Ethics discussion questions
I have attached a paper to answer questions and another one for question 3.,
Please use reference for page 163
Freeman, J. M., & McDonnell, K. (2001). Tough decisions: Cases in medical ethics (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
I NEED TO ATTACH PAGE 3
Discussion: Please answer question in essay format about 1 page in length Socrates was falsely accused of corrupting the youth of Athens and not properly worshipping the gods. At his trial, he denied these charges. His gadfly technique of asking difficult questions to one and all had one purpose: to think deeply about life’s ultimate questions with the hope of finally arriving at the truth. Further, he never disrespected the gods; he simply pointed out that many people only knew the gods of poetry and fiction, not the real God of the universe. Nevertheless, the Athenians condemned him. He had the choice of escaping with the aid of his friends and living in exile or accepting death by poison; he chose death. Exile would have been a sort of admission of guilt, a running away from his life’s work. And Socrates was loathed to disrespect the law of the state, even if it sought to punish him unjustly. Socrates chose to die rather than live a life that he would have been able to keep only by compromising his integrity and abandoning the virtues and principles by which he had lived. He held that the greatest good a man could possess was a virtuous soul; if a person had a virtuous soul, no real harm could ever touch him, either in this life or in the next.
What do you think he meant by that? He was about to die – how could this not harm him? What do you think it was that was more important to him than life itself? Do you think Socrates did the right thing in accepting death? Was his decision heroic or foolish? Do you find him inspirational? Would you die for “truth”?
1. Please answer question in essay format about ½ page in length Let us take the case of the Eskimos allowing their infant daughters and the elderly to die for the sake of the survival of the tribe. Even if we do not condone or think appropriate this custom of the Eskimos, we can certainly understand why this practice has developed among them and sympathize to some degree with it. Some would argue that even to address this practice is arrogance and an imposition of our morals upon them, thus we should simply ignore it. But if Rachels is correct, that the Eskimos do not do this callously, that they truly do love and care for their family members and only to do these things as a necessary act of survival, how might we as business, medical, and legal professionals help them in caring for these members of their family? Can you think of any approaches from your given profession as to how we might be able to offer them another way to survive, without sacrificing the lives of certain loved ones?
2. Please answer question in essay format about ½ page in length The fear, I think, of moral relativists is that we should think that there is a moral principle to universally apply to every unique case and that applying it would lead us to the one and only morally acceptable decision to make in every case. But we all know that many moral issues are dilemmas, and that it is not always immediately clear what action is the best to take. Even philosophers who believe in objective moral norms and principles realize that there are still many situations which would tax our minds and consciences. Recall the decision President Bush had to take on 9/11 when it was discovered that yet another plane was heading toward Washington, a plane filled with innocent American civilians. Air force fighter planes were on the way, to do what? To shoot it down if there was no other way to stop it from claiming another (and bigger) target. How would you like to have been the one asked to make that decision? So belief in moral objectivity does not take all the difficulty and agony out of moral decision making; rather, it increases it. Moral relativism makes decisions easy, for who can argue with a decision if there is no truly right answer? I have always wondered how a moral relativist could hold fast to the view that there are no such things as moral absolutes. I’d like to know, seriously, what cultural differences would make us look favorably or even neutrally on the following human acts as morally appropriate: rape, incest, child pornography, slavery, drug dealing, genocide, kidnapping, “recreational” torture, physical or verbal abuse, child molestation, slander, etc. Can you think of any time or place in which these acts are morally “good”? If so, please enlighten us. And so, are you a moral relativist, or do you believe that there are some moral absolutes, some standards of human conduct that are either right or wrong, good or evil? Defend your point of view.
3. Freeman and McDonnell, p. 163 ff, The Perfect Rexford (Please see attachment)
There is a certain moral relativity to this case: the morality of whether the use of genetic technology is a public or private matter. Let us look at this case together. In your reflection on it for the Discussion Board, please address at least the following questions: What do you think of the idea of “designer” babies? Would you make a moral distinction between trying to alleviate certain potential genetic problems (cystic fibrosis) from simply aesthetic ones (green eyes)? What about the risks involved in the designing procedure with respect to letting nature “take its course”? Do you think designing is in any way disrespectful of the child’s human dignity (we want a perfect baby, and one with green eyes)? Can you foresee any potential problems for the child finding out later that he/she was a designer baby (how might the child feel if he/she discovers that he/she was meant to have green eyes but was born with blue eyes instead, or was not suppose to have cystic fibrosis but somehow does)? What, if any of this, is sound moral medical practice? What part (some, all, none) of this practice would you personally feel comfortable participating in? If there are parts you would not feel comfortable participating in, what would you do? Do you agree with the doctor’s hesitancy in this case? And finally, should the permission to use this technology be a public or private matter/decision, and why?
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