Ethical Egoism and Sentiment: Examining Decision-Making in the Grey Area

Topics: Morality, Ethics, Philosophy Pages: 4 (1301 words) Published: April 9, 2012
Ethical Egosim and Sentiment: Examing Decision-Making in the Grey Area

If there were one particular ethical theory that would universally fit all situations, ethics would be an open/shut case. However, that simply isn’t how ethical theories work. While, some may have significantly more merit than others on a scale of universal application, there are some situations where relativism comes into play when deciphering which theory best suits a given situation. The relativism referred to here is of a personal nature. A person is the sum of their experiences and actions. Additionally, even if a person has a straight-pointing moral compass, these past life experiences, combined with their current situation, can weigh heavily in deciding the morality of a decision when approaching issues that lay in a gray area.

Take, for example, the story of an uneducated person from an underprivileged background, who’s only foreseeable chance at bettering their life is exceling in a specific sport they have a natural talent for. They have dedicate themselves to this sport and have trained tirelessly. Though they have the ability to place at a high rank, they have never been able to win a race that enabled them to make a name for them self and launch their career. They keep coming close to winning, but ultimately, always end up falling short by an inch. Suppose this person was going to be competing in a major event, which if won, would yield a large cash prize, and would launch them into the spotlight via an endorsement deal with a major sportswear company. Now, imagine that a sports trainer approaches the athlete with a tempting proposition. The trainer informs the athlete that he has a new performance supplement that will dramatically improve the athlete’s performance. The trainer tells the athlete that the supplement has been tested on animals and has, thus far, been proven safe. The trainer informs the athlete that the substance is not on the list of banned...
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