Ethics Aquinas Augustine Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Business - Ethics Type: Essay Paper: #86126646 Related Topics: Legal Ethics, Ethical Dilemmas, Ethical Dilemma, Social Work Ethics
Excerpt from Essay :

Ethical Dilemma

Group A: The situation with the journalist reflects on the ethical implications of a contract. A contract is an agreement, and is legally binding. Under law, there are provisions for how and when a contract may be broken -- a more lucrative offer from a competitor is unlikely to be among these. Morally, a contract is an obligation that should be upheld. But that is, ultimately a rather weak morality in that in the grand scope of right vs. wrong, breaking a contract is relatively irrelevant. Even the aggrieved party will recover just fine; nobody got hurt, nobody got killed; nobody's rights were trampled.

But ethically, this situation is more interesting. This is business, and there are not a lot of ethics in business. The legal wrangling about the contract is an accepted tactic in business -- you use the system to your advantage when you can, and that is what both parties are trying to do here. Only one will actually win, and it is possible that such a victory might be Pyrrhic.

Ultimately, the lack of genuine harm here calls into question whether this is a legitimate ethical dilemma. A contract does create obligation, but contracts are broken all the time. There are plenty of scenarios where the first newspaper...


It would be surprising if a threat to break contract was a negotiating ploy gone awry. Ultimately, the point of the legal system is to provide a venue for the resolution of such grievances. There is no major moral issue here because contracts are never really fixed, and employment is at will. Ethically, it is a suspect move on the part of the journalist, but someone putting their own interests ahead of those of their employer is not exactly a major ethical violation, given that the inverse happens all the time.

The question should be asked -- would Augustine even care about a contract dispute? God has more important things to worry about than contract grievances. This is not a scenario where evil is involved, so really is outside the realm of Augustinian ethical perspective. Aquinas was concerned with principles, and in that breaking a contract for self-gain is likely against his principles. Either man could interpret the action as one of greed, and thus a violation of natural law, but the newspaper is…

Sources Used in Documents:


Matthews, G. (2002). Augustine (AD 354-430). Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved March 13, 2015 from

DeYoung, R., McCluskey, C. & Van Dyke, C. (2009). Aquinas' ethics. University of Notre Dame Press. Retrieved March 13, 2015 from

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