Short Paper: Living Ethically through a Social Contract
ETHC 445N: Principles of Ethics
Living Ethically through a Social Contract
Scenario 1: The Mayor of a large city was given a free membership in an exclusive golf club by people who have received several city contracts. He also accepted gifts from organizations that have not done business with the City but might in the future. The gifts ranged from $200 tickets to professional sports events to designer watches and jewelry.
In the above scenario, the consequences of the mayor taking bribes or “hush money/gifts” in exchange for approving contracts with these organizations are great. The mayor could possibly lose his position as Mayor and/or he could also be faced with potential federal charges for coercion and bribery. In this case, the mayor’s actions are not those of the greater good but of deceit. He is knowingly excepting elaborate gifts from organizations that either have existing contracts with the city or are planning to do business with the city in the future in exchange for city contracts. Who could benefit from this? Well it depends on if these businesses are profitable for the city. If so then the city, the mayor and the contract holders all could potentially benefit from this. However, the flip side is if these contacts bring more crime or bad/unwanted business to the city then no one would benefit from it. In this situation, the consequences are not ethically justifiable for the actions. At no time is it ethical to take a bribe for any reason especially if you are appointed by the people to serve as a representative for the people. Locke believed that everyone has a conscious and that it would guide us to do what is morally right and in this case Locke would be in agreement with me that the mayor did not make ethical decisions by taking bribes from these organizations. Locke would have the Mayor removed from his position.
Scenario 2: A college instructor is pursuing her...
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