Applied Ethics Essay

2983 Words Feb 13th, 2015 12 Pages
A. What is applied ethics? 1. So far we have been focused either on normative ethics, which studies what features make something good/bad, an act right/wrong or a trait virtuous or vicious - or metaethics, which studies philosophical questions about the meaning of ethical words, or the nature of ethical facts 2. Applied ethics is a distinct category of ethical philosophy

A. What is applied ethics? 3. Deals with difficult moral questions and controversial moral issues that people actually face in their lives Examples: the moral issues regarding… abortion euthanasia giving to the poor sex before marriage the death penalty gay/lesbian marriage (or other rights) war tactics censorship so-called “white lies” etc.

A. What
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Helping the poor: the Issue 2. Our ability to help a) You’ve all heard the commercials: for less than $1 a day (about $200 yearly), you could save someone’s life (And that’s factoring in overhead, transportation.) b) The number of hungry people in the world could be cut in half for approximately $60 billion. Consider - Almost $20 billion is spent on pet food each year in the US - The war in Iraq is estimated to cost US Tax payers about $350 billion c) The cost of your yearly UMass tuition could save dozens, if not hundreds of lives.

D. Arguments for helping the poor 1. From the work of Peter Singer a) Reasons for helping the poor are basically utilitarian b) Far more good can be done with same amount of money if given to relief agency c) Argues that not only is it morally right for someone in a rich nation to donate a sizable percent of income, but it is morally obligatory (it would be wrong not to)

Peter Singer (1946 -

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