Moral Philosophy Solutions

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Choose and answer

Part 1: Analyze one (1) of the following case studies. Your answer should demonstrate sound moral reasoning and give evidence that you understand some of the various approaches to ethical decision making (25 points):

1. The Bribe
George simply isn’t paying attention. It has been a long drive back home from the family’s winter vacation, and he is on the Interstate coming through the downtown area of the city. His wife is with him up front. In the backseat are his young daughter and her younger brother, who is feeling sick and needs to get home. On the radio are the riveting final minutes of the playoff game with his favorite basketball team.

So when the familiar blue lights begin flashing in his rearview mirror, George’s heart sinks. As he pulls over to the side of the highway, he knows he’s been speeding—partly to get his son home and partly with the excitement of the game. Because it is cold, the officer suggests he bring his papers and come sit in the front seat of the police cruiser, while the other officer in the car takes the backseat.

They exchange papers and the arresting officer writes up the speeding ticket. And then begins a conversation George finds increasingly troubling. The officers tell him he will need to come down to the police station to settle this ticket. Unfortunately, the station is quite a ways away. What’s more, as it is Sunday evening, there are few people on duty, and processing the ticket could take several hours.

If, however, George simply wants to pay the officers right then in cash, they would be happy to do the necessary paperwork when they get to the station, letting George go on his way with no delay.
The more George listens, the more his blood begins to seethe. This is the United States, he reminds himself, not some backwater nation with a corrupt police force. Yet here he is, being asked (he felt sure) for a bribe. Yet there is his young son, feeling sick and increasingly desperate to get home to his own bed.

What should George do?
Source: Institute for Global Ethics, copyright 2012

2. Quality time better spent?
After graduating from college with a degree in science, Andy finds a solid job in his profession, married, and had two sons. Twelve years later, he moves to another company promising him steady advancement within its managerial ranks. A devoted family man, Andy admires his wife’s dedication to raising their boys. But he also observes that his sons, approaching their teen years, benefit greatly from his fatherly friendship and counsel-especially as they approach what he and his wife realize could prove to be a difficult transitional period in their upbringing. So he has made a commitment to spend plenty of time with them, playing baseball and helping with their schoolwork.
But he also loves his work, and does well at it. And it has become apparent that to advance rapidly up the managerial ranks, he needs an MBA. A nearby university offers the degree in an evening-and-weekend program that would allow him to continue full-time employment, but it would soak up his free time for the next several years and throw most of the family activities into his wife’s hands.

Where should Andy focus his attention?
Source: Institute for Global Ethics, copyright 2012

Part II: Answer one (1) of the following

1- The Death Penalty in the USA
Take a position on the morality of the use of the Death Penalty for capital offences in the USA. Argue for your position recognizing the serious arguments on the other side and explain why you believe your position to be more correct. clearly state what proponents of each of the ethical systems we studied (virtue ethics, teleological ethics, deontological ethics and utilitarianism) would teach about the morality of the death penalty and why they would hold their position. In light of your argument, what, if anything, should be done to change the current practice in the United States?

2- Morality at the Beginning of Human Life
The ethical questions surrounding the beginning of life are many and vexing. What are some of the moral arguments for when human life should be protected? Which argument makes the most sense to you? Why? Provide counter-arguments to the other positions. How should the law treat the question of abortion and embryonic stem cell research? Should the law recognize exceptions such as “rape, incest and the life of the mother”? Why or why not? What is the best moral solution to the question of “discarded” frozen embryos?

Part III – Answer two (2) of the following (25 points each):

1. “Moral views cannot be proven true or false, therefore whatever you think is right is right for you.” Describe carefully what someone might mean by each part of this statement. In what sense, if any, do you agree with it? In what sense(s) do you disagree? How would you express a statement on “moral views”? Explain your answer.

2. Explain the importance of friendship in the moral life. What other types of relationships appropriately use the term “love” to describe themselves? How do they differ? How are they the same? What is “love”? What are some of the requirements for genuine friendship? Can children be friends with their parents or men with women according to Aristotle? Why or why not? Is Aristotle right?

3. Explain Kant’s approach to the moral law. Demonstrate how Kantian ethics works by examining the question of suicide, the question of borrowing money in great need without intending to repay, the question of using one’s abilities and the question of giving alms to the poor. Critique Kant’s approach.

4. What are the different kinds of communities to which we belong? What are our responsibilities in these communities? What is the “common good”? What are our responsibilities if the community we belong to is involved in immoral activity? What does it mean to actively participate in communal life? Are communities necessary for human flourishing? Can we “opt out” of all communities? To what communities should we belong?

5. What is the role of law in a just society? What are “rights”? Where do they come from? How ought we to view them? What is the relationship between rights and duties? Do we have a moral duty to follow the positive law? Is there ever a case when one can legitimately ignore the law? Does an unjust law bind one in conscience? What are our moral responsibilities if a law or laws in our society are unjust? Can we ever legitimately follow an order that we know to be immoral?

6. What is conscience? How is conscience formed? How does one inform one’s conscience? How does one make progress in the moral life? What is the meaning of the quotation: “life is about being and being more not having and having more”? What role does vocation play in the moral life? How do we order the various demands placed on our abilities, resources and time if we are to live fulfilling lives? How does one form “moral character”?

7. Discuss the virtues associated with the proper understanding and use of wealth and honor. What are some of the natural virtue necessary for a person to be truly “great”? How are these virtues acquired? What is guilt? Is guilt good? What makes an act meritorious? What is humility? How does humility relate to the other virtues?
No Wikipedia or internet sources only published verified sources. MLA

Choose and answer

Part 1: Analyze one (1) of the following case studies. Your answer should demonstrate sound moral reasoning and give evidence that you understand some of the various approaches to ethical decision making (25 points):

1. The Bribe
George simply isn’t paying attention. It has been a long drive back home from the family’s winter vacation, and he is on the Interstate coming through the downtown area of the city. His wife is with him up front. In the backseat are his young daughter and her younger brother, who is feeling sick and needs to get home. On the radio are the riveting final minutes of the playoff game with his favorite basketball team.

So when the familiar blue lights begin flashing in his rearview mirror, George’s heart sinks. As he pulls over to the side of the highway, he knows he’s been speeding—partly to get his son home and partly with the excitement of the game. Because it is cold, the officer suggests he bring his papers and come sit in the front seat of the police cruiser, while the other officer in the car takes the backseat.

They exchange papers and the arresting officer writes up the speeding ticket. And then begins a conversation George finds increasingly troubling. The officers tell him he will need to come down to the police station to settle this ticket. Unfortunately, the station is quite a ways away. What’s more, as it is Sunday evening, there are few people on duty, and processing the ticket could take several hours.

If, however, George simply wants to pay the officers right then in cash, they would be happy to do the necessary paperwork when they get to the station, letting George go on his way with no delay.
The more George listens, the more his blood begins to seethe. This is the United States, he reminds himself, not some backwater nation with a corrupt police force. Yet here he is, being asked (he felt sure) for a bribe. Yet there is his young son, feeling sick and increasingly desperate to get home to his own bed.

What should George do?
Source: Institute for Global Ethics, copyright 2012

2. Quality time better spent?
After graduating from college with a degree in science, Andy finds a solid job in his profession, married, and had two sons. Twelve years later, he moves to another company promising him steady advancement within its managerial ranks. A devoted family man, Andy admires his wife’s dedication to raising their boys. But he also observes that his sons, approaching their teen years, benefit greatly from his fatherly friendship and counsel-especially as they approach what he and his wife realize could prove to be a difficult transitional period in their upbringing. So he has made a commitment to spend plenty of time with them, playing baseball and helping with their schoolwork.
But he also loves his work, and does well at it. And it has become apparent that to advance rapidly up the managerial ranks, he needs an MBA. A nearby university offers the degree in an evening-and-weekend program that would allow him to continue full-time employment, but it would soak up his free time for the next several years and throw most of the family activities into his wife’s hands.

Where should Andy focus his attention?
Source: Institute for Global Ethics, copyright 2012

Part II: Answer one (1) of the following

1- The Death Penalty in the USA
Take a position on the morality of the use of the Death Penalty for capital offences in the USA. Argue for your position recognizing the serious arguments on the other side and explain why you believe your position to be more correct. clearly state what proponents of each of the ethical systems we studied (virtue ethics, teleological ethics, deontological ethics and utilitarianism) would teach about the morality of the death penalty and why they would hold their position. In light of your argument, what, if anything, should be done to change the current practice in the United States?

2- Morality at the Beginning of Human Life
The ethical questions surrounding the beginning of life are many and vexing. What are some of the moral arguments for when human life should be protected? Which argument makes the most sense to you? Why? Provide counter-arguments to the other positions. How should the law treat the question of abortion and embryonic stem cell research? Should the law recognize exceptions such as “rape, incest and the life of the mother”? Why or why not? What is the best moral solution to the question of “discarded” frozen embryos?

Part III – Answer two (2) of the following (25 points each):

1. “Moral views cannot be proven true or false, therefore whatever you think is right is right for you.” Describe carefully what someone might mean by each part of this statement. In what sense, if any, do you agree with it? In what sense(s) do you disagree? How would you express a statement on “moral views”? Explain your answer.

2. Explain the importance of friendship in the moral life. What other types of relationships appropriately use the term “love” to describe themselves? How do they differ? How are they the same? What is “love”? What are some of the requirements for genuine friendship? Can children be friends with their parents or men with women according to Aristotle? Why or why not? Is Aristotle right?

3. Explain Kant’s approach to the moral law. Demonstrate how Kantian ethics works by examining the question of suicide, the question of borrowing money in great need without intending to repay, the question of using one’s abilities and the question of giving alms to the poor. Critique Kant’s approach.

4. What are the different kinds of communities to which we belong? What are our responsibilities in these communities? What is the “common good”? What are our responsibilities if the community we belong to is involved in immoral activity? What does it mean to actively participate in communal life? Are communities necessary for human flourishing? Can we “opt out” of all communities? To what communities should we belong?

5. What is the role of law in a just society? What are “rights”? Where do they come from? How ought we to view them? What is the relationship between rights and duties? Do we have a moral duty to follow the positive law? Is there ever a case when one can legitimately ignore the law? Does an unjust law bind one in conscience? What are our moral responsibilities if a law or laws in our society are unjust? Can we ever legitimately follow an order that we know to be immoral?

6. What is conscience? How is conscience formed? How does one inform one’s conscience? How does one make progress in the moral life? What is the meaning of the quotation: “life is about being and being more not having and having more”? What role does vocation play in the moral life? How do we order the various demands placed on our abilities, resources and time if we are to live fulfilling lives? How does one form “moral character”?

7. Discuss the virtues associated with the proper understanding and use of wealth and honor. What are some of the natural virtue necessary for a person to be truly “great”? How are these virtues acquired? What is guilt? Is guilt good? What makes an act meritorious? What is humility? How does humility relate to the other virtues?
No Wikipedia or internet sources only published verified sources. MLA

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