Essay questions



Download 28.22 Kb.
Date20.04.2016
Size28.22 Kb.
Ethics and Social Issues

Final Exam Essay Questions
ESSAY QUESTIONS


    1. Essay Question: Rule Vs. Act Utilitarianism (Utilitarianism)

Suppose that you were wondering whether you, as a doctor, should hug a patient who is in tears. Give an ethical analysis of pros and cons from an act utilitarian point of view. Then give an analysis from a rule utilitarian point of view.


    1. Essay Question: (Case Scenario -- Utilitarianism)

Suppose that Rosa moves away her children out of town because, based on the information she has gathered, she believes the move will be the best for the children and larger family in the long run and she wants to do her duty by them. Imagine the two scenarios. Scenario 1: The results of the action are mostly positive for the family (and inspirational to their friends), because Rosa’s knowledge was good and nothing unexpectedly negative happens. Scenario 2: The results are greatly positive despite the fact that Rosa didn’t know very much, purely by luck. Scenario 3: The results are greatly positive mostly because Rosa worked hard to make the move a good one. Would Utilitarianism evaluate each act as having identical moral worth? Explain. Do you agree with the Utilitarian analysis?


    1. Essay Question: (Case Scenario)

Suppose that Rosa moves away her children out of town because, based on the information she has gathered, she believes the move will be the best for the children and larger family in the long run and she wants to do her duty by them. As it turns out, through no fault of her own, the children suffer greatly because of the move and the cost/benefit analysis after 2 ½ years shows that the pain outweighs the pleasure. Suppose that, 5 years later, a re-evaluation of the act in comparison to how alternative actions would have played out shows that her action, in fact, produced much more good than the other alternatives Do you think that we should (1) evaluate Rosa’s action as having been a good one, because it ended up being good (2) say we won’t really know whether it was good yet because something painful might still happen, or (3) say the act was first bad, then good, but might be good or bad later, depending on how things turn out. Or would you give another evaluation? Justify.


    1. Essay Question: Evaluating Ethical Theories

Having seen arguments concerning the various morally controversial issues, and the applications of the different ethical theories to them, do you think that one ethical approach is better than the others (i.e. based on ability to consistently address more issues, based on it’s ability to give a really good answer on the issue that is most important to you, etc.)? Justify your answer.


    1. Essay Question: Euthanasia

Sometimes a patient is bound to die shortly but their death would be painful, even when given state of the art palliative care. How could a utilitarian argue that, in such cases, it is better to commit active euthanasia rather than passive euthanasia?


    1. Essay Question: Duty to Die? (Euthanasia)

Suppose that you are adamantly against the view that anyone ever has a “duty to die,” no matter how much care/resources it would take to keep someone alive, or the quality of life it is possible for that person to achieve using those resources. Suppose we were to get Universal Health Care in this country, such that every citizen has access to a pool of money that all able pay into. How would this affect your position on the duty to die of someone who is unable to pay, out of their own pocket, for the preservation of their life. Explain what factors you would consider, taking utilitarian approach (pleasure minus pain, intensity, duration, fruitfulness, likelihood).


    1. Essay Question: Euthanasia

Give two arguments for and two arguments against physician assisted suicide, including at least one ethical approach that is not utilitarian.


    1. Essay Question: Rights & responsibilities (Abortion) – (15, 30 or 45 points – for 1, 2 or 3)

Part I: Who owes care/resources to an unborn child that is unwanted by the mother (i.e. the mother, the father, their families, the doctor, the hospital, the church, social services, the country)? What resources does each of these owe (bodily support, emotional attachment and care, physical support, financial support, educational support, etc.)?
Part II: How does your opinion above fit in with the guarantee of “a right to pursue happiness?” Look at it from the perspective of all concerned.
Part III: Does someone who has no intention of offering any of their personal resources to an unborn child have any right to tell the woman not to have an abortion? Why/why not?


    1. Essay Question: Rights & responsibilities (Abortion)

If women are allowed to abort a child without the consent of the sperm donator do men have any obligation to pay child support for children they do not want? Do these rights/responsibilities have anything to do with each other?


    1. Essay Question: Rights & responsibilities (Abortion)

Suppose that we said that any pregnancy, no matter how painfully produced, is a gift from the Universe to our human community. As a result, abortion would be considered as going against the wishes of the Universe. Given such a view, who would owe what kind of care to the child? If someone were incapable of forming an emotional attachment to any child, would they owe anything to the child?


    1. Essay Question: Rights & responsibilities (Abortion)

Suppose that we said that any pregnancy, no matter how painfully produced, is a gift from the Universe to our human community. In this view, the neighbor of the birth woman would be just as responsible for feeding or disciplining the child as the woman herself. Would such a system prevent abortions? If not, why not? If so, how would this system be different from the current society, under which many women choose to get abortions (be specific).


    1. Essay Question: Rights & responsibilities (Abortion)

Should Kyle have to pay child support for a child whose birth he tried to prevent by trying to persuade Maria not to have the child? If Kyle does want to have the child and succeeds in persuading Maria to have the child, despite the fact that he does not want to remain in the marriage, what kind of support does he owe? What kind of support does Maria owe, if any? Does it matter why the marriage broke up?


    1. Essay Question: Abortion and Feminism

According to James Mackey, Susan B. Anthony, an ardent feminist, was against abortion (and even more against the man who enseminates a woman without then supporting her through pregnancy and childrearing). How can this kind of feminism be reconciled with the more traditional feminist stance for the legal permissibility of abortion. Would Susan B. Anthony’s position be suitable in today socio-economic system in which each person is left to fend for themselves and men feel little obligation, if any, to support children?


    1. Essay Question: Rights & responsibilities (Abortion)

What position do you take on whether abortion is morally permissible? If you think that it is ever morally permissible, under what conditions? Suppose society were to develop technology that would make it possible to nurture a child to full development from conception, would this have any effect on your position on abortion? Why/why not?


    1. Essay Question: Rights & responsibilities (Children)

Suppose that we said that any pregnancy, no matter how painfully produced, is a gift from the Universe to our human community. If, after a period of time in which the child is raised by birth parents alone, it becomes clear that, despite a strong bond between the child and caregivers, the cost/benefit analysis for the child is very poor, how should the other family, immediate community/larger society respond? Should the child be taken away from the parents?


    1. Essay Question: Sexual Morality & Ethical Theories

Suppose that two gay men or two lesbian women wanted to get married, what kind of argument could a Utilitarian give on the subject? What kind of argument could a believer in Divine Command give? What kind of argument could a Kantian give?


    1. Essay Question: Sexual Morality & Ethical Theories

Women’s and men’s sexual behavior is judged differently in most societies. That is, women are often condemned for sexual behavior that is tolerated, or even admired, in men. For example, women and men are judged inequitably on the number of partners they have or the conditions under which they choose to engage in sexual behavior. In extreme cases, the genitals of young African women are sometimes sewn shut to guarantee virginity (and other reasons). Can this inequity in social response to women and men be grounded in a Utilitarian argument? A Kantian argument?


    1. Essay Question: Equality and Discrimination

Give 2 arguments for and 2 against the use of quotas in hiring, using at least two ethical approaches to each.


    1. Essay Question: Equality and Discrimination

One of the reasons given by political conservatives against government intervention in improving race relations and engendering diversity is “we cannot legislate morality.” The idea is that morality does not come about because of legislation. But, is legislation the only governmental way of intervening? Choose a position for or against governmental intervention, specifying the exact nature of the intervention you are contemplating. Give an argument for your proposal. Then give an argument against it.


    1. Essay Question: Economic Justice

Is it possible to believe that a just economic system should pay good wages and yet not believe that the same system owes every worker enough to cover all the basics? What would be a counter-argument to this position? Do you have a response to the counter-argument?


    1. Essay Question: Economic Justice

Peter Singer, a utilitarian of some note, argues that individuals of a certain level of wealth should give some of their wealth to those who don’t have enough for the basic necessities, on the grounds that having enough of the basic necessities increases the net pleasure of more people than it reduces the net pleasure of the wealthy. Is this position anti-American? Provide two arguments against his position (one of which should be Utilitarian in nature).


    1. Essay Question: Legal Punishment – Death Penalty

One argument against the application of the death penalty as a deterrent is that the person who is killed might not have ever gone on to take another life. As a result, killing them does not prevent a death, but only brings one about. Supporters of the death penalty sometimes reply that it’s OK for a prisoner to lose their life, even if they never would have killed again. How could you justify their position? How could someone who opposes the death penalty respond?


    1. Essay Question: Legal Punishment

Give 2 arguments for and 2 against the use of the death penalty, using at least two ethical approaches.


    1. Essay Question: Weapons of Mass Destruction (Violence, Terrorism and War)

Explain the different weapons considered to be weapons of mass destruction and give three arguments (for and/or against) the use of each. (For example, you might give one argument for the use of nuclear power and two against.


    1. Essay Question: War Crimes (Violence, Terrorism and War)

Do you believe that there is such a thing as a war crime? What criteria would have to be met? Give an example of something you would call a war crime and something you would not. How does the explanation of war crimes argue against cultural relativism as an account of ethics?


    1. Essay Question: War Crimes (Violence, Terrorism and War)

Give two possible causes of international terrorism against the United States. Give one possible solution.


    1. Essay Question: War Crimes (Violence, Terrorism and War)

Give a utilitarian argument for the use of nuclear weapons, addressing both the principle of discrimination and the principle of proportionality. Give a counterargument.


    1. Essay Question: US Violence (Violence, Terrorism, and War)

Bring up and discuss at least 2 phenomena that are thought to play a causal role in violent acts in the United States.


    1. Essay Question: Suicide Bombers (Violence, Terrorism and War)

Bring up and discuss at least 3 factors that are thought to enable/cause young people to become suicide bombers.


    1. Essay Question: Defending Terrorism (Violence, Terrorism and War)

According to Mackinnon, what kind of ethical approach is most often used to defend terrorism? Describe how the application of this approach is a defense of terrorism. Provide at least one criticism of it.


    1. Essay Question: War Crimes (Violence, Terrorism and War)

Describe the at least 3 features of the profile of the average Iraqi terrorist. Given this profile, what measures could be taken to prevent future terrorism? Is war an effective preventative measure?


    1. Essay Question: Just War Theory (Violence, Terrorism and War)

One authority on just war theory says that those people who are engaged in doing what they do for persons as persons are noncombatants, and those who are doing what they do specifically for the war effort are combatants.” Do you think that hospitals treating combatants should not be targeted? Why? How about journalists? How about food suppliers and distributors?


    1. Essay Question: Just War Theory (Violence, Terrorism and War)

Is the use of certain weapons by an individual always justifiable? Which? For those which are sometimes justifiable, what is the criteria?


    1. Essay Question: Stem Cell Research (Cloning)

Give two arguments either for or against both therapeutic and reproductive cloning(each), including one from a rule Utilitarian point of view. (Make sure to include a slippery slope argument against each.) In your opinion, does this Utilitarianism the desired outcome for each? Why/why not?


    1. Essay Question: Stem Cell Research

Name three reasons why proponents of research on embryonic stem cells prefer these stem cells to other types. In your opinion, are these good enough reasons to permit the use of aborted fetuses? Fetuses produced by invitrio fertilization? Justify your answer


    1. Essay Question: (Globalization)

Do you agree with Robert Kaplan, correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly, that it is human population growth, more than anything else, that creates national/international instability? Outline the premises in the argument and evaluate. What measures could be taken?


    1. Essay Question: (Globalization)

Give two arguments for and two arguments against farm subsidies in the United States, using at least one outside source and mentioning at least two moral principles. Look at the problem from a view of process state justice and then from the view of end state justice. Which do you prefer?


    1. Essay Question: Connections between Issues

Having seen arguments concerning the various morally controversial issues, and the applications of the different ethical theories to them, you may see a connection between a certain stance on a certain issue and another issue (for example, you may see a connection between abortion and euthanasia, abortion and sexual morality, legal punishment and violence, terrorism, and war, environmentalism and globalization.) Pick two related issues and write about the connection between the two and about whether adopting a stance on one forces you to take a certain stance on the other.


    1. Essay Question: Consistency between Issues

Is it possible to be against abortion on the grounds that it takes a human life, while still being for the death penalty? Why/Why not?


    1. Essay Question: Consistency between Issues

Is it possible to be against abortion on the grounds that it takes a human life, while still being for euthanasia? Why/Why not?


Share with your friends:




The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2020
send message

    Main page