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Les Outline

By | April 2012
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1. Explain what ethics is. 
Ethics consists of the unwritten rules we have developed for our interaction with each other. 

2. List and briefly describe the schools of ethical thought  a. Divine Command Theory: ethical standards are based upon religious beliefs.  b. Ethical Egoism Theory: We all act in our own self-interest and limit our judgments to our own conduct, not the conduct of others.  c. Utilitarian Theory: “Greatest happiness principle,” or doing the most good for the most people.  *d. Categorical Imperative and Immanuel Kant: One ought only to act such that the principle of one’s act could become a universal law of human action in a world in which one would hope to live.  e. Contractarians and Justice: Putting ethical standards in place by a social contract. Rational thinking people develop a set of rules for everyone.  f. Rights Theory: Everyone has a set of rights and it is the role of government to enforce those rights.  g. Moral Relativists: Time-and-place ethics. Making ethical choices based on the circumstances.  h. Plato and Aristotle: Develop virtues and determine conduct by those virtues. 

3. List the categories of ethical dilemmas 
a. Taking things that don’t belong to you 
b. Saying things you know are not true. 
c. Giving or allowing false impressions 
d. Buying influence or engaging in conflicts of interest 
e. Hiding or divulging information 
f. Taking unfair advantage g. Committing acts of personal decadence  h. Perpetrating interpersonal abuse 
i. Permitting organizational abuse 
j. Violating rules 
k. Condoning unethical conduct 
l. Balancing ethical dilemmas 

4. Give the ways we avoid facing ethical dilemmas 
a. Give examples of different labels. Copyright infringement vs. peer-to-peer file sharing Smoothing earnings vs. cooking the books Lying vs. earnings management  b. List the rationalizations (1) Everybody else does it (2) If we don’t do it, someone else will (3) That’s the way it has always been done (4)...

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