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Business Ethics: Appreciation and Criticism for Ethical Theories

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Business Ethics: Appreciation & Criticism for Ethical Theories

Danielle Bouchal

Chesapeake College

November 10, 2013

Abstract

In this essay, one will be educated on the four ethical theories discussed in “Business Law: the Ethical, Global, and E-Commerce Environments”. According to the text, these theories include the rights theory, justice theory, utilitarianism, and profit maximization (2013). Not only does appreciation for these fundamental theories exist, but criticisms of each theory are also present. As they are theories, they can neither be considered accurate or inaccurate; therefore, as opinions among the population differ, agreements on these theories may or may not be made (Mallor et al, 2013).

Rights Theory

Rights Theory can be explained as a moral theory, one based on the fundamental idea that each individual has their rights, which creates the “justifying basis of obligations” (Beauchamp and Bowie, 2009). A person’s rights are closely tied to the morality that his or her society permits, ensuring social liberty and all other benefits an individual with rights is allowed. According to the two authors of “Ethical Theory and Business”, rights have in a sense evolved from what human beings are granted as “natural rights”. These belong to everyone simply because they are human beings (2009). As all people have rights, one is obligated to respect those of the people around them. One can appreciate this theory as it guards fundamental rights; however, the theory holds more criticisms than commendations. One major critique of the theory is that no hierarchy exists for the claiming of rights (2009). In other words, it is often difficult to determine how one…...

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