Ethical Reasoning

Socratic logic and ethical behaviors

Socratic logic holds that ethical behaviors are defined by their goals. A moral deed has some virtue in it. The killing of the youngster was done to allow the two men to provide for their families who rely on them (Brewer, 2007). The youngster owed no one anything, and even though his death was unjust, it was essential for the greater good. As a result, the two individuals believed that what they did was ethical because their families would benefit if they were rescued. Also, they had two options which were to either leave the boy alone, and they all die or sacrifice one of them so that the remaining two people would be saved. If one of the men died and the boy survived, then all the family members of either Dudley or Stephens would lack a breadwinner thereby leading to the suffering of more people.

Aristotle and the golden mean

Aristotle supports the idea that a moral decision should be the middle of two extremes which he calls "the golden mean." According to the theory, one has to choose between two extremes. At sea, there were three possible outcomes; all of them, two of them or none of them survives. The middle ground would be two of them survive thus justifying the killing of the two (Foster-Miller & Davis, 2016).


In conclusion, I believe that the men did not make an ethical decision because their decision was against the religious principles and the golden rule as they did treat the boy the way they would have liked to be treated (Josephson Institute of Ethics, 2016). Also they did not show concern for the twelve-year-old as portrayed by the utilitarian model (Markkula Centre for Applied Ethics, 2014).


Brewer, C. (2007, December). Accounting Ethics Education and The Socratic Method. Working Paper.

Foster-Miller, H., & Davis, T. E. (2016). Practitioner’s guide to ethical decision making. American Counseling Association. Retrieved from

Josephson Institute of Ethics. (2016). Making Ethical Decisions: Process. Retrieved from

Markkula Centre for Applied Ethics. (2014). Calculating Consequences:The Utilitarian Approach to Ethics. Retrieved from

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price