Posted: October 22nd, 2022
Directions: Please provide detailed and elaborate responses to the following questions. Your responses should include examples from the reading assignments. Each response should be at least one half of one page in length and utilize APA format.
1. What does it mean to be “due moral consideration” and “the subject of a life?”
2. Compare and contrast utilitarian and eastern views on moral standing.
3. What is “intentionality” and what role does it play in moral agency?
4. What does it mean to say that humans and nonhumans can form and act on intentions they cannot conceptually order or explain.
Directions: The following problems ask you to evaluate hypothetical situations and/or concepts related to the reading in this module. While there are no “correct answers” for these problems, you must demonstrate a strong understanding of the concepts and lessons from this module’s reading assignment. Please provide detailed and elaborate responses to the following problems. Your responses should include examples from the reading assignments and should utilize APA guidelines. Responses that fall short of the assigned minimum page length will not earn any points.
1. Your friend Joe is a warm and friendly person who is quick to provide aid and comfort to his distressed friends. He becomes angry and resentful when treated unfairly but is well known for being a peacemaker among his friends (he prevents fights and is often successful at reconciling conflicts among his friends). Joe, however, never reflects on his ethical principles or ethical beliefs. It is not that Joe is stupid; it is just that reflective consideration of ethics is something he has never done. When Joe comforts a friend in distress, or prevents a fight, or patches up a conflict, would you count him as acting ethically? Would you count Sam – a chimpanzee who is similar to Joe in comforting friends and preventing conflicts, and who likewise never reflects on his ethical principles or beliefs – as acting ethically? Your response should be at least one page in length.
2. As an intelligent and scientifically literate person, you recognize that the human species is very closely connected to other species. Yet you may be very skeptical of the idea that other species could be ethical actors, and perhaps even skeptical that nonhuman animals have any moral standing whatsoever. If so, what distinct step in the human evolutionary process sets humans apart in their special and unique moral status? Your response should be at least one page in length.
3. Suppose that a person is given a pain vaccine so that they could never feel pain again. Is this person due moral concern? Would a utilitarian agree? Your response should be at least one page in length.
4. Imagine that we are able to create a robot with Artificial Intelligence so that it can reason just like we do. Would it be a moral agent? Why or why not? Your response should be at least one page in length.
5. Imagine that you have two friends who are both intelligent people. However, it is clear that one of these friends has better reasoning abilities than the other. Is this friend due more moral concern than his less reasoning friend? Does he have greater moral responsibility? Why or why not? Your response should be at least one page in length.
PART II: Essay
In an essay two to three pages in length, compare and contrast the utilitarian concept of moral agency with the Kantian concept of moral agency then make an argument for why you think one is better than the other. Your essay should take the following form: an introduction where you preview your essay’s content (i.e. “In this essay I will discuss…”) and present your thesis statement (i.e. “X is better than Y because…”), a paragraph summarizing the utilitarian concept of moral agency, a paragraph summarizing the Kantian concept of moral agency, a paragraph comparing and contrasting the two, at least two paragraphs where you argue why one is better, and a conclusion. Your summaries and critiques must be original and should include examples, analogies, etc.
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