Applying An Ethical Theory Essay
My friend was recently involved in a car accident where he hit someone. In the cause of the accident, a hysterical woman came up to him and stated that she was responsible for the death of the individual who had been hit. My friend was well aware that he was the guilty one but now faced an ethical dilemma on whether to get away with it or to let the innocent woman take the fall for him. Whoever was to blame would obviously have to be charged in court and my friend felt that he was not ready to face this. All the same, he could not bring himself to blame someone who he knew was innocent in spite of the consequences that he would have to face. In the end, he told the woman that he was the one responsible for hitting the pedestrian and agreed to take the blame for this.
In light of this, my friend did not solve the dilemma in line with the consequences of his choice. This is because the consequences for his choice were facing a jail term. Instead, he focused on the effect that his choice would have on himself and also the innocent woman. If at all he blamed the innocent woman for the incident, he would live with the guilt for the rest of his life and would probably never have peace due to the fact that someone was taking the blame for him. He was also considerate about the effect that the choice would have on the innocent woman who was hysterical even when she was not sure whether she was to blame. His choice displayed a high level of morality.
The approach in this scenario mostly goes hand in hand with the utilitarianism ethical theory. This is because the main focus here was the consequences of the choice that was made. The choice that was made focused on human good and did not have any display of selfishness. If a decision contrary to what was chosen had been made, then the utilitarianism ethical theory would not be applicable in this case. This is because, first, it does not display human good since the culprit would display selfishness by letting another person take the fall for his mistake. In addition to that, a different decision would have different consequences on all the parties involved. In light of human good, the parties would have to face consequences that they do not deserve whether good or bad.
Another ethical theory that would have come into play in this case is the deontology theory. This theory covers actions that are moral and address human good. In this theory, deontologists sate that the decision that has been made may be considered right even when the consequences are not the best (Hill, 1960). This is what has been observed in the case above where the culprit’s admission to having killed a person does not have good consequences. Instead, the person is going to have a police case and may face charges where he or she will have to go to jail. In this case, the rules cannot be broken even if breaking the rules would mean that the consequences would be good. This can be seen in the assumption of what would happen if my friend did not take the blame. He would be free and would not have to face any charges.
Hill, T. E. (1960). Contemporary ethical theories. New York: Macmillan.