San Diego State University Contemporary Moral Issue or Moral Dilemma Discussion

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I’m working on a nursing writing question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

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Consider a contentious, contemporary moral issue or moral dilemma and use at least two of the moral theories that we have studied to provide a framework for resolving this dilemma.

This is for an ethics class

The information below is what I found in the text book for the two moral theories

Rule utilitarianism

Rule utilitarianism says that a person ought to act (or the act is right if it is) in

accordance with the general ethical rule that, if generally followed, would produce the

greatest balance of good over evil, everyone considered. This means that an act is

right if it accords with a rule which leaves open the possibility that where no rule is

applicable one can appeal directly to the consequences of the act just like in act


One criticism of rule utilitarianism is its tendency to collapse into act utilitarianism. To

illustrate, imagine a study has been released stating that the problem of traffic

congestion would be eliminated by restricting commercial traffic to the far right hand

lane. This is considered a “rule” which provides a benefit or a “utility”. However, an

amendment to the initial study reinforces the rule except during the hours of 2 p.m. to

4:30 p.m. due to the increase of school buses on certain roads.

A’sub-rule’ is then

created. Due to increased research, additional sub rules may amend the original rule.

These exceptions may minimize the scope and impact of the original rule.

To counter this, a variation of rule utilitarianism argues that, in the case where breaking

the rule produces more utility, a sub-rule may be added to handle cases with that

exception. In this, the rules will have as many sub-rules as are necessary for all


Virtue Ethics

Qualities that describe excellence are called virtues.

These may include natural

qualities such as strength, speed or intelligence, acquired qualities such as

accomplishment with a musical instrument, qualities of temperament like a good sense

of humor, or qualities of character like courage, kindness, or benevolence.

Virtue is contrasted with vice which degrades and undermines a person or a business


Virtues are generally classified as moral or immoral and natural or acquired.


can describe people or business practices. A virtue sustains and improves a business

practice. A virtue in business is an ethical trait that makes business in general possible

which includes such virtues as respect for contracts as well as concern for product

quality, consumer satisfaction, and the bottom line.

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