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AS and A Level: Practical Questions

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  1. Organizational behavior and Trends Paper

    The most frequent forms of business ethics literature today typically include: a) philosophical, which requires extensive orientation and analysis; b) anthologies, which require much time, review and integration; c) case studies, which require numerous cases, and much time and analyses to synthesize; and d) focus on social responsibility, which includes many examples of good and bad actions taken bycompanies. (This lack of practical information is not the fault of philosophers, academic or social critics. The problem is the outcome of insufficient involvement of leaders and managers in discussion and literature about business ethics. More leaders and managers must become involved.)

    • Word count: 738
  2. To what extent, if at all, should conscience be ignored when making ethical decisions?

    (Considering Conscience from Dialogue Magazine by David Torevell, p.21) According to Aquinas, our conscience should always be followed as our minds have a natural desire and ability to reason between 'right' and 'wrong' (recta ratio). Whether a rational or an intuitive approach is taken, Christian scholars have insisted on the importance of conscience. For John Henry Newman, conscience is the standard against which we will be judged. Despite the importance given to conscience, there may also be situations in which conscience conflicts with other ethical considerations. For instance, when speaking of active euthanasia, a utilitarian might claim that it would be 'right' to ignore your conscience and help the person relieve themselves from pain and suffering, and so creating the greatest good.

    • Word count: 2069
  3. Philosophy and Ethics: A look at Confucianism and Taoism and their Affects on the Ethics and culture of the Eastern World.

    "The Way" is to lead a modest life using the elements of silence and nature. Taoists argue that nature is the way and is the path to wise living; it makes life "simple and happy". According to Taoists, wisdom is held to the highest regard and is valued above goodness. The beginning of wisdom is silence, an ideal being is quiet, mature, and does to attempt to convince others what is true or false. The ideal being automatically knows this. The Tao is the essence of all that is right, complications are present in people's lives because they choose to make a conscience decision to complicate their lives.

    • Word count: 2111
  4. Kantian Ethics

    Kant says that, "...a good will is good not because of what it performs or effects." Treating the effects of an action as the standard of goodness is unstable. If the effects are the measure of the goodness of the act, goodness is not within the control of the actor. The effects of people's actions are reliant on a host of fundamental factors in the world around us. Kant next addresses what kind of motivation comprises a good will. He distinguishes acting out of duty from acting out of inclination. By inclination, Kant is referring to desire in the sense of human being's impulse and passion.

    • Word count: 1043
  5. What does being good mean for Kant.

    Kant says that the highest form of good is good will. He says that to have a good will is to do your duties, which is to perform actions that are morally necessary, and to avoid actions that are morally forbidden. Kant believes that we should do our duty because it is our duty to do it! But he doesn't think that it's morally a good action if you perform a moral action out of desire for the good consequence, because our interest to do so isn't a moral action.

    • Word count: 1041
  6. Our freedom to make ethical choices is only an apparent freedom. Discuss

    The older and more independent we appear to be the more of these constraints we are compelled with. These choices we make can be applied to morality. There are many ways in which our freedom, in reality, is limited. By law we are restricted to acts that systems of government deem acceptable. Social acceptance means the majority to act within a bracket of normality and within bounds of what is socially acceptable. If I wanted to go to school naked on every Friday I would socially and lawfully be unable to this. Therefore I am not free to express myself due to external laws forced upon me against my free will.

    • Word count: 1471
  7. Assess Kant's philosophy: How successful do you find his approach?'

    the duty would be to the moral law, which is generated by the application of reason. He believes that to do something out of duty is to do it simply because it is the right thing to do. If a moral agent acts merely out of duty because it is the right thing to do then Kant would ascribe them moral praise. However, if they performed the same action but for a different reason (such as personal gain) then Kant would say that they had acted in line with duty and deserve neither moral praise nor blame as they still performed the right action just for the wrong reason.

    • Word count: 1221
  8. Assess Critically the Claim that Situation Ethics Provides a Better Method of Solving Moral Problems than Any Set of Moral Rules.

    Fletcher also held that "love wills the neighbours good, whether we like him or not." His fifth presupposition basically states that only the end justifies the means, i.e. love is the end, never the means to something else. Finally, Fletcher proposed that loves decisions should made "situationally, not prescriptively". At first glance, you could easily say that Situation Ethics appears to be the fairest and most loving method of tackling moral issues, particularly if you compared Situation Ethics to Kant's Categorical Imperative.

    • Word count: 1182
  9. If ethics are an individual's belief about what is right or wrong or good or bad, then how can managers encourage organisational members to act ethically?

    Businesses need to develop the kind of environment that promotes ethical development and they can only do that from the top down (Orme and Ashton, 2003). As businesses need to develop an ethical environment for their organisation, members of top management can do a number of things to encourage organisational members to act ethically. In order to successfully carry out this idea of having organisational members acting ethically is to implement a comprehensive ethics program. This program will consist of several different actions which include hiring individuals with high ethical standards, establish codes of ethics and decision rules, lead by example, delineate job goals and provide ethical training (Robbins et al., 2003).

    • Word count: 2082
  10. To what extent should our emotions be considered an important aspect of our ethical and aesthetic judgments?

    More refined systems were cultivated by the classical Greeks and Romans and later revived by renaissance Europeans. First when I thought about aesthetical judgements I couldn't find any other factors than emotions on which those judgements can be based. But later I discovered that some of our aesthetical judgements are not only based on emotions. They are most of the time implicated but are combined with other like: reason, experience or logic. That idea has its fundaments in Wolff's and Baumgarten`s works. Also Kant, like them, considered Logic and Aesthetics as conjoined sciences. He described it in his 'Scheme of Lectures', where he proposed to "throw a glance at that of taste, that is to say, at Aesthetic, since the rules of one apply to the other and each throws light upon the other."

    • Word count: 1859
  11. It is important to know right from wrong.

    In my opinion war isn't murder. If both sides have weapons and neither side has a choice because if they don't shoot first then they'll end up dead. It's a no win situation. However, a person who commits murder can have a choice. Murders can happen due to jealous or revenge or even pure hate of the person. But the murderer has a choice or whether or not to take someone else's life. There is an exception in my opinion of somebody who is beaten up or constantly being injured by his or her spouse.

    • Word count: 924
  12. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Natural Law.

    It is equally important to mention that human actions that are not in the pursuit of perfection can be explained as being an 'apparent good', and therefore a sin is committed when an individual becomes less than he or she is intended by God; the human qualities that reason suggests are required in order to live a moral life consist of the four cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance, compared to the seven capital vices (often referred to as the 'seven deadly sins')

    • Word count: 1194
  13. How moral a historian is Herodotus?

    Herodotus was an Athenian by birth, and it comes as no surprise that his writing had its leanings towards the rest of Greece and Athens in particular and that his account is somewhat biased. However in the case of the Persians, Herodotus constantly throughout his account is attempting to emphasize their arrogance and 'Hubris' or lack of respect for the gods. 'Having left none of them alive, they stripped the temple of its treasure and burnt everything on the acropolis.'

    • Word count: 590
  14. The dilemma regarding the AIDS inflicted citizens in Africa is a modern day paradox.

    To approach the issue from Kant's perspective, it is important to first delineate the considerations Kant would reason to be the most morally relevant when attempting to provide a conclusion. In his work, Kant clearly outlines three general principles about moral duties as well as other considerations which can are applicable to the situation. First of all, it would be essential to determine if giving inferior treatment to uneducated individuals in Africa is a choice based on a sense of duty, or if ulterior aims might exist.

    • Word count: 1139
  15. Explain what scholars mean when they say that ethical statements are no more than expressions of opinion.

    The logical positivists only accepted two types of verifiable language. These were firstly, 'analytic' or 'a priori' propositions. Such statements do not depend on experience, but on knowledge acquired separately from it. Analytic propositions can be said to be true before experience, because their denial would involve a contradiction. For example, we know the statement ' 2 + 2 = 4' to be true without having to test it. It would be impossible to claim '2 + 2 = 5' because it would completely contradict what we know to be correct, and this could be proven by testing the statement mathematically.

    • Word count: 2074
  16. Meta-ethics is about the ways in which people understand how moral language is used, rather than about finding answers to moral issues. Discuss.

    There are three main group distinctions in Meta-ethics, Ethical naturalism, Ethical non-naturalism (intuitionism), and Ethical non-cognitivism (emotivism). Ethical naturalist theories state that ethical language can be used in exactly the same way as language in other areas of human debate, as a factual concept. Therefore saying that a person is morally good or bad is the same sort of factual statement as saying someone was born in 1972. The date of birth of the person can be found by looking up in records and from accounts of people who were there.

    • Word count: 1355
  17. TQM (total quality management).

    Whistle blowing may seem ethical to society but it is unethical to the organization itself. From this conflicting factor, it can create problems for both the whistle blower and the organization (manager) itself. There are a number of problems that arise for the employee who is whistle blowing : * First is that the employer may retaliate by dismissing the employee who is whistle blowing as he or she may view this action as not staying loyal to the manager.

    • Word count: 2126
  18. Explain the main ethical principle of Christianity.

    Jesus himself did act differently around different people but he never acted as if someone was worthless or not. He had and showed equal love for everyone. Love is given the prominent place in Christian ethics. Agape love is the unique word found in the New Testament for attitude considered to be the suitable relationship between god and his people and from the people to others. The proposed course of an action must work, it cannot be a one in a million chance the odds have to be likely and must works towards the end, agape love. The best possible way in order to explain the use of agape love is found in Matthew 5:21 onwards.

    • Word count: 1392
  19. In this essay I will be looking at Ethics and the importance of using a code of Ethics.

    I will explain some of the benefits of adhering to a code of ethics. The code provides a framework for counsellors to consult when an ethical dilemma occurs, it will provide guidance. This guidance serves also to improve the quality of service given to the client. The framework also helps the counsellor and client to identify malpractice. The code also enhances the image of counselling practise in general. The code has left itself open and can be added to for future improvement. The initiators of the code are self regulating and self governing. Each counsellor has their own personal moral qualities which are of the utmost importance to the client.

    • Word count: 2118
  20. Utilitarianism essay.

    Bentham believed that it is simply the quantity of pleasures that counts and that all pleasures had equal value and that one pleasure is no better then another. E.g. Playing chess has the same pleasure value as eating crisps. The hedonic calculus was developed as a way of measuring the amounts of pleasure and pain according to seven criteria: 1. It's intensity 2. It's duration 3. It's certainty or uncertainty 4. It's propinquity or remoteness 5. It's fecundity or the chance of it has of being followed by sensations of the same kind.

    • Word count: 1231
  21. 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
  22. Is there any ethical/framework/research that can play any part in analysing the real world ethical problem today?

    of the business to find a place where they could get cheap labour and get a cheaper product than they would get when producing in US. This is not illegal, but companies doing this should think about bringing the same ethics and moral that they have in their markets in their own countries. This is something that Wal-Mart completely ignored. There are several ethical theories that serve to explain why certain types of actions are ethical, unethical, moral right or (moral)

    • Word count: 2295
  23. Explain Kant's Categorical Imperative.

    So he concludes "Duty is the necessity to act out of reverence for the law." The categorical imperative is a powerful set of moral principles that prohibit acts that would be commonly considered wrong such as theft, murder, fraud or violence. The set of rules apply to everyone and that command respect for human life. It tells us what we "ought" to do; "All imperatives command either hypothetically or categorically...if the action would be good simply as a means to something else, then the imperative is hypothetically; but if the action is represented as good in itself...then the imperative is categorical."

    • Word count: 1416
  24. Management Ethics.

    The desire for profit and expansion, rather than a concern for societal health, has dictated big tobacco company operations. These wealthy world powers continue to exercise unethical business practices in their approach to conducting business at a great communal and economic cost to societies worldwide. Ethics could be defined as a collection of moral principles and values regarding right and wrong that control individual and group behaviour. Standards for ethical behaviour and decisions arise from those moral principles and values. An individual or group may benefit or harm others in society. Human behaviour may be categorised in one of three ways: codified law, free choice, or ethics. Laws enforced by the government provide values and standards society must obey.

    • Word count: 1429
  25. What is Meta-ethics?

    Hume's most famous argument is that 'an ought can't be derived from an is'1. In other words, a statement of evaluation or value cannot be derived from a statement of fact. For example: the factual statement 'all cats have fleas, Tom is a cat' cannot lead onto an evaluation of 'therefore we should ban him from all of the bedrooms. The only thing that can be proven in this argument is that Tom has fleas. The gap between the facts to the belief is called the naturalistic fallacy.

    • Word count: 1559

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