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AS and A Level: Practical Questions

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  1. Evaluate a Utilitarian approach to Abortion.

    Firstly, Bentham?s version of utilitarianism, known as Act utilitarianism, is the most relevant theory to the issue of abortion. His theory remains teleological, using the outcome of an action to determine whether it is good or bad. With abortion being a personal issue, it seems that act utilitarianism is the most adequate theory because it looks at the consequences of an abortion, taking each situation into separate account of all others. This would then enable women who have been raped, for example, to choose whether they go ahead with the birth because they may not be able to live with

    • Word count: 1350
  2. Analyse the important features of Natural Moral Law

    has been clearly perceived in things?. Overall, Natural Law looks to nature to see the good in the world and it can also be illustrated as a deductive argument where good is the only possible conclusion from Natural Moral Law. A famous example of Natural Law from ancient Greek and Roman times is from the play Antigone. The burial of Antigone?s brother was forbeyed, however Antigone argued ?the state cannot overrule the immortal laws of the God?s? which was that the dead must be buried.

    • Word count: 807
  3. In what ways did the historical context from which virtue ethics emerged shape its basic principles?

    For example, an apple seed?s telos would be to grow into an apple tree and produce apples. Aristotle tells us that only humans are capable of using logos as a form of thought, and that all humans are, by nature, rational animals. Therefore, the human?s end purpose is to ?fulfill our human nature as rational animals by properly exercising our reason? and he also asserts that, ?only in this way can we be genuinely happy? (Brannigan, 2005:62). Furthermore, Aristotle states that all humans have one end goal ? eudaimonia (Greek for happiness), and that happiness is an ?intrinsic good?.

    • Word count: 2010
  4. The Ethics of Stealing

    Being ethical is also not the same as following the law. The law often encompasses ethical standards to which most people support. But laws, like feelings, are different to what is ethical. Slavery laws and the old Apartheid laws of present-day South Africa are horrifically clear examples of laws that stray from what is ethical. Being ethical is not the same as doing "whatever society accepts". In any society, most people accept standards that are, in fact, ethical. But standards of behaviour in society can deviate from what is ethical.

    • Word count: 1327
  5. 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
  6. Utilitarianism is the most helpful ethical approach when discussing the issues around abortion' Discuss.

    Despite this, many believe that war can be justified, if the good outweighs the evil. So using the same argument perhaps abortion could be defended as a moral choice, even if it were murder, on the same grounds? In my opinion this utilitarian approach has a number of problems. It is difficult to see how utilitarian principles could justify a violation of rights as serious as murder in order to avoid an outcome such as childbearing which can be viewed as something that is burdensome and which can be avoided with peaceful methods for example refraining from intercourse.

    • Word count: 665
  7. Capital Punishment - analyse the views of Ernest van den Haag and Hugo Adam Bedau,

    In such cases self defense should be practiced. In his famous speech ?The Ballot or the Bullet? delivered on April 13, 1964 he introduces his principle of self defense and his intentions to work ?non violently as long as the enemy is nonviolent? but also be ?violent when the enemy gets violent?. These are examples of his principles. There are other philosophers that approach the issue of capital punishment in more depth. Hugo Adam Bedau and Ernest van den Haag are two such philosophers who present their arguments to capital punishment.

    • Word count: 2565
  8. Should welfare payments be stopped for problem gamblers?

    This essay will be addressing the psychological reasons on why Welfare Payments should not be suspended for problem gamblers. The main arguments to support this case is that Gambling is an ongoing psychological problem and that it is immoral suspending welfare payments and will not stop the problem and that suspending welfare payments will lead to negative consequences for families involved. Instead of stopping welfare payments, they should still be given out as they are needed for necessities but an additional counselling program should be put into place by the government, as they have the resources to do so; so that people who are addicted can find a way out and still live comfortably.

    • Word count: 470
  9. All Genetic Engineering is essentially wrong Discuss.

    Sister or brother) could have another child and use it?s genetics to save the first child. However there are many religious and ethical dilemmas that arise. One is the views of the Catholic Church, many Catholics believe and argue that anything that happens is the will of god, and therefore any modification of genetic coding is immoral as Genetics are the work of God and you are not God. However, some ethics argue otherwise such as utilitarianism according to Bentham which would argue that this is morally correct as it would please the majority.

    • Word count: 528

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