Collaborate with your team, using Cisco Spark, email, phone meetings, or any collaboration tool you find useful or prefer. In your collaboration, consider the ethical dilemmas below and select 1 in which to conduct a deep drill.
Ethical Dilemma 1: A newspaper columnist signs a contract with a newspaper chain. Several months later, she is offered a position with another newspaper chain, offering a higher salary. Because she would prefer making more money, she notifies the first chain that she is breaking her contract. The courts will decide the legality of her action, but what of the morality? Did the columnist behave ethically?
Ethical Dilemma 2: An airline pilot receives his regular medical checkup. The doctor discovers that he has developed a heart murmur. The pilot only has a month to go before he is eligible for retirement. The doctor knows this and wonders whether, under these unusual circumstances, she is justified in withholding information from the company regarding the pilot’s condition.
Ethical Dilemma 3: An office worker has had a record of frequent absence. He has used all his vacation and sick-leave days, and has frequently requested additional leave without pay. His supervisor and co-workers have expressed great frustration because his absenteeism has caused bottlenecks in paperwork, created low morale in the office, and required others to do his work in addition to their own. However, the individual believes he is entitled to take his earned time and additional time off without pay. Is he right?
Ethical Dilemma 4: Rhonda enjoys socializing with fellow employees at work, but their discussions usually consist of gossiping about other people, including several of her friends. At first, Rhonda feels uncomfortable talking in this way about people she is close to; but then she decides it does no real harm, and she feels no remorse for joining in.
In conjunction with the readings, and within your teams, decide which ethical dilemma you believe is most problematic and why. In your teams, discuss the ideas of “good vs. evil,” “wrong vs. right,” and “ought/should be vs. what is.” Form the readings, discuss the ways in which Augustine and Aquinas would have solved the problem based on lecture and course reading material. In what ways do Augustine and Aquinas differ and why?
Ethical Dilemma 2
I think ethical dilemma 2 is the most problematic. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is very strict when it comes to cardiovascular issues. The same way a plane needs maintenance, the pilots also have to undergo regular checkups. It is understandable why the FAA has strict rules when it comes to heart-related issues as pilots are responsible for the safety of the people they are carrying (Nable & Brady, 2018). Despite a heart murmur not being severe, it might be an indication of an underlying heart condition. This means that failure to disclose this might be putting passengers at risk.
This brings in the question of good vs evil. It would be evil for the doctor if she failed to [cmppp_restricted] report the issue due to the risk that it would bring. Furthermore, it is his duty to report when such things arise. However, being good is considered as having a lack of self-centeredness. This entails having the ability to empathize with others, put their needs before yours and feel compassion for them. Sometimes it gets to the extent of sacrificing one’s wellbeing for other people’s sake. It is a means of showing altruism and benevolence for the sake of a greater cause (Ruggiero, 2012). The doctor’s dilemma of withholding the pilot’s information works well in this line of thought. She knows that if she discloses the information, the pilot might be dismissed before he attains eligibility for retirement. It can be said that the doctor is trying to use evil as a tool to create a greater good.
From the perspective of “wrong vs right, morality serves as the guide for people to choose the right path in life. In this case, the doctor would be wrong for not disclosing the pilot’s medical information since it is her duty to do so. What should be is for the pilot to leave when he is eligible for retirement in order to enjoy the inherent benefits, but what is, is that he might have to leave earlier in case the information is disclosed.
Augustine postulates that humans have an inclination of disregarding what is regarded as being good. This is why humanity needs to follow law and order to help avoid the inherent chaos (Boyle, 2018). In this dilemma, Augustine would have advocated for the doctor to reveal the pilot’s condition because this is what the institution’s regulations expect of her.
Aquinas, on the other hand, is not a believer of predestination, and he is of the view that people ought to have a free will to direct them towards distinctive human ends. He believes that people have the chance to search for what they think is true on their own (Boyle, 2018). Aquinas in this dilemma might have gone with the doctor withholding information as it played towards the greater good of ensuring that the pilot gets to benefit from the relevant retirement benefits.
Aquinas and Augustine differ in that Aquinas works in providing people with moral guidance that helps them to comprehend and reason, thereby obeying eternal law. Augustine, on the other hand, showcases the importance of love towards God as the love works as the motivation towards obeying eternal law. Both respect God a lot but differ in the way that they showcase the respect.
Boyle, M. (2018). Cultural Anatomies of the Heart in Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, and Harvey. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
Nable, J., & Brady, W. (2018). In-flight medical emergencies: A Practical Guide to Preparedness and Response. Springer.
Ruggiero, V. R. (2012). Thinking critically about ethical issues (8th ed.). New York: Mc-Graw Hill. [/cmppp_restricted]