Ethics and governance Essay.
Ethics and governance
Consider the following three problems. In writing a paper about each problem, identify the consequences of the actions taken, and then determine whether the actions taken represented a greater good, who would benefit from the good, and whether the consequences ethically justify the decisions and actions.
The Mayor of a large city was given a free membership in an exclusive golf club by people who have received several city contracts. He also accepted gifts from organizations that have not done business with the City, but might in the future. The gifts ranged from $200 tickets to professional sports events to designer watches and jewelry.
A college instructor is pursuing her doctorate in night school. To gain extra time for her own studies, she gives her students the same lectures, the same assignments, and the same examinations semester after semester without the slightest effort to improve them.
Todd and Edna have been married for three years. They have had serious personal problems. Edna is a heavy drinker, and Todd cannot keep a job. Also, they have bickered and fought constantly since their marriage. Deciding that the way to overcome their problems is to have a child, they stop practicing birth control, and Edna becomes pregnant.
Using what you have learned from collaborations, discussions, and readings up to this week, explore your answers to these ethical dilemmas. How would Locke have addressed or solved the problem? Explain how his ethics and the answer he may have given are different from or the same as yours.
Compose at least a 2 page paper discussing all three ethical dilemmas in depth.
Ethics and governance Essay.
Ethics and governance
As the mayor, he is expected to discharge his duties with utmost good faith, professionally and for the greater good of all. He should also be able to discharge his mayoral duties without favor. Accepting gifts such as events tickets and jewelry and designer wear from those that have done business with the county, as well as potential beneficiaries is a sure way to get entangled in unethical practices for personal gain. These people will expect him to favor them in making procurement decisions which would go against the principles and ethics of public offices.
According to Locke’s living the moral life, the mayor must ‘‘deny himself his own desires, cross his own inclinations, and purely follow what reason directs as best, though the appetite leans the other way”. This means that although the gifts from the business community may be enticing, and even harmless at face value, the mayor must reject them if he is to serve his people in a good way. He must serve the city residents with honesty and good faith, otherwise, Locke advises that the citizens can petition for his removal from power (Schneewind, 1994).
For the college instructor to engage in unethical behavior for her own good- giving the same assignment and lectures over and over again so as to get time for her own studies-is the height of intellectual laziness. The losers in this scenario are the students, whom she is employed to teach, which is quite unethical and her actions cannot be justified. Her students will not benefit from their studies which will certainly be a waste of time and their resources seeing that higher education is a very expensive venture. If she is engaged in her own studies, the best decision would be to forgo her teaching job and concentrate on her studies so that her position can be filled by someone else who would have the interest of the students-the common good- at heart. Locke’s advice would not be different in this case. According to his treatise on living the moral life, Locke observes that the foundation of human virtues in place in their ability to ‘‘deny himself his own desires, cross his own inclinations, and purely follow what reason directs as best, though the appetite leans the other way” (Walsh, 2014). This, therefore, means that while the college instructor desires to progress in her own education, reason directs that for the common good of all, she must dedicate time to instructing her students and as it places a greater good to the society, as opposed to following her educational desires at the expense of her learners.
The consequences of deciding to have a child, in the hope that their marital problems would end, are that it doesn’t solve the underlying challenges that they face as a couple. In any case, it gets worse since having a child demands love and responsibility from both parents. It also means that an innocent child would be born in an environment which is not conducive, which may negatively impact on the child’s development. It is therefore unethical for the couple to escape the responsibility of amicably solving their problems by bringing forth another being into their dysfunctional lives. Todd and Edna needed to try and solve their problems first, before making a decision to try for a child.
According to Locke, humans are always pursuing happiness in their actions but he cautions that the source of such happiness must be clearly understood. For instance, the pursuit of our actions must be matched by the desire to ‘the true intrinsic good’. In this scenario, Locke would have advised that the couple pursues happiness by appreciating the ‘true intrinsic good’ within themselves (Darwall, 1995). This means that for them to attain true happiness, it has to come from within themselves and not from their child. By creating happiness from within themselves, they will also be able to give happiness to their child, which satisfies the notion of the ‘good for all’ as envisaged in Locke’s ethics philosophy.
Darwall, S (1995). “The Foundations of Morality,” In The Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Philosophy. Edited by Donald Rutherford, 221–49.
Schneewind, J.B (1994).Locke’s Moral Philosophy, The Cambridge Companion to Locke. Edited by Vere Chappell. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Walsh, J. (2014). “Locke and the Power to Suspend Desire,” Locke Studies, 14 (2014).