M12 – Ryan Haagenson

The Drowning Child. Are we able to think whatever we want about right or wrong?


Both deciding to rescue or not to rescue a drowning child could be considered morally right. If moral reasons outweighed prudential reasons then saving the child would be morally right. If prudential reasons outweighed moral reasons then not saving the child would also be morally right. What if saving the child puts your own life in danger? Not knowing how to swim or other dangerous scenarios could favor prudential reasons above moral reasons. A good moral decision can be different depending on who is looking through the moral filter at that time. The decision is judged based on the strength of the moral or prudential reasons that person made.


M9 – Ryan Haagenson

As you will learn in your careers, your management style will grow and adapt based on who you are and who you supervise. You will also pick up and learn things (good and bad) from your past or current supervisors. For this week, what, if any, has been your experience with the Hawthorne effect on a job?  Answer this question and then choose one of the following to answer:  1) Describe a supervisor who inspired and motivated you – what were their characteristics or actions that made such a positive impact?  2) Describe a supervisor who was a poor supervisor (un-motivating, indecisive, uncaring, etc.) – what were their characteristics or actions that made you feel that way?


When employees complained about broken/worn out tools and having to walk around to find a charged battery the employer bought brand new power tools for everyone in the company. Even though this was in the company’s best interest, production increased dramatically. Since the power tools belonged to the employees they where better taken care of. This shows the importance of human relations between management and workers, where communications from both sides are crucial to a more productive environment. This attention made the employees feel important and a part of the bigger picture rather then just for company profit.

I have learned from good and bad supervisors, they either teach you what to do or what not to do. A good supervisor to me is one that challenges his workers and knows how to communicate exactly what he expects from them. They tell you what needs to be done, not how to do it. They know how to build a team and build trust, which is built over time and are a powerful supervisory skill. Trust is a big issue, where a supervisor understands employee needs and keeps their interest in mind.


M8 – Ryan Haagenson

“Have Gun, Will Travel….to Work or School”


When looking at gun control in different scenarios we need to ask ourselves if we have a moral or legal right to own them at all. Moral rights give all people the basic right to life, liberty, and protection whether the law recognizes them or not. If we have these basic moral rights then we must have a moral obligation to protect these rights. If this is true then we all must have a moral right to own guns for self-defense. Owning or using a gun can be morally wrong if someone has bad intentions or does not use it with Kants “Good Will” but would not always be illegal. Our 2nd Amendment gives all US citizens a legal right to bear arms, a self-defense way to keep the security of a free state.

Employees have a moral and legal right to leave guns in a parked locked vehicle on company property since everyone has the basic right to physical security when moving about including to and from work. Private land should not override citizen’s basic or legal rights unless those companies can provide physical security for them. Nothing is going to stop a person or animal that wants to cause unjust harm, they have no regard for human life, laws, or rules set by companies.

In a meeting at work this topic was brought up, we were looking into ways for employees to work safely in rural areas after last years bear attack at POGO mine. We found that allowing workers to carry guns for personal security and the security of coworkers outweighs the rights of other employee/ community views. Although not implemented yet, I realized the only way to stop the threat of an attacking bear immediately is by using a gun. This scenario shows that there are certain threats that require guns for self-defense, when the threat of immediate harm is to great for any other action. Moral rights and legal rights allow self-defense if the force used is the same as the threat is to you, people or animals.

The NRA has a good claim that this action is a direct attack on the second amendment. This attacks both the moral and legal rights of gun owner’s personal security as mentioned above. Companies should have the right to not allow employees to bring guns into their building if they can provide equal security for them.

Gun owners should be held liable when left accessible to people that cannot legally obtain them, especially kids. This would limit the ability of a school shooting to happen. If teachers all carried a gun these school shooting would not exist or end very quickly. But without proper training no one knows how teachers will react in that situation. Not to mention the liability on the school districts if an accident occurred or an innocent bystander was hit. A better solution to this would be gun safes in strategic areas in the school that are only accessible to a few qualified employees, keeping students and other teachers safe and protected.

These school shootings are happening more in modern society. Why is this? Students used to have guns hanging from window racks in vehicles at school, older people tell stories of storing guns in lockers to go hunting after class. Society, parenting, mental stability, and the underlying causes for such violence needs to be addressed before our freedoms are further restricted. Teachers, media, organizations, marketing, technology and people of influence change moral fibers in society, our outlook on life, how we think and act. This can be good or bad depending on the intentions of those making the decisions that can lead society one way or another. Modern society has so many distractions that disconnect human interactions and a child’s basic needs. As I look around I see parents including their children on their phones at restaurants, kids acting up for attention and parents hand them technology to keep them distracted, broken homes or both parents working seems normal, these kids are being ignored by the people closest to them. When teens are going through chemical changes as well as trying to find themselves and fit in, any act of aggression or stress is looked down on or medicated but the underlying reasons why is never discussed with them or in the community. These teen shooters didn’t just wake up one day and decide to shoot up the school. Their cries for help in an uncaring society went unheard and forced them to reflect their internal pain, hate, and anger.


M7 – Ryan Haagenson

Who should pay the cost for protecting the environment? This is a question of social justice.

  • Those responsible for causing the pollution ought to pay.


Everything we do has some impact on the environment, it becomes a huge issue when our impact is unsustainable or hazardous to health. Consumers should pay the social cost of goods and services as the supply and demand starts with consumer’s wants and needs. Businesses want to keep profits high and prices low for consumers, but their prices don’t reflect their externalities. To include these social costs businesses will either have to raise prices and/or cut into profits. This rise in production cost could have consequences such as layoffs or business closures. Reasonable environmental regulations need to be set for all businesses and tariffs need to be appropriate to keep businesses from outsourcing. Businesses that exceed the environmental regulations should have incentives. These incentives would increase profits for the more environmentally responsible companies. No money can repay society for the depletion of a natural resource but it might slow it down enough to become sustainable. We should all be paying the social cost of the things we buy.

M5 – Ryan Haagenson

  1. For you, what was the most alarming part of this film?
  2. A) Do you believe corporations are legal persons?  Why or Why Not?


The most shocking part of the movie for me was hearing that the Supreme Court granted corporations the same “rights” as a real person. Courts look at the arguments presented rather than all the ramifications and unintended consequences of the ruling. The court may have been legally justified in this decision, but there are numerous situations that may not have been considered during the initial review, such as free speech or religious freedoms. Corporations have been able to challenge specific points in court, but have not had a broader review of these rights or the responsibilities of them. Until this whole review is done, corporations will be able to avoid many of the responsibilities we all have as real people. I do not think corporations should be viewed as real people without the same level of accountability. This decision makes it easy for people within the corporation to find loopholes in the system or make unethical decisions for profit knowing they can hide behind a corporate title for protection.

M4 – Ryan Haagenson

No better alternatives and high paying sweatshop jobs are the center of the article “In defense for sweatshops”. This author’s opinion is that sweatshops improve workers lives and any outside influence will have negative consequences for them. After reading this article I can see how improvements in the sweatshops compensation package will likely create the same conditions that pushed these companies out of the US.

US consumers wanted cheaper products and a higher standard of living. Sweatshops were formed as businesses, looking to boost profits and lower product prices, started outsourcing. America over time raised wages, increased compensation, set higher safety standards, set regulations (EPA, OSHA, CDC, FDA), and raised taxes, which all drives up prices. Outsourcing seemed like the best option, but at the cost of US jobs. Setting standards for these sweatshops or boycotting products will impact the workers or make the company look at other places that have better profit margins. Developed nations look at sweatshops as if workers in 3rd world countries have the same opportunity as themselves. They don’t look at the way these big companies improve the economy in these countries or the creation of better jobs.

The one ethical issue with sweatshops is the human rights violations. The pain and suffering these workers endure to survive, just to keep profits as high as possible. In “A critical look at sweatshops” by Sam Wolf, he paints a picture of what these workers are going through on a daily basis. He states,

“In the Apple sweatshop in Shenzhen, “suicide nets” have even been set up outside the buildings in order to prevent more workers from killing themselves. All of the workers in these factories experience extreme stress, alienation and humiliation on a daily basis. Workers are subject to a military-style regime; they live where they work, in cramped dormitories with many freedoms taken away from them (such as having visitors). Given the psychological impact of these conditions, it is not surprising, although it is very depressing, that suicides and suicide attempts are so common among workers in these factories.”

The companies who purchase the goods are the best people to control bad behavior in sweatshops. They should require certain working conditions even if they cut into their profits or have to raise prices. Companies and consumers share a responsibility to find a way to fix what we created and address the diffusion of responsibility. Kant’s philosophy behind a means to and end is a good way to look at an ethical solution to sweatshops. Companies should look at workers as a means to themselves rather then only a means to their profit.



Woolfe, S. (2013, July 16). A critical look at sweatshops.

Retrieved from www.samwoolfe.com/2013/07/a-critical-look-at-sweatshops.html

M2 – Ryan Haagenson

At some point in your life, I hope you have observed some of these normative theories in action.  Choose a situation from your life and describe how it applies to one of the theories we have studied in Chapter 2 (Kant, Egoism, Utilitarianism, Good Will, Prima Facie Obligations, others, etc.). Discuss why you identified that particular situation with the stated theory. Be sure to describe the situation or example.  If you have not observed a theory in action in your life, find an example in our history and discuss how the theory applies to the situation.

While reading about the different ethical theories I was relating them to the moral choices I have made and why I made them. I recently helped a friend and her fiancée with their financial planning where we developed a budget for their future life together. This example of assisting others provided a valuable tool to this couple, but would not have been immoral if I had chosen not to share it, supporting supererogatory actions. The results were well received and the act of sharing was inherently good, under the non-consequential theory. This is non-consequential as the long-term consequences are unknown and will be a result of how the budget may or may not be followed, or changed over time as a result of changing income and expenses.

M1 – Ryan Haagenson

How do we develop our ethics? What are the primary sources for us to develop our ethical position?


Parents weave “their” ethical views into our everyday life from a very young age, using small steps to teach us how to interact with family and friends. They teach us how to resolve differences, share toys, not grabbing them from others but waiting for them to be put down, not to cheat when playing games, using appropriate words, and not stealing by taking things that don’t belong to us without permission. They enforce these rules by using positive or negative reinforcement. Parents tie in emotion by saying, “How did that make you feel when that happened to you?”

When you are old enough to understand parents set moral rules, “In our family we don’t lie, cheat, or steal” or “When you leave this house, you represent the family”. Once you go to kindergarten, you realize that everyone does not have the same set of rules.

In general, ethics start at home and as you are exposed to others you may shift from the ethics your parents tried to imbed in you. Children watch how their parents act, they notice when parents live up to the words they enforce on them. As you get older you realize the lessons you learned at home will be a foundation for your ethical beliefs.