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AS and A Level: Practical Questions

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  • Peer Reviewed essays 1
  1. Consider the arguments for and against paid organ donation.

    If anybody was willing to donate a kidney, most probably as a result of personal experience (for example, a relative or friend needing a transplant), they probably would have done so anyway without the money bonus, so there would seem not much point in paying the donors. Furthermore, in response to the idea that paid organ donation would encourage more people to come forward to donate, people generally donate organs altruistically to do good to society. If this motivation is taken away from them by paying donors, they will probably not want to donate because they would no longer see it as a selfless act.

    • Word count: 3087
  2. Business Ethics

    The power and influence of business in society is greater than ever before. Evidence suggests that many members of the public are uneasy with such developments. Business ethics helps us to understand why this is happening, what its implications might be, and how we might address this situation. 2.) Business have the potential to provide a major contribution to our societies, in term of producing the products and services that we want, providing employment, paying taxes, and acting as an engine for economic development, to name just a few examples that how or indeed whether, this contribution is made raises significant ethical issues that go to the heart of the social role in business in contemporary society.

    • Word count: 5103
  3. RE euthanasia for and against

    Suicide is not illegal, however, assisting it is. Anyone who tries to bring about the death of another is to blame.2 However, if the actions were done with the intention of compassion, a manslaughter charge can be issued instead of murder. Anyone found assisting suicide could be imprisoned for up to 14 years however for compassionate intentions, a suspended sentence can be issued.3 There is also an instance where euthanasia can occur and no charges can be brought about, this is called 'the double effect'.

    • Word count: 4134
  4. Capital Punishment

    It was partly because of the Christians that the act has been abolished. One of the key figures of the time was Pope John Paul II - he spoke of Capital Punishment as the 'culture of death'. In his encyclical 'Evangelium Vitae' he declared his 'near' total opposition to the death penalty, his 'near' opposition has only one case in which the punishment is appropriate "in cases of absolute necessity, in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today, however, as a result of steady improvement in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically nonexistent."4 At the time of voting for

    • Word count: 3531
  5. Essay on Law vs. Justice

    The mere fact that these practices are legal does not prevent them from being challenged on moral grounds. Just as it is possible for legal acts to be immoral, it is equally possible for illegal acts to seem morally preferable to following the law. As a society, we need to aim to promote high standards of behavior through an awareness of values, which may develop with practice and which may have to accommodate choice and liability to err. Furthermore, though ethical approaches cannot preempt the application of the law, they may well affect its future development or deal with situations beyond the scope of the law.

    • Word count: 3845
  6. Business Ethics

    In the second part, whistle blowing, as a practice of business ethics, will be defined in depth. We will then analyse two different case studies for a better understanding of whistle blowing, before reaching to a conclusion about the morality of this ethical behaviour. 1) Business Ethics Ethical thinking is not a new concept driven by the globalisation. All along the human history, different philosophers and thought schools have studied the concepts like judgement and ethics. First of all, there are teleology theories which define ethics with happiness.

    • Word count: 4616
  7. Utilitarianism VS Kantian Deontological Ethics

    Preference utilitarianism is yet another offshoot of the main theory, which defines the good to be maximised as the fulfillment of a person's preferences. Like any utilitarian theory, preference utilitarianism claims that the right thing to do is that which produces the best consequences; when defined in terms of preference satisfaction, the best consequences can include things other than pure hedonism, like reputation or rationality. Thus we can see, the theory of utilitarianism seems to make the best sense of our moral intuitions.

    • Word count: 3981
  8. Is there a tension between ethics and aesthetics in design? BA Design Yr2

    In the case of sustainability, it is only logical, at least in developed countries where our basic needs for survival are met, that there is a moral goal for ecological sustainability, which if unrealised threatens the current cultural way of life. As such I believe that the majority of designers hold this ethic even if they fail to practice sustainable design. One way a designer might achieve a level of sustainability comes from Victor Papanek's idea of 'Design for Disassemble' (DFD).

    • Word count: 3087
  9. Evaluate Korsgaard's discussion of the Universalizability Argument. In what ways does she conform with Kant and in what ways does she deviate? Do you think her argument is successful?

    The will is rational so the will must act for reasons of its own. This logically posits that the will (as free, rational, and causal) must have its own law or principle. This expresses that human will is autonomous. The will makes laws for itself. For Kant, the law of free will is the categorical imperative which is generally formulated as, "Act only on that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law". He argues that such general maxim can be expressed in four formulations.

    • Word count: 4281
  10. The Ethical Debate Concerning Cloning.

    A second argument for cloning starts with the idea of reproductive rights. This liberal view holds that every individual is entitled to the right to have a child as long as the child born is unharmed. Some philosophers point out that when talking about rights it is necessary to discern from whom these rights should come. This question is difficult to answer because it either assumes natural, God-given rights or requires that the state ensure the right to reproduce or both. A third view says that cloning will provide for the possibility of improvement by giving birth to children who are free of birth defects, because when any two people create a child through sex there is the possibility for genetic defects.

    • Word count: 8031
  11. Is Christ a Kantian?

    And as philosophers, we are naturally interested in asking the question, in a religious tone, why did God ever create two goals, instead of just one, which a man needs to attain? Why is that we need to be both happy men and yet also moral men, instead of merely just being one? Why didn't God create three instead of two, if two is better than one? Has God been drinking, since only a drunken will see one as two?

    • Word count: 20310
  12. `Always tell the truth and Always keep your promises' Kant's Categorical Imperative.

    A knife or a nuclear device are, in themselves, morally neutral. It is only the human mind which can make these implements work for good or ill. However, we ought to do so not because we would then save lives, or create better communities, or gain a reputation for courage and moral worth (although these may well be the result), but simply because it makes rational sense to abide by a universal rational law which asks us to consider whether we would want others to make similar choices about the knife or the nuclear device.

    • Word count: 4225
  13. The Dreamings as being fundamental to Aboriginal cultures & societies

    The diversity of expression of Aboriginal belief systems & spirituality today. REVIVAL OF ABOR. SPIRITUALITY ( REMODELLING THE TRADn ( emerged for both urban Abor. & those living in remote areas ( 2 powerful & encompassing images: ( Land as mother - grew out of land rights movement ( Rainbow serpent - grew fr. need to have a unifying creator spirit. ( both stories connect land-based nature of Abor. spir. ( provide transformed spir. continuity to urban Abor. EVANGELICAL REVIVALS ( MOVE TOWARDS INDIGENOUS CHURCH ( est'ment of Abor.

    • Word count: 3733
  14. With reference to the topic of abortion , examine and comment on the controversies, which arise from an issue or issues within medical ethics and how far these conflict with religious/moral principles

    The sanctity of life and the right to self-determination conflict with religious or moral principles because the sanctity of life declares that the fetuses? rights outweigh the rights of the mother, whereas the right to self-determination states that the mother has complete control over her body. Sanctity of life can be related to deontology. Deontology is based on moral law, which all humans have. Some humans hold the belief that God gave us these morals while others suggest they come naturally to humans.

    • Word count: 4111
  15. Examine and comment on the view that religious and/or moral principles provide essential guidelines for medical ethics with reference to abortions.

    Arnold Relman, editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, stated that the Nazi experiments were such a "gross violation of human standards that they are not to be trusted at all.? Medicine and ethics should be inextricably linked together because the purpose of science is doing what is considered right. It is good to restrict medicine to some extent to avoid inflicting distress upon civilisation, however it should not be completely controlled, as it would delay beneficial discoveries to those who need them most.

    • Word count: 3245
  16. Medical Ethics And Organ Transplants

    Willing donors must register online or through a form via the NHS to become a donor. You can choose which organs you wish to be donated, many feel that they do not wish to donate their eyes, more so their vital organs such as the heart or a kidney. It can also be the expressed wish of the relatives of the deceased to give consent of behalf of them. With the average of 9 thousand people needing and organ each year and only a third of this receiving one many feel that the system needs drastically changing in order to save more lives.

    • Word count: 3233
  17. Does the "War on Terror" mean the just war doctrine is dead?

    that is, even if a nation had every right to go to war, it can still be considered unjust if they failed to meet jus in bello principles. The traditional jus ad bellum recognizes a number of principles that must be met before taking military action which is; just cause, last resort, proportionality, legitimate authority, reasonable hope of success, and public declaration. The jus in bello likewise recognizes that states must; discriminate between combatants and non-combatants, and proportionality. The modern just war tradition, however, has steered away from the just war doctrine into a new chapter of just war tradition in the twenty first century, but the main principles of just war theory still remains in modern context.

    • Word count: 3031

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Discuss the view that only a religious ethic can provide an acceptable basis for medical ethics.

    "In conclusion I think that a religious ethic is by no means the only acceptable basis for medical ethics. Although some Christian ethics will provide a stable answer for every situation, an answer that will never change and therefore will have clear-cut boundaries, not every person in the world will ever be of the same religion, and therefore it cannot be universal. Therefore a non-religious ethic which everyone could agree on seems more acceptable, such as one that allows situations to be considered, because therefore a religious ethic could be used in certain circumstances if the people involved would like to do so, as that happens to be their own "situation"; similarly if someone does not want to apply a religious ethical theory then they are not obliged to do so, because again this option would apply to their situation. Therefore situationist ethics that are not based on religion can be made universal, allowing religious ethics to be applied or not according to the wishes of the people involved and this seems to me to be the only acceptable basis for medical ethics, an ethic that will allow for everyone's personal beliefs."

  • Discuss critically the belief that conscience is the voice of God.

    "To conclude, I do not firmly believe that conscience is the voice of God. Mainly because of the difficulties which arise with conflicting consciences. There are a number of religions with competing claims about truth, making people sincerely believe different things on a wide variety of ethical and religious issues. Also, atheists say that conscience is very important to them and if they do not believe in God then how can conscience be the voice of God? Surely if conscience was the voice of God then atheists would find it hard to have conscience in their lives."

  • Analyse and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of natural moral law as a definitive ethical theory

    "In trying to decide then, if natural moral law can be held as a definitive ethical theory one has to realise that although the theory isn't as rigid as it first appears it is still faced with problems, which may well, be insurmountable. The conclusions of the Roman Catholic Church regarding the prohibition of activities such as artificial contraception and homosexual acts, as already shown, can be subject to convincing challenge. It is also important to note that in the absence of clear guidelines it is impossible to know definitively what is and what is not natural and so therefore rendering the issue wholly subjective. Once an issue becomes subjective, and it is difficult to produce an instance when subjectivity would be absent, natural moral law has to fail as a definitive ethical theory."

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