Contemporary Moral Issues in Philosophy
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320 Contemporary Moral Issues in Philosophy
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Contemporary Moral Issues (Philosophy 320)
Please respond to one of the two questions about bioethics or distributive justice. (Please don’t respond to both sets of questions!)
Fill in the blanks on this Word document with your answers. Please leave the questions in your response, bolded just as they are. Please do not rearrange the questions or portions of the questions. Your total should be at least 5-6 double-spaced typed pages, but it can be more.
The quantity of blank space under each question is only a recommendation; feel free to use it if you need extra room for your answer.
This is based on a true story, with a few minor details adjusted here and there.
Ms. Wang, a hospital patient, is 21 years old. Due to a stroke, she is permanently comatose, HIV-positive, and 18 weeks pregnant. (A fetus cannot survive outside the womb until it is at least 22 weeks old, and it should be at least 25 weeks old to be safe.) This fetus has a greater than 80% probability of being HIV-positive and will be seriously and chronically unwell, putting a significant financial strain on her husband and surviving kid.
QUESTIONS IN FIVE POINTS
1. What is the definition of a person (as used in this class)? (five points)
2. What is the difference between complete moral standing and partial moral standing? (five points)
3. What is your point of view on life quality? (five points)
4. How do you feel about the sacredness of life? (five points)
5. What is the subject’s problem? (five points)
6. What exactly is the asymmetry issue? (five points)
7. What is the deprivation answer to the two difficulties of death’s harm? (five points)
8. What is the issue of nonidentity? (five points)
QUESTIONS WITH TEN POINTS
9. What is Ms. Wang’s moral standing? a total of ten points
10. Where does this fetus stand morally at this point in its development? a total of ten points
Is it ethically appropriate to abort this fetus, according to Thomson’s stance on abortion morality? Why? a total of ten points
Is it morally permissible to abort this fetus, according to Marquis’ stance on abortion morality? Why? a total of ten points
13. Is death harmful to this fetus at this point in its development? (In other words, if this fetus were aborted right now, would death be harmful for it?) a total of ten points
14. If this fetus is not aborted, it will very certainly be HIV-positive, chronically and dangerously unwell, and without a mother when it grows up (assume the father does not remarry). Is it unethical to have that child? Why do you think that is? a total of ten points
JUSTICE IN DISTRIBUTION
Over the last four decades, the distribution of wealth and income in the United States has been increasingly unequal. Engineers and programmers are working on new forms of automation, such as robots and artificial intelligence, that will eventually replace human labor and remove some employment. Some restaurants have equipment on the table that can take the role of a waiter to bring your order; there are still servers, but they are fewer because part of their job has been automated. Travel agents have essentially vanished, with the majority of their job now being done by websites that are primarily computer-based. Self-driving cars and trucks have the potential to dispense with a large number of taxi and truck drivers. Factories are employing fewer people than ever before, and this trend is expected to continue. To summarize, a new Oxford University analysis predicts that roughly half of all occupations in America will be automated in the next 20 years (albeit the authors imply that some of those people would find new positions elsewhere in the economy, such as a former factory worker who obtains a job at Walmart).
New industries have appeared in the past to employ people who have lost their employment owing to mechanization. Factories, for example, employed people who had previously worked on farms or produced handcrafted crafts. However, other experts feel that we may not be as fortunate this time, because the new industries that are emerging employ very few people. (For example, Google employs approximately 74,000 people and controls the web browser industry, whereas General Motors employs 180,000 people and shares the auto market with numerous other large corporations.)
For the purposes of this section of the exam, we’ll assume that in 20 years, three out of every ten working Americans will be permanently unemployed owing to automation. That may or may not happen, but let’s pretend it does for the sake of discussion.
Many people have recommended that people be given a “universal basic income” to deal with such a predicament. This is one typical variation of the concept: if you have no income or assets, you get $1700 each month, and as your income rises, you get less and less, until you earn nothing at all if you make more than $30,000. (In other words, if you earned $20,000 per year, you’d get something more, but not more than $1700 per month.) Consider how this could be paid for with earnings from companies that have mechanized and laid off workers (so that part of what they used to pay workers is now paid in taxes to fund the basic income payments).
Assume, for the purposes of your debate, that we are considering implementing a universal basic income similar to the one stated above, paying for it in the manner indicated above, and that it will be distributed to the 3 out of 10 Americans who are permanently unemployed due to automation.
15. Use the utilitarian theory of distributive justice to discuss this issue. (with 33 points)
16. Use Nozick’s interpretation of the Libertarian distributive justice theory to discuss this issue.
(with 33 points)
17. Use Rawls’ version of the Egalitarian theory of distributive justice to discuss this issue. (with 34 points)
QUALITY OF RESPONSE NO RESPONSE POOR / UNSATISFACTORY SATISFACTORY GOOD EXCELLENT Content (worth a maximum of 50% of the total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 20 points out of 50: The essay illustrates poor understanding of the relevant material by failing to address or incorrectly addressing the relevant content; failing to identify or inaccurately explaining/defining key concepts/ideas; ignoring or incorrectly explaining key points/claims and the reasoning behind them; and/or incorrectly or inappropriately using terminology; and elements of the response are lacking. 30 points out of 50: The essay illustrates a rudimentary understanding of the relevant material by mentioning but not full explaining the relevant content; identifying some of the key concepts/ideas though failing to fully or accurately explain many of them; using terminology, though sometimes inaccurately or inappropriately; and/or incorporating some key claims/points but failing to explain the reasoning behind them or doing so inaccurately. Elements of the required response may also be lacking. 40 points out of 50: The essay illustrates solid understanding of the relevant material by correctly addressing most of the relevant content; identifying and explaining most of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology; explaining the reasoning behind most of the key points/claims; and/or where necessary or useful, substantiating some points with accurate examples. The answer is complete. 50 points: The essay illustrates exemplary understanding of the relevant material by thoroughly and correctly addressing the relevant content; identifying and explaining all of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology explaining the reasoning behind key points/claims and substantiating, as necessary/useful, points with several accurate and illuminating examples. No aspects of the required answer are missing. Use of Sources (worth a maximum of 20% of the total points). Zero points: Student failed to include citations and/or references. Or the student failed to submit a final paper. 5 out 20 points: Sources are seldom cited to support statements and/or format of citations are not recognizable as APA 6th Edition format. There are major errors in the formation of the references and citations. And/or there is a major reliance on highly questionable. The Student fails to provide an adequate synthesis of research collected for the paper. 10 out 20 points: References to scholarly sources are occasionally given; many statements seem unsubstantiated. Frequent errors in APA 6th Edition format, leaving the reader confused about the source of the information. There are significant errors of the formation in the references and citations. And/or there is a significant use of highly questionable sources. 15 out 20 points: Credible Scholarly sources are used effectively support claims and are, for the most part, clear and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition is used with only a few minor errors. There are minor errors in reference and/or citations. And/or there is some use of questionable sources. 20 points: Credible scholarly sources are used to give compelling evidence to support claims and are clearly and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition format is used accurately and consistently. The student uses above the maximum required references in the development of the assignment. Grammar (worth maximum of 20% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 5 points out of 20: The paper does not communicate ideas/points clearly due to inappropriate use of terminology and vague language; thoughts and sentences are disjointed or incomprehensible; organization lacking; and/or numerous grammatical, spelling/punctuation errors 10 points out 20: The paper is often unclear and difficult to follow due to some inappropriate terminology and/or vague language; ideas may be fragmented, wandering and/or repetitive; poor organization; and/or some grammatical, spelling, punctuation errors 15 points out of 20: The paper is mostly clear as a result of appropriate use of terminology and minimal vagueness; no tangents and no repetition; fairly good organization; almost perfect grammar, spelling, punctuation, and word usage. 20 points: The paper is clear, concise, and a pleasure to read as a result of appropriate and precise use of terminology; total coherence of thoughts and presentation and logical organization; and the essay is error free. Structure of the Paper (worth 10% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 3 points out of 10: Student needs to develop better formatting skills. The paper omits significant structural elements required for and APA 6th edition paper. Formatting of the paper has major flaws. The paper does not conform to APA 6th edition requirements whatsoever. 5 points out of 10: Appearance of final paper demonstrates the student’s limited ability to format the paper. There are significant errors in formatting and/or the total omission of major components of an APA 6th edition paper. They can include the omission of the cover page, abstract, and page numbers. Additionally the page has major formatting issues with spacing or paragraph formation. Font size might not conform to size requirements. The student also significantly writes too large or too short of and paper 7 points out of 10: Research paper presents an above-average use of formatting skills. The paper has slight errors within the paper. This can include small errors or omissions with the cover page, abstract, page number, and headers. There could be also slight formatting issues with the document spacing or the font Additionally the paper might slightly exceed or undershoot the specific number of required written pages for the assignment. 10 points: Student provides a high-caliber, formatted paper. This includes an APA 6th edition cover page, abstract, page number, headers and is double spaced in 12’ Times Roman Font. Additionally, the paper conforms to the specific number of required written pages and neither goes over or under the specified length of the paper.
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