Write a paper that responds to one of the following prompts. Be sure to clearly identify which prompt your paper is responding to in the heading.
1.In Appiah’s Cosmopolitanism,he offers several explanations for why the distinction between facts and values is taken as common sense. This distinction leads to cultural relativism. Write a paper that explains the connection between the fact/value distinction and cultural relativism. Then discuss Appiah’s suggestion that we should not give up on universal values. Do you think universal values are possible? Why or why not? What are the implications of your thesis for ethics in a pluralistic world?
2.The link below accesses an article in New Scientist, (July 8, 2017 issue) entitled: “Should we…? Ten Scientific Dilemmas that will shape our future.”
Chooseoneof these dilemmas. After explaining it, write a paper that compares and contrasts utilitarian and Kantian deontologist approaches to resolving the dilemma. Be as specific as possible in developing your analysis for these approaches: (i) For the utilitarian, what are the relevant consequences? How can they be assessed?; (ii) For the deontologist, what is the principle or maxim that applies in the dilemma? Does it pass the Categorical Imperative? Why or why not?
After conducting these applications, choose which approach you think leads to a more ethical result and explain why.
3.Peter Singer applies utilitarian ethical theory to argue for a moral obligation of the well-off to donate money as a means of alleviating global poverty. Kant argues that a human being, insofar as human beings are the only rational beings in the universe, have inherent dignity, and thus should always be treated as an “end in themselves” rather than a means to an end. This idea is one of the theoretical sources that leads to the concept of human rights. However, both of these ethical theories face criticisms with regard to the question of justice. Utilitarianism seems to lead to the potential of a “tyranny of the majority” (Consider Ursula Le Guin’s story as an dramatic example), and Kant himself excluded many humans from “the kingdom of ends” because of his narrow view of rationality. In your view, which of these ethical theories is more effective for establishing ethical obligations that could lead to a more just world? Write a paper that explains which theory you think is more effective. To do this, it would be a good idea to choose a specific issue, topic, or event as an example for thinking about justice and how these theories can or cannot help.
4.Choose an issue or claim from one of the readings from these units that interests you. Write a reflection paper that carefully explains the issue in question and your source of interest, reflecting on why you think it is important. You should specifically make an argument that either agrees with the claim and includes reasons why, ordisagreeswith the claim and includes reasons why. The reflection paper gives students an opportunity to demonstrate careful engagement with an ethical theory in application to a question or issue. It is essential that the paper has a thesis and makes an argument. Successful papers will demonstrate both an accurate understanding of the theory and make a coherent argument with clear supporting reasons, as well as considering possible objections or counter-arguments.
Papers should be from 5-6 pages, 12 pt. font, and double-spaced with standard 1 inch margins. Please use MLA citation, no less than 6 citation. include author name and page number in parentheses. Please carefully read the instructions.
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