Make sure to include a introduction, body and conclusion. You may choose anyone of the following topics from this syllabus.
Essay Topics: choose any of these topics to write your essay. You’re also free to choose a topic discussed in class
that is not part of this list. The essay is due on April 19th.
1- Provide an overview of the philosophy importance and the effects that it might have on your life. Make sure
your essay addresses the following questions: (a) What is ethics? (b)Can ethics help you live a better life?
Why or why not? (c)What kind of ethical parameters do you use to determine your actions, your thoughts,
in summary, the kind of life you live? (d)You live the kind of ethical life you live because you think it is the
best life possible, right? Do you think that if other people lived your kind of life, the world would be a better
place? Why or why not?
2- In 1976 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that fathers have no rights over a child in the womb. Do you think
that women ought to be required to notify their husbands before seeking an abortion? Why or why not? Rea
3- Explain what viability means. And since technology keeps changing it, do you think that it is technology, in a
sense, that is determining what a person is? Chapter 11
4- In certain places in the world, such as China and India, it’s economically more profitable to have boys than
girls. Women are considered burdens because, when getting married, their parents must send them away to
their husbands with a large sum of money. Thus a woman may seek an abortion simply because the fetus is
a girl. This is called selective abortion. Some argue against it as a type of discrimination. Do you think this is
indeed discrimination? Is it also discriminating when women seek on abortion when the fetus carries some
genetic disorder? In both cases, aren’t they trying to eliminate a burden? Chapter 6
5- Philosopher Mary Ann Warren maintains that a fetus does not become a person until sometime after birth,
when the infant becomes a socially responsive member of a human community. Consequently, abortion is
morally permissible at any stage of pregnancy. Do you agree with her? When do you think that the fetus
becomes a person with certain rights? Chapter 11
6- Parents vaccinate their children and have them eat a balanced diet because they want what is best for their
children. Thus every single day parents make choices for their children. Because of the Human Genome
Project, parents may soon be able to completely design their children. They’ll be able to choose eye, skin,
and hair color; intelligence, height, athletic ability, gender etc… This is called “designer babies”. If any, what
do you find objectionable to it? Or do you think it is great to be able to choose these things instead of
leaving them to chance or nature”? Chapter 15
7- Some cognitive scientists, philosophers of mind, artificial intelligence scientists believe that the human mind
is like a computer software. When we come to understand it, we’ll able to download and upload things into
our minds. If this is true and suppose that human cloning becomes legal, some think that this is a way of
achieving immortality. Once you get old, you save the contents of your mind into an external device, clone
yourself, and upload the contents into the mind of the clone (the copy, or the so-called new you). What are
your objections to human cloning? Should human cloning be banned?
8- Instead of sending your children to the battlefield, would it be a good idea for the military to use clones?
9- Genetic engineering will also allow scientists to bring back species that have gone extinct like the dinosaurs.
If this is possible, as long as they have a sample of DNA, scientists will also be able to clone a person who
died long time ago. Would you bring grandpa or a lover back through the method of cloning? Chapter 15
10- According to advocates of the death penalty, retributive justice requires that murderers must die.
Opponents argue that killing a murderer is just another murder; it is another act of violence. Do you think
that an act of violence can cancel out another act of violence? Is it murder to execute murderers? Or are
they getting what they deserve? What about sociopaths have no sense of guilt or remorse because their
cerebral cortex is incapable of processing emotional stimuli like a normal brain? Chapter 10
11- In Singapore the punishment for marijuana trafficking is death. In the U.S. since marijuana has not been
decriminalized, there is a marijuana-related arrest in the U.S. every 38 seconds even though it is not deadly
as tobacco and alcohol. Do you think that the harms of legalizing marijuana outweigh those of prohibition?
Why or why not? Chapter 12
12- Homosexual behavior is found throughout human societies and in over 1000 species of animals such as
vultures, penguins, pigeons, American bison, bonobos, elephants, monkeys etc… do you think that
homosexuality then is natural? Do you think that homosexuality is immoral? Why or why not?
13- Marriage between a man and a woman has been the ideal in almost all cultures. In what way do you think
that same-sex marriage will undermine traditional heterosexual marriage? Chapter 11 & 14
14- Obama’s election is certainly no proof of a postracial America. What do you think are the causes of racism?
Is it ignorance and lack of education as multiculturalists claim? Or is it just a deliberate choice? Chapter 13
15- Explain what restitution means and whether you think that the government owes restitution to African
Americans. Chapter 13
16- Some claim that the human mind is akin to software. If this is true, by 2050 we will be able to upload
information (memories) into the mind. Mind-reading will be possible. A person will even be able to connect
his/her mind to the Internet. Discuss the pros (benefits) and cons (disadvantages) of this idea.
17- Should pornography be made illegal because it is harmful to both men and women? In what way is it
harmful? What are the advantages or disadvantages of making pornography illegal? Chapter 11
18- One Hustler journalist instructs readers that: “Men are basically rapists, because we’re created that way.
We’re irrational, sexually completely crazy. Our sexuality is more promiscuous, more immediate, and more
fleeting, possibly less deep. We’re like stud bulls that want to mount everything in sight.” Hustler even helps
its readers target vulnerable targets such mentally challenged females. Should this be tolerated under
freedom of speech? Does freedom of speech include anything, everything? Or should we censor some kind
of speech? Chapter 12
19- Utilitarians tend to be valid advocates of animal rights. They oppose animal abuse and want animals to be
included into the moral community. What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so?
|Due By (Pacific Time)||04/19/2016 12:52 am|
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