Utilitarian and Contractualist Account: How Should Charities Compete?
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This paper discusses the moral responsibilities associated to competition between charities. The aim is to examine through two different ethical doctrines what responsibilities charities and governmental agencies that make laws for charities have when it comes to competition. The ethical doctrines used are Thomas Scanlon’s contractualism and Peter Singer’s preference utilitarianism. First the ethical issues in market competition in general are outlined. Following principles like honesty and fairness seem to validate market competition from a contractualist as well as a utilitarian perspective. Then the same problems are identified in the charity market and analysed similarly. Because charities offer services to recipients other than the donators some of the aspects that aided the utilitarian case for market competition seemed to disappear. The contractualist case for market competition seemed however to hold in the case of charity competition too.