Augustine and Aquinas on Two Ethical Dilemmas (620 words)

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Question

Ethical Dilemmas Analyzed according to Aquinas and Augustine:

1. A newspaper columnist signs a contract with a newspaper chain. Several months later she is offered a position with another newspaper chain at a higher salary. Because she would prefer making more money, she notifies the first chain that she is breaking her contract. The courts will decide the legality of her action. But what of the morality? Did the columnist behave ethically?

2. Rhonda enjoys socializing with fellow employees at work, but their discussion usually consists of gossiping about other people, including several of her friends. At first, Rhonda feels uncomfortable talking in this way about people she is close to, but then she decided it does no real harm and she feels no remorse for joining in.

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In the example of the newspaper columnist who breaks her contract to work with a higher paying company, the motivation seems to come from making more money. Aquinas’s moral philosophy helps us to think about this case in terms of practical decisions, goals, purpose, and what she ought to do in this case, as well as the moral principles that are guiding her to better herself as a human individual....

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