Case 1(a) (4 marks)
From a normative approach, the issues raised in the media investigate on whether men are inherently superior to women, and whether Damore’s memo was discriminative. The memo appears to suggest that men are greater than women, which implies that women are less competent and skilful. Since this opinion is not necessarily true, Damore’s argument is wrong and unethical. In normative ethics, issues are considered by whether they are right or wrong (Cline, 2017). Google’s CEO Sundar Pichaiv further emphasizes that is Damore’s assumption were wrong: “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK.” Since Damore’s views were wrong, it was only fair for him to be punished.
In descriptive ethics, psychologists argue about issues that promote specific social behaviour (Cline, 2017). In the case, Damore’s firing illustrates the desire for equal treatment and respect for all members of the society. Since some of his comments were found not to promote equity, Google fired him, which shows that the company is concerned about some negative implications that may be caused by his views. In particular, his opinions may create a feeling of lack of equal opportunities among men and women in the company.
Case 1(b) (5 marks)
The main issue raised in the media is that of an individual’s right to express his/her thoughts. In this case, Damore appears to be partly punished for expressing his opinions. Damore suggests that women are not able to succeed in the information technology industry since that are more interested in people than things. Additionally, he asserts that women are more co-operative and more prone to anxiety. Therefore, although Google did not fully agree with Damore’s opinions, it should have respected them. On the same vein, Damore ought to have referenced and cited the source that he used to form his opinions. Noteworthy, if Damore had cited the author’s he used to form his/her opinions, his/her views would have become more credible.
Case 1(c) (10 marks)
From a utilitarianism perspective, firing James Damore is a moral act. In utilitarianism ethics, a person is concerned with intrinsic values and what is wrong or right. Therefore, as the CEO of Google Inc., I would evaluate whether it is appropriate for Damore to give such remarks.
To begin with, Damore’s views are improper since they undermine women, and their capacity to lead. In particular, Damore opines that women are more interested in people than things, and also more cooperative and likely to become anxious, which makes them not to succeed in their work. He even opines that Google cannot accept people who have a different opinion on it. This suggestion is wrong since it can create division within the company. In light of this, it was essential to punish Damore since his views were wrong since he misrepresented the ability of women and portrayed Google to be a company that does not respect the vies of its employees.
Case 2(a) (9 marks)
Virtue ethics requires individuals to be human in their conducts (Houston, 1998). In this case, virtue ethics requires individuals to consider the well-being of others, to have some level of care, and to practice common-sense intuitions in regards to character traits that are admirable (Mastin, 2009). In this case, the fake wellness blogger Belle Gibson was unethical since she purposefully lied to her community about the effectiveness of her therapies and nutritions. Additionally, she took advantage of a cancer-afflicted individual to collect donations and promote the sale of her recipe books.
Gibson’s suggestion that she had cancer, and that her alternative therapies and nutrition cured her brain cancer is particularly wrong and immoral. This allegation can make sick individuals to stop using proven medical treatment therapies and instead adopt her fake methods. The most unfortunate bit is that since her treatments and therapies are fake, most individuals’ health conditions can worsen, and some might even die. In this regard, Gibson was interested in exploiting sick individuals without minding of health risks that she exposed them to.
Additionally, Gibson also takes advantage of the empathetic nature of most individuals for her selfish gains. In this case, she lies that she will donate proceeds from the Whole Pantry App., 2014 Mother’s Day event, the sale of the Whole Pantry App., company profits, and 100 percent of one week’s sales to Joshua Schwarz, a boy with brain cancer. Gibson is fully aware that these promises will increase the number of individuals who will purchase various services from her since most individuals believed that they are indirectly contributing to the treatment of cancer patients. The fact that Gibson takes advantage of the status of the sick individuals to promote her business, while not fulfilling her promise shows that she lacks virtues.
Case 2(b) (4 marks)
In this study, the Kohlberg’s theory of moral development can be used to understand Gibson’s motivation for using false means of enriching herself. From the Kohlberg’s theory of moral development, it can be established that Gibson was in the Universal Ethical Principles Orientation stage (McLeod, 2013). People who are in this stage develop their guidelines that may or may not fit the laws (Gibbs, 2013). From the analysis, Gibson had purposefully decided to make wealth, whether her tactics were legal or not. Accordingly, she lied to the public that she could treat cancer and that she would donate her proceeds to those who had cancer.
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Cline, A. (2017). Ethics: Descriptive, normative, and analytic. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/ethics-descriptive-normative-and-analytic-4037543.
Gibbs, J. (2013). Moral development and reality: Beyond the theories of Kohlberg, Hoffman, and Haidt (3rd. Ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Houston, G. (1998) Virtual morality (1st Ed.). Nottingham, UK: Apollos Publishers.
Mastin, L. (2009). Existence and consciousness. Retrieved from https://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_metaphysics.html
McLeod, S. (2013). Kohlberg’s stages of moral development. Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/kohlberg.html