Ethics, Ethics And Duty Ethics Essay

Ethics, Ethics And Duty Ethics Essay

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One Volkswagen’s senior engineers, James Robert Liang, pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud regulatory agencies and costumers by cheating in emissions tests. According to documentation provided by the court system, when Liang and other engineers realized that their diesel engine design would not adhere the U.S. emission standards, they created software to manipulate the results on the tests. The company admitted to installing software that was used to deceive the emissions tests on more than 11 million of its vehicles. Liang could face up to 5 years in federal imprisonment and additionally he might have to pay a $250,000 dollar fine. Volkswagen’s behavior will be analyzed through rule utilitarianism and Kantian ethics.
Rule utilitarianism states that an action is moral or right if it conforms to a rule that leads to the greatest good. On the contrary, Kantian ethics does not judge an action for its consequences, but on the purity if the will. Kantian ethics was named after its Immanuel Kant, who introduced and popularized it. It is also known as deontological ethics and duty ethics. This theory states that an act has moral value when the will is perfectly aligned with the duty. The will is described as a faculty that animates our bodily actions. A person’s will can be trained. The will is pure when it is aligned with duty, acts against self-interest, moods, and appetites. Rational beings can be motivated by duty, inclinations, and desires. Kant’s theory is applied to all rational beings, which are bound by the demands of duty based on their rationality. Morality, in this case, is based on the purity of the will, not on the consequences of an action. Furthermore, Kant believed in a superior principle of morality or a categorica...


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...ssion tests. The senior engineer could face criminal charges and a fine for his fraudulent actions. After his plea he remained employed by Volkswagen. Furthermore, Volkswagen could possibly face a criminal case. In June 2016, the Justice Department in conjunction with other agencies obtained about $15 billion dollars in settlements in civil suits from the company. In addition, the company must buy or fix the affected vehicles by December of 2018. Volkswagen and its employees behaved in an immoral manner according to both Kantian and rule utilitarian ethics. Kantian ethics, a non-consequentialism theory, deemed the actions taken as immoral because the will did not align with the duty. The actions taken did not have a pure will. In utilitarianism, a consequentialist theory, Volkswagen’s actions were immoral because the company did not seek the greater good for society.

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