The Ford Pinto
The Ford Pinto
What moral issues does the Pinto case raise?
ANS: The Pinto case raise the moral issues of what is the dollar value of the human life. That the businesses should not be putting a value on human life and disregard a known deadly danger. In order to perform a risk/benefit analysis, all costs and benefits must be expressed in some common measure. This measure is typically in dollars, as the Ford Motor Company used in its analysis. This can prove difficult for things that are not commonly bought and sold on the open market. Therefore, totell someone that there is a certain price for their life is a preposterous notion. There are numerous things which individuals consider priceless. Ford thought they could get away
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So no harm should be done to others, people should not deceived and their rights to life, free expression and safety should be acknowledged. Because this case involved human lives, Ford would have been better off if it had used a deontological approach with a few rules in mind. Ford should have been primarily concerned with maximizing shareholder wealth by way of a concern for the safety of its consumer and by maintaining a good public image rather than saving money. If Ford had been concerned about the shareholder’s wealth, it would have considered the long term effects of making a subcompact car that was not safe for its consumers (Gitman,2006). In essence, Ford should have been more concerned with the principle that with the results. The principle is simple: decision should be made in the best interest of the shareholder. In conclusion, the evaluation of good and bad consequences provides one way of ensuring that companies consider the morality of their actions, which may suggest that utilitarianism can be positive influence for ethical business practice as long as the true costs can be accurately determined and the right value placed on human life.
Speculate about Kant’s response to the idea of placing a monetary value on a human life. Is doing so ever morally legitimate?
ANS: No, it is not morally legitimate to placing a monetary value on a human life. Kant’s categorical imperative can be formulated as an action is morally right if