This is my Midterm test, there are open ended questions and multiple choice. All answers must be in own words no sources should be referenced original writing please. This is attached and is 5 pages including the multiple choice options. please ensure to do the extra credit. Listed here are topics discussed thus far in class so you have an idea of topics covered: During this introductory week to your course, you will explore the question of ethics in a general way and its link to human dignity and happiness. You will learn through your exploration of Kohlberg’s six stages of moral progress that ethics transcends one’s own personal interests and desires and involves an accommodation of individual and community interests through a focus on moral principles (stages 5 and 6). A similar approach is taken by Fr. Spitzer, former President of Gonzaga University and founder of the Magis Center, as he explains the role of ethical outlooks in human happiness. This week’s study concerns the philosophy of Pragmatism and the oxymoron of Ethical Relativism. Many of you are familiar through your study of sociology with these concepts and the view of the human person as a sum total of their experiences, cultural or otherwise. Seeing each of us as different leads to a distorted view of the human person and an ethics that is ultimately rooted in “might makes right” or the societal dynamics of power. Through this mindset, people are taught merely to “respect” one another’s opinions and differences, agree to disagree and never to make judgments. This is not an authentic or even a practical “ethic,” but it has ensnared and troubled the minds of many today because of its emphasis on individuality and individual differences. Your assignment at week’s end is to demonstrate in a short paper why “ethical relativism” is not a rational, cognitive or practical theory of ethics. Cognitive Ethics roots moral principles in reason and seeks to order them properly. From the ancient Greek Philosophers to the Medieval Christian Philosophers and even to this day, the Classical Ethical tradition considers reason through the Aristotelian lens of a rational, ordered and purposeful nature. Thus, traditional ethics views ethics with an eye to the purposes or ends of all things. To Aristotle, this meant ascertaining the purpose of things in nature in order to fully understand them in a rational manner. He concluded that all things in nature were possessed of their natural potential and that all living things were compelled by nature to realize their “excellences” or potential within them. It was the striving for full realization of one’s potential that is consistent with our human nature and that gives rise to happiness when we can achieve our potential. For Aristotle, happiness is ultimately a “state of being” that arises from a habit of achieving our excellences. The human “excellences” that Aristotle refers to are simply called “virtues,” those things necessary and realizable by all human beings that enable us to discipline ourselves, transcend our comfort zones and achieve our potentialities, such as goodness, health, success and happiness, that are within each one of us waiting to be realized, in a similar way that the oak tree concealed by an acorn is revealed gradually by nature and its natural processes to become what it is has always been, a flourishing oak tree. This week, you will be introduced to Aristotle’s “Virtue Ethics” and the second classical, cognitive ethic: the Natural Law. As you will read, the Natural Law too asserts that virtues are commonly known to all persons, as they are in accordance with reason and our human nature. The Christian Ideal of the Natural Law teaches that the Natural Law is embedded in the hearts of all persons and its basic, universal precepts can be discerned by looking to reason and the very order and nature of things, including human nature. It is in this way that St. Thomas Aquinas articulates what all human beings naturally strive for. In doing so, Aquinas reveals the foundational importance of the Cardinal Virtues to the moral life and the highest potential for all persons, to become the embodiment of the theological virtues of faith, hope and love, that is, to become a faithful, hopeful and loving person. At this point, you might want to revisit the four stages of happiness reviewed during Week 1 of the course in order to better understand our potential for human and spiritual excellence! Finally, this week, we will look briefly at the issue of abortion. The assigned articles from Don Marquis and John Noonan will serve to illustrate how the principles of Virtue Ethics and the Natural Law might address the immorality of abortion. The article by Don Marquis serves as a good introduction to the abortion issue because part one of that article summarizes the basic “pro-life vs. pro-choice” debate that typically occurs in our culture. Marquis then focuses on the title question and concludes that killing is inherently and intrinsically wrong for a variety of reasons. Through his thought and conclusion, he echoes Aristotle’s thought that some feelings and actions, such as killing, are simply wrong and can never be morally justified. The Noonan article demonstrates the Natural Law’s sensitivity to respecting and preserving life, a position sometimes known as “the sanctity of life approach,” and the importance of love and our natural human disposition towards it in the abortion context. Noonan just might be providing an important insight into why having an abortion is such a difficult decision, perhaps one that is truly against the nature of a woman This week you will be introduced to the two major modern theories of cognitive ethics: Deontological Ethics (Immanuel Kant) and Utilitarianism (J.S. Mill). Kantian ethics focuses on fashioning ethical rules and principles from objective, universal reason while Utilitarianism combines pragmatism and hedonism to assert a view of the human person as a physical, sensory being that has moral worth and value to the extent that one is useful and productive in spreading pleasure and minimizing pain and suffering. Such a view results in an ethic wherein the ends justify the means and the concept of human dignity is diminished significantly. Familiarize yourself with the core principles of both modern theories this week and you might further consider the three articles on abortion provided. Thompson’s article entitled “A Defense of Abortion” attempts to demonstrate through a series of hypotheticals that justice demands primary recognition of the autonomy of a woman. The articles by Don Marquis and Rosalind Hursthouse illustrate how “virtue ethics” might address the abortion issue. Finally, the article by Noonan from last week entitled “An Almost Absolute Value in History” provides you with an application of the pertinent natural law principles, including in its closing paragraphs, the rational power of the ultimate virtue of love. You are appreciated to the highest power there is 🙂 I placed this as three pages although the lengthy of 675 words not necessary just answering to the point and ensuring the knowledge is there again in own words no sources.
This is my Midterm test, there are open ended questions and multiple choice. All
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