Week 7 Assignment – Ethics Number

Week7 Assignment – Ethics


Week7 Assignment – Ethics

Inevery society, the social pillar explains the strength of any givensociety. It’s essential and the accepted way for different peoplein the society to be of help to each. I.e. The rich should help thepoor the leaders should help their subjects etc. in other words,every person has a responsibility to other people and in differentaspects. With reference to the scenario given, the action of the maincharacter in the ‘Dostoyevsky`snovel Crime and Punishment’of killing the old woman is somewhat justified. The action isjustified, the old woman money or wealthy is of no help to any personas well as herself. With reference to the social aspects of anysociety each person has an undefined responsibility to others. It’sethically acceptable to use the finances, to help other people, andin turn the reason the action is justified.

Thesocial responsibility approach argues that, people who have resourceshave a moral obligation to help others who are in need, which shouldbe out of charity and good heartedness but out of obligation. Thisisn’t the case with the old woman in the scenario given, and inturn the action of the main character are somewhat justified. Thissocial responsibility can be summarized by a quote from the gospelbook of Luke, &quotFromeveryone who has been given much, much will be demanded and from theone who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.&quot(Luke 12:48) (HendricksonPublishers, 2008).

Withreference to Peter Singer, an Australian philosopher, ‘ifany given individual is comfortable in his life, while the subjectsor the people around him or her are suffering from vices that areeasily preventable buy his contributions, and instead he/she is doingnothing about it, then there is something wrong with his/herbehavior’.The old woman actions can be termed as ethically indefensible, as sheof no help to anyone not, even her won case (Singer,2015).Her wealthy are more problematic than beneficial to herself as wellas to the society at large, and I turn, the turn of events isjustified.

Additionally,the actions of the old woman has brought along more inequality withinthe society by increasing the gap between the poor and the rich.Inequality within a society is associated with increasing socialproblems such as general health, mental health imprisonment rates.The reason why the main character isn’t happy with the old woman,is the fact, she has the ability to change the faces and the statusof the people around her. However, she chooses to keep the onlyresource that can yield the desired change among the people. Iaddition, the possessed wealth hasn’t helped the old woman, neitherher neighbors, and in turn the justification of the actions, by themain character (Peterson et al, 2012). The woman has a duty to givebut chooses not to. One negative aspect of inequality in a society isthat, it harms the quality of social relations. Vices such asviolence increase luck if trust, involvement and cohesion in acommunity, as people turns to become more self-centered, and lessconcerned with the common good of the society. All these are aspectswhich are portrayed by the old woman, and in turn her actions are acatalyst to the social degradation of the social pillar of hersociety. In summary, more societal problems are as a result ofincreased inequality.

Theaim of the main character is to use the money for his education,which is a better investment rather than the money staying idle. Hiseducation would be for the good of him and the society, whichethically is a more positive, us of the funds, than the old woman’skeeping it for no apparent or intended use. In other words, it isethical for someone to steal for the sake of another starving person,the main character is in dire need of education, and the only way tofinance the education is through the elimination of the old woman toaccess the funds available. The main question behind the act is, ‘howto solve the ethical dilemma of murdering and stealing the financesto meet the education needs.

Whenmaking a decision once faced with an ethical decision, differentapproaches are used. The main character was faced with the dilemmawhether to choose his education and the happiness of the society atlarge, or the life of the old woman. One approach is the utilitarianmethod. This approach seeks to provide the utmost good and in turnthe least harm. With reference to the scenario given, the victim hadto weigh the magnitude of the harm to the old woman, and theresultant benefits from her demise (Saner,n/a).The woman demise brings along happy community as well as thecharacter manages to achieve his education dreams. With reference tothe results expected, the action of eliminating the woman andbenefiting from her finances is ethically and morally justified.

Moralresponsibilities can as well be viewed in terms of duties andobligations. The duties and obligations supposed to be fulfilled bythe old woman are unmet, in turn the cause of unrest in the society.The character has an obligation to bring positive change to thesociety as well as attain his education milestone, on the other handhe has a duty not to eliminate or steal from the old woman. Unlessthere are means available to achieve the expected results, theapproach taken by the main character will likely yield the deductionsthat, his obligation to the society and himself, overrides the moralprohibition against eliminating the old woman (Pollan,2015).

Finally,through the use perspective of virtue ethics, there is the questionwhether the action builds moral character. Does the action takendisplay sense of justice, prudence, resilience, courage, respect forlife, and whether it’s sustainable in the future (Woolf,1947).Although the action of murdering the old woman doesn’t seem todemonstrate any of the qualities mentioned, its impact are likely tobe superior to the give alternative, thus,the action would be morally vindicated.


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(13thed.). New York, NY: W.W. Norton &ampCompany.ISBN978-0-393-91218-0

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Dec2006. Web. 1stMar 2015. From:http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/17/magazine/17charity.t.html?pagewanted=1&amp_r=1

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