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Ethics - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Ethics. Categorical Imperative/Deontology. Certain actions are always wrong, regardless of circumstances of individual situations: lying, cheating, stealing, murder, etc. These are called “categorical imperatives.” Right and wrong, not consequences .

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Categorical imperative deontology
Categorical Imperative/Deontology

  • Certain actions are always wrong, regardless of circumstances of individual situations: lying, cheating, stealing, murder, etc. These are called “categorical imperatives.”

  • Right and wrong, not consequences.

  • A higher moral order (conscience) guides imperatives, rather than reason

  • What are some things that you think are categorically wrong?

Categorical imperative examples
Categorical Imperative - Examples

  • For example: One categorical imperative may be that lying is wrong.

  • Abusive boyfriend example

  • Other examples?


  • Ethical choices produce the greatest good for the greatest number.

  • The ends justify the means.

  • Majority

  • Greatest balance of good over evil

  • Requires an accurate assessment of consequences of an action: mitigate harm

The golden mean
The Golden Mean

  • The ethical choice is found between extremes, avoiding excessive practices. Finding the middle ground. BUT “Extremes” must still be based on an appropriate range of choices.

  • This is best used when situations are complicated or layered with ambiguity and uncertainty.

  • Problem: not all issues have an appropriate middle ground or center.

The golden mean examples
The Golden Mean - Examples

  • A TV station teams up with a hospital and a drug chain to promote a mass community health screening. It can be for cholesterol, colorectal cancer, vision, glucose or even drinking water.

The veil of ignorance social justice egalitarianism
The Veil Of IgnoranceSocial Justice/Egalitarianism

  • “Justice is blind.” Looking at situations regardless of social or economic status. Put yourself in their shoes.

  • Fairness is considered a principle of justice

  • Egalitarianism is paramount

  • For example: Should you report on a politician who is rumored to be having an affair?

Veil of ignorance examples
Veil of Ignorance - Examples

  • After a shooting spree at Standard Gravure by one of the printing company's former employees, The Courier-Journal published a front-page photograph of one of the victims. The photograph showed the dead victim lying on his back at the bottom of the stairs, his arms spread out and his body partially resting on a track used to move large rolls of paper. The photograph prompted more than 500 complaints and a lawsuit - won by The Courier-Journal - that went all the way to the Supreme Court. 

  • Readers quickly let the newspaper know that they disagreed and did not appreciate the vivid reminder of the previous day’s events on the front page of their morning paper.

Agape judeo christian care based
Agape/Judeo Christian/Care-Based

  •  “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Other-directed care and love. Based on relationships. Personal instead of legal ethics.

  • For example: Someone practicing Agape ethics might not print a rape victim’s name just because they can. They care more about protecting and caring for the victim than getting a story.

Judeo christian example
Judeo- Christian - Example

  • You’ve known for months that the candidate is gay. And each time you raised the possibility of a story, everyone agreed: the man’s sex life was his business.

  • But now it’s different. A local newscast led with a story that highlighted the candidate’s activities with the local gay community. Even though the candidate "declined comment on his sexual preference," the story is undoubtedly out.

Potter box examples
Potter Box Examples

  • Duggar Family Miscarriage Photos

  • What is the situation?

  • What are the values involved in showing this image to the public? To taking this image as a “celebrity” family? What values does this image support or negate?

  • What are the principles involved?

  • What loyalties are involved? Who has a stake in these private photos being used/reprinted in the press?