The discipline of ethics is governed by the concepts of morality and virtue. These two concepts are the themes that define ethics: whether an act or deed is good or bad, right or wrong or, a virtue and a vice. Morality is simply the extent or distinction between right and wrong while virtue is behavior that is considered to have a high moral standard and is thus good acceptable behavior. Ethics can be divided into meta-ethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics (Winkler & Duminy, 2014). Ethical theories such as utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics, and relativism are united by the pillars of morality, virtue, character and values (Dion, 2012).

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The utilitarianism ethical theory posits that the act in itself is the most important aspect and thus when an individual performs an act, despite other alternative acts, the act will produce the greatest possible beneficial outcome to the greatest number of people affected by such an act (Gustafson, 2013). In this case, municipal governments using public funds to build stadiums for professional sports teams would be more beneficial than not to a great number of people in the society. This is due to creation of employment to the community, which leads to higher standards of living. Professional sports also create a wide revenue stream that is essential in development and growth of the community leading to urbanization and better infrastructure.

An alternative or dissenting perspective to the aforementioned position would be the fact that such an act (municipal governments using public funds to build stadiums for professional sports) would constitute mismanagement and misappropriation of public resources and thus a violation of public trust by those governing the community. Furthermore, such a project would be too expensive and thus would be a waste of resources as well as an increase in congestion due to human and motor vehicle traffic.

  • Dion, M. (2012). Are ethical theories relevant for ethical leadership? Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 33(1), 4-24. doi:10.1108/01437731211193098
  • Gustafson, A. (2013). In defense of a utilitarian business ethic. Business and Society Review, 118(3), 325-360. doi:10.1111/basr.12013
  • Winkler, T., & Duminy, J. (2014). Planning to change the world? Questioning the normative ethics of planning theories. Planning Theory, 15(2), 111-129. doi:10.1177/1473095214551113