Ethics Week 3
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.
I think it’s unethical that the mayor accepted the free membership to an exclusive golf club that was given him by people who have received city contracts. A possible consequence of this is that the mayor might develop a bias towards these people such that they would be favored in the granting of city contracts in the future. This would be unfair to the other contractors and this may deprive the public of having the best contractors selected for their city projects. On the other hand, it will be ethical for the mayor to receive gifts from organizations that have not done business with the city as these can be considered personal gifts that will not affect any business transaction between the mayor and these organizations. In the same regard, I think that Locke would also disapprove of the mayor receiving the golf club membership from the people who have been granted city contracts because this would form a social contract between Locke and these people, which, through the use of reason, would imply that these people might expect favors from the mayor in exchange for the gift. However, this bias will not be for the greater good; thus, it is unethical. On the other hand, Locke might also approve of the mayor receiving gifts from the organizations as it is the mayor’s natural right to receive personal gifts. Moreover, reason would indicate that, since these organizations are not doing business with the city then the mayor’s acceptance of their gifts won’t have to influence any decisions that the mayor has to make.
2. A college instructor is pursuing her doctorate in night school. To gain extra time for her own studies, she gives her students the same lectures, the same assignments, and the same examinations semester after semester without the slightest effort to improve them.
I think that the college instructor’s actions are unethical in that there is a conflict of interest. More specifically, she is trying to cope with her own academic requirements at the expense of giving her students quality education. Although this would likely help the instructor do well in her doctorate studies, her students will not be able to get the quality education that they deserve and have paid for. Providing them with the same lectures, assignments, and exams every semester may mean that the instructor is providing outdated information to the students and this can also lead to cheating. In this regard, the actions do not result in the greater good, but only results in the instructor’s own good. This then means that the consequences do not ethically justify the actions.
In the same regard, Locke would also probably disapprove of the instructor’s actions because she is violating the social contract she has with the school and with her students. More specifically, she has a social contract with the school and with her students that she would perform her duties to the best of her abilities.
3. Todd and Edna have been married for three years. They have had serious personal problems. Edna is a heavy drinker, and Todd cannot keep a job. Also, they have bickered and fought constantly since their marriage. Deciding that the way to