A nursing student at a college that has decided to implement affirmative action policy would likely have mixed feelings on the colleges decision. XYZ nursing would likely feel that they need to make sure that they are giving opportunities to frequently marginalized communities. By instituting affirmative action, the college has successfully worked to provide ample opportunities for students that might otherwise have been overlooked, to receive as education at their establishment. XYZ would be providing these educational opportunities at the expense of otherwise qualified white students who can no longer be accommodated. The question becomes, should XYZ prioritize some ethnic groups admittance to their program over others.
Rachels describes utilitarianism as the belief that we should be working, “to produce the greatest total balance of happiness over unhappiness, or of pleasure over suffering” (Rachels, 2019 p.101). One must assume that this principle is not relegated solely to a single group of people, but rather to people at large, or at least a society as large. While a proponent of egoism would believe in pursuing the happiness of the individual, that opinion would vary on the individual and how the affirmative action might personally affect the happiness of them. An egoist who is a person of color, gay, transgender or holds to a religious belief that is not strictly Christian, would argue the affirmative action is in the best interest of the college because it to the benefit of the individual. Conversely, a egoist who is white, heterosexual and of the Christian faith, would find this to be discriminatory and negative as it has the potential to cause imposition to them and could change their current state of comfort.
Ma and Safra argue that the best approach is utilitarianism when considering something such as affirmative action is to create policy based on what society considers to be fair (Ma & Safra, 2019). If the college is looking to diversify and provide opportunities to minorites that have beeb otherwise overlooked, then the best option would be to provide affirmative action policies surrounding the admission process. This would give the best opportunity to create the culture on the campus that the school desires, while achieving the greatest level of happiness among all those affected.
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