While commuting home from work, you take a detour through a residential area to avoid a congested main artery. Because only a few drivers take the detour, it removes several minutes from your commuting time due to the light traffic. Is your action generalizable? I do believe that my actions would be generalizable; therefore it would not pass the generalization test. According to Hooker, the meaning of generalization test is that the reason for your action should be consistent with the assumption that if everyone who has the same reason as you would act in the same manner (Business Ethics, 2011).
The detour is not an area that is not allowed to be taken; it is there for anyone to take despite of the reason for taking it. Anyone that wanted to cut down their commute time in order to pick up a child from daycare, to get to school on time, to prepare dinner, or just because they no longer wanted to sit in traffic is irrelevant to the fact that they are able to take this route. In order to further put this generalization to the test we should see if it meets and passes all four Corollaries’.
Corollary one states that an action is unethical if its general adoption would undermine a practice it presupposes. So everyone is free to take this detour through a residential neighborhood. Suppose everyone decided to take this detour, it would congest this neighborhood, children that normally ride their bikes on the side of the rode or play outdoors are more apt to being either hit by a car or injured by a vehicle in some way. This may pass the corollary test but it fails the generalization test.
Corollary two states one shouldn’t be a free rider on the efforts of others. This corollary really doesn’t affect this example because every driver is free to make up his or her mind whether or not to take the detour. So this would pass corollary two. Corollary three states an action is unethical if generalizing the action is inconsistent with achieving its purpose. This actions is telling me that I take the detour when is best suites me, i.e. traffic is at its heaviest and I can achieve a shorter time commute by taking the detour.
This action is then generalized when everyone who takes the regular congested route takes the detour when it best suites them. Thus my action of taking the detour is generalized, it would be impossible for those who take the detour when it best suites them to achieve the purpose of the action because the new detour would become congested and we are back to where we started. This action fails corollary three and the generalization test.
Last but not least Corollary four states that an action is unethical if generalizing the action is inconsistent with the possibility that everyone who performs the action achieves its purpose. If this action is true then me taking the detour is ungeneralizable because it is impossible for everyone to enjoy the same avoidance of traffic congestion by taking the same detour.
After completing all four Corollary test I have come to the conclusion that my action to avoid traffic by detouring through a residential area is ungeneralizable. Although my action may have passed a corollary test or two my action ultimately did not justify the action.