Choose three of the following questions to answer:
1. Is morality relative to time, place, and cultural situation in which the person finds him/herself? Or is there an absolute or at least more objective standard of morality from which we can judge other society?s moral values or codes as being right or wrong, or perhaps progressive or backward? Take the example of how women are treated as second-class in other cultures, which are more conservatively patriarchal than ours. Are we right to condemn such practices as clitoral circumcision because they discriminate against women and violate their rights? Or is the fact that they think this practice is moral from their own perspective mean that we should tolerate it and not condemn it or try to interfere with it? Give reasons for holding your view.
2. Define psychological egoism and altruism as well as ethical egoism and altruism. Do you believe that the basis of morality is altruism or egoism? Or is it perhaps an absolute moral code either handed down to us by previous generations from an original revelation by God? or is it based upon self-evident moral principles which one should follow whether or not it furthers either our own interests or the interests of others? Should we do right simply because it is prima facie right? Give reasons for holding your view.
3. Give an account in your own words of one of the theories or perspectives on ethics discussed in the text, which you find to be the most convincing explanation of the basis of morality. Give reasons for holding your view as well as reasons why you reject the other theories or perspectives in the text.
4. Give an account of Sartre?s existential ethics. Do you agree that it is not so much what we choose to do, but rather the way we choose which is important? Do you agree that whatever we choose to do, we should do so authentically? Would you go so far that we should take responsibility even for what is beyond our control in the choice situation, like war? Give examples of inauthentic behavior. and say why moral choices made out of denial or self-deception are examples of running away from freedom for Sartre. Do you agree? Give reasons for holding your view.
5. Give an account in your own words of the various views on social justice discussed in the text. What is the difference between procedural and distributive justice and which of these two types of justice should we attempt to attain? Which theory of justice do you think is preferable and why do you think it is superior to the others? Give reasons for holding your view.
6. Give an account in your own words of the various theories about the legitimacy of state power as presented in the text. Which one do you find to be the most convincing theory which would make the state seem legitimate to you and why do you reject the other theories? Given that most people don?t exercise their right to vote in our country and there is a militia movement, do you think the state is undergoing a legitimacy crisis in the U.S.A.? If so, how could legitimacy be restored? If not, how would you explain why so many seem disaffected? Give reasons for holding your view.
7. Give an account of John Stewart Mill?s view on individual rights and negative freedom. Why does he think that there should be limits put on the power of the state to act paternalistically? Do you agree or disagree with him on this? Are there some instances in which paternalistic interference is justified for the person?s own good? For example, is coercing someone to overcome drug addiction justified if the addiction has not been harmful to others? Give reasons for holding your view.
8. Give an account of Marxism, anarchism, and fascism by going online. What are the pros and cons of each? Consider both the assumptions behind the ideology and the general conclusions they draw about social and political action. Which one of these ideologies do you tend to agree with most? Give reasons for holding your view.