The theory is that morality is proportional to the way in life in society. As such, acts are considered either right or wrong, based on the rules of morality observed in society (Arnold). Individuals who support the philosophy believe in the adoption of common moral principles. There are two types of ethical relativism, personal relativism and ethical relativism. Personal ethical relativism is a moral norm that is reasonably relevant to an entity, where each person has a different view of morality. Society’s ethical relativism aims to the rules of society to determine whether an action is right or wrong. When societies accept moral relativism, there will be no common framework that will be used to solve disputes and reach agreements on matters that relate to ethics. The theory is hugely rejected because of the differences in principles among individuals and societies.
Utilitarianism theory was proposed by John Stuart Mill and states that actions are judged depending on the degree to which they promote either happiness or sadness. For utilitarian, an action is right if it promotes happiness and it is wrong if it promotes the reverse of happiness (Arnold). Additionally, happiness applies to all are affected as opposed to the performer of the action only. Mill defines happiness as the absence of pain and pleasure. However, pleasure differs based on quality and quantity, and higher pleasure should be treated heavily compared to baser happiness. Also, virtuous living should be considered as happiness. Importantly, the principle of utilitarianism is the position of egoism, as it ignores the consequences of an action. Egoism is portrayed mainly as the action advocates for individuals to pursue their self-interest action even at the expense of others.
Kant_x0092_s Categorical Imperative
The theory was devised by Immanuel Kant and provides a maxim that used to judge whether an action is morally right. All individuals are required to apply the maxim to a moral obligation, and they can only perform the action if it passes the maxim. There are three principles used to make a logical judgment about an action before it is performed. First, there is a need to follow the law of nature. As such, the principle should be universalized without contradiction (Arnold). If the principle cannot be applied universally, then the action is wrong. Second is that all individuals, including the performer of the action should treat an action as a means to an end as opposed to a means to oneself. Otherwise, the action will be exploiting other people_x0092_s rationality. Finally, actions should be done with the assumption that all other will follow the same rules in their actions.
Application of Utilitarianism
One theory that can be used to judge an action at the workplace is the utilitarianism theory. For instance, the management proposes to give employees bonuses for their excellent work at the organization. They go further to ask whether they should be given the whole bonus or whether a quarter of it be deducted to raise money that can be used to sponsor five bright needy students in a neighboring school. Utilitarianism can be used to judge the best action. Obviously, a voluntary bonus deduction is a moral action as it is virtuous and promotes the greatest happiness for the greatest number of individuals; it will bring happiness to the community and beneficiaries.
Arnold, Danny R., et al. Proceedings of the 1982 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference. Springer, 2015.
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