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AS and A Level: Practical Questions

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  1. Virtue Ethics is of little use when applied to environmental issues

    It instead suggests that in order to make ourselves more virtuous and to achieve the ideal of eudaimonia, we must objectively develop a virtuous understanding of our place in the environment. This is just one way in which virtue ethics is effective when applied to environmental issues. As eudaimonia is the prime objective virtue ethics encourages human flourishing and human development. It does not focus on what is important for humanity to survive as utilitarianism explains, but instead on what would make an environmentally good person who can survive.

    • Word count: 896
  2. Religion and Morality

    The Divine Command Theory tells us that our morals are set by a divine power: God. This means everything that God tells us is moral and that we should not judge this as it is the word of God, and God's word is good. But surely, if we are just doing what God says, this takes away our free will, which God gave us, and it undermines the basis of Christianity, when God has said he wants us to choose him rather than to be forced to follow him.

    • Word count: 1045
  3. Whilst Deontology has its attractions it fails to provide a reliable foundation for moral decision making Examine and evaluate this claim

    The hypothetical imperative normally starts sentence with an if e.g. if you wish to complete a good essay you must spend time on it, where as a categorical imperative tells you that you should do something, e.g. you should brush your teeth in the morning. This then was devised into three different rules on how to live your life; The Universal Law, Treat Humans as Ends in Themselves and Act as if you live in a Kingdom of Ends. Kant's second principle in the categorical imperative, 'So act that you treat humanity, both in your own person and in the

    • Word count: 1272
  4. Natural Law. To achieve the final cause in life, Aquinas set out cardinal virtues. These virtues were made by the Stoics and they reflect moral life, they are as followed; prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance.

    He believed that justice was an absolute; this meant that only intrinsically good or bad. Kant said that only good will is a good so if someone acts out of good will, their exterior and interior acts will be good. b) On the other hand, people argue that Natural Law fails to be a practical ethical theory. A major weakness to this theory is the primary precept of worship God. The main weakness to this is not everyone believes in God so how can they worship God if they don't believe in him. It is not a practical theory if some people can obey God as it is their religions and others cannot put the theory into practise as they don't believe in a religion.

    • Word count: 920
  5. Ethical Issues Involved In The Legislation of Euthanasia?

    A Deontological Ethic is that you have to regard the nature of the act itself. Deontological ethics means obligation or duty and is an approach to ethics that focuses on the rightness or wrongness of actions themselves, as opposed to the rightness or wrongness of the consequences of those actions. It is sometimes described as "duty"- or "obligation"-based ethics, because deontologists believe that ethical rules "bind you to your duty". This means that if we are looking at Euthanasia, we have to consider the action taking part in the commitment of euthanasia.

    • Word count: 2181
  6. Abosolute and Relative morality

    There is no objective morality, or if there is it cannot be discovered; decisions are not related to anything that is absolute so there is not point trying to establish moral rules. A perfect example of the two beliefs being combined is the countries judicial system; in simple the judicial system does not treat every case of murder for example as the same, they weigh up the circumstances of the unique situation and judge weather their actions where carried out with malice intent or just cause.

    • Word count: 583
  7. Discussion of abortion

    There are many different groups of people who campaign for and against abortion. 'The National Abortion Campaign' campaign for the right of the woman, so they agree with abortions. Whereas 'SPUC' and 'Life' campaign against abortions because they believe everyone has the right to life. There are many different teachings a catholic could use in a discussion about abortion. Roman Catholics place the highest value on life, and they believe that every life is precious. Catholics feel very strongly about the topic of abortion.

    • Word count: 1815
  8. Absolutism is a more useful tool to make moral decisions than relativism. Discuss.

    On the other hand, a Relativist would take into account the social norms, religious views and-most of all- the situation. They think that just because something is right in one case, it doesn't necessarily mean that it is right in another case (it isn't universally correct like an absolutist would presume). Before making their judgement they would look at the situation closely. Absolutists would, most probably, have these definite opinions about whether something is definitely right or wrong because of evidence they have seen or they have been told is correct.

    • Word count: 1380
  9. Explain the difference between moral relativism and cultural relativism

    King Darius showed the variety of ways different cultures treated the dead. The Greeks burned the dead whereas The Calllataire ate theirs. Darius decided to offer the two to swap their ways of treating the dead with each other. Both declined as they felt the other cultures way of treating the dead immoral. People's morals are dependant on the cultures they are brought up on and as relativist JL Mackie said, "there are no objective values." This means that there is not a certain set of correct moral values and that morals are changeable in individual events.

    • Word count: 1474
  10. Explain Anselm ontological argument

    Anslem starts his argument b saying God 'that than which noting greater can be conceived.' According to this definition God, is the greatest, most perfect being possible. Then Anslem goes on further to argue that God must exist or it would not be 'that then which noting greater can be conceived. Anslem's has two arguments written in his book Proslogion. In his first argument he says that god exist, both in understanding and in reality.

    • Word count: 483
  11. Hick's views on body and soul

    We are as we are because of our genetic make up, not the efforts of our souls. Hick's view is that a person includes both physical and mental, the human being is therefore a 'psycho physical unity'. According to Hicks what lives after death is a replica or a duplicate. It is God who creates the replica, once we die. Hick's views are in keeping with the Christian doctrine of resurrection as outlined by St Paul in 1 Corinthians: 'When buried, it is ugly and weak: when raised, it will be beautiful and strong. .....There is, of course, a physical body, so there has to be a spiritual body.'

    • Word count: 896
  12. Explain how the ethics of Religion you have studied might approach issues surrounding euthanasia.

    This concept is referred to as the sanctity of life. Catholic teaching argues against euthanasia for the reason that it believes in the positive significance of suffering. Pope John Paul II has written 'It is suffering, more than anything else, which clears the way for the grace which transforms the souls.' The Roman Catholic Church teaches ordinary treatments for the dying such as feeding must always be continued, but those 'extraordinary' treatments such as a complicated operation that is unlikely to succeed, need not to be given. In terms of natural law, the advancement of medical technology has produced an ethical grey area.

    • Word count: 855
  13. Relativist Ethical Theory

    You decide the rightness of an action by the end it produces. A choice that results in a good end is morally better than one that results in a bad end. Joseph Fletcher's view on laws was that there are no absolutist values or laws. The exception being the law of Agape, the law of love. Situation ethics is seen by most ethical scholars to be the middle ground between legalism and antinomian relativism. Fletcher also put forward the idea that Jesus was a situationist, rather than most thought, an absolutist. Traditional Christian thinkers rejected situation ethics.

    • Word count: 989
  14. Does a declaration of war justify behaviour that would be unacceptable in peacetime?

    There are also behaviors such as propaganda, espionage and deliberate infringement of human rights that are more doubtful and are usually seen as unacceptable in peacetime. Certain examples of violent behaviour in peacetime in hindsight appear unacceptable, yet at the time those guilty were not prosecuted. There have been a number of incidents when armed Police officers have shot dead suspects who were not carrying a weapon. None of the police officers who killed those people were convicted. This is because killing in defence of innocent life is acceptable in peacetime, and the boundaries and conditions can be bended to suit the individual.

    • Word count: 849
  15. Which is more immoral, homosexuality or society's attitude towards it?

    Many people remain hostile towards homosexuality. Christian views, formed by the literal interpretation of the Bible, deem homosexuality incompatible with the Church. Although Jesus' teaching does not include anything on the issue, the church he founded stemmed from Jewish tradition. The law commanded: 'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable' (Lev. 18.22) and clearly this refers to sexual conduct. It goes on to promote the death penalty for such practices, and clearly this is referring to consensual relationships: 'They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own hands'

    • Word count: 1054
  16. How far is killing in warfare more justifiable than other kinds of killing?

    Obviously, in this case killing in war is no different, except possibly even more atrocious merely due to the much higher death toll. There are different kinds of pacifists. Christian absolutists believe that violence can be overcome by suffering. Like Jesus, such pacifists reason that turning the other cheek can be more powerful and meaningful than any violence. Political pacifists, such as Martin Luther King, have been notably successful in the past through non violent protest. For instance, the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott had hundreds of blacks avoid public transport in order to change the current segregation laws.

    • Word count: 925
  17. Is the term 'Just War' now outdated?

    or 'jus in bello' (justice in the conduct of battle). Later, Thomas Aquinas connected and organized the theory; in the Summa Theologicae he discussed the justifications for going to war. The legitimate authority principle prevented civil uprisings and feudal wars. Originally, the King was anointed and seen as responsible before God for his military actions; thus only the King had the right to wage war on God's enemies. However throughout history this has been challenged; for instance, the Communist revolution violently established new authority over the previously existing autocratic ruler.

    • Word count: 859
  18. Anaylse of the critiques of Religion and Morality.

    Now, if the theist holds that only morally good acts are willed by God, then they become morally good prior to, or independent of, his will and subsequently his existence. God is, in effect, diminished of all his power, since he defers to some kind of higher set of absolute value judgements. Although, if the theist holds that moral values are true by virtue of God's command (divine command theory) then, if they had not been commanded, would they still be wrong?

    • Word count: 1305
  19. The arguments for and against the view that morality is dependant on religion, and to what extent is it more reasonable to argue that morality is independent of religion

    Many theists would argue that goodness is something intrinsic to God by definition, therefore there's no argument, and God is good. And Morality is dependant on Gods authority. So for them, good is always doing what God wills at any moment, because if there was no God to command moral actions then nothing would be forbidden or obligatory and everything is equally morally permitted. "God cannot be obligated to any act. With Him a thing becomes right solely because he wants it so."

    • Word count: 1218
  20. What are the advantages and disadvantages of utilitarianism, what are the main problems of utilitarianism and to what extent does this make utilitarianism un-acceptable?

    "Nature has placed mankind under governance of two sovereign masters; pleasure and pain. It's for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as determine what we shall do". Bentham stated that the "rightness" or the "wrongness" is determined by the amount of pleasure caused by the action, or its usefulness. This is a democratic theory, as in the action chosen must do the greatest good for the greatest majority, or amount of people, or brings the largest amount of pleasure to that group. Bentham stated that "An action is right if it produces the greatest good for the greatest number" he proposed the "Hedonic calculus" to measure the results of these actions.

    • Word count: 1072
  21. Explain Kant(TM)s moral argument for the existence of God and Kant was wrong to suggest that we all share a sense of right and wrong(TM) Discuss

    Kant believed that this idea of morality or conscience was direction from God. Kant said that we all understand what is moral and what under morality our duty is, Kant's categorical imperative states that a moral action can only be taken by making a decision with a sense of duty and good will. Kant took this idea and applied it to the idea of a God. Kant said that all moral actions are geared towards achieving the ultimate good which he called the 'summum bonum' a perfect set of affairs. It is in all our natures according to Kant to strive towards this ultimate goal.

    • Word count: 1108
  22. Should euthanasia be legalised in the UK?

    It's very understandable that they would not want this, as you or me may agree. But then if they did decide they wanted to die, it is not even legal to expect euthanasia in Britain. Is it really fair to send a highly incapacitated human being to a far away country just to end their suffering? They can't work for a living so they are possibly not going to have the money to travel far and what if they wanted to die with their family in the country they previously lived their life in?

    • Word count: 880
  23. Should we have a right to die?

    of low standard and therefore they may want to consider euthanasia as a way to end their life to stop the suffering for them and their family. Surely if they have lived their life and made all the decisions they have made then they should be able to choose if they want to die. It shouldn't be the doctors or anybody else's opinion. If we humans have autonomy then shouldn't we able to make every decision that we come across?

    • Word count: 988
  24. natural law

    These are to reproduce, learn and develop potential, live harmoniously in society and worship god. These precepts are moral absolutes and under no circumstances can be broken. Natural law is therefore a deontological theory. According to Aquinas natural law was the, "moral code which human beings are naturally inclined towards." There are also the secondary precepts to take into account, which are the rules and regulations which help us achieve these aims. These are actually man made laws which are based on God's principles.

    • Word count: 1287
  25. Virtue Ethics

    Virtues are not just good acts, but good qualities or a good mindset but vices are not. There are also two types of vice - vice of deficiency and vice of excess. If virtues are good acts, you can obviously have too much virtue or too little virtue and these are the vices. For Aristotle there were twelve virtuous acts. For example, courage - Aristotle would say that you could be too courageous and then you would rash. You could also not be modest enough, and then you would be a coward; both of which are bad qualities.

    • Word count: 917

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