Picking up The Slate

Greg is faced with an ethical dilemma. At one hand, giving Natalie an honest evaluation might negatively affect her GPA while giving her a bad review makes him feel petty and inconsiderate. The other team members will receive an A. Greg situation presents a typical scenario that requires employment of ethical theories to determine the right action from the wrong action. As such, this paper will use four common theories of ethics to guide Greg into making the right choice. Through a keen investigation into the four common theories, the paper will analyze Greg’s dilemma and give a recommendation on the action that is ethically right.

Ethical Analysis of Greg’s dilemma

According to the theory of consequentialism, the rightness or wrongness of each and every action must be considered on the basis of consequences that they produce (“THEORIES OF ETHICS – School of Education – Syracuse University”, 2017). The consequences are normally viewed in terms of the intrinsic value that they generate. According to this theory, utilitarianism is a common type of consequentialism that suggest that people should act in a manner that will give the greatest good for all. In this case Greg is in a dilemma on which action he should take (Association of Colleges and Universities, 2010). If he decides to give Natalie an honest opinion, then Natalie could have her GPA negatively affected. As a result of having a low GPA, Natalie may find it difficult to get any job in the job market. She may be forced to settle for a lower salary while the rest of her teammates enjoy good pay. She is also at risk of becoming neglected and depressed. Her chance of having a good team watching her back will surely be affected. The burden of negatively affecting Natalie’s GPA weighs heavily on him if he decides to give her an honest evaluation. On the other hand, he is not sure if giving her a false evaluation will may later be harmful to potential employers and people who may entrust Natalie on the basis of her GPA. Greg has to decide the less harmful consequence and choose it.

The second common theory of ethics is Kantian deontologism. The theory is based predominantly on the works of Immanuel Kant (“THEORIES OF ETHICS – School of Education – Syracuse University”, 2017). According to Kant, the course of action chosen should be universally accepted. As such, the rightness or the wrongness of an action depends on whether it conforms to the moral law of a people (“THEORIES OF ETHICS – School of Education – Syracuse University”, 2017). Greg has to consider if helping out a troubled Natalie to graduate with a decent GPA is more important as opposed to giving her an honest evaluation that may fail her. The question would be whether making Natalie suffer as a result of her poor work ethics is considered more acceptable than honesty and integrity. Depending on what is considered a moral law, Greg can make a choice that would be universally acceptable.

The third theory of ethics employed for this case scenario is natural law (Wilson, 2013). The theoretical position suggests that one may discover the principles of good and bad by looking at human nature and picking actions that will move towards the flourishing of humans (“THEORIES OF ETHICS – School of Education – Syracuse University”, 2017). Natalie has been a huge burden to the team. Greg has the chance to condemn her poor work ethics by giving her an honest evaluation though it might negatively influence Natalie’s GPA. Greg has also to weigh the implication that a poor GPA could have for Natalie. She will probably have to settle for less important jobs and lower pay as compared to if she had a good GPA. In addition, Natalie could potentially suffer from depression and feel neglected if she learns that the rest of her teammates got an A while she got a lower grade. Greg has to consider whether compromising his integrity so that Natalie gets a good chance is worth the trouble she could potentially face if she gets a low GPA.

The fourth theory of ethics to consider is the virtue ethics. This theory has two different approaches and it is therefore not clear. Approach number one suggests that the traits of people are either laudable or blameworthy (“THEORIES OF ETHICS – School of Education – Syracuse University”, 2017). Virtue ethics is concerned with systematically formulating traits of character which make the human behavior praiseworthy or blameworthy. In this case scenario, integrity and honesty can be considered to be praiseworthy traits while poor work ethics and stubbornness could be considered as blameworthy (Stephen, 2014). Greg has to give Natalie an honest evaluation even if it may negatively affect her GPA. An honest evaluation is considered a praiseworthy virtue that humanity embraces. In addition, Greg may consider this act to have positive future impacts since an individual molded in the right manner will have positive influence on the society as opposed to an individual who has poor work ethics. Natalie must learn to embrace praiseworthy traits in order for her to positively contribute to the community at large. You can find many more details about this theory of ethics in this code of ethics essay.

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