Ethical Theory vs. Nestle Marketing Tactics Essay

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Pages: 4

According to Immanuel Kant's ethical theory, an act is only morally right if we can will it to be a universal law of conduct. This ideal is what Kant called the "categorical imperative." The categorical imperative has been successfully achieved when all of the following conditions have been met: the act in question is possible for everyone to follow; all rational people must be able to accept the act as if they were receiving the treatment themselves, and last, the act can never treat people as means to ends.
In following Kant's conditions, if everyone used deceptive marketing practices, as Nestlé did, ultimately no one would believe in any product being marketed or those marketing the product. It would essentially nullify marketing
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In comparing the positive and negative values of the marketing tactics used, obviously the negative values outweigh the positive values. Even if a logical person could not competently reason that there are more negative values than positive ones, a severe risk of life should be weighed more heavily than any positive value, given that life is worth the maximum amount of happiness.

The Rule Utilitarian, though very similar to the Act Utilitarian, takes the theory a step further. Within this theory, the Utilitarian conclusion should be applied as a moral rule or code of conduct for not only individual purposes but society as a whole. If specific moral codes are adopted by a society, it will create the greatest amount of happiness for all of society.
If a logical person asks the question, "Is using deceptive marketing tactics morally right?" and it is concluded based on the standard Utilitarian view that it is not right, that using deceptive marketing tactics is in fact morally wrong, then as a Rule Utilitarian we would strive to make a moral code of conduct that states: "Deceptive marketing tactics are morally wrong." A Rule Utilitarian would be able to definitively state this and