Ethics questions

Question W4. On many ethical issues, there is a significant difference between men and women. For example, women are more likely than men to oppose capital punishment (of course, some women strongly favor capital punishment, and many men fervently oppose it; but on the whole, significantly higher percentages of women oppose capital punishment). Why do you suppose that difference exists?

W4. 1. It what ways does Gauthier’s contract approach differ from that of Rawls’s? In what ways are they similar? Explain.

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W4. 2. What are the objections that can be leveled against the social contract approach? Are these objections stronger or weaker than the types of objections that have been leveled against other moral theories that have been covered in the text thus far?

W4. 3. What are the strongest arguments in favor of the social contract approach? How do these arguments compare to those that have been given for other moral theories covered in the text thus far.

W4. 4. Define ethical monism.

W4. 5. What is a value pluralist? What is a political pluralist?

W4. 6. What is an ethical pragmatist?

W4. 7. What is a “moral saint?”

W6. 1. How would a Kantian view an action based on an ethic of care?

W6. 2. Define care ethics.

W6. 3. What does Carol Gilligan mean by “in a different voice?”

W6. 4. What is a “feminine” ethic?

W6. 5. What does it mean to be “due moral consideration?”

W6. 6. What does it mean to be “the subject of a life?”

W6. 7. Give an example in which a person performs a good deed, and does so intentionally, without intending to do a morally good act.

W6. 8. What is the difference between determinism and fatalism?

W6. 9. Define moral responsibility.

W8. 1. It’s quite obvious that most of us prefer to have choices, and to exercise control over our choices. Psychologists have made extensive studies of this preference. (Not everyone prefers to make their own choices; some prefer to have others choose for them, or believe that they cannot really exercise effective control. However, that preference for not making choices is strongly associated with a number of psychological problems: those who do not wish to make their own choices are more likely to become depressed, they suffer pain more acutely, and they generally have less fortitude when working on a difficult projects) Could people have a healthy belief in choice-making and their own choice-making effectiveness, and still believe in determinism

W8. 2. Is abortion Immoral or Morally Legitimate?

W9. 1. In 2018, the state of Tennessee executed Billy Ray Irick using a lethal injection cocktail that some experts said was tantamount to torture and had been implicated in several botched executions. Irick’s case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The execution was allowed to proceed, but Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented, writing that using the drug cocktail was a violation of the 8th Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Several other inmates on death row in Tennessee sued the state in the hopes of being able to die by an alternative method, such as by firing squad. In your opinion, does the method of execution matter? If the state chooses to enforce the death penalty, does it have a moral responsibility to use the most humane method possible? Explain your reasoning.

W9. 2. In 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state of Texas could not execute Bobby J. Moore because he was deemed to be intellectually disabled. Consider the ethics theories studied in this course. What criteria should state courts use in determining whether an individual has the intellectual capacity required to face execution. Explain your reasoning.

W9. 3. Most people agree that climate change is one of the most significant existential crises humans face today. In your opinion, if a medication was available to make humans more mindful of protecting the environment, should all people be required to use it? Explain your answer.

W9. 4. Certain medications such as Ritalin and Adderall have been shown to improve focus and impulse control in children (and adults). Some critics say the drugs are overprescribed before nonpharmaceutical options are tried. College students have also used the drugs, sometimes prescribed, and sometimes obtained illegally, to enhance studying and test performance. Describe some of the ethical concerns associated with using medications like these to boost academic performance.

W9. 5. President Trump has been very vocal about wanting to stop illegal immigration to the United States. Yet, he has not called for better enforcement of employer compliance with immigration laws. Only eight states require most employers to use the government’s E-Verify system to ensure that new hires are in the United States legally. What are the ethical arguments for and against punishing employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants?

W9. 6. It takes several years for an immigrant arriving in the United States to become an American citizen. People who support providing illegal immigrants with a path to citizenship also support that they “get in line” like everyone else. If you were charged with establishing a path to citizenship, what criteria would you include in your policy? Explain your reasoning.

W9. 7. Many people debate whether plant-based diets more moral than diets where people also eat animals or animal products. The debate can become emotional at times. If people used more humane and less wasteful farming methods (e.g. grass-fed beef, free-range poultry), would that make consuming animals or animal products more moral? Explain your response.

W9. 8. One person who has benefitted from legacy admissions is former U.S. President George W. Bush. Bush was a mediocre student at an elite prep school and had SAT scores that were much lower than the average Yale student. Bush’s father and grandfather both attended Yale. What moral responsibility, if any, does Yale have for admitting Bush and providing opportunities to him that he may not have deserved? Explain your response.

W9. 9. In 2019, 51 people were arrested for cheating on college admission tests or paying bribing coaches to recruit their children as athletes. In some of these instances, the students did not know that their parents had attempted to game the system. Should the students be disciplined if the actions of their parents gave them an unfair advantage? Explain your reasoning.

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