Ethical issues: “The Rain Man”
The movie “The Rain Man,” is a movie with a big ethical issue. Tom Cruise plays Charlie Babbitt, who just discovered his dad died and left him hardly anything in his will, while leaving his brother 3 million dollars. Charlie never knew he had a brother until this happened. His brother, Raymond, is an autistic man who is capable of computing difficult mathematical problems but is psychologically attached to daily habits and routines. This makes him thus unable to adapt to changing situations around him. Because of this, he is kept in a hospital like place. Charlie is in a big financial dilemma and greatly needs at least half of the 3 million dollars going to Raymond. Charlie doesn’t see why Raymond should get all the money when Raymond can’t even understand the concept of money. So Charlie decides to kidnap his brother from the institution and set a court date in order to get “his fair share” of the money. As the movie progresses he begins to form a relationship with him. They whisk away to Las Vegas where Raymond, able to count cards, makes him 86 thousand dollars in one night. But is Charlie right for what he did? Because Raymond doesn’t understand the concept of money and doesn’t need it, is it ok for Charlie to try to take it when it doesn’t belong to him? Lets take a look at a few different ways of deciding this. I will not come to my own conclusion however because, it seems with all the theories we have learned about in class, no one can decide who is right. No one can agree. So I will examine this situation from a few different viewpoints. Lets take the utilitarianism approach. Utilitarianists are all about what produces good for the greatest amount of people, counting each person as one and only one. If Charlie took 1.5 million dollars how bad would that really be? If Raymond can’t understand the concept of money, and Charlie really really needed it, then wouldn’t it make sense for Charlie to take it? If it doesn’t...
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