1. Fifty- year- old Wesley Autry, waiting with his two young daughters in January 2007 at a New York City subway station, saw a man collapse and fall off the passenger platform into the space between the train rails. The headlight of a train appeared. Mr. Autry immediately jumped on top of the fallen man holding him down while the train passed over them, inches above Autry’s head. Asked later why he jumped to the rescue, Autry said: “I did what I felt was right.” What form of ethical reasoning did Autry seem to employ in making his courageous decision?
2. British priest Tim Jones caused a big stir by telling his congregation in 2009 that shoplifting is sometimes morally permissible for desperate people. In a sermon, Jones said that shoplifting can be justified when a person is in real need, is not greedy and takes only what is necessary to get by. Later Jones said: “The point I’m making is that when we shut down every socially acceptable avenue for people in need, then the only avenue left is the socially unacceptable one.”
a. Was Jones arguing from a teleological/consequentialist or a deontological/formalist point of view? Explain.
b. Do you agree with Jones? Explain.
3. In March 2013 as Tiger Woods’s golf game was recovering from a long period of poor performance (by his standards), Nike released an ad with Woods’s picture and the caption “Winning Takes Care of Everything,” a remark Woods reportedly made many times in reference to his golfing performance. Critics attacked Woods and Nike saying the ad implied that golf victories would cancel out the shortcomings and misconduct of Woods’s past, including his failed marriage, repeated infidelities and generally perceived arrogant, rude behavior.
a. Is the ad an example of consequentialist or formalist thinking? Explain.