Week 8 Assignment: Your Personal Moral Theory

Introduction

In this session, you have been considering moral-ethical dilemmas you yourself faced or that you know of that you either resolved or failed to resolve, but hopefully learned from. You may never have given

much thought to ethical theory nor what ethical premises/paradigms you have unconsciously held.

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You will be focusing on this case for this assignment:

 

Jane Doe is a nursing student at University X. Jane is in week eight of a course entitled: “Introduction to Ethics”.

For the week one discussion, Jane copied work done by her friend John Doe in the same class two months ago (with a different professor). John told Jane it was okay to use his work as John’s professor never checked any work in the class using Turnitin.com. John claimed to have earned an A on the work also.

In week two, Jane went to StudentPapering.com and paid ten dollars for a week two essay done by a student (not John Doe) who took the same course four months ago. StudentPapering promises that all its archived work is of excellent quality and cannot be detected as copied. Jane then uploaded an exact copy of the work for the week two assignment.

In week three, Jane paid a worker at PaperingStudent.com ten dollars to write for Jane a brand new essay after Jane shared with the worker the essay assignment instructions.

 

In week four, Jane relied on her knowledge of Esperanto. She felt pressed for time and found an article

 

by a professor from Esperanto on the week four topic. She translated Esperanto into English using Moogle Translate, and the translated text served as her week four paper.

In week five, Jane was running late again. Jane purposely uploaded a blank paper hoping that she would later claim it was an innocent mistake and not be assessed a late penalty. In a previous course on History, she had done the same (with an earlier paper from the History class rather than simply a blank) and had not seen any late penalty assessed.

 

In week six, Jane took work she did in a nursing course from a year ago and submitted that for her discussion posting in her current class. She simply copied and pasted the work she had labored intensively on a year ago (even though University X forbids this practice as ‘self-plagiarism’). Jane was confident her Nursing instructor never checked that work using Turnitin.com or another method.

 

In week seven, Jane copied and pasted work found on website.com for the paper. Jane did not use any quotation marks or other documentation to show the text was not by Jane.

Since Jane’s Ethics professor did not check papers and posting for any issues by using Turnitin.com or another method, the professor graded all of Jane’s work unaware of Jane’s actions throughout the weeks of the class. Jane feels her actions are morally justified both because her economic situation requires her to work too much to devote time to school (although other students are well-off enough to have such time) and her religion forbids cheating, but Jane ignores her religion’s teachings.

Instructions

Now that you have had an opportunity to explore ethics formally, create a reflective assessment of your learning experience and the collaborations you engaged in throughout this session. You will submit both of the following:

 

A written reflection

An oral presentation using a PowerPoint narrated slide show.

 

For the written reflection, address Jane Doe’s and respond to the following:

 

Articulate again your moral theory from week eight discussion (You can revise it if you wish). What two ethical theories best apply to it? Why those two?

Apply to Jane Doe’s case your personal moral philosophy as developed in week eight discussion and now. Use it to determine if what Jane Doe did was ethical or unethical per your own moral philosophy.

Consider if some of these examples are more grave instances of ethical transgressions than others. Explain.

Propose a course of social action and a solution by using the ethics of egoism, utilitarianism, the “veil of ignorance” method, deontological principles, and/or a theory of justice to deal with students

 

like Jane. Consider social values such as those concerning ways of life while appraising the interests of diverse populations (for instance, those of differing religions and economic status).

 

For the oral presentation, briefly summarize your feelings about taking a course in Ethics and explore your process of transformation in this course.

 

Discuss your experiences of the course, your beginnings, and where you are now. Consider your interaction in discussions.

Should health care workers be required to take a course in Ethics? Why or why not

 

Writing Requirements (APA format)

 

Length: 3-4 pages (not including title page or references page) 1-inch margins

Double spaced

12-point Times New Roman font Title page

References page (minimum of 2 scholarly sources)

 

Presentation Requirements

 

Length: 2-3 minutes

Grading

This activity will be graded based on the Assignment Grading Rubric.

 

Course Outcomes (CO): 9, 10

 

Due Date: By 11:59 p.m. MT on Saturday

 

 

Criteria Ratings Pts
Oral Presentation 55 pts Oral 46 pts Oral 41 pts Oral 33 pts Oral 0 pts No  
  presentation is

clear,

presentation is

mostly clear,

presentation is

somewhat clear,

presentation is

not clear,

effort  
  organized, and well-rehearsed. It thoroughly summarizes

the report and

organized, and well-rehearsed. It summarizes the report and

examines the

organized, and well-rehearsed. It summarizes the report, and

somewhat

organized, or well-rehearsed. It fails to adequately

summarizes the

   

 

55 pts

  examines the ethical ideas

beyond the

ethical ideas beyond the

particulars of

examines the ethical ideas

beyond the

report and/or examines the

ethical ideas

   
  particulars of each case. each case. particulars of each case. beyond the

particulars of each case.

   
Assignment Content 65 pts Addresses all 55 pts Addresses most 48 pts Addresses 39 pts Minimally 0 pts No  
  aspects of the

questions,

aspects of the

questions,

some aspects

of the

addresses the

questions,

effort  
 

 

applying professional knowledge, and research

regarding

applying professional knowledge, , and research

regarding

questions, applying professional knowledge, and

research

applying professional knowledge, and research

regarding

  65 pts
  weekly

concepts.

weekly

concepts.

regarding

weekly

weekly

concepts.

   
Professional Communication 10 pts Presents 8.5 pts Presents 7.5 pctosncepts. Presents 6 pts Presents 0 pts No  
  information

using clear

information

in an

information

using

information that is

not clear, logical,

effort  
  and concise language in an organized manner

(minimal

organized manner (some errors in English

grammar,

understandable language but is somewhat disorganized

(some errors in

professional or organized to the point that the reader has

difficulty

   

 

10 pts

  errors in English

grammar,

spelling, syntax, and

punctuation).

English grammar,

spelling,

understanding the message

(numerous errors

   
  spelling, syntax, and

punctuation).

  syntax, and punctuation). in English grammar, spelling,

syntax, and/or

   

 

punctuation).

 

 

Criteria Ratings Pts
Source Integration  

10 pts

Paper includes reference to 2 scholarly sources and properly integrates the sources.

 

7 pts

Paper includes reference to 2 scholarly sources but does not properly integrate the sources.

 

0 pts

Paper does not make reference to a scholarly sources.

 

 

10 pts

APA Format  

10 pts

Paper meets all source requirements, and is properly formatted in APA style throughout (i.e. title page, spacing, font, in- text citations

and references.)

 

8.5 pts

Paper meets all source requirements, and is mostly properly formatted in APA style (i.e. title page, spacing, font, in-text citations

and references.)

 

7.5 pts

Paper meets all source requirements, and is somewhat properly formatted in APA style (i.e. title page, spacing, font, in-text citations and

references.)

 

6 pts

Paper fails to meet source requirements and/or is improperly formatted in APA style throughout

 

0 pts No effort

 

 

 

 

 

10 pts

Total Points: 150

 

Sample Answer

 

Reflection

Moral Theory

My revised moral theory states that people should do people should strive to do what is right in all situations. The decision to do what is right should be anchored on the norms, customs, and values that prevail in the society in which a person belongs. People should engage in actions or make decisions that bring happiness and comfort to other people. As such, there is a moral obligation for people to avoid doing what causes harm or hurt to other people. In this sense, people should respect the humanity and dignity of other people. Furthermore, people adhere to their chosen values in all situations without contradiction or exception.

The two ethical theories that best apply to my moral theory are utilitarianism and Kantianism. Utilitarianism applies to my moral theory because this ethical theory contends that people should do that which brings the most happiness to the highest number of people (Häyry, 2021). My moral theory adheres to this utilitarian principle by outlining that the actions and decisions made by a person should bring happiness and comfort to other people. Furthermore, my moral theory states that people have a moral obligation to avoid doing what causes harm or hurt to others. This describes an obligation for benevolence towards other people. Therefore, the need to bring happiness to others while avoiding hurt or harm is in clear alignment with utilitarianism.

The moral theory fits with Kantianism because the theory advocates for people to do what is right in all situations. The idea of doing the right thing in all situations aligns with the Kantian theory that promotes consistency in decision-making (Tesón, 2017). Secondly, my moral theory states that people should do what is right in accordance with the norms, customs, and values prevalent in society. This aspect of the moral theory reflects Kantianism which places the expectation that people will follow the existing rules when making decisions.

Applying My Moral Philosophy

My moral philosophy outlines people I will strive to act with a high level of integrity in all that I do. Integrity requires that I act with honesty, transparency, and accountability. I will adhere to the values and virtues that are a part of the communities in which I exist. The communities include the social, academic, and professional communities that have specific ethics and code of conduct. I will strive to do what is respectful and dignified towards other people to gain their trust and also draw their respect as well. I will restrain myself from any actions or behaviors that directly or indirectly cause physical, emotional, or psychological harm to other people.

According to my moral philosophy, the actions of Jane Doe are unethical. Firstly, Jane’s actions are unethical because she infringes on the value of integrity. Jane displays dishonesty by submitting work that she did not do on her own. Jane paid someone to do her essay, copied and pasted another student’s work, and engaged in self-plagiarism which are all violations of integrity. Jane’s behavior demonstrates that she lacks accountability. According to my moral philosophy, Jane Doe’s actions are unethical because she directly violates the code of conduct that guides the behavior of people in academics. Students are required to manifest academic honesty by submitting original essays when presented with an assignment instead of copying and pasting, posting a previous paper, or purchasing a paper on the internet. Jane’s actions are unethical because she takes advantage of the trust of her professor. Jane knows that the professor does not check work using Turnitin. Jane exploits this knowledge to submit work that would otherwise attract a penalty for academic dishonesty. In this way, Jane’s actions are unethical because she lacks respect for her professor as her superior.

Analyzing the Ethical Transgressions

The actions of Jane Doe are more grave instances of ethical transgressions than others. The actions of Jane in week one are an example of a grave ethical transgression. In week one, Jane copied work that had been done by John Doe and presented that work as work that she had done herself. This is an example of a severe ethical transgression because Jane is dishonestly taking credit for work that lacked her involvement or input. The second example of a grave ethical transgression happens in week three when Jane paid a worker at PaperingStudent.com to write an essay for her. This is a grave ethical transgression because the professor expects Jane to carry out her assignments by herself rather than have someone else do her work for her. This is a violation of the professor’s trust and instructions.

Some of the actions of Jane are less severe ethical transgressions than others. One such instance is in week six when Jane submitted work that she had done in a previous nursing course and submitted that work in the current class. The week six incident is a less ethical transgression because, in this instance, Jane had done the work that she submitted in the current class. Her actions in week six are still an ethical transgression because Jane engaged in academic dishonesty by uploading a previous paper that she had done rather than creating a new paper.

Courses of Social Action

Under the ethics of egoism, the appropriate course of action is to tap into the self-interest of Jane Doe. One way to achieve this is by emphasizing to Jane that her actions could be detrimental to her academic future through a suspension or even discontinuation due to academic dishonesty. Jane will act in her self-interest by desisting from actions that will attract a suspension or discontinuation. Under the ethics of utilitarianism, the appropriate course of action will aim to bring the most happiness to most people (Häyry, 2021). Under the utilitarian ethical approach, Jane will be implored to act honestly because her dishonest actions will offend her professor and other students in the class. Therefore, a utilitarian approach will encourage Jane to do her work to bring contentment to her professor and avoid disprespecting her colleagues. The veil of ignorance method is an approach that encourages impartiality in the processes of decision-making by withholding biasing information (Huang et al., 2019). Applying the veil of ignorance method to this situation requires Jane to assess her actions from an impartial standpoint where she will consider whether her actions would be appropriate if someone else engaged in similar actions. Finally, deontological principles are anchored on duty and whether the actions are morally right or wrong. Applying deontological principles, Jane should be required to respect her duty to manifest academic honesty in her work as required by the rules of the university. Following such rules is also the morally right thing to do.

In addressing actions such as those by Jane Doe, it is essential to explore the underlying social and cultural dynamics in the situation. There is a necessity to consider the differences that emerge in social values and norms among people from different cultures. For instance, Jane’s religion forbids cheating but Jane violates this rule. Therefore, a level of cultural competence is required when addressing ethical issues among a diverse population (Vitolla et al., 2021).

 

 

References

Häyry, M. (2021). Just better utilitarianism. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics30(2), 343-367.

Huang, K., Greene, J. D., & Bazerman, M. (2019). Veil-of-ignorance reasoning favors the greater good. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences116(48), 23989-23995.

Tesón, F. R. (2017). The Kantian theory of international law. In The Nature of International Law (pp. 557-606). Routledge.

Vitolla, F., Raimo, N., Rubino, M., & Garegnani, G. M. (2021). Do cultural differences impact ethical issues? Exploring the relationship between national culture and quality of code of ethics. Journal of International Management27(1), 100823.

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