Applied Ethics


Natural Law/Kant/Utilitarianism/Religious Ethics and their opinions on:

Business Ethics

Environmental Ethics

Sexual Ethics

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Applied Ethics
Conservation ­
Preservation ­
Instrumental value ­
Intrinsic value ­
In Genesis 1, God said `let them have dominion over' all non-human animals.
Dominion can be interpreted as humans having reign and rule over God's creation.
Humans may consider that the natural world can be treated however we wish and be
tamed for our use.
Stewardship refers to humans caring for and conserving creation because it belongs
to God: humans are merely caretakers of his property.
Humans are co-creators with God and need to use and transform the natural world
with care. Creation is made by God and is good, and so must be preserved because
it has intrinsic value.
Rapture/end-time theology
Those who believe in the `end-time' believe that concern for the Earth and the
natural world is irrelevant because they have no future. Destruction of the
environment is to be welcomed, and even helped along, as it is a sign of the
Apocalypse and Second Coming of Christ
Evaluation ­ Religious approaches
God's omnipotence ­ why didn't an omnipotent God create a perfect form of
creation which required no maintenance or looking after by humans?
Eschatological approaches cause further damage; actively causing
destruction to the environment is damaging in the present and for those in the
future; what if the Second Coming of Christ never happens? Future
generations will have to deal with the aftermath of an imperfect creation
Humans having stewardship and the Rapture theology contradict each
other; Christians will actively going against God's teachings if they are to aid
in the destruction of creation for the Second Coming of Christ
Secular approaches
Anthropocentric, shallow ecology ­ Kant, Aquinas, Bentham

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Shallow ecology believes that the environment is important and should be looked
after only if it benefits humans. The environment has instrumental value ­ its value is
dependent on what it can do for humans.
It is a conservationist theory as it looks at the use, allocation and protection of the
natural world in order to help the survival of the human race.…read more

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Humans have made progress in improving the damage they have
caused to the environment; for example banning CFC's to protect the ozone
However, humans are still consciously destroying the environment; for
example causing the extinction of animals as a sport, drying up the oil supply
in third world countries, and deforestation which is causing animals to lose
their natural habitats
It's difficult to expect such drastic changes to the human way of life;
while some small villages around the world are already as Naess…read more

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Kant's theory would also imply that we cannot treat animals or the environment as a
means to an end, while Kant himself may be opposed to this.
Jeremy Bentham bases act utilitarianism on going the `greatest good for the greatest
number'. This takes into account future generations, and therefore suggests we
should take care of the environment as exploitation could damage further
generations.…read more

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Employees should be treated respectfully and in the criteria of their human rights.
Evaluation ­
Business and environment (Cowspiracy/Food Inc/exploiting farmers/toxicity)
Evaluation ­
Business and globalisation (immigrant exploitation)
Evaluation ­
Applied Ethics
There are said to be three purposes of sex;
Sex has been viewed in society in many different ways, many of which still influence
the ambiguous attitude we have towards it today.…read more

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In the past, pre-marital sex used to be considered wrong often because of possible
Evaluation ­ Pre-marital/Extra-marital sex
There is no issue or stigma regarding pre-marital sex in contemporary
societies; what were seen as problems of it in the past can be solved now
with developed technology, for example contraception can prevent
conception, and medicines can prevent infection
What can be said of polygamous marriages? Some cultures and religions
find it acceptable for men to marry more than one woman ­…read more

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Bentham, an act utilitarian, would argue that mutual consent for pleasure cannot
make any sexual act wrong if both partners are willing.
However, there is the possible harm to society from the act, for example undermining
marriage, disrupting family life, issues with the law.…read more

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Natural Law
Natural Law is completely opposed to contraception because the couple would not
be fulfilling the primary precept of procreation. If the sexual act does not lead to
children then the sexual act is immoral, unnatural and intrinsically wrong.…read more

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Natural Law condemns the homosexual act; however, they view homosexual
orientation as a disorder, through genes. Aquinas believes it is not inherently wrong
to be homosexual, but it is an intrinsic evil if someone commits a homosexual act. It
is condemned as the sexual act cannot produce children.
The 2004 Civil Partnership act was put in place to allow for homosexual couples to
engage in ceremonies similar to that of marriage, but not of the same value.…read more


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