You are working at your dream job — an entry-level graphic-design position at a prestigious publishing house. It took you hundreds of applications, over many months, to get a job like this — even then you had to do an unpaid internship for six months, living in a tiny apartment and waiting tables at night — to land it. Jobs like this are very hard to come by, and if you lose this one, it’s very possible you will never find another way back into your dream industry. You love your work. However, one day, your boss asks you to use your Photoshop skills to alter some numbers on an old contract. It’s clear that he is asking you to do this in order to defraud a dead major author’s estate of a share of that author’s profits from the sale of her books. You don’t know what your boss will do if you refuse, and you don’t have a good idea of what your boss’s boss would do were you to go over your boss’s head.
Write an essay (3pp., 12pt. font, double-spaced) that answers the following questions?
Honestly, what do you think you would do? Is that the same as what you think you ought to do?
What you think you would do — your proposed action — must be linked to some core belief of yours. As clearly as possible, explain what that core belief is (e.g. honesty, ambition), how your action is linked with it, and how you think you came by your core belief (e.g. upbringing, faith, innate character).
Describe your action in terms of one or more of the ethical theories we have discussed in class (e.g. the three kinds of deontological ethics, the three kinds of consequentialist ethics, and virtue ethics). In which ethical theory or theories do you think your own beliefs and actions are grounded, and why? This will involve your giving a brief but accurate summary of your theory or theories.
Someone else might think your plan is a bad one. Describe their hypothetical objection to your proposed action. In what ethical theory or theories from class is that objection grounded?
In detail, defend your proposed action from that objection. Why is what you are proposing to do a better idea?