Philosophy and Society

Topic 1:
Your tour of the nation of Tonteria, whose repressive regime is putting down a rebellion among its people, takes you to the village in time to witness the army lining up thirty of the villagers to be shot. The officer in charge informs you that these thirty are innocent, but have been chosen at random for execution in order to cow the rest. Upon discovering that you are a foreigner, the first ever to visit the village, he does you an honor as a guest: “You can shoot one of these swine yourself—and to mark the special occasion, I’ll let the others go free.” If you decline the “honor” there will be no special occasion, and all thirty will be shot. He hands you a pistol. If you accept the honor, you yourself will have intentionally killed an innocent person. If you refuse to kill one of them, then you yourself will not have killed anyone but the consequences will be much worse, since all thirty will be shot. (You should assume that this narrative is true to avoid irrelevant complications with the scenario).

(1) How would you respond in the scenario if you were (a) a Divine Command ethicist, (b) an Act-Utilitarian, and (c) a Kantian ethicist? For each ethical theory, state and thoroughly explain the theory, and then show how the theory applies to the scenario in question. In doing so, you must identify the specific ethical problems inherent in the scenario.
(2) Which response do you find most ethically compelling and why?
(3) Examine at least one objection to the response that you find most compelling.

Make sure to thoroughly explain your answers to each of these questions. Also, be sure to define any of the technical terms that you use, and include citations whenever you draw from the text.

Topic 2:
A philosopher is relaxing on the Pearl Street Mall watching passersby. Two meters from her is a local beggar. Mr. Tiny Tim (one of the passersby) gives the beggar ten dollars. Out of curiosity, the philosopher asks Tiny Tim why he gave the money to the beggar. He told her that he doesn’t really care about the beggar, but that he did it just to impress other people and make himself look and feel good. “Besides he tweaks his nose just like my dad,” he added.

(1) What would the philosopher say about the morality of Tiny Tim’s action (giving the money to the beggar) if the philosopher is (a) a cultural Relativist, (b) an Act-Utilitarian, and (c) a Kantian ethicist? For each ethical theory, state and thoroughly explain the theory, and then show how the theory applies to the scenario in question. In doing so, you must identify the specific ethical problems inherent in the scenario.
(2) Which response to the scenario do you find most ethically compelling and why?
(3) Examine at least one objection to the response that you find most compelling.

 

 

 

 

Sample Solution

ACED ESSAYS