ASHFORD SOC 120 Entire Course Introduction to Ethics & Social Responsibility

Relativism. Give an example of something that one culture might regard as a virtue that another culture might not. Explain why this could lead to relativism.

Egoism and Altruism. Psychological egoism claims that whatever we do, we do out of self-interest. Give an example of an act you think is not done out of self-interest, and explain how the psychological egoist might try to interpret that act as selfish.

School Prayer. John wants prayer in school, and Mary does not. Describe a compromise position you think John and Mary might agree on, and identify any problems that position might encounter.

Responsibility and Reward. You work hard in your office; overtime, weekends, and early mornings. You get paid well, but you realize your coworkers get paid the same as you do, though they do not put in the effort you do. Some have even been promoted ahead of you. Identify which of the responses below is the best one to adopt:

a. Continue to work hard and hope it is recognized

b. Begin slacking off

c. Roll your eyes at the other employees and make them feel guilty

d. Look for another job

Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7.

 

Relativism and Morality. In “Some Moral Minima,” Lenn Goodman argues that there are certain things that are simply wrong. Do you think Goodman is right? Using specific examples, explore the challenges Goodman presents to relativism. Determine whether you think there are such universal moral requirements, and defend your answer in a well-argued three page paper.

Death Penalty. Advocates of the death penalty recognize that no system is perfect and that applying the death penalty runs a small risk of executing someone who is innocent. Is this a price society should be willing to pay?

Future Generations and Development. Answer one (1) of the questions below. Be sure to explain your answer.

a. Assume that by burning coal extensively, the U. S. causes a substantial increase in pollution and acid rain, and Canada, understandably, objects. How might the U. S. and Canada resolve this dispute?

b. How can underdeveloped societies grow economically and develop technologically without causing environmental harm to their own country as well as to other countries?

c. Can countries such as the United States continue to grow and develop without causing environmental damage? How can one balance the demands of economic development with environmental concerns?

Rough Draft of Final Paper on Ethics: Theory and Practices. In this course, we look at classical ethical theories of utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics. We also look at the different kinds of perspectives on ethical issues introduced by relativism, ethical egoism, and emotivism.

For this paper, you will pick an ethical issue to discuss, but one that is not a specific topic addressed in our text (thus, gun control or product liability would not be possible choices). Some examples are given below, but it is recommended that you choose to write on a topic you have already encountered or you have thought about previously. (One way of thinking about this is to think of an ethical issue that either worries you or enrages you.) Identify, specifically, the ethical issue and the ethical problems it presents. Drawing on various sources, explain how one of the classical theories (utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics) would resolve the problem. Then, contrast this response with the perspective brought to the issue by relativism, emotivism, or ethical egoism. Finally, state which of these views is closer to your own, supporting your response with a clearly-presented and well-supported argument. The more specific you can be the better, and feel free to include examples that will strengthen your account.

Possible Topics

§ Physician Assisted Suicide

§ Corporate Contributions to Political Campaigns

§ Ethical Treatment of Prisoners

§ The Media and Its Responsibilities

§ Gay Marriage

§ Health Care: Right or Privilege

§ Ethical Treatment of Animals

§ Legalizing Marijuana

§ Ethical Problems of Gambling

§ Progressive Taxation Rates

§ Following Military Orders That May Be Unethical

§ Age Restrictions on Alcohol Relative to Military Eligibility

Presumption of Innocence. In discussions about personal privacy and government surveillance, one sometimes hears “If you’re not doing anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about.” What is your reaction to this claim? Give two examples of some things that may not be “wrong” but you do not necessarily want to be public knowledge.

Workplace Surveillance. Imagine your boss has decided that all phone calls, e-mails, and other communications will be recorded and monitored. What assumptions is the boss making about the employees? Is such monitoring justified morally? Is it a good idea as a management tool?

“Victimless” Crime. Can the government require you to a wear seat belt while driving? What is the argument that it can, and what is the argument that it cannot? How would such seat belt laws differ from the requirement that infants in cars be in car seats?

Ethical Progress. The outlawing of slavery and extending voting rights to women seem to indicate that ethics can have beneficial results. Give an example from the past that indicates a similar result or a current social policy that might be regarded as wrong, which therefore needs to be changed. Give your reasons and indicate which ethical theory you believe provides the best support for your view.

Focus of the Final Paper

In this course, we look at classical ethical theories of utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics. We also look at the different kinds of perspectives on ethical issues introduced by relativism, ethical egoism, and emotivism.

For this paper, you will pick an ethical issue to discuss, but one that is not a specific topic addressed in our text (thus, gun control or product liability would not be possible choices). Some examples are given below, but it is recommended that you choose to write on a topic you have already encountered or you have thought about previously. (One way of thinking about this is to think of an ethical issue that either worries you or enrages you.)

Identify, specifically, the ethical issue and the ethical problems it presents. Drawing on various sources, explain how one of the classical theories (utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics) would resolve the problem. Then, contrast this response with the perspective brought to the issue by relativism, emotivism, or ethical egoism. Finally, state which of these views is closer to your own, supporting your response with a clearly-presented and well-supported argument. The more specific you can be the better, and feel free to include examples that will strengthen your account.

Possible Topics

§ Physician Assisted Suicide

§ Corporate Contributions to Political Campaigns

§ Ethical Treatment of Prisoners

§ The Media and Its Responsibilities

§ Gay Marriage

§ Health Care: Right or Privilege

§ Ethical Treatment of Animals

§ Legalizing Marijuana

§ Ethical Problems of Gambling

§ Progressive Taxation Rates

§ Following Military Orders That May Be Unethical

§ Age Restrictions on Alcohol Relative to Military Eligibility

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