1. Video Discussions-Three Quotes minimum required (three different sources about ETHICS other than the video) from text, powerpoint or articles from the Cal Poly
Pomona library website. When you quote make sure and list the page number or slide number or paragraph number in APA.
2. Book Discussions- When discussing the book you need the book and two more sources. Use “Google Scholarly” or the “Library Database” for additional sources (See
Library Research Tab on the Left in Bb). Do not use Wikipedia, dictionary, or a website (points will be taken off). When you quote make sure and list the page number
or slide number or paragraph number in APA (you must have a minimum of three quotes from different sources about ETHICS).
Papers must have a minimum of three ethical theory subheadings such as: Moral Universalism, Utilitarianism, Consequentialism, Kantian Ethics, Social Contract
Theory, Intuitionism, Virtue Ethics, Feminist Ethics, Moral Nihilism, and/or Ethical Explorations, Ethical Provocations, Conflicts as Creative Opportunities. You may
also use other ethical theory subheadings. Papers must also have an Introduction section and a Conclusion section with a subheading.
DO VIDEO DISCUSSION AND BOOK DISCUSSION SEPERATELY (MINIMUM 200 words each)
All your discussions need to bring in ethical theory while discussing the video and book.
Required book to read: Shafer-Landau, R. (2012). The fundamentals of ethics (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
All your weekly discussions need to bring in ethical theory while discussing the video and book.
Read: Shafer: Chapter 15 – Ethical Pluralism and Absolute Moral Rules
Chapter 16- Ethical Pluralism: Prima Facie Duties and Ethical…
Chapter 17 – Virtue Ethics,
Chapter 18 – Feminist Ethics
View Powerpoint that I upload – 10a, 11a and 13a
Audio Clip (make sure and view Powerpoint 11a to get background on this casey study):
Discussion Ideas: Possible points to discuss. What are the benefits received by Peruvians? What are the consequences of growing asparagus? What roles or influences
do consumers in the international community have? Solutions to water issue?
• What is the Doctrine of Double Effect? Describe a case in which the doctrine could be used as a source of moral guidance. Do you think the Doctrine of Double
Effect gives good advice in this case? What about in general?
• What do you think is the biggest attraction of Ross’s view? Explain why Ross’s view has this attraction and why some competing ethical theories do not. Is
this a sufficient reason to accept Ross’s theory or not?
• Describe the three traditional approaches to the question of how we come to know moral claims. Which do you find the most attractive, and why?
• What is a virtue? How are virtues acquired? Do you agree with Aristotle’s claim that virtue is essential to the good life? Why or why not?
• How do we come to have moral knowledge, according to virtue ethics? In what way does this account of moral knowledge differ from the accounts given by
previous theories? Which do you think is better, and why?
• In what ways have Western philosophers traditionally marginalized and shown disrespect for women? How does feminist ethics seek to address this problem?
Examples (format and length)
BOOK DISCUSSION EXAMPLE
When I first learned about the desire satisfaction theory, it was easy to believe that you have a good life if you get what you want and “what is good for one
person can conflict with what is good for other persons” (Arneson, 1999, p. 1). Who can argue with a statement like that? However, when presented with the case of
becoming disappointed after getting what you want, I realized that there are challenges to the theory. I applied this issue to my personal life, thinking about how I
would feel if I finally became a veterinarian, but ended up having to sacrifice all my good relationships to get there. To counter this issue, the desire theorists
readjust the theory to say that we must be “pleased as a result” of our satisfied desires (Landau, 2012, p. 53). I believe this is not a solution to the flaw of the
desire theory. This is like saying that you will get an A on your test…as long as you get all of the questions correct.
I do believe religion is a good source of moral guidance, but I don’t think religion is the only source of moral guidance. The Divine Command Theory says
that “ being good is equivalent to doing whatever the Bible, or some other sacred text of revelation tells you to do” (Hinman, n.d., p. 3). A problem with this theory
is it is based on the idea that God is, in fact, real. Whether God is or is not real, I believe that religion’s influence on morality is as strong as the faith that
people have in it. It is the strong faith that people have in their religion, that leads them to morality. However, religion is not the only source of morality. The
child of atheist parents can grow up to be perfectly moral based on the teachings of his or her’s parents.
Natural Law theory states that “good human beings are those who fulfill their true nature” (Landau, 2012, p. 74). The overwhelming question that this theory
creates is what exactly is humans’ nature. Seeing as there are so many people in the world, selecting any one part of what is suspected as human nature, can be fought
with an exception to it that certainly exists. With such exceptions to human nature in existence, the only thing that can be said for sure is that human nature is
ambiguous and cannot be defined in a single way. Continuing from that idea, I believe that morality based from human nature is also ambiguous. This allows for acting
in a way that contradicts human nature to still remain moral. For example, one of the purposes of human nature is survival. However, there is nothing immoral with a
mother sacrificing her life for her children, or our soldiers, sacrificing their lives for our freedom.
Arneson, R. J. (1999). Human Flourishing Versus Desire Satisfaction. Social Philosophy and Policy, 16(1), 113-142. Retrieved April 18, 2013, from
Hinman, Lawrence M. (n.d.a.) Basic Moral Orientation Overview. [Powerpoint slides].
San Diego, San Diego University.
Landau, R.S., (2012). The Fundamental of Ethics (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.
After watching this video, Monsanto seems to give the feeling as though they are trying to poison us. Monsanto has taken an extra step to further negatively
label their company as they introduce rBGH, otherwise known as recombinant bovine growth hormones, with Posilac as its trade name. The purpose of the rBGH injection
was to increase hormones of cows and evidently produce milk production. Although this may sound like a proficient production for the diary industry, there have been
negative effects on the cows injected with these hormones. While it may increase diary production, the injection of these hormones threatens our health (Robin, 2008,
The ethical concern that comes about is Monsanto’s concern with their profitability that they are willing to take every measure to keep their secrets of
potential risks. If the Monsanto were concerned about the public’s health, they would take extra measures to make sure that rBGH is safe. However, the FDA employees
that leaked biotechnology risks may have been morally right to let the public know of these secrets and potential risks to our health. The ethical theory that can be
applied to this predicament would be utilitarianism, “to maximize utility, not the minimum” (Hinman, 2002, slide 7). Although these leakages were announced during the
court and eventually to the public, they were later fired or had resigned because they felt that it was morally right to maximize the benefits of the public health.
Monsanto would be able to argue in their defense that information about rBGH and GMO should be kept confidential for the purpose of the future use and need for
biotechnology. Also, the increase of production is vital provide for the population, maximizing utility. However, critics, especially the consumers, would argue that
although it increases the availability of produce for the population, our life may be at risk. In defense, Monsanto may be trying to take a step to improve the
biotechnology, in this case, rBGH, therefore keeping these potential risks in secret. This brings upon the ethical theory of act utilitarianism, which is defined as
“an action is moral[ly] right if it produces the greatest happiness for the most people” (Velasquez, 2011, p. 612). Although people are unhappy and maddened by
Monsanto’s threatening deeds, is it possible that they wanted to test out this GMO in order to see if it would benefit the future, knowing they’ll be able to supply
for the nation. Yes, the consumers may have been at risks during that production period. However, it may have improved biotechnology as the scientists may have taken
extra measures towards improving these hormones, and hopefully eliminating any risks.
While the people affected by the rBGH during the 1990s, it is much smaller than the future. Biotechnology should not be entirely shunned upon because it is our
future. We may be dependent on that technology to produce sufficient amount of food for our growing population. Under social ethics, it is “understood as the
maximization of the global or average well-being or material growth in a society, and can justify a certain kind of relativism” (Renouard, 2011, p. 3). Therefore, it
may be that the usage of rBGH might maximize the growth of the society by increasing production to suit the needs of the population.
Robin, M.M., (Director). (2008). The world according to Monsanto [Documentary]. Canada: Productions Thalie, The National Film Board of Canada and WDR. Retrieved
4/10/13, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKABsyX6SM8&feature=related
Hinman, L. M. (2002). Utilitarianism [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from https://blackboard.csupomona.edu.
Velasquez, Manuel G. (2011). Philosophy: A Text with Readings. Australia: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.
Renouard, C. (2011). Corporate social responsibility, utilitarianism, and the capabilities approach. Journal of Business Ethics, 98(1), 85-97.
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