Applying Common-Sense Morality to Life

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Paradox Pages: 2 (613 words) Published: December 19, 2003
Applying Common-Sense Morality to Life

I believe that I could and do "live with" W. D. Ross's theory of common-sense morality as my own moral code. I agree with some of the principles that Kant and Utilitarianism follow, but I believe they are too strict. I agree with the system of moral dilemmas and priorities that common-sense morality uses. It allows a person to prioritize moral obligations and choose which obligation is more important based on a particular situation. I believe common-sense morality can easily be applied to situations at home, at work, and at school.

First, I will give an example of how common-sense morality can be applied to a situation at home. Let's say that my father and I have plans to meet for dinner on Thursday night. According to Ross, I have made a promise to meet him for dinner and this situation would fall under the obligation of fidelity. In class on Thursday, I find out that I have an exam in my business ethics class on Friday and I know that I should stay home and study for it instead of going out to dinner. After thinking about the situation, even though my father and I had previous plans to go to dinner, I would decide to change our plans to a later date and study for the exam. By doing this, I broke my promise to go to dinner, but the exam is more important. According to Ross, I have prioritized the exam over the dinner in order to fulfill by obligation of self-improvement.

Second, I will give an example of how common-sense morality can be applied to a situation at work. Let's say that I work at Wendy's fast food restaurant. James, the manager of the store, and I are the only staff members in the store. All of the sudden, James accidentally spills hot grease all over his hand and is screaming for help. I immediately run over to help, but then a woman in the dining area screams to call 911 because her husband is having a heart attack. Now I have a moral dilemma. According to Ross, I have an obligation...
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