Personal and Business Ethics

Week 7: Personal and Business Ethics

In our lesson this week, we learned how to structure a personal system of ethics. To explore personal and business ethics further, let’s assume both personal and professional roles as we work through this fictional dilemma. Please read it all of the way through before you begin writing, as there are several steps, including one that asks you to lay out your own personal system of ethics.

It’s 2030, and the tipping point finally seems to have arrived: Electric automobiles are now outselling those with internal combustion engines. Advances in technology have made them less expensive than conventional automobiles, with virtually limitless range and instant charging. Not only that, they drive themselves using a sophisticated lidar system. In fact, the cars have been completely redesigned, removing the steering wheel altogether, and now more closely resemble living rooms or offices on wheels. Of course, this technology doesn’t only apply to passenger cars. It also applies to delivery vehicles, long-haul trucks, and buses. 

Here are a few of the major impacts that electric self-driving cars have had on the planet, as of 2030.

  • Vehicle fatalities have been reduced by 90%.
  • The auto insurance industry has ceased to exist. 
  • Car ownership has decreased because people order a car only when they need it.
  • Unemployment for people with physical disabilities has decreased because it is so much easier to get to work.
  • Public transportation systems around the world are going bankrupt because nobody wants to be on a bus or subway when they can be in a private car instead.
  • People who used to be employed as school bus drivers, delivery drivers, and long-haul truckers have lost their jobs and aren’t sure what to do next.

Of course, it’s not 2030 yet, so we can choose to do something about some of these consequences, but should we? For your initial post, consider how your personal system of ethics would influence your reaction to this dilemma.

First, tell us about your personal system of ethics. Next discuss how your ethical beliefs would inform your response to this ethical dilemma. Finally, think about how your own personal situation (career, family, disability status) might influence your reaction.  

Remember also to ask questions, provide research, and develop ideas as you comment on others’ posts.

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