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12 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Jarvis in her "Defense of Abortion" argues the issue in terms of rights. What does she consider as a right of the mother? Why? When does she find abortion immoral? Why?
The mother has a right to life and the right to decide what happens to her body. Nobody is morally required to make large sacrifices, of health, of all other interest and concerns, of all other duties and commitments in orderto keep another person alive. Jarvis finds abortion immoral when the abortion of the baby does not out weigh its right to life. Because the would be putting what the mother wants before something much more important, life.
What are two arguments made by Peter Singer for a nation having a moral oblication to accept refugees? Why do you argee or disagree with each argument?
Stinger argues that a rich country can easily accept refufees without any great sacrifice and is the morally obligated to accept refugees. Stinger also argues that not taking significant numbers of refufees will result in consequences. If the well off country does not accept refugees there will be no repect or trust won by poor countries. I disagree with Stinger. If a rich country keeps rescuing the refugees this will only encourage more refugees. Rescuing the refugees does not encourage them to stay intheir own country and take the necessary steps to improve their own country even though it might take many years.
Explain Hardin's idea of "tradegy of the commons" as it is explained in "life boat ethics" How does he apply the idea of commons to the world food bank and famine? Why do you agree or disagree with Hardin?
Hardin's idea of tragedy of the commons is that shared resources will not work. Shared resources will not work because the world is crowded with less than perfect human beings. If one person owns the resource that person is going to make sure the resource is used wisely. Where as if the resource is common the selfish will say their needs are greater. Mutual ruin is inevitalbe if there are no controls. The world food bank creates more a strain on the environment because it encourages population growth. Since it is difficult to control population growth in poor countries and by giving food to the popel who can not support themselves, these people will never change their living conditions. They keep getting the food they need and get to keep doing what they always do. I agree with Hardin because people are selfish and the more people there are the less resources are available to go around. Resources can not be common because the resources will be abused by the abusers.
Explain Bentham's utilitarianism and his seven ways to measure pain and pleasure. Give an example of how this philosophy could be used to make a moral decision.
Bentham’s version of utilitarianism is the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people, and therefore can never be about the individual. This is based on the principle of utility. The principle that every action should be judged right or wrong according to how far it tends to promote or damage the happiness of the community. Bentham’s seven ways to measure pain and pleasure are : its intensity, its duration, its certainty or uncertainty, its propinquity or remoteness, its fecundity, its purity, and extent. To an individual intensity, duration, certainty or uncertainty, and propinquity or remoteness are the four most pertain measure of pain and pleasure. When the value of any pleasure of an act produced fecundity and purity are remotely taken into account. The number of people pain or pleasure extends to is its extent. An example of Bentham’s utilitarianism is, there is a group of soldiers running from the enemy that is close behind. One of the soldiers is wounded which is slowing the group down and allowing the enemy to catch up. The group decides to leave the wounded soldier behind to save the group. Thus putting the group before the individual.
Explain the three kinds of morality according to Browne in "The Morality
Trap." Which kinds does he criticize and what is his argument against each?
According to Browne there are three kinds of morality: personal, universal, and absolute. Personal morality is an attempt to consider all the relevant consequences of your actions. Universal morality is a code of conduct that is resumed to bring happiness to anyone who uses it. Absolute morality is a set of rules to which an individual is expected to surrender his own happiness.
Browne criticizes Universal Morality and absolute Morality. Universal Morality because the differences between individuals are far too great to allow for anything but the most general kinds of rules. Absolute Morality because it fails on its two most important characteristics of authority outside the individual and the individual should be moral regardless of the consequences to himself. If fails these two characteristics because even if we choose to believe there is a higher authority, we are the authority who chooses what it is and what it is telling us to do. And since we will always be considering consequences, even if we try to fix it so we are not, it is important to deliberately recognize the consequence and decide which ones are important to us.
What two arguments does Stace make against ethical relativism? Why do you agree or disagree with each?
The first argument Stace makes against ethical relativism is that believing the moral standards of particular social groups are the only standards which exist would render meaningless all propositions which attempt to compare these standards with another in respect to their moral worth. I agree with Stace. If ethical relativism is correct then there would be no moral progress. How could a society judge if its own morals were progressing if it did not have a standard to judge by?
Stace second argument is, even a minimum of moral judgment is not possible on ethical relativist grounds. There are so many people with their own standards that if there were no moral standard people would be doing what ever they please even if it was damaging to others. I agree again with Stace because without a moral standard all moral valuation vanishes. Even though the way people might interpret how to follow the moral standard might be different, the moral standard still exist.
What is the "problem of evil" as it relates to belief in the existence of God? What are three arguments Johnson gives to those who believe evil
exists for a good reason?
A problem of evil as it relates to God is how can a God who creates all things and be all powerful allow evil and suffering to exist. One argument by Johnson is why is it necessary God allows a baby to be painfully burned to death. We would have to rest upon the belief that God is all good for any reason for any worthy reason to allow such a thing to happen.
Johnson argues against the belief that God allows humans to make mistakes because humans have free will. And because of free will any suffering or evil cause by our own fault is our own responsibility.
Johnson argues that we do not need so much bad to identify the good. We don’t need babies burning to death when a simple toothache would allow enough suffering to identify the good.
5. What are three criticisms of Christianity given by Russell. What
counter-arguments could you provide?
Russell criticizes the existence of God, the First-Cause Argument, and the character Christ. Russell does not believe in the existence of God because the existence of God can not be proven by the unaided reason. There is no straight forward proof. If I take religion completely out of the equation and only consider God a higher power, then I say there is a God. There are many reasons that we can not understand because only a higher power could have created those reason we can not understand.
Russell criticizes the First-Cause Argument. He does not believe the first cause for anything can be said to have been started by God. I disagree with Russell. Our universe is expanding from a central point which started from a singularity. What then created this singularity?
The Character of Christ receives criticism from Russell. Russell believes Christ did not practice what he preached. This is not true. Christ did practice what he preached. When Christ was dieing on the cross he asked God to forgive his crucifiers. Thus he was practicing love they enemy as they own.
4. How does Darrow define "design"? What are three examples of evidence
that Darrow gives for the lack of design in this world and the universe?
What other two arguments besides the Argument from Design does Russell
criticize? What is his criticism of each of these two arguments?
Darrow defines design as something developed to be perfect and made to have purpose. Darrow gives some examples of lack of design in the world and universe: the planets never take the same path twice, planets have different amounts of moons, The planetismal theory that the world was not met for humans because the earth is covered by two thirds of water.
Russell criticizes the First-Cause Argument and the Natural-Law Argument. The First-Cause Argument gets criticize by Russell because it always means believing God is the first cause for anything. If you ask who made you and answer God, then how can you answer what made God? The Natural-Law Argument gets criticism from Russell because we now know that many things that we thought were natural laws were actually human conventions. With both these laws as we come to modern times they become less respectable intellectually and more and more affected by a kind of moralizing vagueness.
Explain the "Humanitarian Theory of Punishment." Would Darrow support
it? Why or why not? What is the argument Lewis makes against this
The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment is to punish someone because they deserve it. Darwin would not support the Humanitarian Theory because he does not believe in crime. Darwin believes people do the best they know how. According to Darwin people end up committing crimes because of circumstances that are completely beyond their control. Lewis argues the Humanitarian Theory removes from punishment the “Concept of desert”, when desert is the only connecting link between punishment and justice.
According to Blanchard why is the will not free? How does he define free? How does Stace define a "free act" and why does he believe in both determinism and moral responsibility?
Blanchard believes the will is not free because it is controlled by heredity and environment. Blanchard defines free will as a delusion and that choice is not free. Freedom is our responses controlled by heredity and environment, thus there is no free will.
Stace defines a “free act” as causes from desires, motives, or by some internal psychological state of the agents mind. Stace says, “Moral responsibility requires determinism.” You have to have moral responsibility so people can be influenced and if there were not determinism of human beings at all, their actions would be completely unpredictable and capricious, and therefore irresponsible.
hy is Socrates on trial? Summarize his arguments in his own defense.
Just before he is condemned to death Socrates explains why he will not
"withdraw from Athens" and "hold his peace." What does he say at this
point about the best life a man can live?
Why is Socrates on trail? Technically he is on trail for impiety and corrupting the youth. The actual reasons he is on trail are because of prejudice and the false hoods his enemies were spreading about him. Socrates made the Thirty Tyrants angry because he did not arrest Leon of Salamis. Soon after, Socrates started to be accused of being a wrong doer, who meddles with things beneath the earth and in the heavens, who makes the weaker reason appear stronger, and who teaches others the same thing. Socrates believes that “no better thing that can happen to a man than to discuss virtue everyday, because the unexamined life is not worth living.” This belief is what kept Socrates from “withdrawing from Athens” and “holding his peace.”