John Stuart Mill's Case: Family Ties And Business Ethics

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Blood and Morality In the case titled "Family Ties and Business Ethics", it describes a father who did all that it took to make his ship-building business flourish, including cutting corners and sacrificing time away from his family. This did not make him happy, and due to an accident, he lost two of his sons, and this made him even more unhappy and hardened him. He treated everyone in the business including Lucy, his own daughter, with an overbearing nature which caused tension, but this business was one of the few options that Lucy had to put herself through school. She left to seek work at another company that also built ships, and she was very successful; however, one day her company received a bid from her father, and she was sent as…show more content…
Mill argues that Utilitarianism is not just to seek the happiness of the agent, but to all those that are involved in the action(Mill 18), and in Lucy's case the people involved are those stated earlier. This shows that Lucy must make a choice that serves the greatest good, and by accepting her father's offer, she is betraying her entire company and essentially making herself unhappy as well because it is against her beliefs to be doing so and therefore this shows that there is not much good if she chooses this scenario as compared to if she chooses to deny her father wherein there will be a maximization of the good. Another assertion that Mill makes is regarding expediency in which he states that people often believe that Utilitarianism allows for people to do whatever they want that will get them short term gain and happiness, but actually they are not benefiting, as in the long term it will not be what is best for them and will not bring them happiness(Mill 22). Applying this to Lucy's situation, her father is in want of short term gain by taking a short cut in asking his daughter to leak information to him and this therefore will lead to unhappiness for her father as people will perceive him to be a cutthroat cheater, and if Lucy chooses to do this she will also be unhappy in the long run as her reputation would have been ruined and other companies will not want to hire her. This shows that if Lucy takes up her father's offer, she will then have not chosen the choice that would lead to her and her father's greater happiness by being expedient. Lastly, Mill states that justice is actually very essential in Utilitarianism, although not readily apparent, and

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