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British law prohibits reporting the names and family histories of children facing criminal charges u

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... reporting the names and family histories of children facing ... Watchdog. Moral Values. Truthtelling. Humanness. Justice/fairness. Freedom. Independence ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: British law prohibits reporting the names and family histories of children facing criminal charges u


1
The Liverpool Murder Case
  • British law prohibits reporting the names and
    family histories of children facing criminal
    charges until their trials are complete. Is the
    legal standard the only possible one we can use
    to evaluate this case?
  • Is Britains domestic standard compelling for
    the international media?

The above picture taken from a shopping center
security camera shows two-year-old Jason Bugler
being kidnapped from his mother by two
ten-year-olds who would eventually brutally
murder the child.
2
Ethics and Values
  • Ethics - the discipline dealing with what is
    morally right or wrong, good or bad.
  • Ethical system describes the critical process of
    how we work through moral issues
  • Values - the accepted principles or standards of
    an individual or a group
  • All decision-making involves values which reflect
    our presuppositions about social life and human
    nature!

3
Types of Values
Professional Proximity Firstness Impact/magnitude
Recency Conflict Human Interest Entertainment Nove
lty Toughness Thoroughness Immediacy Independence
No prior restraint Publics right to
know Watchdog
Moral Values Truthtelling Humanness Justice/fairne
ss Freedom Independence Stewardship Honesty Nonvio
lence Commitment Self-control
Aesthetic Harmonious Pleasing Imaginative
Logical Consistent Competent Knowledge- able
Socio-cultural Thrift Hard work Energy Restraint H
eterosexuality
4
  • Values Used by the British Press
  • Legal value Honor the court restrictions against
    reporting juvenile names and family background.
  • Principles Used by the
  • British Press
  • Other-regarding care The privacy of children
    facing criminal charges must be protected at all
    costs.
  • Values Used by the American Press
  • Professional value Do not suppress public
    information.
  • Principles Used by the American Press
  • Truth-telling All people have a right to know
    the truth. The truth must be proclaimed under
    all conditions.

5
  • Resulting Action of the British Press
  • Withhold information about the defendants
    including names and personal histories
  • Resulting Action of the American Press
  • Print names of defendants and information on
    their personal histories.

6
Four Dimensions of Moral Analysis
Definition
Loyalties
?
?
?
Values
Principles
7
Potter Box Applied to the Liverpool Murder
Case
JUDGMENT British Television withhold
broadcasting U.S. Newspaper publish names and
details
SITUATION Two ten-year-olds go to trial for
kidnapping and brutally murdering two-year-old
Jason Bugler
LOYALTIES British Television to juvenile
defendants and their families U.S. Newspaper
to general readership
VALUES British Television honor the court
restrictions against reporting juvenile names
U.S. Newspaper do not suppress public
information
PRINCIPLE British Television other-regarding
care U.S. Newspaper truthtelling is categorical
imperative
8
Determining the Ethical Decision
  • Is there a universal ground for making ethical
    decisions, an overarching theory from which we
    can choose among competing alternatives?
  • Or is ethical decision making simply a process of
    adjusting to the mores of a given community?
  • The Potter Box accounts for both.
  • Without an appeal to an explicit ethical
    principle, a conclusion is not considered morally
    justified.

9
Evaluation With the Potter Box Model
  • When competing values seem appropriate,
    resolution usually occurs in step three (ethical
    principles).
  • When two different ethical theories are relevant,
    the adequacy of the theories themselves must be
    evaluated through metaphysics or theology.
  • Occasionally, the ethical choice is not apparent
    until quadrant four, loyalties, as in the case of
    the Liverpool murder.

10
Why We Study the Process By Which Choices Are Made
  • Knowing the elements in moral analysis sharpens
    our vocabulary and enhances our discussion of
    media ethics
  • Understanding the logic of social ethics improves
    the quality of our conceptual work and the
    validity of the choices we make in media
    practice.
  • The four dimensions of the Potter Box allow us to
    develop normative ethics.

11
Potter Box
Feedback
Particular Judgment or Policy
Sociological Immediate External
Facts
Empirical Definition
Choosing Loyalties
Philosophical Reflective Internal
Appeal to Ethical Principles
Identifying Values
both positive negative
virtue, duty, utility, rights, love
12
Using Ethical Principles
13
Guidelines
  • 1. Always treat specifics very carefully.
  • 2. Values must be isolated and accounted for.
  • 3. Values must be checked, questioned, or
    corrected using steps three and four of the
    Potter Box.

14
Ethics vs. Values
  • Ethics involves an understanding of theology and
    philosophy as well as debates in the history of
    ideas over justice, virtue, the good, etc.
  • Values pervade all dimensions of human
    experience, even scientific experimentation.

15
Challenging Moral Norms
  • Our society challenges the practice of searching
    for moral norms.
  • BUT norms rightly understood are foundational for
    moral commitment.

16
Purpose of Sound Ethical Reasoning
  • Allows us to draw responsible conclusions that
    yield justifiable actions
  • Helps us to determine which ethical theory is
    most powerful under which conditions

17
Five Categories of Ethical Theories
  • 1. Ethical Theories based on Virtue
  • Aristotles Mean/Confucius Golden Mean
  • 2. Ethical Theories based on Duty
  • Kants Categorical Imperative
  • 3. Ethical Theories based on Utility
  • Mills Principle of Utility
  • 4. Ethical Theories based on Rights
  • Rawlss Veil of Ignorance
  • 5. Ethical Theories based on Love
  • Judeo-Christian Persons as Ends

18
Ethical Guidelines Based on Virtue
  • Aristotles Mean
  • Confucius Golden Mean

19
Aristotles Mean
  • Moral virtue is a
  • middle state determined by practical wisdom

20
Four Cardinal Virtues
  • TEMPERANCE
  • JUSTICE
  • COURAGE
  • WISDOM

21
Extremes
  • JUSTICE
  • COURAGE
  • WISDOM

Indifference
Indulgence
Cowardice
Temerity
Spontaneity
Caution
22
Main Ideas
  • Propriety before duty or love
  • Character over conduct
  • Outer behavior as a reflection of inner
    disposition
  • Equilibrium and harmony

23
Practical Wisdom
  • Phronesis
  • Moral discernment
  • Knowledge of the proper ends (telos) of conduct
    and the means of attaining them
  • Distinct from both theoretical knowledge and
    technical skill

24
Using Practical Wisdom
  • Applied to individual facts by locating the
    mean between two vices, that which depends on
    excess and that which depends on defect
  • Examples
  • Case 16
  • Case 29

25
Summary of Aristotles Mean
  • NOT a weak-minded consensus
  • NOT a compromise
  • NOT a mathematically equal distance between two
    extremes
  • Aristotles mean involves the correct quantity,
    the correct timing, the correct people, the
    correct motives, and the correct manner

26
Confucius Golden Mean
  • Moral virtue is the appropriate location between
    two extremes

27
Main Ideas
  • Rooted in virtue
  • Virtue as benevolence, kindness, generosity, and
    balance (a mean between two extremes)
  • Excellence dependent on character not social
    position

28
Equilibrium and Harmony
  • Equilibrium (chung) is the great root from
  • which grow all human actings in the world.
  • And harmony (yung) is the universal path all
  • should pursue. Let the states of equilibrium
  • and harmony exist in perfection, and happy
  • order will prevail throughout heaven and
  • earth, and all things will be nourished and
  • flourish

29
Applying Confucius Golden Mean
  • Identify all extremes
  • Resolve competing obligations using the Golden
    Mean
  • Reject any extremes
  • Choose the middle path

30
Ethical Guidelines Based on Duty
  • Kants Categorical Imperative

31
Kants Categorical Imperative
  • Act only on that maxim whereby you can at the
    same time will that it should become a universal
    law

32
Main Ideas
  • Ethics are objective
  • Any genuine moral obligation can be universalized
  • Categorical unconditional
  • What is right must be done regardless of
    circumstances
  • Existence of higher truths
  • Deontological ethics

33
Higher Truths
  • Noumena
  • Superior to reason
  • Transcend physical universe
  • Innate in human beings
  • Apprehended by conscience NOT reason

34
Deontological Ethics
  • From deon (Greek for duty)
  • Rule determines the result
  • Rule is the basis of the act
  • Rule is good regardless of the act
  • Result always calculated within the rules

35
Application of Kants Categorical Imperative
  • Moral law is unconditionally binding on all
    rational beings.
  • Certain actions are always wrong.
  • Certain actions are always right.
  • Examples

36
Ethical Guidelines Based on Utility
  • Mills Principle of Utility

37
Mills Principle of Utility
  • Seek the greatest happiness for the greatest
    number

38
Main Ideas
  • Consider what course will yield the best
    consequences for the welfare of human beings
  • Ethical choice produces the greatest balance of
    good over evil
  • Good end must be promoted, bad end must be
    restrained

39
The Good End
  • Happiness or pleasure
  • To Mill, preventing pain and promoting pleasure
    are the only desirable ends.
  • Pluralistic utilitarians argue that other values
    besides happiness possess intrinsic worth
    (friendship, knowledge, health).
  • Rightness or wrongness assessed according to
    total value ultimately produced

40
Application of the Principle of Utility
  • Calculate the consequences of various options.
    How much benefit and how much harm would result
    in the lives of everyone affected, including
    ourselves?
  • Choose the alternative that both
  • Produces the greatest possible balance of good
    over evil
  • Distributes this balance as widely as possible

41
Two Types of Utilitarianism
  • Act Utilitarianism Greatest good in a specific
    case
  • Will a particular action in a particular
    situation result in a balance of good over evil?
  • 2. Rule Utilitarianism Greatest good for general
    welfare
  • Will a general rule result in a balance of good
    over evil?

42
Ethical Guidelines Based on Rights
  • Rawlss Veil of Ignorance

43
Rawlss Veil of Ignorance
  • Justice emerges when
  • negotiating without social differentiations

44
Main Ideas
  • Fairness fundamental to justice
  • Egalitarian perspective
  • Fairness as quantitative in basic cases
  • Elimination of arbitrary distinction
  • Emphasizes the morally appropriate action, not
    the action that benefits the most people

45
Veil of Ignorance
  • Roles and social differentiations eliminated
  • Race, class, gender, and other personality
    features suspended behind the veil
  • Equality behind the veil intended to protect the
    weaker party and minimize risks

46
Two Principles
  • 1. Maximal system of equal basic liberty
  • 2. All social goods other than liberty may be
    distributed unequally only if distribution favors
    the least advantaged side

47
Ethical Guidelines Based on Love
  • Judeo-Christian Persons as Ends
  • Noddings Relational Ethics

48
Judeo Christian Persons as Ends
  • Love your neighbor as yourself
  • What is the Will of Heaven like? The answer is
    To love all men everywhere alike

49
Main Ideas
  • All moral obligations derived from the command to
    love God and humankind
  • Love for neighbor as normative
  • Regard for others as personal, not legalistic (as
    with Rawlss contract)
  • Humans made in the image of God and with
    unconditional value apart regardless of
    circumstances

50
Agape Love
  • Unselfishness, other-regarding care
  • Much more than friendship, charity, or
    benevolence
  • To love is to accept a person as he or she is
    with unalterable commitment and permanent loyalty
  • People are never given instrumental value

51
Advantages
  • Practical, gives help to those who need it
  • Avoids discrimination without denying
    distinctions
  • Does not presume to assign value to an individual

52
Noddings Relational Ethics
  • The one-caring attends to the cared-for in
    thought and deeds

53
Main Ideas
  • Ethics rooted in relationships
  • Emphasizes nurturing and caring for people, not
    avoiding harm to others
  • Roles of the one-caring and the cared-for
  • Three dimensions engrossment, motivational
    displacement, and reciprocity

54
To Whom Is Moral Duty Owed? Who Ought to Decide?
55
Five Categories of Obligation
  • Duty to ourselves
  • Duty to clients / subscribers / supporters
  • Duty to our organization or firm
  • Duty to professional colleagues
  • Duty to society

56
Loyalties
  • Duty to society is critical
  • Ethical decision-making must be marked by a
    sincere sense of social responsibility and a
    genuine concern for the citizenry
  • In the Potter Box the loyalty component
    necessitates the acknowledgment of the
    implications of a decision for institutions and
    social groups before an ethical decision is made.

57
Accountability
  • Are parents alone accountable for the programs
    their children watch, or do advertisers and
    networks carry responsibility also?
  • Can producers of entertainment dismiss their
    responsibility for quality programming by arguing
    that they merely give the public what it wants
  • Requiring accountability across the board
    preferable to giving absolute authority to one
    person or group.

58
Individuals
  • The individual is the authentic moral agent.
  • Though corporations are real, they are not
    concrete enough to be assigned praise or blame in
    any real sense.
  • Ultimately it is the individual who will be held
    responsible.

59
Corporate Obligation
  • Corporate obligation still meaningful
  • Ultimate responsibility rests with individuals
    but must be distributed among the individuals
    constituting a corporation.
  • Broad attacks on entire media systems are not
    helpful. Ethics is fundamentally concerned with
    individual choices.
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