An argument about case

timer Asked: Jan 17th, 2019
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Question Description

Case Link:

(No less than 650 words)

1. The Ethical Theory for the Argument : Utilitarianism

  • ARGUMENT should be at least1 page, longer is much better, must follow ARGUMENT OUTLINE for the theory your team chose. (Full sentences & paragraphs, no bullets). Follow that outline exactly. Also, never begin the ARGUMENT with a summary of the facts of the case. Notice please, the paragraphs directly before the argument are summary of the facts of the case. Summarizing again would be redundant. Also, never say “I believe”, etc. This is a team paper, a team voice, not your individual view.

More Instructions are in the document. Also, you must FOLLOW THE ARGUMENT OUTLINE to write your argument.


1. DEFINE UTILITARIANISM: Utilitarianism promotes consequences that bring the greatest benefit and the least harm overall. (just copy and paste definition)

2. State very generally, in one sentence, if the action of the case promotes overall benefit or overall harm.

3. List all groups who benefit (a sentence)

4. Write a paragraph for each group explaining how they benefit and why

5. List all groups who are harmed (a sentence)

6. Write a paragraph for each group explaining how they are harmed and why

7. Weigh overall benefit against overall harm

EVERYONE COUNTS In utilitarianism you must weigh the benefit & harm to everyone who might get benefit or harm. Utilitarianism is not just about sheer numbers. Everyone who experiences consequences counts. Each person counts as one person. The benefit to that person might be sacrificed for overall benefit of everyone, but that person does get counted. Even guilty people count, or rather, utilitarianism does not consider guilt or innocence. Utilitarianism does not discount the benefits & harm to people just because they are to blame. “SOCIETY” does not get counted. Act Utilitarianism, and rule if it is ethical, is about real flesh and blood human beings & animals, maybe the trees & earth too, but not about society. The abstract concept of society is often used to blur the reality, make the people count less. Utilitarianism is tough to swallow at times in the ways the individual seems sacrificed for overall good. It is even tougher if real people are discounted in the name of an abstract society. As is, we are dividing all the real people into groups. Bentham would have liked us to be able to point and consider every single real human being. Well, we'll have to group, but we do not have to ever make it about society. BENEFIT/HARM TO COMPANIES RARELY MATTERS: When it comes to money, utilitarianism rarely makes a call one way or other unless money goes from rich to poor. Only time money is a benefit is if it goes from rich to poor. Only time money is a harm is when it goes from poor to rich. In a competitive environment, you can never discuss the benefit to any company while ignoring the harm to its competitors. You can never discuss the harm to a company unless you discuss the benefit to its competitors. In a competitive market economy, money just changes hands, balancing out: company x gets $$? Then Company y loses $$. But there are rare exceptions to this general rule that benefit/harm to companies cancels out. If a company has a monopoly that is not harming anyone, then they have no competitors. Facebook currently has such a monopoly. But be careful. You must still consider that those who work in these companies get very little value for, say $100. compared to that $100. in the hands of poor people. The one hundred dollars just means more in their lives. There is a point at which you have so much, a few hundred dollars means nothing to you, but it means very much to a poor person. DO NOT APPEAL TO RIGHTS. DO NOT APPEAL TO ISSUES OF PRIVACY. Utilitarianism only looks at real consequences of real actions. Privacy is not a consequence. Privacy is an abstract concept of a certain philosophical view, namely, rights. Only the consequences of loss of privacy can be harms, but then, you must frame the loss outside of the abstract conceptual view of rights: data breaches can have consequences and only those possible consequences count, such as losing your money, ridicule, losing your job, identity theft, spouse asking for divorce, being stalked. Those are real consequences, they count under utilitarianism. Privacy is just a state of being isolated. Isolation can be a benefit but it could also be a harm. There is nothing inherent about privacy that makes it either a consequence or a benefit or a harm. Just be careful that you do not slip into rights mentality when you try to show benefits & harms. Never assume something is a benefit because it sounds ethical. Instead you have to discuss real harm. “DISGRUNTLED” IS NOT A SUFFICIENT HARM. People are often disgruntled. Indeed, given nothing to be disgruntled about, people will invent something. Utilitarianism cannot control for “upset” or “disgruntled”. Instead, stick with more direct & controllable consequences.

Tutor Answer

School: Cornell University


Argument on Google’s Lawsuit – Outline
I. Utilitarianism definition
II. Groups who benefit
A. Andy Rubin
B. Page and Brin
C. Sexual harassment victims
D. Google
III. How each group benefits
A. Andy Rubin benefits from the severance package
B. Page and Brin get a supermajority-voting share
C. Victims benefit from policies that provide them with freedom to file lawsuits
D. Google implements new changes to improve employees motivation
IV. Groups who are harmed
A. Alphabet’s board
B. Alphabet
C. Amit Singhal
D. Google
V. How each group is harmed
A. Alphabet’s board is harmed from the backlash after the lawsuit
B. Alphabet’s shares decline
C. Amit Singhal is forced to exit the company
D. Google is held at ransom by Rubin
VI. Weighing overall benefits against overall harm


Argument on Google’s Lawsuit




Argument on Google’s Lawsuit
Utilitarianism promotes consequences that bring the most significant benefit and the
least harm overall. Utilitarianism entails weighing the benefits and harm to everyone who
would get benefit or harm. Even though the actions of the case might not be pleasing to
everyone, it became beneficial to all the involved parties since the leaving individual went
away with ninety million dollars whereas the other employees benefited from the company's
policy changes. The groups that benefited include Andy Rubin, Page and Brin, sexual
harassment victims who started having new ways of openness and transparency as well as
ways of discussing bad conduct without getting fired, and the company that would have
satisfied and motivated employees.
Utilitarianism considers everyone who experiences the consequences of a case as
counting to the benefits that arise. Even the guilty individuals gain from utilitarianism. It is
evident in Andy Rubin's case where he walks away with a ninety million dollar package even
after credible claims of sexual harassment were established. Walking away with a severance
package without facing a lawsuit is a benefit to an individual whose sexual harassment claims
labeled against him are credible. Andy Rubin benefits because he holds the company at
ransom with the information he has that could damage the company further (Tiku, 2019). He
forces the company's hand to get the severance package even with the allegations labeled
against him.
Page and Brin benefit from the changes in Google's corporate governance that allows
non-management shareholders to nominate at least three new board members. There is also
the change in the company's stock structure that would provide Page and Brin a
supermajority-voting share. A supermajority-voting share is essential in a company as it
allows an individual to have most things their way when it comes to voting within the
company (Tiku, 2019). Besides, Page and Brin get the nod even after the mentioning of their
names as directly involved in covering up the sexual harassment cases that existed in the

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