In the case study “Campaigns and Gains” the theories ethical egoism and cultural relativism are utilized to determine what ethical decision would be made given different morals and values. Based on my own values and ethical standpoint, I would not attend the fundraiser.
Ethical egoism is the view that people should do what is in their own self-interest, and there is no obligation to promote anyone else’s interest. This theory states that it is more beneficial to be self-interested. Moreover, the idea of ethical egoism is that your own welfare is the only thing that is ultimately valuable and all people pursue things based on their own self-interest. It states that it is moral to seek out your own self-interest and it is never moral to not encourage one’s own good. Therefore, if I were following the ethical egoism theory in this specific scenario, I would go to the campaign fundraiser. By doing so, I would be gaining from it and it could potentially help me win my campaign. If I was following ethical egoism, I would only be focusing on what would be beneficial to me, not the possible negative consequences of my actions. From this standpoint I would have no obligation to promote anyone else’s interests, therefore I would have no obligation to abide by the agreement I signed.
Cultural relativism is the view that all beliefs, values, and morals are based on culture, and vary from society to society. Whether an action is right or wrong solely depends on the moral norms of the society. Therefore, actions that are morally right in one society, may be seen as morally wrong in another. If I was following cultural relativism in this scenario I would not go to the campaign fundraiser. I would not go to the fundraiser because I signed an agreement stating I would not attend any political events hosted by opposing candidates. Even if I had not officially started the position yet, I would still abide by these guidelines because if it was found out that I went against it, it could negatively impact my position. In the society I grew up in, it was always seen as important to follow rules and guidelines. This is something that is learned from parental figures as well as in school. If this position was important to me, I would think about the possible consequences of my actions and how it could affect the new position I have accepted. For example, in Joan Didion’s “On Self Respect” she talks about having respect for yourself and accepting responsibility for your actions. I think it is important to exercise self-respect in many aspects of your life, including making ethical decisions, such as whether or not to attend the campaign. In this situation I would have enough self-respect for myself to not attend the campaign. By doing so, I would feel better about myself knowing I made the right choice and I wouldn’t have to worry about being reprimanded or have my position revoked.
Without a guiding ethical theory and solely based on my own values, I would not attend the fundraiser. When deciding whether or not to attend the fundraiser I would believe it to be unethical to attend considering I signed an agreement stating I would not do so. Attending the fundraiser could possibly give me an unfair advantage and if found out, I could be seen as untrustworthy therefore it could directly affect my position. Considering that I firmly believe in the communities platform and am pleased to work with the campaign, I would find it imperative to follow the guidelines and rules provided for me when I signed up for the position. Although attending the fundraiser could potentially help my campaign, it would not be worth it to me if I truly wanted to be in good standing for this position.
In conclusion, based on my own ethical values I would decline the offer to attend the campaign fundraiser. I would find it favorable to abide by the campaign agreement because I wouldn’t want to sabotage the opportunity to work with the campaign. I would base my decision on the possible consequences of my actions.
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