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Review of Three Ethical Theories
Engineering and Construction
Pages 5 (1255 words)
Section 1 This section is devoted to the comparison of three ethical theories, namely, Utilitarianism, Rights Ethics and the Ethics of Justice. The Utilitarianism ethics is based on the premise that individual’s course of action should be evaluated in terms of the costs and benefits that will be imposed on the society as a result of those actions (Mill, 1963).
According to this theory, individuals are seen as rational and utility maximizing entities. Several business decisions today are based on this principle; that is, the correct business decision is one that maximizes the net benefit to the society. Thus, the decision which is in the best interests of the society is one that maximizes the net benefit to the society. The founder of traditional Utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham, argued that best and most valuable judgments are those that are based on objective considerations (Scarre, 1996). Thus, the benefits and costs of each public policy should be weighed and then the policy should be executed only if the benefits outweigh the costs. The theory inherently assumes that the costs and benefits can be measured (Scarre, 1996). Thus, the value of the costs can be subtracted from the value of benefits. The theory does not aim at maximizing an individual’s utility. It aims at maximizing the net benefits to the society. The provision of public and merit goods is based on this theory. It is consistent with morality since it takes into account ‘everyone’s’ interests in equal amount. ...
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