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Moral Decision Making By Fiona Lewis

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Fiona Lewis

on 18 May 2011

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Transcript of Moral Decision Making By Fiona Lewis

Moral Decision Making By Fiona Lewis Dilemma You get a new job at a cool music store in Civic which you absolutely love. The pay is great and the staff are cool. After working there for a few months, you find out the manager is actually stealing illegal CD's and keeping the profit for himself. Societies The selling of pirated CD's is breaking Australian Law. The Copyright Act (1968) and the Copyright Amendment Act (2000) protect the rights of artists giving them control over their work's broadcasting and selling. By illegally downloading and selling pirated CD's the manager of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states in Article 7 that “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.” (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights) This means that all people must obey the law in order to be protected by it. Selling pirated CD’s is against Australian law. The Copyright Act (1968) and the Copyright Amendment (Digital Agenda) Act (2000) protect the rights of artists to their work’s distribution and broadcasting. (Hot Topics; Cyberlaw, pg 15)By selling illegally pirated CD’s the manager of the store is committing an indictable offence which can be taken to Supreme Court. (Aldous, 2005, pg 333) Options 1. You decide to ignore the fact you are selling illegal CD’s so you can keep the job you love with great pay, cool staff and manager 2. You decide to alert the authorities to the selling of the illegal CD’s to uphold Australian laws. You trust in God to help you find a better job. 3. You decide to talk privately to the manager about your feelings on the situation. You trust that he will listen to your thoughts and respond in a respectful and moral way Australia is a capitalist society where freedom of enterprise among citizens is accepted and encouraged. Free enterprise allows citizens within Australia’s society to create and own a business. This gives citizen’s a work ethic and a profit motive. (What is the meaning of Free Enterprise?) Music artists are entitled to earn royalties from the distribution and broadcasting of their work. Music artists also own copyrights to their music allowing them to license their music for performance and record it for sale or digital transmission such as iTunes. In selling illegally pirated CD’s at his store without a license from the artist, the manager is taking the artist’s royalties, breaking artist's copyrights and breaching Australian law. (Royalties, 2011) Today, many young people share digital music and movie files without realizing they are breaking Australian law. They believe that because all their peers are doing the same thing it must be the normal and acceptable. This is an example of group polarization; the tendency for groups within society to make decisions that are more extreme in order to conform to the group. (Group Polarization, 2011) Today, young people are illegally sharing digital files to conform to their peers in order to ‘fit in’ and to ‘be normal’. (Psychology: Philosophy and Metaphysics, 2011) Christian teachings & values Christian rules and teachings tell us that stealing from others is wrong and unjust. The Ten Commandments state that “You shall not steal” and “You shall not covet your neighbour’s goods”. (Exodus 20:15-17) These commandments forbid God’s followers from unjustly taking the goods of one’s neighbours or wronging one’s neighbours in any way with respect to his goods. The Ten Commandments ask us to “not bear false witness against your neighbour.” (Exodus 20:16) This asks us to be honest towards our neighbours and not lie or deceive them. The Catechism tells us that “Lying is the most direct offense against the truth. By injuring man’s relation to the truth and to his neighbour, a lie offends against the fundamental relation of man and of his word to the Lord.” (CCC 2483) To lie to others is an offense against your neighbours and against God Himself. God’s commands also ask us strive for obedience of the law and justice of the law. In the command “Honour your father and mother” (Exodus 20:15) God asks his followers to not only respect and obey their parents but their society and their legal system. Through analyzing society and Christian values in relation to my moral dilemma the best action to take is option 2:
You decide to alert the authorities to the selling of the illegal CD’s to uphold Australian laws. You trust in God to help you find a better job. Contemporary Values Under Australian law the manager of the store is legally allowed to own and operate his music store within the boundaries of Australian Federal and State law. Even though it is legal for the manager to run his own business it is morally wrong for him to be selling pirated CD’s. Not only is it breaking Australian law but it is also stealing music artist’s entitled royalties. (Aldous, 2005, pg 70 & 199) As stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) “The seventh commandment requires justice, charity and respect for the goods of others, the universal destination of goods and respect for the right to private property.” (CCC 2401) In selling illegally pirated CD’s, the manager of the store is going against the Ten Commandments and against God’s covenant. The manager is stealing the rightful property of the music artists and selling it for private gain. As Pope Benedict XVI states in the encyclical letter Caritas in Veritate, “Without truth, without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility resulting in social fragmentation, especially in a globalized society.” (Pope Benedict XVI, 2009) When there is no truth, trust or love in society the society as a whole does not share a conscience and a responsibility to the community and the world which results in social society crumbling, distancing individuals from one another. Pope Benedict XVI states, “To desire the common good and strive towards it is a requirement of justice and charity.” (Pope Benedict XVI, 2009) The common good is sought for the people who belong to the community, to respond to the needs of our neighbours thus bringing justice and love under God’s command. (Pope Benedict XVI, 2009) This leads to lack of social justice, charity and common good in society. As followers of God we are encouraged to strive for social justice and common good within our local and global community. The Beatitudes state “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice; they shall have their fill.” (Matthew 5: 6) This statement encourages the followers of God to ‘hunger and thirst’ for justice in the world and strive towards the common good; the ‘good of all humans’. The Old Testament holds many of God’s teachings and commandments, one teaching tells us “Do not follow the majority when they do wrong or when they give testimony that distorts justice.” (Exodus 23:2) This scripture encourages God’s followers to obey the law and commands of God to strive for justice, charity and love even when against the majority. In the process of obeying the law and preaching to others to obey the law and obey God’s commandments, God’s followers are often persecuted, mistreated and victimized by others for their actions and words. In this statement Jesus is asking His followers to continue to strive for justice and keep their faith regardless of the way they may be treated in order for social justice. (Ten Commandments: Their Historical Content, 2011) This is ultimately the best action as although I may lose my job and will go through hardships in the process of this action, I am doing the right thing in upholding Australian law and obeying God’s commands. In taking this action I must trust that God will help give me strength through hardships and help me to find another job. Although I am going against young society's values of trying to fit in and conform to the group, I hope that my friends will support me in doing the right thing and alerting the authorities to the manager’s illegal conduct. Decision
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