a Rawlsian theory of justice would place an emphasis on how critical it is to guarantee that people of all backgrounds share the same fundamental rights and opportunities. In the example of John Doe, this would imply that he needs to speak up against the unethical activities of the firm to make certain that others are not subjected to the same kind of exploitation that he has experienced.
• Apply to Jane Doe’s case your personal moral philosophy as developed in week eight discussion and now. Use it to determine if what Jane Doe did was ethical or unethical per your own moral philosophy.
• Consider if some of these examples are more grave instances of ethical transgressions than others. Explain.
• Propose a course of social action and a solution by using the ethics of egoism, utilitarianism, the “veil of ignorance” method, deontological principles, and/or a theory of justice to deal with students like Jane. Consider social values such as those concerning ways of life while appraising the interests of diverse populations (for instance, those of different religions and economic statuses).