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University Degree: Religion in Society

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  1. Outline and critically discuss the main argument of Durkheim's Suicide. In what sense is this work distinctively sociological? Durkheim figured out and

    People are attached to think for the interests of society as a whole. They share similar values, similar thoughts, thus stronger conscience collective (Lukes, S. 1973). In contrast, organic solidarity refers to modern societies that based on the division of labour which are predominant in more advanced societies. These societies are relatively complex, highly differentiated with larger population. Societies are much more interdependent, the social bonds are relatively strong and with higher material and moral density. The law using to rule these societies, restitutive law, is really helping in the restoration of relationship.

    • Word count: 1745
  2. This essay will critically explore the contribution made by Cohen to the world of criminology. The focus will be on the key areas of Cohen's work, experiences and beliefs. Starting with his earliest work Folk Devils and Moral Panics (1972

    But the views and ideas of Stanley Cohen have still inspired and educated despite the climate in which we live. This essay will critically explore the contribution made by Cohen to the world of criminology. The focus will be on the key areas of Cohen's work, experiences and beliefs. Starting with his earliest work Folk Devils and Moral Panics (1972). A popular expression, although widely misused, moral panics have in many cases, proved an elusive and complex term to understand.

    • Word count: 2211
  3. Ethical Philosophy.

    They were in no sense a school or even a single movement since they did not have a common set of doctrines nor any shared organization. Their intellectual activities included the inquiry of nature and mathematics, from which developed a systematic study of techniques of persuasion and argument, which included the beginnings of the study of language in various forms, including grammar, literary criticism, and semantics. Defining what is right seemingly came easy to the Sophists. They basically concluded, embracing moral relativism, that morals are dependent upon the practices and norm accepted by a social group at a specific time and place.

    • Word count: 749
  4. In the article "The Right to Die", Patrick Nowell-Smith addresses the moral issue of euthanasia.

    It is appropriate to begin this summary with a brief understanding of these definitions. First, the practical moral issue surrounding euthanasia, is concerned with whether it is morally permissible for a person to end the life of another person who chooses to die. Active euthanasia is deemed the 'killing' of a person, however, if you let them die, it is referred to as passive euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia is "at the request or consent of the person(Nowell-Smith,p32)" and involuntary, then refers to the loss or lack of consent. Nowell-Smith puts forward the issue of whether or not a person holds the right to die when he or she want and how he or she want to, especially when suffering from a disease and being kept alive by the 'inhumane' processes of modern medicine.

    • Word count: 1378
  5. The life and works of Emile Durkheim

    a conservative and a socialist" (cited in Lukes 1977) The introduction of this book finishes with Durkheim's key concepts (class consciousness, division of labour, conscious collective, representation collectives...) Lukes then introduces us with Durkheim's background, his childhood. David Emile Durkheim was born on 15 April 1858 at Epinal, the capital town of Vosges, in Lorraine. His father Moise Durkheim was a rabbi of Epinal since 1830. His mother, Melanie grew up in a close-knit orthodox Jewish family. Durkheim however like his father, grandfather, great grandfather...

    • Word count: 1434
  6. Discuss the key differences between the two statements "Cannibalism is practised by 8% of the population of Bearsden" and "Cannibalism is morally wrong".

    Therefore I can only suppose that this is true, the only way I could disprove it would be to conduct my own analysis of the popuation of Bearsden, e.g. by use of a survey, and come up with my own statistics to challenge it. To me the statement is clearly a fact, one which I cannot dispute. The second statement that I am faced with, "Cannibalism is morally wrong" appears to be opinion. I conclude this because the statement has no figur in it, no statistic, nothing which can lead me to believe that it could be scientifically proven.

    • Word count: 534
  7. Physicians Assisting in Euthanasia Should be Legal.

    It was sometimes allowed in these civilizations to help others die. Voluntary euthanasia was approved in these ancient societies (Encarta 98). As time passed, religion increased, and life was viewed to be sacred. Euthanasia in any form was seen as wrong. The word Euthanasia originated from the Greek language: eu means "good" and thanatos means "death". One modern meaning given to the word is "the intentional termination of life by another at the explicit request of the person who dies." (Encarta 98). There are three types by which euthanasia can occur, passive, active and involuntary euthanasia.

    • Word count: 2091
  8. Demonstrate that you can think sociologically about any one topic analysed by sociologists.

    He concluded that the society had a part in affecting the individual and the act of suicide. Durkheim according to the concept of social solidarity believed that there were two types of bonds in society one being social integration and the other social regulation. Individuals who were integrated soundly into society and who lived by social norms were less likely to commit suicide. Durkheim from these conclusions identified four types of suicide. Firstly egotistic suicide is due to a low integration in society. This is when an individual is secluded from the outside world. Where the individual has lost or broken their ties with society.

    • Word count: 1141
  9. What does it mean to say that moral judgements are subjective? Is the claim plausible?

    For example, in some cultures it was seen as moral to kill yourself if your husband died. Nowadays however suicide in any form is seen as immoral. How can two contradictory ideas concerning morality be true if morality was indeed objective? Here is an argument to show that this is not possible. Premise 1 Morality is objective Premise 2 In Culture X suicide is objectively immoral Premise 3 In Culture Y suicide is objectively moral Conclusion 1: Suicide is objectively moral Conclusion 2: Suicide is objectively immoral The conclusions obviously contradict each other and therefore must be false.

    • Word count: 1679
  10. In Sidney Hook's, "In Defense of Voluntary Euthanasia," the author explains why he thinks Euthanasia should be allowed.

    Right away he establishes the rhetorical appeal of ethos. Hook then points out how he had had to endure violent and painful hiccups, for several day and nights. These hiccups prevented him from digesting food and half of his body became paralyzed. In this first paragraph the author seems to be just explaining all the pain and misery he endured during the worst times of his health. This informs the audience of the author's background. He sates how at one point his heart stopped pumping, and he lost consciousness.

    • Word count: 1217
  11. What is 'moral panic'? What does the concept tell us about crime and criminality? Support your discussion with at least four identified examples of moral panics experienced in the past.

    The case was made to look unique and create a huge scare. The emphasis of the parents occupations, the stepfather an ex drug squad leader and the stepmother a nurse who goes round schools teaching children about the dangers of drugs, was recognised. The event was further reinforced in the public eye when it became related to comments made by members of Pop Bands East 17 and Oasis. Brian Harvey of East 17 had stated in an interview "ecstasy is harmless" and could bring out the good in people (Thompson, 1998, p53).

    • Word count: 2297
  12. Is abortion a morally just practice?

    He outlines the basic argument as: Premise one: It is wrong to kill an innocent human being. Premise two: A human foetus is an innocent human being. Conclusion: Therefore it is wrong to kill a human foetus. As it is universally morally condoned to take the life of an innocent human being it is the second premise that has promoted the most discussion. At the heart of this discussion is at what point life begins. Singer states that whilst it is hard to get upset about a cluster of cells without a single anatomical feature, the other extreme is killing an innocent human being.

    • Word count: 2807
  13. Can winning the lottery promote suicidal tendencies?

    However those who have won the lottery are in a group totally different from others. The results are tragic and unnecessary. The newly rich take their own lives for a plethora of reasons, although none of these reasons should actually constitute an attempt at suicide. What is it then, that brings a new millionaire to commit suicide? What factors lead to suicidal tendencies on the part of the lottery winner? The enigma of lottery winner suicide is multidimensional. The major theories on suicide can be categorised into three fundamental causes.

    • Word count: 1456
  14. Suicide - A Study in Sociology with reference to Emile Durkheim

    However, it is argued - if not generally accepted - that Durkheim's study is "much more important." (Halbwachs, 1978, p 4). As declared above, Durkheim was attacked due to his extensive use of statistics in showing suicide rates within different social contexts. It is certainly a fact that statistics can be unreliable (see below, with particular regard to Taylor's discussion of coroners), but they do provide a basis from which to start. Even Taylor, who is sceptical of statistical analysis, concedes that if suicide were purely an individual action, all suicide rates would be "random and not consistent," (Taylor, 1982, p 5)

    • Word count: 2768
  15. Explain why it is central to Kant's moral philosophy that we treat people, including ourselves, never as means but always as ends?

    The contribution of the second formulation to decisions about moral actions will be considered as well as contradictions within the imperative. Kant's first formulation of the Categorical Imperative sets out that moral actions are those which can be equally applied to all rational beings, as he illustrates in the following way: 'act only on those maxims that you can at the same time will as universal laws'. The second formulation, or the Formula of Humanity, has greater implications in terms of the question posed.

    • Word count: 3602
  16. Teenage Wasteland.

    Some people say that the billboard ads that read "Welcome to loserville for a teenage smoker" are antismoking enough. This is sorely untrue. The ads for tobacco products have depicted attractive people who are most likely thin and tone, having the time of their lives while smoking. This is still attracting teenagers to the thought that smoking will guarantee a good time. Another way the tobacco companies target young people is by using mascots. The Camel brand cigarettes had a mascot by the name of Joe Camel. This attracted the youth to smoking by giving them a loveable character that they become infatuated with.

    • Word count: 761
  17. Did you people know that over 800,000 people choose to end their life by committing suicide each year.

    So what do we mean by suicide. It doesn't have any clear definition but we can say that if a person who is fed up of life, feels defeated or foresees a future defeat, when kills himself, he is said to be committing suicide. People are a tiny bit unsure, somewhere deep inside, about whether to end their life or not. So then why does a person commit suicide? As the definition says - maybe he is fed up of life, feels defeated or thinks that a possible defeat awaits for him in the near future.

    • Word count: 806
  18. Universal Law Calls for the Dismissal of Politics: An Analysis of Kant's Philosophy on the Morals And It's Correlation to his Political Theories

    Kant addressed all three of these complex and controversial issues with the idea of a Universal Law, which connected his moral theories to his political ones. Immanuel Kant was born in K�nigsberg, Germany, on April 22, 1724. He began his college education at Fredericaianum College, studying the classics, but later developed an obsession for mathematics and physics, which he studied at the University of K�nigsberg. After he acquired his doctorate, he became a professor at the university, where he taught science and mathematics for fifteen years. However, as his career developed, he acquired a desire to learn and teach philosophy.

    • Word count: 1995
  19. The term moral panic is a popular expression yet it has been widely misused.

    Harold Innis and Marshall McLuhan (1950, 1951) argued that the media influence society more in terms of how they communicate than what they communicate as the "medium is the message" which influences people's behaviour and attitudes.9 Cohen believes that there are three different aspects of media reporting which he thought was necessary to the fuelling of moral panic: exaggeration and distortion, prediction and symbolisation.10 Following the exaggeration and distortion of reports by the media, the media has a way of exaggerating the seriousness of events by way of using misleading pictures and catchy headlines.

    • Word count: 1774
  20. Describe in your own words how the deviancy amplification spiral operates to produce 'moral panic', illustrate with two examples.

    Once the activity is reported, it becomes an "available option" for others of a similar disposition to immitate. As the frequency of its occurrence (actual or percieved) increases, so does the coverage and depth of reporting. The activities of the press, in this respect, are a prime example. This is especially so where exaggeration and sensationalised reporting are used. Moral panic is a natural by product of the deviancy amplification spiral. Where all instances of a given activity are reported, the true level of it will be magnified.

    • Word count: 677
  21. Absolutism And Relativism.

    Absolutism gives clear guidelines for behaviour. For example, one country may judge the actions of another country as wrong and act on that judgement. In other words, there is an objective standard against which a country's behaviour may be judged. We know it is wrong to torture and kill innocent people, so if Sierra Leone, for example, continues to engage in civil wars and endanger the lives of many, the USA, for example, may condemn their criminal ways along with Britain ("shoulder to shoulder")

    • Word count: 1960
  22. To what extent does the political theory of John Rawls allow scope for moral diversity?

    Additionally, Rawls himself asserts that moral diversity does exist in any modern society, suggesting that his theory may allow for it. To decide whether Rawls' political theory actually does allow scope for moral diversity, we must examine the theory itself, both in its original and modified version. Rawls conducts a thought experiment in order to determine what principles would be agreed upon by the people. He claims that the differing views and situations of people would prevent them from reaching a unanimous agreement on principles of justice, as self-interest would bias them in their negotiations of these principles.

    • Word count: 2275
  23. Should we strive to save a foetus's life once the carrying mother is brain-dead? Justify your answer.

    Switching off the ventilator would be perfectly acceptable since a person cannot be killed twice. What we must further discuss is whether it would be right to switch off the ventilator, allowing the foetus inside Sarah to die. The main problem is the geographical location and environment. If the foetus was located a few inches away having emptied its lungs of fluid and severed the connection with its mother, there would be a legal (and moral) obligation to treat it in the hope of actively prolonging its life, rather than ending it. Wasserstorm describes four possible viewpoints people will regard foetuses by.4 The first example is that the foetus has its own unique moral category, which is close, but not identical to that of a typical adult.

    • Word count: 4515
  24. Live and let die - If you had to choose between a death of torture and one of peace and ease, wouldn't you rather select the more pleasant death? Shouldn't you be entitled to picking your own death?

    There are three main factors that are concerned with euthanasia, and these will be my three main arguments. They are; Individual rights, medical ethics and religious ethics. I will persuade you as to why euthanasia should be made legal and why we should ignore these ethics. I'd like to start on Individual rights, but before that, let's discuss fate. Fate is when an individual has no control over unforeseen happenings where it is possible, that is future is already decided for you. I don't know if this is true or not, but I know I don't want it that way.

    • Word count: 1250
  25. Euthanasia - Pity murder.

    There are also two more distinctions that should be made: 'euthanasia by action' is the intentional taking of a person's life by physically doing so, while 'euthanasia by omission' is merely removing any type of life-support system (Euthanasia.com). Is euthanasia even a moral decision? Yes, because were it not a moral decision, the debates would be few and an easy resolution would have been discovered long ago. To Euthanasia 4 some however, it is not a moral decision, but rather, a right to die as each person has a right to live.

    • Word count: 1586

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