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Outbreak and Utilitarianism Essay

Utilitarianism is defined as the doctrine which suggests that the ethical essence of a particular action is determined by the totality of its effect to the common good in a society or group of people. It is a branch of Consequentialism due to the basic concept that it insinuates which is the ends justifies the means. Utility in this context is the common good which the utilitarians exploit. In other words, it is the greatest good for the greatest number (Waldon, 1995).

The principles of Utilitarianism have been applied to various aspects of humanity, in this regard its underlying ideals have been disseminated through different forms of communication which includes motion pictures. One motion picture that implies Utilitarian ideology is the motion picture Outbreak. The film is about the uncontrollable spread of Motaba, a virus much similar to the Ebola in the fictitious town of Cedar Creek, California (Petersen), The utilitarian applications in the film were evident in its central idea, wherein it centered on government disease control.

Based on the events that occurred in the motion picture, the government decided to quarantine and sanitize an entire contaminated population by any means necessary to prevent the virus from spreading, hence, they can diminish the number of probable casualties, thus, saving the rest of the nation from the viral plague. A reflection on the utilitarian approach of the government in the conflict of the film was quite immoral and unethical in every sense, however, a close analysis on the government’s primary strategy did not lose fidelity to the basic idea of Utilitarianism which is the greatest good for the greatest number.

Business Ethics in Working Girl Business Ethics is a good classification of the application of philosophical discipline of theoretical ethics. As the name suggests, Business ethics focuses on moral concerns that are present or that can spring up in a business environment (Behrman). Business ethics’ principles are also subject of several films such as Working Girl. The motion picture is about Tess McGill, a Staten-Island native employed in a Wall Street Investment Bank. Tess’ business ethics were challenged upon entering the company.

First is on sexual harassment. In sexual harassment, the context of moral ascendancy is incorporated in an employer-employee relationship. In the film, Tess is persuaded by her employer, Bob Speck, that she will be given a non-mediocre position in the company, However, Tess finds her self to be the lustful desire of Speck, realizing the stereotypical assignment given by her employer she quit the job as her boss violated her principles which is to achieve a position in the company by working hard for it .

Ethics on intellectual property, knowledge and skills are also an issue in the motion picture Working Girl. This area of business ethics implies that knowledge and skills are of great worth but uneasily credited . Tess’ was given liberty by her new boss Katharine Parker to shell out ideas for the company. However, Tess found out that her idea is being stolen by Katharine, she made immediate action. Upon Katharine’s return, she found out what Tess did and turned the tables on her saying that she (Katharine) was the proponent of the idea.

Unfortunately, for Katharine, Trainer had more faith in Tess’ potential and believed her. In turn, Katharine lost her job and Tess got a position she desired in Trask Industries. Moral Dilemmas of Good Will Hunting Good Will Hunting is the story of a young man and his struggles with both himself and his personal relationships, trying to work through his personal issues in order to open up to others, and to begin putting his immeasurable intellectual potential to work. (Damon & Affleck, 1997)

Primarily, the moral dilemma of Will Hunting (Matt Damon) in the film is that he has this extreme phobia of abandonment. He finds it hard to trust and love other people who really are compassionate about him. A person’s perspective on a particular point is greatly affected because there are certain instances during his previous years that made him feel that way. Since, in the movie, Will is said to be an abused foster child who greatly feels anger and frustration due to the emotional trauma and of the ordeal.

Looking deeper on Will’s dilemma, it was natural for him to experience difficulty in trusting other people due to certain soul-crushing experiences he had gone through. This ordeal also made it normal for him to lose confidence. Will often suffered from anxiety attacks because of his fears and the constant doubts by people surrounding him, people who lacked the capacity to appreciate and understand him in everything that he did. As Will Hunting goes along, there are certain people that made him realize his dilemmas concerning his personality.

He eventually had one good friend who taught him the value of individuality and love and care for other people, he gradually managed to have sensitivity and felt such emotions to fully become a person, happy and contented with the choices that he made and will be making and the people whom he trusted and love. References Behrman, J. N. (1988). Essays on Ethics in Business and the Professions. New Jersey:Prentice Hall Waldon, J. (1995) “Rights” in A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy. Blackwell publishing p. 581 McConell, T. (2006). Stanford Ecyclopedia of Philosophy. San Francisco. Stanford UP.


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