Applying Utilitarianism and Social Contract Theory
For this assignment, you will take an example from a current news-article online or in print, or from a political, legal or educational institution, business you work for, neighborhood or civic association, club, etc., of 1) utilitarian ethics and 2) social contract ethics in action (one example of each).
This could be a policy, a constitutional law, a mission statement, or an action taken by an institution or people within an institution that exemplifies these theories operating in public life. (You might, for instance, describe how a club you are a member of came to a decision about some activity that it was considering—did they put this to a vote? Was it a matter of relying on the club’s rules or charter? Etc.? Or you might consider how a dispute between employees was resolved where you work—Did they hold a meeting to see what everyone thought? Did a supervisor render a decision that was binding on everyone? Etc.? Or you might note how your national or local government is deciding what to do about a current problem –are they holding public meetings and then voting? Is the court-system deciding? The legislature? Etc.?) Describe these and consider how they are, and perhaps are not, examples of social contract theory and utilitarianism in practice.
You will give two examples—one for each theory. Write about a page for each theory/example. In your reflection paper entry, write about each example:
How this is an example of utilitarianism or social contract theory.
Whether this is /was effective in establishing good and fair relations among those it concerned. (Cite the source of this example and/or the organization/institution and/or the event, meeting, etc, at which this took place)