Kate’s ethical dilemma

Introduction: In this case study, Kates ethical dilemma is that the stores cashier gave her, by mistake, fifty dollars extra for her change. She wants to use that extra fifty dollars to buy gifts for three sick children. The following lines will apply the normative ethical theories to the situation, argue how she would decide the dilemma under each theory, and conclude the case by suggesting the suitable action.
Egoism approach:
If Kate applies the ethical egoism approach to the situation, she would be concerned about her own interest. Therefore, she would keep the extra fifty dollars for herself. She would perform this action because of the reduction in her salary, as well as to recover the expense of the gift she bought for her mother. Kate would consider the good for herself regardless of the possible happiness for the three children that they could have had if she had used the money to buy gifts, or without considering the harm for the company in the wide extent, because the extra fifty dollars is going to be recorded as a loss.
Utilitarianism:
If Kate is following the utilitarianism theory, she would look at the greatest happiness. She would decide to buy gifts for the three sick children since the total good is the greatest in comparison to the other options: return the fifty dollars to the store, for if she does not, it is going to be recorded as a loss for a company that earns millions of profits, so harm is minimized. As she kept it for herself, she became disappointed to hear that the foundation will not be able to provide gifts for the medical centre this year because of the global financial crises, so keeping the money did not result in the greatest good. Clearly, using the money to buy the children’s gifts would satisfy the theory’s approach.
Kantian Ethics:
By applying Kantian’s theory to the situation, Kate would only be concerned about the current circumstance, which is that the cashier gave her extra change by mistake and she would be aware that the fifty dollars is not her money, which belongs to the store. Therefore, she would act based on her duty towards the fact that the fifty dollars was given to her by mistake. She would not consider the future consequences of using the money whether to buy gifts for sick children to make them happy, or to keep the money for herself to cover up the reduction in her salary and her mother’s gift. She would return the money to the store ignoring the possible out-comes.
Conclusion:
If I were in this situation, I would choose the utilitarianism theory. I would consider the consequences on both parties. If I bought gifts for the children, I would be happy and they would be happy; the cashier will not lose her job, and the loss of the fifty dollars is not such a big deal for the owner to be considered as damage. The utilitarianism approach is the most appropriate solution for this dilemma.
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