QUESTION TEXT: Ethicist: In a recent judicial decision, a…
QUESTION TYPE: Principle – Strengthen
CONCLUSION: It was morally wrong for the company to change its mind and sue.
REASONING: The company had signed a contract that said it would not sue. But then it did sue and it won the case.
ANALYSIS: There’s a big difference between a moral right and a legal right. Here the company was apparently correct, legally, despite the contract. But they may have been morally wrong.
We’re trying to conclude “morally wrong.” That means that the right answer has to have morally wrong as a necessary condition. So something like “If X ➞ morally wrong”
Answers that have the form of “If morally wrong ➞ then X” are not good, because they just tell us what happens if we know that something is wrong.
We’re trying to conclude that something is morally wrong, so it has to be a necessary condition.
- This only allows us to say when something isn’t morally wrong. Morally wrong is just a sufficient condition that tells us that if something is morally wrong then the other side broke the deal. We need morally wrong as a necessary condition.
- This does have morally wrong as a necessary condition…but the contractor was able to make restitution. They just have to pay them some money.
- This is saying that the company induced the contractor to screw up (that’s what they’re being penalized for.) But we have no evidence the company caused the contractor to screw up.
- This again tells us that something is morally wrong only if. We need to know that something is morally wrong if.
- CORRECT. The company did promise to forego compensation in case of a problem. And they are suing because of an action performed in the context of that promise. This tells us it is therefore immoral to seek compensation for that action.
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