ETHC 445 Principles of Ethics
Complete Course and Final Exam
Week 1 Discussion 1
Helen wants to move to a new community, and she is applying for a job with a small retail establishment. She is confident that she is fully qualified and will be able to perform well if she gets the job. The employer, however, has advertised for someone with three years of retail experience, and Helen only has two-and-a-half years. She is considering whether to exaggerate slightly on her resume in order to improve her chances of getting the job.
Week 1 Discussion 2
The study of Ethics and Philosophy is one which brings many different kinds of “thinkers” together. One person’s philosophy on Ethics is another person’s philosophy on Evil. We will be working this term on constructing personal ethical bases and understanding how Ethical Codes (both personal and professional) are created and followed.To start us thinking about the different areas of philosophy and ethics, and how we fit into the different molds or world views, let’s discuss the differences and similarities between these views.To do this, let’s look at the role of right and wrong, laws which regulate behavior, principles vs. morality, and the role of ethics in our society.
Week 1 Assignment & Quiz:
ETHC 445 Week 1 Assignment; Ethics Paper ( 650 Words)
Week 1 Quiz
Q. Which of the below behaviors are inappropriate in a course?
Q. Ethics involves issues of right and wrong, and emotionally charged issues and ideas; thus, the best way to ensure that my comments are taken in the way I mean them is to _____.
Q. Posting in the course’s threaded discussions is an essential element in our online, asynchronous classroom. Which of the following is not true about value-adding posts in our course?
Q. Which of the following is the most appropriate response for a student to post to another student who has posted this: WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL OF YOU? YOU ARE AS STUPID AS A BOX OF ROCKS!
Q. Choose from the following choices the way in which collegiality is valued in our course.
Week 2 Discussion 1
When Siding with the Majority (Graded)
As our opening page states, Mark Twain warned that “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” It is likely that your parents warned you “not to follow the crowd,” or your school counselors warned you about “peer pressure.”The United States utilizes a democratic republic form of government, which espouses the “majority rule” in many instances. For example, when passing laws, Congress and state Legislators use majority voting. When electing our officials, the majority rules. But, is our government unethical?
Week 2 Discussion 2
The Struggle of Good vs. Evil (Graded)
Personal struggles with one’s own tendencies, desires, lusts, and self-interest have placed people in conflict with other people and their own communities farther back than any of us can read. We read about the struggles of others in history — what about ourselves? Yes, us! What about our experiences of being ourselves?When we look back in history, we find people who are not so different from us — struggling with their human nature — and trying to live ethical lives in whatever way they can do so. They aspire to live ethical lifes and find themselves failing again and again.
Week 2 Assignment:
ETHC 445 Week 2 Assignment; Ethics Paper (750 Words)
Week 3 Discussion 1
Applying the Death Penalty (Graded)
First, here is a word of caution. With this discussion comes a tasking to discuss the death penalty in two ways: first, as an expression of the social contract, where one person has killed another in a violation of that other person’s right to peace and safety, and second, as a rules-based function of the justice system being applied to a difficult situation.What do you see going on that is a violation of the Hobbes/Locke social contract idea?And you might also connect it with any of the Three Schools, plus Aristotle, that you have read in past weeks—and especially with the rules-based ethics model.
Week 3 Discussion 2
Living in Our State of Nature (Graded)
Social Contract theorists say that morality consists of a set of rules governing how people should treat one another that rational beings will agree to accept for their mutual benefit, on the condition that others agree to follow these rules as well.
Hobbes runs the logic like this in the form of a logical syllogism:
1) We are all self-interested,
2) Each of us needs to have a peaceful and cooperative social order to pursue our interests,
3) We need moral rules in order to establish and maintain a cooperative social order,
Week 3 Assignment:
ETHC 445 Week 3 Assignment; Ethics Paper (800 Words)
Quiz Week 3
Week 4 Discussion 1
Ethics of Controlling Environmental Innovation (Graded)
Increasing food supplies are necessary to sustain growing populations around the world and their appetites for great food, quality products, and continuous availability.A great deal of expensive research is invested in developing technologies to deliver productive agriculture. Horticultural efforts to breed hybrid crops are seen as far back as history can observe, and there have been efforts to domesticate improved animals, as well. Gene splitting was a 1990s technology to improve the health and productivity of farm crops.
Week 4 Discussion 2
Kant – Accomplice to Crazed Murderer? (Graded)
Kant’s famous First Formulation of the Categorical Imperative reads:
“Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” Kant taught morality as a matter of following maxims of living that reflect absolute laws. “Universal” is a term that allows for no exceptions, and what is universal applies always and everywhere. Lying, for any reason, is universally wrong.
Week 4 Assignment:
ETHC 445 Week 4 Assignment; Ethics Paper (650 Words)
Week 5 Discussion 1
Life & Death; Politics & Ethics (Graded)
There are three basic propositions in standard Utilitarianism (Please be sure to listen to Mill’s audio lecture before joining this threaded discussion):
Actions are judged right and wrong solely on their consequences; that is, nothing else matters except the consequence, and right actions are simply those with the best consequences.
To assess consequences, the only thing that matters is the amount of happiness and unhappiness caused; that is, there is only one criterion and everything else is irrelevant.
In calculating happiness and unhappiness caused, nobody’s happiness counts any more than anybody else’s; that is, everybody’s welfare is equally important and the majority rules.
Week 5 Discussion 2
Dealing With Emergencies and Outcomes (Graded)
Chapter 9 of our text includes the terrorism situation at the 1972 Munich Olympics, and it needs to be read before engaging this discussion.The principle of utility involves maximizing happiness as a desirable outcome of decisions. Although it does not get directly said, there is an inverse intention to minimize the undesirable outcome of disaster. Utilitarian decisions are directed toward outcomes—that is, the consequences of decisions.The Olympic hostage situation was a high-tension moment, full of dangerous surprises and strategies to deal with the situation that did not work out for the best.
Week 5 Assignment:
You Decide Scenario and Response Solution Paper (800 Words)
Week 6 Discussion 1
Applying Rand’s Objectivism (Graded)
Ayn Rand’s Objectivist philosophy has been touted by her detractors as the philosophy of self-interested selfishness.
Her four epistemological principles are:
1. Metaphysics: Objective reality of the world and the objects in it.
2. Epistemology: Reason as the one and only key to understanding.
3. Ethics: Self-interest in what behavior is but also what it should be.
4. Politics: Capitalism through the performance of deeds by individuals who are self-interested.
Week 6 Discussion 2
Working Conflict Resolution Methods (Graded)
Different ways to analyze ethical behaviors and dilemmas exist, and many of them will help direct you to the correct or “best” solution to a problem.As we discussed in week 1 in the “tough choices” .pdf, sometimes right vs. right or wrong vs. wrong decisions have to be made.In the lecture this week, you are given three ethical dilemma resolution models to try out on a dilemma provided there. Please review that interactive before posting to the threads this week, and let’s bring your questions and comments about the “proposed” solutions here to the threads.
Quiz Week 6
Q. What school of ethics would drive the commanding officer (CO) to follow rules and procedures?
Q. For the CO to think about what is best for all indicates what kind of decision making?
Q. If the CO’s conscience was bothering him while making a decision, reading up on what ethicist would have made him aware of his thinking and deciding?
Q. For the CO to be excessively afraid of upsetting the carrier air group commander displays what about his ethics?
Q. The maxim “I uphold only the ethical view that all rational beings ought uphold” follows _____.
Q. The CO’s practice of moderation in not taking excessive risks connects him with what concept of ethics?
Q. When the CO seeks the utilitarian solution for his dilemma, his reasoning follows what principle?
Q. If the CO fails to take action for the injured sailor’s welfare because it might damage his professional reputation, what kind of ethics is operating in the situation?
Q. To speculate about “what would the crew want to happen now” engages the CO in what ethics?
Q. A decision to ask the injured seaman what he wants to happen is what kind of ethics?
Week 7 Discussion 1
Business Ethics & the Hovercraft Debacle (Graded)
This week, we looked at two more ethical codes—one for the Project Management Institute, and one for Engineers. (Find links to these professional codes in the Week 7 Assignment tab along with the Week 7 readings.)You can see that both of them are much simpler than the Legal code we looked at last week, and even simpler than the Medical code of ethics. Appropriate professional behavior, practice, and discipline varies among professions and reflects the needs and values of the professional society in question
Week 7 Discussion 2
Assemble and Test Your Personal Ethics Statement (Graded)
Please be sure to read the Week Seven Lecture in its entirety before posting to this discussion.
This week we will work on creating your own statement of personal ethics. To get started, read summarizing review of our great and famous ethics and what they have taught us — found in our lecture this week.Then, let’s work on creating one for you.Your goal for the end of this thread is to have created a personal ethical philosophy and be able to tell your classmates from which philosophies you created it and why the contents are important and meaningful for you. List its precepts. (You will need to do this on the Final Exam.)
Week 8 Final Exam
1. (TCOs 2, 4, 5, 6) The idea that the assisted suicide of terminally ill patients should be allowed simply at the patient’s direction reflects what type of ethics? (Points : 5)
2. (TCOs 1, 2, 7) What is the moral ideal of temperance? (Points : 5)
3. (TCOs 1, 2) One of the common errors in Ethics is that of the hasty conclusions. Hasty conclusions consist of what? (Points : 5)
4. (TCO 2) Prescriptive language is commonly used in ethics for what reason? (Points : 5)
5. (TCOs 7, 8) Ethical Egoism proposes that all decisions should be made to…? (Points : 5)
6. (TCOs 2, 4, 9) Free people are motivated toward forming social structures according to a social contract in order to overcome what problem identified by Thomas Hobbes? (Points : 5)
7. (TCOs 3, 6) Agricultural biofuels are not properly a renewable source of energy in the environmental ethics debate. Which of the following also is not a renewable….? (Points : 5)
8. (TCOs 3, 6, 7) The notion that the only thing good without qualification is a good will is attributed to whom? (Points : 5)
9. (TCOs 8, 9) Which ethical concept is organized and directed toward following the greatest happiness principle? (Points : 5)
10. (TCOs 3, 6, 7) Syllogisms in formal deductive logic are called “valid” when: (Points : 5)
1. (TCOs 1, 2, 3, 7) In support of TCO #7 and in the Week 7 discussions, you developed and placed into the threaded discussions your personalized ethics statement of what has become important to you in the practice of ethics as you have practiced ethics during the course…..?…..In answering, be sure to look at both sides of war: that is, a country defending itself…..(Points : 30)
2. (TCOs 1, 2, 7) Analyze the following ethical situation using YOUR ethical philosophy. Read the situation and then in your answer, explain why this is an ethical situation, what the “issues” are, and how an “ethical” person would resolve them. Explain how YOUR ethical philosophy has helped you read a conclusion about how to resolve or analyze this situation. Employees’ worth to their employers may diminish before they are eligible for retirement…… (Points : 40)
4. (TCOs 1, 2, 4, 9) A first-term junior senator has placed a bill before the Senate that promises to correct tax inequities that affect thousands of workers. However,….. Identify and tell what ethical philosophy the senior and junior senators are using, if any. Now, use your ethical philosophy to analyze the situation. Explain how, using your philosophy…..? (Points : 30)
5. (TCOs 5, 6) You work for a grocery store and a new manager is hired to oversee your department. He comes into your department (the butcher shop) and explains to you that for the past 6 months, your department has been losing money for the store because of the waste and spoilage going on from having to discard unsold meat and poultry……..Will you repackage the meat in the way he requested? Why or why not? Explain what ethical analysis you….(Points : 30)
6. (TCOs 6, 8) Analyze your answer above using the Front Page of the Newspaper ethical dilemma resolution model. Show your steps. (Points : 40)
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