- Discuss the claim that it is merely arrogant to judge other cultures’ moral practices, and that we should tolerate what other cultures do within the context of their own societies. Does arrogance imply that something is incorrect? Can we talk about such a thing as moral progress, within our culture or others, without being guilty of this? And even if we are being arrogant, does that make it wrong?
- Discuss the claim that there are no universal moral truths. What do you think people mean by “universal” in this sense? Consider what our readings have to say about this.
- In moral theory, subjectivism is the idea that what we call “right” and “wrong” is no more than simple personal preference. Write your original post–describing the pros and cons to accepting subjectivism. Why might it be desirable if subjectivism were true (the positive side of subjectivism)? And why might it be undesirable if subjectivism were true (the down side of subjectivism)?
- Use ONE of the following examples to illustrate your discussion.
- Abby comes home later than expected. She’s trying to decide if she should lie to her parents about the reason.
- Bob likes to pull the wings off of living butterflies. He wants to try pulling the wings off of living birds to see if he enjoys that, too.
- Carla disapproves of unmarried couples having sex. She considers lobbying for strong laws to punish people for sex outside of marriage.
Read Week three Reading and Answer one of the following(350-500 Words):
Answer one of the following:
- Consider this question: “Can a person be good without religious faith?” For example, if someone is certain that no one would ever find out, what prevents them from lying in order to get what they want? If they don’t believe that God will punish them for “bad” behavior, what is to prevent them from doing it? Explain clearly your reasons for saying yes or no to the question. Are these reasons that all rational people should accept? Why or why not?
- One of the things that makes ethical egoism such an attractive theory at first glance is that it seems to describe the way we act anyway; this is also sometimes known as psychological egoism. Think of a time that you did something that may have been considered morally praiseworthy, but where your motivation was your own self-interest. You actually have to have benefited from this action. Would you say that what you did was morally praiseworthy? If not, does thinking about egoism change your mind? Why or why not?
- Singer strongly suggests that we are our brother’s keeper and that we should live only on what we need to exist, not what we want, as long as there are hungry people in the world. Analyze his article and tell me what you agree with and what you don’t. Is a cure for poverty your responsibility, the non-profits in the area, the local government, the national government, or no one’s?
- Consider the religion you were born into or practice now. Is there some moral rule you can think of that depends entirely on that religion for its validity? For example, would you make a pro-life or pro-choice rule a moral rule for everyone to follow? Why or why not?
Read Week four Reading and Answer one of the following(350-500 Words):
Answer one of the following:
- Discuss the Principle of Utility. Is happiness a sufficient criterion for moral worth? If it isn’t, can you name a better or more appropriate criterion?
- Immigration has been and continues to be a controversial issue in the U.S., as well as in other countries. Large numbers of refugees have fled from war, persecution, oppression, famine, and drought. What should be the criteria, for the U.S., on Immigration? How would you fashion U.S. policy on Immigration? What factors should be taken into account? And what should be done, regarding the millions of illegal aliens in the U.S.?
- Consider the charge that Utilitarianism is too “backwards looking.” Another way to put this might be that it sounds too much like “the ends justify the means.” Do you find the theory susceptible to this criticism? Why or why not?
- Using the Utilitarian approach, should the drinking age in the US be lowered to 18? Why? Why not?
- A SCENARIO OF UTILITARIANISM: ADRIFT!
- Imagine a lifeboat adrift at sea.
- In it are
- a physician
- a police officer, accused of corruption, who’s been suspended from the police force,
- a young mother and her nursing infant
- an unemployed carpenter who volunteers twice a week at the local homeless shelter
- a teenager who performs on stage with a band
- a retired kindergarten teacher
- and you.
- Also in the boat are food and water, but not enough to last long–and the castaways do not know how long (if ever) before they’ll find land or be rescued.
- The longer they wait, the less food and water they will have left, and the weaker they become. What should they do? What would YOU do?
- This discussion is devoted to Utilitarianism–the Lifeboat Scenario is an example to make the ideas of the theory more real. Be sure to use Utilitarian concepts in your discussion, regardless of whether you find them appealing. Be on the lookout for Utilitarian ideas and principles, identify them when they pop up, and offer an assessment of how well Utilitarian thinking helps you with this “lifeboat problem.”