Unocal in Burma

Topics: Human rights, Morality, Ethics Pages: 4 (1196 words) Published: March 23, 2012
“Ethics is a kind of investigation- and includes both the activity of investigating as well as the results of that investigation-whereas morality is the subject matter that ethics investigate” (Manual G. Velasquez). Here in this analysis we’ll try to differentiate the right and wrong in Unocal’s actions in engaging in the Yadana project from four different key ethical perspectives which are the Utilitarian, Rights, Justice and Caring perspective. 1.Utilitarian Perspective: “Utilitarianism is a general term for any view that holds that actions and policies should be evaluated on the basis of the benefits and costs they will impose on the society” (Velasquez). On the basis of this concept we can see that Unocal’s project has benefited thousands of families who live in the pipeline region. These benefits include significantly improved health care, improvements in education, new transportation infrastructure and small business opportunities. Unocal also claimed that it provide 7,551 paid jobs during the construction of the project. The improved health care significantly reduced the infant mortality rate in the area. This project was delivering 500-600 million cubic feet gas per day to Thailand and this project was expected to earn $2.2 billion dollars for contact life. This project also accompanied some costs with it and the most common are forced relocations without compensation of the families from the land, forced labor to work on the pipeline project and imprisonment and/or execution by army of those who opposed. So, on pure Utilitarian ground we can say that there were greater numbers of people benefited in comparison to few costs.

2.Rights Perspective: Right is defined as the entitlement of an individual to something but “Rights that human beings of every nationality possess to an equal extent simply by virtue of being human beings” is moral rights. The categorical imperative theory of Kant’s says that- a.“Everyone should be treated as a free person...
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