CHOOSE ONE of the following options, responding and providing feedback to others according to the rubrics. Original posts must be between 350 and 500 words and a minimum of 100-150 words for a response post. You must include quotes and reference citations from an assigned reading for the week in your original post.
1. Discuss the principle of utility. Is happiness a sufficient criterion for moral worth? If it isn’t, can you name a better or more appropriate criterion?
2. Immigration has been and continues to be a controversial issue in the U.S., as well as in other countries. Large numbers of refugees have fled from war, persecution, oppression, famine, and drought. Hundreds of thousands of people migrate to the U.S. and Europe to perform agricultural and low-paying jobs, often jobs that locals refuse to do. Given its history and social evolution, what should be the criteria, for the U.S., on Immigration? On what premises would you fashion U.S. policy on Immigration, which includes those who arrive or remain in country without proper documentation? What social, economic, ethical and humanitarian factors should be taken into account? And what should be done regarding the millions of undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S.?
3. Consider the charge that utilitarianism is too “backwards looking.” Another way to put this might be that it sounds too much like “the ends justify the means.” Do you find the theory susceptible to this criticism? Why or why not?
4. Using the Utilitarian approach, should the drinking age in the US be lowered to 18? Why? Why not?
5. A SCENARIO OF UTILITARIANISM: ADRIFT!
· Imagine a lifeboat adrift at sea.
· In it are
o a physician
o a police officer, accused of corruption, who’s been suspended from the police force,
o a young mother and her nursing infant
o an unemployed carpenter who volunteers twice a week at the local homeless shelter
o a teenager who performs on stage with a band
o a retired kindergarten teacher
o and you.
· Also in the boat are food and water, but not enough to last long–and the castaways do not know how long (if ever) before they’ll find land or be rescued.
· The longer they wait, the less food and water they will have left, and the weaker they become. What should they do? What would YOU do?
· This discussion is devoted to utilitarianism
–the lifeboat scenario is an example to make the ideas of the theory more real. Be sure to use utilitarian concepts in your discussion, regardless of whether you find them appealing. Be on the lookout for utilitarian ideas and principles, identify them when they pop up, and offer an assessment of how well utilitarian thinking helps you with this “lifeboat problem.”
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