The moral and ethical environment determines how we react in terms of justice, fairness, right, wrong, good, evil, tolerance, care, forgiveness and so fourth to the events that shape the world in which we live. Yet the forces that influence our views on such matters go mostly unnoticed (Burgh et al., 2006).
The purpose of this paper is to develop a critical response to the Helping Molly scenario where I believe the key ethical issue is discrimination. A theoretical understanding of four ethical frameworks, more specifically the Consequentialism, Non-Consequentialism, Virtue and Care Ethics frameworks will be offered before they each are applied to analyse the scenario. From this analysis possibilities will be developed and justified and finally, arguments will be drawn upon to recommend an appropriate and justifiable course of action.
The Consequentialism framework suggests decision making is an action-based process, that is, one that determines the rightness or wrongness of an act according to the relevant outcomes or consequences. Within Consequentialism there consists a variety of perspectives including egoism, altruism and utilitarianism. Like Consequentialism, Non-Consequentialism is also an action-based perspective. This framework however, focuses on the rules and principles related to an act rather then the consequences that may follow. Decisions are made with consideration to written and unwritten rules that fall under the subcategories of Natural Rights, Social Contract, Divine Command and Deontology.
The Virtue Ethic and Care Ethic frameworks differ from those mentioned previously. Unlike Consequential and Non-Consequentialism, the Virtue and Care Ethic frameworks are agent-based and consider the person performing the act rather then the act itself. More specifically, Virtue Ethics considers what a good person would do, focusing on inner qualities as motivation for good behaviour (Burgh, 2006). Alternatively, Gilligan (1982), an activist of Care Ethics suggests people’s decision making is motivated by their relationships, in particular the one they consider most significant. This framework is centred on maintaining and maximising relationships through caring actions (Gilligan, 1982).
Adapting the four ethical frameworks to the Helping Molly scenario can result in a myriad of possibilities. From a consequentialist framework, eliminating the negative consequences that may result from the act, the teacher ought to adopt Bentham (1789) and Mills’ (1863) utilitarianism perspective (Bentham, 1789; Mill, 1863). The teacher ought to take the issue to the Principal, P & C and union to seek advice and representation. Contact with Mc Jacks should be made regarding the discrimination against Molly and adjustments need to be made to the sponsorship conditions or another more supportive sponsor will be found. The possibilities that may arise from adopting this framework perspective include: Mc Jacks, to avoid more negative publicity...