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An Introduction to Business Ethics
Joseph R DesJardins, College of St. Benedict

Ethical Theory and Business

Multiple Choice Quiz


Which statement does not reflect the idea of ethical relativism:
A)All opinions are equal; no one can say what is ethically right or wrong.
B)One's culture, society, or personal feelings are the only criteria for deciding what is ethically right or wrong.
C)Determining what is ethically right or wrong is a process of arguing from an appeal to values and principles that justify and legitimize an opinion.
D)Philosophical ethics is simply a process of clarifying values, not a process of justifying them.

Which of the following intellectual disciplines provides absolute proof of its conclusions?
A)The social, biological, meteorological, and medical sciences.
B)Ethical judgments based on well-reasoned arguments from sound moral principles.
C)The applied sides of engineering, chemistry, and physics.
D)All of the above.
E)None of the above.

Which statement is a correct view of psychological egoism?
A)While our own interests are important, they make sometimes have to give way to the interests of others.
B)Psychological egoism makes claims about how people should act.
C)If psychological egoism is true, we should abandon ethics.
D)Psychological egoism does not claim to provide an accurate descriptive account of human behavior.

Identify the statement that is consistent with utilitarian ethical theory:
A)Adhering to a set of principles may well forbid an act that would otherwise provide overall net good consequences.
B)No act is ever morally right or wrong in all cases, in every situation. It will all depend on the act's consequences.
C)Some actions like murder, theft, rape, and lying are wrong of their very nature, the kind of acts they are. No amount of net good consequences could ever justify them.
D)The end never justifies the means.

Which statements are legitimate challenges to utilitarian ethical theory?
A)The end may justify the means.
B)There is no consensus among utilitarians on how to measure and determine the overall good.
C)It is difficult to know how to consider the consequences for all the parties that will be affected by an act.
D)It is difficult for the utilitarian to find a balance between individual freedom and the overall good. The more utilitarians emphasize freedom the more likely they hold more relativistic accounts of the good.
E)All of the above.
F)None of the above.

Which of the following reasons accounts for utilitarianism's dominance among policy makers and administrators?
A)It seems obvious that policy questions should be judged by results and consequences.
B)Policy experts at all levels are focused on results and getting things done.
C)Efficiency is simply another word for maximizing happiness.
D)Policy experts focus on the collective or aggregate good.
E)All of the above.
F)None of the above.

Which proposition correctly describes the concept of a right?
A)Rights protect a person's wants.
B)There is really no distinction between a person's wants and interests. Rights protect both.
C)Rights protect a person's interests.
D)My rights never correspond to your duties and your duties never correspond to my rights.

Which statement is not true of deontological ethics?
A)Obligations, responsibilities, and commitments determine the correct approach to ethics.
B)While we are committed to the dignity and well-being of individuals, an individual may have to sacrifice his or her rights in order to generate a net increase in the collective good.
C)Certain acts are wrong and should not be performed, regardless of the overall happiness they may produce.
D)The end does not justify the means.

Which statement is not true of Kant's categorical imperative:
A)We should act only on maxims that can be universally accepted and acted upon.
B)Universalization of maxims prohibits us from giving our personal point of view privileged status over the points of view of others.
C)Our fundamental ethical duty is to treat other human beings as autonomous persons who may choose their own ends and purposes, not simply as means for the ends of others.
D)The inability to universalize the maxim of an act may sometimes be ignored if the act in question will produce the greatest good for the greatest number.

Which statements are characteristic of virtue ethics?
A)Our character traits are easily modified, almost on a day-to-day basis if we so choose.
B)Like Kantian ethical theory, virtue ethics requires that we disregard personal emotions and feelings.
C)Virtue ethics is about describing people as good or bad.
D)Even if a person is caring, empathetic, charitable and sympathetic, the challenge of egoism is still a factor in his or her decision-making.
E)All of the above.
F)None of the above.