Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ethical Frameworks ~~ Help!

My work this semester focuses on domestic violence, specifically, domestic violence in rural areas.  As part of my analysis, I am to analyze this issue using utilitarianism, deontology and distributive justice. 

Now I can debate potential solutions from all sides utilizing each of the above, but analyzing root causes with each framework is more challenging. 

This is my understanding of the ethical frameworks:

-          Deontology (first principles)
o   First order principles that can guide society (beneficence, justice)
o   What is best solution
o   Is it the right thing to do
o   Does it follow general moral rules of what we should be doing
o   There are a number of principles we should follow
§  Do good for others
§  Cause no harm
§  Justice
§  Autonomy
o   Look at policy to see if it is following these principles
o   Conflict between different principles
o   The principles are found in spiritual traditions, philosophical documents
-          Rawls:  distributive justice
o   The original position:  rational, impartial people will establish a  mutually beneficial principle of justice as the foundation for regulating all rights, duties, power and wealth
o   It is about those decisions that are about the collective, not individual
o   Levels the playing field by giving greatest benefit to the least advantaged
o   What would rational and impartial people do?
o   Focus on civil liberty and fair distribution of primary goods
o   Veil of ignorance – about who we are and how policy might influence us, remove from the equation gender, economic level, profession.  Be totally ignorant to our own lives, we would make the decision that would best benefit the majority
-          Utilitarianism
o   Purpose is to make the world a better place
o   Greatest good for greatest number
o   Making a decision that is in best interest of greatest number
o   Do whatever will bring the most benefit to all of humanity
o   About the consequences, weighing what is going to have the greatest net gain at the end
o   In policy, programs have merit if they have positive outcomes with low cost to benefit ratio
o   Morality is about producing good consequences, not having good inte4ntions
o   Requires tremendous calculations

If you can provide any input on how each of these frameworks can be used to analyze the problem of domestic violence, I would greatly appreciate it!


jean pell said...

I can't help you but sent this to my daughter. She is near due with my 2nd grandchild so it is dicey if she will respond.

floweringmama said...

Thanks Jean!

Jenny Woolf said...

This looks really hard. I guess that I would need to find a way into the idea of actually "using" this check list. I would try to boil it down to a few rules of thumb. I suppose that is not what they want though. Sorry not to be of more help :)