Helen's Wisdom of Friends Dilemma

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Upon reading the scenarios and our textbook, Helen's situation with in regards to the advice given by each of her three friends. Each one of them seem to express all three ethical theories: Deontological, consequentialist, and care based theory.

In Henry's case by giving Helen the advice to 'Go ahead and claim three and a half years of experience; they're going to be so happy with your work that by the time they check (if they ever do) it won't matter.' is showing the consequential ethical advice. It is here where he implies that by lying it won't matter that by the time they do find out they would already have seen how good of a worker and great job she does.

Jennifer is a different scenario where she expresses the care based theory by letting her friend Helen know that in by knowing her and the honest person she is she believes Helen will arrive at the best decision on her own. Here, Jennifer really emphasizes on how she believes Helen will do the right thing always because of the honest person she is.

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George, his advice falls straight into deontological theory of ethics where he believes in never telling a lie even where you are unlikely to get caught. He's very straight-forward and direct which falls into this category. As Lazar mentions in his article Deontological Decision Theory and Agent-Centered Options George thinking in the deontological way he believes in doing the right thing, not lie, no matter the situation. (Lazar, S. (2017))

I can definitely see this being used in other people as I myself have encountered a similar situation not so long ago when trying to obtain a microbiologist job before I graduated with my first Bachelor degree. I was in the process of applying for this position when asked to turn in my resume and while I had my resume on file and saved I wanted to make sure it was up to date and change a couple things on there, more in specific having to do with my educational background. As Helen, this job position asked to have a Bachelor degree and certain classes already obtained. Mind you, I had not graduated yet but was about to achieve my degree in two months. I also went to my friends for advice and each one of them told me the exact three views as George, Henry, and Jennifer I was just not aware these were the three main ethical theories until now. Eventually I ended up being honest and not lying on my resume and just putting my expected graduation date of when I would have achieved those degrees and ended up still getting the job after I graduated.

Like in my story above, I tend to believe I use all three ethical theories in my every day life. Different ones in different situations. I do not think I could stick to one single ethical theory as much as I would try. I may have chosen the deontological theory on myself and be honest or maybe even believed to have used the care based theory from my friend believing I am an honest person and will always do the right thing, but I have been on situations where I have lied on my retail experience and said I had more years in experience with customer service than what I really had. As much as we all try to follow a single ethical theory we find ourselves using more than one.


  1. Lazar, S. (2017). Deontological Decision Theory and Agent-Centered Options. Ethics, 127(3), 579–609. https://doi-org.chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org/10.1086/690069
  2. Ruggiero, V. R. (2012). Thinking critically about ethical issues (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
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