Final Paper Topic

Due: By November 30

(I will be grading them quickly, so don’t be late)

Approx. 2-3 pages (It might take longer because spelling out consequences can take some time.)


In this instance I am asking you to apply the theory, rather than criticize it. (I save the critique of the theory for my Ethics classes.)

What would be the reasonable options in the following scenario? Which would utility say is the best choice, spelling out the consequences to show why? Is the answer proposed by utilitarianism, the morally correct choice?

Imagine you are the loss prevention officer at a Walmart store. Your job is to stop shoplifters, and protect the company’s interests. While patrolling the store you see a family of three, mother, father and young teenage daughter (13-15), enter the store. The daughter says something to her parents and goes off to the pharmacy/cosmetics section by herself.

A minute or two later as you walk past one of the aisles you see the daughter take something off the shelf, stuff it into her jacket, and quickly walk back to rejoin her parents. It is obvious she intends to shoplift the item. You then walk down the aisle to the shelf where she took the item to see exactly what it was. When you get there, you see that she picked up an Early Pregnancy Test.

(This is a story from one of my best friends, who
was that Loss Prevention Officer at Walmart. After I finish grading the papers, I will let you know what he did.)