principle of utilitarianism in ethics
Regarding sports concussions, President Obama stated: “We have to change a culture that says ‘you suck it up and play through a brain injury…. Utilitarianism is a consequential ethical theory based on the Principles of Utility, which promotes the maximization of the welfare of society as a whole. It is the only moral framework that can be used to justify military force or war. Do these choices remind you of the COVID-19 pandemic when governments, in deciding whether to shut down society and later when to reopen it, had to weigh lives vs. livelihoods? Another study of 35 former NFL players over age 50 who had sustained multiple concussions during their careers found no significant association between the length of careers, the number of concussions, and their level of cognitive function later in life. 2. [Reporting a concussion] doesn’t make you weak, it means you’re strong.” On the other hand, President Trump has stated that rule changes to diminish head injuries are “ruining the game.”, One scientist said: “Don’t forget there’s risk in everything we do. Some people accuse the media (and others) of hysterically overhyping the dangers of tackle football to the brain. Ethics, Population Health Policy, and Sports-Related TBI, in Sociolcultural Examinations of Sports Concussions (Matt Ventresca & Mary McDonald eds, 2020); Alan Schwarz et al., N.F.L.’s Flawed Concussion Research and Ties to Tobacco Industry, New York Times, March 24, 2016.  Munro Cullum, Is Football Bad for the Brain? 57 Daniel Goldberg, What Does the Precautionary Principle Demand of Us? The theory instructs that ethical decisions should weigh the consequences of the actions on if it does more good or harm for the majority of the people.  J.S. A collection of one-of-a-kind videos that highlight the ethical aspects of various subjects. Utilitarianism is an ethical framework for effective moral action.  James P. Kelly et al., Concussion in Sports: Guidelines for the Prevention of Catastrophic Outcome, JAMA, 266(20): 2867-2869 (1991). They’re all in good shape. Bry’s answer is that only the football players are being paid to do this “for our entertainment.”. One study found no statistically significant difference between the all-cause mortality among career NFL players and NFL replacement players who played just three games during the strike of 1987. Bry’s answer is that it’s not the players who are immoral, it is the fans who are comparable to Romans sitting in the Colosseum watching lions devour Christians. The doctrine does not say that you should strive to maximize your own happiness.  Adam M. Finkel & Kevin F. Bieniek, How Public Helath Science Evaluates Evidence, Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, 25(3): 564-589 (2019).  Dave Bry, American Football is Too Dangerous, and It Should Be Abolished, The Guardian (UK), Jan. 4, 2016.  Steven Senne, Student Athletes Still Reluctant to Report Concussions, Nationwide Children’s Study Finds, Columbus Dispatch, Nov. 24, 2019, at https://www.dispatch.com/news/20191124/student-athletes-still-reluctant-to-report-concussions-nationwide-childrens-study-finds. Mill thinks of happiness as consisting of many and varied pleasures. John … Utilitarian? If you were a university scientist, how would you decide whether it is ethical for you to buy amber from Myanmar? In deciding whether it is ethical for you to buy amber from Myanmar, do you need to guard against the self-serving bias unduly affecting your decision? Some of these are high impacts comparable to those experienced in high school and college games. We value knowledge because, usually, it is useful to us in coping with the world, and hence is linked to happiness. Another study found that greater RHI exposure correlated with higher levels of plasma t-tau (a biomarker for CTE) in symptomatic former NFL players as compared to the study’s control group.  There is also evidence that the NFL sought to influence the findings of some of the research it funded. For example, a screwdriver has instrumental value to the carpenter; it is not valued for its own sake but for what can be done with it. The study of ethics focuses on human relationships and what is considered morally correct in human behaviors.  Ashwin L. Rao et al., Suicide in National Collegiate Athletic (NCAA) Athletes: a 9-Year Analysis of the NCAA Resolutions Database, Sports Health 7(5): 452-457 (2015). Some argue against paternalism and in favor of individual choice, believing that adults (at least) should be able to choose to engage in boxing (and presumably to play football) despite its potentially adverse consequences for brain health. Which approach do you think should be used to determine the ethicality of banning, or at least seriously reforming, football to reduce head trauma? Some take the view that the NFL has acted like the tobacco industry did when it was confronted with lawsuits seeking to prove to juries that smoking caused cancer.  Many researchers in the area recently published an article saying: Contrary to common perception, the clinical syndrome of CTE has not yet been fully defined. Chen noted that “there is no such thing as an acceptably risky crib,” but contrasted it with sports like football where “hazards are part of their attraction.” She asked: “How much risk is too much?”. Alan Schwarz et al., N.F.L.’s Flawed Concussion Research and Ties to Tobacco Industry, New York Times, March 24, 2016.  Julie Mack, What Parents Need to Know about Football, Concussions and Head Injuries, mlive.com, Nov. 24, 2019, at https://www.mlive.com/news/2019/11/what-parents-need-to-know-about-football-and-head-injuries.html (quoting neuroscientist Julie Stamm).  Dave Bry, American Football is Too Dangerous, and It Should Be Abolished, The Guardian (UK), Jan. 4, 2016.  Peter Benson, Big Football: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Culture and Color of Injury in America’s Most Popular Sport, Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 41(4): 307-334 (2017); Daniel Goldberg, What Does the Precautionary Principle Demand of Us? A study of 3,904 Wisconsin men found no significant harmful association between playing football in high school and cognitive impairment or depression later in life. Such a cost-benefit analysis should be impartial — In other words, a decision should equally consider the effects on everyone with no special treatment for your friends, family, or self.  Peter Benson, Big Football: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Culture and Color of Injury in America’s Most Popular Sport, Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 41(4): 307-334 (2017). There is no official state religion but the Myanmar government favors the majority Theravada Buddhism population.  Daniel Goldberg, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, the National Football League, and the Manufacture of Doubt: An Ethical, Legal, and Historical Analysis, Journal of Legal Medicine, 34: 157-191 (2013). Utilitarianism is a section or a part of the consequentialism theory. 5. This yellow to reddish-brown translucent material has been used in a number of ways, including to make jewelry, in Egyptian burials, and in the healing arts. Suicide rates among NCAA football players are the highest among all sports, but they are substantially lower than the general population age 18-22 or college students in that age range.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harm_principle. We Know Little About the Long-term Effects of Concussions, Statnews, Sept.27, 2019. Is this an ethical issue?  Rachel Grashow et al., Association of Concussion Symptoms with Testosterone levels and Erectile Dysfunction in Former Professional US-Style Football Players, JAMA Neurology, 2019: DOI: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2019.2664. Is this ever a consideration that buyers should take into account? Ethics, Population Health Policy, and Sports-Related TBI, in Sociolcultural Examinations of Sports Concussions (Matt Ventresca & Mary McDonald eds, 2020). Something has instrumental value when it is a means to some end. Part of the reason is that “[m]ost of the time when a player has a concussion, standard medical imaging techniques do not show damage.” No “gold standard” for diagnosing concussions currently exists. Following ethical dilemmas and ethical lapses in business practices that became eminent in the 1970s, the concept of business ethics emerged to expound business ethical principles (Arnold et al., 2010). Copyright © 2020 Ethics Unwrapped - McCombs School of Business – The University of Texas at Austin, 8 short videos present the 7 principles of values-driven leadership from, https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/08/amber-fossil-supply-chain-has-dark-human-cost/594601/, https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(19)31097-8.pdf, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/07/fossil-bird-in-amber-has-unusually-long-toes/, https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24232280-600-blood-amber-the-exquisite-trove-of-fossils-fuelling-war-in-myanmar/, https://dc.law.utah.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1121&context=ulr, https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/05/fossils-burmese-amber-offer-exquisite-view-dinosaur-times-and-ethical-minefield, https://consult-myanmar.com/2018/07/11/myanmars-new-gold-mine-is-dinosaur-amber/, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982216311939?via%3Dihub, https://business.financialpost.com/commodities/mining/dodging-rumour-and-insurgency-the-hunt-for-burmese-amber-goes-to-the-heart-of-myanmars-turbulent-north, https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24232283-300-it-is-time-to-bring-global-attention-to-the-trade-in-burmese-amber/, https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/index.html, https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/concussion_whatis.html, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-traumatic-encephalopathy/symptoms-causes/syc-20370921, https://www.dispatch.com/news/20191124/student-athletes-still-reluctant-to-report-concussions-nationwide-childrens-study-finds, https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/15/health/concussion-high-school-sports-study/index.html, https://www.mlive.com/news/2019/11/what-parents-need-to-know-about-football-and-head-injuries.html, https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/24/3/180.full, https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/27372974/did-helmet-rule-actually-work-2018-how-change-2019, https://www.sportscasting.com/nfl-concussion-protocol-explained-how-does-it-work/, https://slate.com/culture/2015/12/the-truth-about-will-smiths-concussion-and-bennet-omalu.html, https://www.healthnewsreview.org/2018/01/sports-desks-drop-the-ball-on-big-concussion-story/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harm_principle, https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2020/04/07/oklahoma-states-mike-gundy-says-his-team-needs-play-benefit-state-economy/. Now Mill admits that we seem to value some things other than pleasure and happiness for their own sake—we value health, beauty, and knowledge in this way. What these theories have in common are four defining characteristics: (i) consequentialism, (ii) welfarism, (iii) impartiality, and (iv) additive aggregationism.  Lisa Bero, Industry Sponsorship and Research Outcome: A Cochrane Review, JAMA Internal Medicine, 173(7): 580-581 (2013). Daniel Goldberg, What Does the Precautionary Principle Demand of Us? We value love and friendship because they are sources of pleasure and happiness. We Know Little About the Long-term Effects of Concussions, Statnews, Sept.27, 2019. This statistic is up 61% from 2002-2007, perhaps reflecting an improvement of awareness and reporting. Pamela R. Sailors, Personal Foul: An Evaluation of the Moral Status of Football, Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 42(2): 269-286 (2015).  Patrick Findler, Should Kids Play (American) Football?, Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 42(3): 443-462 (2015). Explain why and how using that approach might play out. Utility is often defined as happiness or pleasure, although there are other variants, such as the satisfaction of preferences, or preference utilitarianism. If a healthy person wanders into the hospital, his organs could be harvested to save four lives at the expense of one life. He is the author or co-author of several books, including "Thinking Through Philosophy: An Introduction. Utilitarian ethics considers the common good rather than personal advantage. All three? They would say, for instance, that if you give $1,000 to charity because you want to look good to voters in an election, your action is not so deserving of praise as if you gave $50 to charity motivated by compassion, or a sense of duty. It is also the reason why utilitarianism is very far removed from any kind of egoism. The idea of utilitarianism is tightly intertwined with the philosophy of consequentialism. Discussion Questions on High Schools & Colleges, Discussion Questions on Youth Leagues (Under 14). “Football is both notorious and cherished for its unapologetic, brute-force violence.” Players suffer bruises, lacerations, torn muscles, dislocated shoulders, torn knee ligaments, broken bones, internal organ damage, and, occasionally, even paralysis. Though the first systematic account of utilitarianism was developedby Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832), the core insight motivating the theoryoccurred much earlier. Again, these studies are broken down by league level: Studies such as these provide ammunition for those who defend organized football as an institution. Steve Almond argues that “a civilian leisure class … has created, for its own entertainment, a caste of warriors too big and strong and fast to play a child’s game without grievously injuring one another.”. Rule-utilitarianism is a reaction to that objection. What facts would you weigh in making the decision?  Michael Cunningham, Player Safety Takes Back Seat as NCAA Rushes to Allow Campus Workouts, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 22, 2020 (quoting Huma).  Justin Ehrlich et al., Mortality Risk Factors Among National Football League Players: An Analysis Using Player Career Data, F1000Research 2019, 8:2022.  Michael W. Collins et al., Adolescent Sports Concussion, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America, 19(2): 247-269 (2008); Mark R. Lovell et al., Recover from Mild Concussion in High School Athletes, Journal of Neurosurgery, 98(2): 296-301 (2003). The NFL and universities, among others, urge no rash actions until there is more concrete proof of a causal link between concussions and adverse health outcomes. Over time more evidence has indicated that even mild concussions suffered by principle of utilitarianism in ethics school football can. 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