What is Morality?

  1. Explain the baby Theresa example and why it was controversial. What is the Benefits Argument and how does it compare to the We Should Not Use People as Means and the Wrongness of Killing arguments? 2 paragraphs
  2. Explain the Jodie and Mary example and why it’s controversial. Compare the We Should Save as Many as We Can Argument with the Argument from the Sanctity of Human Life. 2 paragraphs
  3. Explain the Tracy Latimer example and why it’s controversial. Discuss the arguments that condemned the killing (Wrongness of Discriminating against the Handicapped and the Slippery Slope arguments). 1 paragraph
  4. Why is it difficult to come to an agreement on a full definition of morality? What can be gained in arriving at a minimal definition in the way that Rachels suggests? What is this minimal definition? What role does reason play in this conception? 2 paragraphs
    Chapter Two: The Challenge of Cultural Relativism
  5. What is the Cultural Difference Argument? Why is it an appealing theory? Explain, using at least one of Rachels’ examples (funerary practices of Greeks and Callatians, infanticide and geronicide amongst Inuits/Eskimos). 2 paragraphs
  6. What does Rachels find wrong with this theory? Explain his initial criticism of the logic of the argument. What are three additional reasons Rachels offers for rejecting this theory (relating to the consequences of accepting the theory)? 2 paragraphs
  7. Discuss Rachels’ contention that all cultures share certain basic values, referring back to his original examples and then to his later example of female circumcision. What conclusion does he draw about the merits of Cultural Relativism? 2 paragraphs
    Chapter Four: Does tvlorality Depend on Religion? 1. What is the presumed connection between morality and religion? What does Divine Command Theory say about this connection? 2 paragraphs
  8. What does Plato have to say about this theory, according to Rachels, and how does Natural Law theory relate to Plato’s point? 2 paragraphs
  9. Explain Rachels’ discussion of Divine Command Theory as it relates to the problem of abortion. 2 paragraphs
    Chapters Seven and Eight: The Utilitarian Approach / The Debate Over Utilitarianism
  10. What is the fundamental principle of utilitarianism? What are some examples of utilitarian reasoning?
  11. What is the difference between act- and rule-utilitarianism? What would be some examples of moral situations where these two schools would disagree?
    engage with literature and research evidence and to extract key points and arguments presented by criminal justice commentators, while at the same time interrogating the strength or limitations of their arguments

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