The central aim of this assignment is to establish a personal moral theory in relation to John Doe’s Case scenario. In this context, the discourse will be based on the assessment of the morality of Doe’s actions. In addition, this assignment will also focus on evaluating the morality of each of the actions that she engaged in. Most importantly, this paper will establish a conclusion entailing a response to these actions by assessing them from an ethical egoist perspective. These sets of actions will also be evaluated using utilitarian and deontological approaches.
Essentially, my personal moral theory is based on the idea that Jane’s actions were ethically wrong. Also, this theory is primarily based on two ethical principles. These ethical principles are mainly the Virtue Ethics and Social Contract Theory. Notably, virtue ethics is an ethical principle that is individual-centred instead of being action-based (Van Zyl, 2018). In addition, virtue ethics primarily emphasizes the person’s morality that initiates a particular activity course. It is important to note that the term “virtue” can describe the various behaviours or courses of action endorsed by being considered morally acceptable by members of society. In many societies across the world, a person who lives by virtue is considered morally upright or good. There is also a close connection between the virtue ethics principle and Aristotle’s Golden Mean. Here, the connection is based on the idea that Aristotle’s Golden Mean primarily deals with the assessment of a person’s character while keeping in mind that their behaviour serves as the ultimate motivation behind their morality rather than considering their actions as an epitome of their character (Papouli, 2019). The virtues that people identify with should be viewed with a total reverence by where an individual comes from, especially when demonstrated in cases of self-service actions. In this scenario, there is a high possibility of instituting a relationship between the aforementioned moral principles and Thomas Hobbes’ Social Contract Theory.
As far as my moral theory is concerned, Jane Doe’s course of actions can be evaluated and scrutinized based on ethical viability. First, by focusing on Week One assignment on introduction to the ethics course, it is essential to acknowledge that the subject submitted an assignment that she did not handle to completion by herself. Jane submitted the assignment after being given consent by John, who was the person that completed the assignment. Besides, she submitted this assignment with the thought and assumption that the instructor would not discover that the work was not original. According to my moral theory, Jane’s actions were based on dishonesty, and they are a perfect demonstration of poor and unacceptable work ethic. Concerning the Social Contract theory, it is right to conclude that Jane never considered the possible consequences of her actions. She also never thought of the benefits and limitations of her course of action to society (Gaus, 2018). Also, it would be correct for people to base their argument on the scenario that Jane exposed his colleague, John, at a high risk of being penalized as stipulated in the institution’s academic regulations.
On considering the second week’s assignment, Jane had paid a study aid site a sum of $10 to obtain a work quite similar to the professor’s original assignment. The assignment she received from this site was initially completed by a different student handling the same course in the preceding few months. The student had done the work and subsequently sold it on the assignment aid platform. Jane submitted this assignment despite knowing the possible consequences of submitting work done by another person as her original assignment. Moreover, when parties interact with people of similar mentality and line of thinking, a particular course of action is likely to yield significant benefits to particular quotas in a community. Nevertheless, the methods embraced by such a community to achieve the intended outcomes may lack virtue. Therefore, Jane’s actions in this week’s assignments do not align with my moral theory. Jane purchased a paper done by another student, and she benefited another person. However, this was a demonstration of a lack of virtue because her course of actions contradicts the position of those above personal moral position.
In the fourth week’s assignment, Jane embarked on a course of action that served as a perfect representation of the virtue of resourcefulness. In this aspect, she demonstrated this virtue by applying her knowledge in a language known as Esperanto and technological know-how in the location and translation of educational material documented in this foreign language. However, it is fair to acknowledge that Jane utilized this academic resource to replicate the original document, only that she had translated the contents using translation software. Even though resourcefulness is an outstanding virtue in this context, it fails to hold water because Jane’s work was still not original. Furthermore, this case scenario serves as evidence of plagiarism because Jane had submitted another person’s work as her own, given that she only changed the language of the text. She also uses another author’s work and fails to pay or compensate for it or even to acknowledge the author.
In the fifth week, Jane tricks the professor by making him believe that she had completed the assignment before the deadline, which she did not accomplish. She embarks on a wrong course of action by submitting a blank paper so that the professor would consider it as an innocent error or an honest mistake to avoid penalizing her. Jane’s act, in this case, can be argued out as blatant dishonesty. Additionally, Jane depicted an act of selfishness when she chooses to subject her professor’s resources, time and patience to contempt. Jane’s act of treachery was a show of disrespect to the professor, whose role is to work round the clock to evaluate and grade her plagiarized submissions. What Jane did in week five relates to what she did in weeks six and seven. She copy-pasted other people’s work without altering the content to indicate that she researched independently. Most importantly, she failed to acknowledge the authors of the original documents she had copied either by citing the materials appropriately or referencing them accordingly. In evaluating the consequences of Jane’s actions in the seven weeks of tackling the ethics course, the theory of moral transgression would have highlighted that she was guilty of academic dishonesty (Landmann & Hess, 2018). In her case, failure to adhere to school regulations on academic malpractices and ignoring the course schedule are major ethical violations.
In conclusion, as far as Jane’s case is concerned, a course of social action can be embraced. From an ethical egoist perspective, it would be correct to state that Jane embarked on these actions sound judgment. From her excuses, it is quite evident that she could not pass her exams and did what she thought was in her best interest. One fundamental principle of ethical egoism states, “the best way of promoting everyone’s interests is for everyone to pursue their own interest exclusively” (Rachels & Rachels, 2019). Jane is a nursing school student, and if she can persevere the challenges mentioned above, she can bear with the nursing school’s programs enabling her to acquire the title of a registered nurse. However, she considered a compromised approach to achieving her academic goals.
Gaus, G. (2018). Self-organizing moral systems: Beyond social contract theory. Politics, Philosophy & Economics, 17(2), 119-147.
Landmann, H., & Hess, U. (2018). Testing moral foundation theory: Are specific moral emotions elicited by specific moral transgressions? Journal of Moral Education, 47(1), 34-47.
Papouli, E. (2019). Aristotle’s virtue ethics as a conceptual framework for the study and practice of social work in modern times. European Journal of Social Work, 22(6), 921-934.
Rachels, S., & Rachels, J. (2019). The Elements of Moral Philosophy (9th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Van Zyl, L. (2018). Virtue ethics: A contemporary introduction. Routledge.