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Intro/Basic Definitions - Theory

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PHIL 215
Brian Orend

January 3 2012 Basic Definitions Ethics: How you should live your life; how you should conduct yourself throughout life. Morality: How you should treat other people. Justice: How all of us should shape the basic social institutions which have the widest and deepest impact upon our lives (Eg, government, the law, the economy, health care, education and etc). Ethics Morality Justice - Justice is the narrowest. Business: Trying to make money; the legal pursuit of profit in a free society. - Profit = Revenue – Cost. - The symbol of profit is the pie sign. Thus, Business Ethics: How you should conduct yourself as you go about trying to make money (compare this with, say, professional medical ethics, which would be how you should conduct yourself as about caring for the sick and so forth). Why care about business ethics? - The research shows that, generally, good ethics means good business. - Though not absolutely always, as it’s not a perfect world. - Time and again, the case study literature abounds with instances of bad behaviour (from the Ford Pinto to Enron) coming back to haunt the doer and to harm his or her bottom line. - Over the long-term, it’s in your rational self-interest to behave ethically in your business dealings. Enron: Smartest guy in the room. He rather sue everyone rather than put engine in every car or some. Pinto: More in the classics. MADOPF = PONZI SCHEME (PYRAMID SCHEME) - Basically the guy was really slick. - He opened up his own financial investment thing. - He had 30K by himself and he got two other people and told them that if they invest 10K he can get them the S&P taxes up to 15% - Regularly this is up to 8% in the whole year - Therefore in a year he got them 30% in one year. - Because of this scheme he would actually give them the percentage. And then the people would be so fascinated that they would go on and advertise him. - Therefore he would get more and more people. - But in reality the only thing he is doing is switching everyone else’s money around. - And he made the profit of 18 billion dollars. - He started this scheme during the early 1990s - This would work as long as someone would invest. - He finally got caught and was sent to jail and is sentenced 150 years in jail. rd January 3 2012 - He got caught in 2007 - The reason why he got caught was because of “recession” - His customers were requesting the money back. - Started demanding for their principle back “redemption” - His children found out and they went along with this “business” - This sucks because even though the guy got caught and is sentenced for 150 years. This crime isn’t really a pay back. The people that saved money for their children for college or future investments are all analled now. But what does it mean to behave ethically? - No to subjectivism. - Point of ethics is to coordinate behaviour so everyone’s happiness can be pursued. My own strategy is to look up in the TOP FIVE ETHICAL MODELS, and be guided by them. Virtue Ethics: Key question, what would a virtuous person do? - Consult a virtuous person. - Not your age though because you don’t have enough experience. - This was invented by Aristotle (Greek Philosopher) - His perception was mostly based on the “virtue ethics” - He thought people should act virtuous (behave). - He loved the classification of animals – He is the one who invented the animals’ classification. - He classified us as animals too but “gifted” - Humanity itself has a function- this is absorbable. - One of the thing that is given to us which other animals don’t have is “having reason.” - We have reason so we reason. How to do Practical Reason Why to do Reason Theoretical Science Reason - We use reasons to achieve one over thing. -Not everyone pursues this. For example: Some people want to be a doctor. Not everyone becomes a doctor. -One of the MOST IMPORTANT things to achieve in life is “happiness.” -Eudemonia (Greek word): it means happiness. - It is an overall “well-being” - What should I do with life and how should I live it. - He thinks the main point is to achieve happiness in life. If you don’t you are bizarre. January 3 2012 Happiness: is misleading sometimes because some people confuse happiness with pleasure. - Pleasure: considered as a necessary but it’s not sufficient. - Internal goods: virtues (this is a biggest concern in class) - External goods: not goods of characteristic and not a part of your personality. This is provided by others. Sometimes an issue of luck. External goods - Peaceful society. - Good parents (hard to live with bad parents) – this also relies on luck. - Friends. - Health. - Beauty. Virtue: goods of character, this is a part of personality but they are not natural part of your personality – artificial. - When you are born, you are a pure animal. - You can become good or bad. - This depends on what circumstances you were or are in. - You need conscious effort and decision to be bad or good. -These decisions don’t occur only once. There are multiple decisions that are segregated bad or good. -This is continuously practiced in life. They are like muscles. You have to continuously exercise them, in order for them to develop. - These are some virtues: patience, modesty, wisdom, moderation, justice, hard working, kindness, love, and empathy -These are traits we praise in others and ourselves. - They benefit both self and others. - He is sceptical about human nature. - Virtue of industry. - We aren’t inclined to tell the truth, says Aristotle. - In our whole life, or even small situations we think whether we should or should not. What will be the benefits of this or that. - There is a scale just like, “fight or flight” (effort and contr
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