Question;WEEK 5Life && Death;Politics & Ethics (graded)There are three basic propositions in standard Utilitarianism (Please be sure to listen to Mill's audio lecture before joining this threaded discussion):Actions are judged right and wrong solely on their consequences, that is, nothing else matters except the consequence, and right actions are simply those with the best consequences.To assess consequences, the only thing that matters is the amount of happiness and unhappiness caused, that is, there is only one criterion and everything else is irrelevant.In calculating happiness and unhappiness caused, nobody?s happiness counts any more than anybody else?s, that is, everybody?s welfare is equally important and the majority rules.In specific cases where justice and utility are in conflict, it may seem expedient to serve the greater happiness through quick action that overrules consideration for justice. There is a side to happiness that can call for rushed decisions and actions that put decision-makers under the pressure of expediency.Here is a dilemma for our class:You are the elected district attorney. You receive a phone call from a nursing home administrator who was a good friend of yours in college. She has a waiting list of 3,000 people who will die if they don't get into her nursing home facility within the next 3 weeks, and she currently has 400 patients who have asked (or their families have asked on their behalf) for the famous Dr. Jack Kevorkian's (fictitious) sister, Dr. Jill Kevorkian, for assistance in helping them die. The 3,000 people on the waiting list want to live. She (the nursing home administrator) wants to know if you would agree to "look the other way" if she let in Dr. Jill to assist in the suicide of the 400 patients who have requested it, thus allowing at least 400 of the 3,000 on the waiting list in.How would we use Utilitarianism to "solve" this dilemma?What ethics did your friend, the nursing home administrator, use in deciding to call you?What ethics are you using if you just "look the other way" and let it happen?Dealing With Emergencies and Outcomes (graded)Chapter 9 of our text includes the terrorism situation at the 1972 Munich Olympics, and it needs to be read before engaging this discussion.The principle of utility involves maximizing happiness as a desirable outcome of decisions. Although it does not get directly said, there is an inverse intention to minimize the undesirable outcome of disaster. Utilitarian decisions are directed toward outcomes?that is, the consequences of decisions.The Olympic hostage situation was a high-tension moment, full of dangerous surprises and strategies to deal with the situation that did not work out for the best. Among the strategies was the idea to kill the leader of the terrorists so as to disrupt the terrorist plot and to allow a good outcome in which the hostages would be saved. In the situation it was also entirely possible that a terrible outcome might occur in which all would die. The situation was an emergency.The German legal system might eventually take the terrorists and their leader to trial, but first there was the need to end the hostage situation. The account in our text ends with, ?But it was the lesser of two evils.?As utilitarian ethicists this week, how shall we reason through to the decision of the law enforcement authorities at the 1972 Munich Olympics?WEEK 6Applying Rand's Objectivism (graded)Ayn Rand?s Objectivist philosophy has been touted by her detractors as the philosophy of self-interested selfishness. Her four epistemological principles are: 1. Metaphysics: Objective reality of the world and the objects in it.2. Epistemology: Reason as the one and only key to understanding.3. Ethics: Self-interest in what behavior is but also what it should be.4. Politics: Capitalism through the performance of deeds by individuals who are self-interested.In the early 1960's, a student asked a spokesman for Objectivism what would happen to the poor in an Objectivist's free society.The spokesman answered, "If you want to help them, you will not be stopped."If one reads Rand's works, Atlas Shrugged, or The Fountainhead, one will conclude that this would be the answer Ayn would have given to that student as well.What do you conclude from the answer given by the Objectivist spokesperson? Is Objectivism, like Moral Relativism, the opposite of ethics?And what clue in what she taught leads to your conclusion?Working Conflict Resolution Methods (graded)Different ways to analyze ethical behaviors and dilemmas exist, and many of them will help direct you to the correct or "best" solution to a problem.As we discussed in week 1 in the "tough choices".pdf, sometimes right vs. right or wrong vs. wrong decisions have to be made.In the lecture this week, you are given three ethical dilemma resolution models to try out on a dilemma provided there. Please review that interactive before posting to the threads this week, and let's bring your questions and comments about the "proposed" solutions here to the threads. We will talk about that through mid-week, and then I will post a new dilemma here where we will, as a group, begin analyzing it using the different methods.You will need to be able to use these three models (Blanchard and Peale, Laura Nash and Front page of the Newspaper) on the final exam... so let's be sure to practice all three of them together this week.So, to start this off, let's address the dilemma in the Week 6 Lecture interactive (in the middle of the page). You MUST read the lecture and run the interactive in order to participate in the threads this week!Review the sample solution to the Laura Nash method. Do you agree with that analysis? If so, what parts do you think really helped you work through the dilemma? If not, which parts do you not agree with?Review the sample solution to the Front Page of the Newspaper method. Do you think this is one of those types of dilemmas for which this model works? If not, why not? If so, why? How did using this method help you work through the dilemma?Review the sample solution to the Blanchard and Peale method. Do you agree with the analysis? If not, why not? If so, in what way did this help you analyze this dilemma?Pick ONE of the above 3 questions and let's get started. Or, respond to another student with details about why you agree or disagree with their analysis. Feel free to kindly debate with each other. Do not take things personally if someone disagrees. Be sure to show that you have viewed the lecture and interactive and that you attempted an analysis for "high quality" posts this week. After Wednesday, I will bring in another scenario and we can analyze that one together as a class.
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