Read the Course Pack – Duties and Rights Ethics: Non‐Consequentialism, Theories of duties and rights.”


Unit Journal Posts – Individual

Students will make three (3) Posts per UNIT. Each Post must be a MINIMUM of 200 words.
Each Post must consist of the following three (3) elements:

an important fact from the UNIT reading,
what this fact means,
why this post is important to you.

 The student will post one (1) response per UNIT. Students will select another student’s Post and provide an encouraging response to the ideas expressed by that student. Each Response must be a MINIMUM of 100 words.

Theories of Duties and Rights: Traditional
Tools for Making Decisions in Business


The Means Justify the Ends versus the Ends Justify the Means

In business ethics, do the means justify the ends, or do the ends justify the means

Is it better to have rules telling you what to do in any situation

should you worry about how things are going to end and do whatever is necessary

Is it what you do that matters, or the consequences

No one can make the decision for you, but before anyone can make it, an understanding of how each works should be reached

This chapter will consider ethics as focusing on the specific act and not the consequences

Key Takeaways

When the means justify the ends, ethical consideration focuses on:

what you do

not the consequences of what you’ve done

Traditionally, focusing on means instead of ends leads to:

an ethics based on duties or rights

Historically Accumulated Duties to the Self

…. a limited number of duties that have recurred persistently

called perennial duties

These are basic obligations we have as human beings:

fundamental rules telling us how we should act

If we embrace them, we can be confident that in difficult situations we’ll make morally respectable decisions

Perennial duties falls into two sorts:

Duties to ourselves

Duties to others

Duties to the self begin with our responsibility to:

develop our abilities and talents.

The abilities we find within us aren’t just gifts. All these skills are also responsibilities. When we receive them:

they come with the duty to develop them
to not let them go to waste

The other duty to oneself: the duty to do ourselves no harm. At root, this means we have a responsibility to maintain ourselves healthily in the world

Historically Accumulated Duties to Others

The duties we have to ourselves are the most immediate, but the most commonly
referenced duties are those we have to others

Avoid wronging others is the guiding duty to those around us. It’s difficult, however, to know exactly what it means to wrong another in every particular case

Honesty is the duty to tell the truth and not leave anything important out

Respect others is the duty to treat others as equals in human terms. This doesn’t mean
treating everyone the same way

Beneficence is the duty to promote the welfare of others; it’s the Good Samaritan side of ethical duties

Gratitude is the duty to thank and remember those who help us

An important point about all ethics guided by basic duties:

duties don’t exist alone. They’re all part of a single fabric, and sometimes they pull against each other

Fidelity is the duty to keep our promises and hold up our end of agreements

Reparation is the duty to compensate others when we harm them

The final duty to be considered—fairness—requires more development than those already listed because of its complexity

The Concept of Fairness

The final duty—fairness—requires more development because of its c

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