Directions:The following problems ask you to evaluate hypothetical situations and/or concepts related to the reading in this module. While there are no “correct answers” for these problems, you must demonstrate a strong understanding of the concepts and lessons from this module’s reading assignment. Please provide detailed and elaborate responses to the following problems. Your responses should include examples from the reading assignments. Responses that fall short of the assigned minimum page length will not earn any points.
1. Extraterrestrials arrive, and they are far superior to us in intellect – the most brilliant human thinkers would be regarded as severely mentally deficient among these profoundly rational ETs, and their reasoning processes are far beyond ours: their mediocre high school students offer mathematical insights that astonish and awe our most advanced mathematicians. It turns out that the ethical principles of these super-rational extraterrestrials are very different from ours. Would a Kantian conclude that we ought to adopt their ethical system, even though we cannot really understand the reasoning process by which they developed that system? Explain. Your response should be at least one page in length.
2. Mr. Spock – of Star Trek fame – apparently feels no emotions. Would that make him (in your view) more or less capable of living a morally good life? Explain. Your response should be at least one page in length.
3. Explain the difference between a rule-utilitarian and a Kantian? Is there really a difference? Explain. Your response should be at least one page in length.
4. There is a spot open in Professor Ponder’s film class. Your friends who have taken her class all rave about it: “I really learned to appreciate the artistic potential of films by taking Professor Ponder’s class. Before taking the class I liked almost every movie I saw. Now that I have learned from Professor Ponder how to understand and appreciate the fine nuances of the art of film-making, most of the movies I once enjoyed now strike me as stupid and amateurish. But because of my new appreciation of film, I now deeply enjoy a few great movies that otherwise I could never have appreciated. I have gained a depth of enjoyment from those few wonderful films I never dreamed you could get from watching a movie. Of course, it’s very rare now that I enjoy going to the movies – most movies I see now strike me as dreadful, even painful to watch. But on the few occasions when I watch a really good movie – wow, that is a great experience. Take Professor Ponder’s class: it will change forever your experience of going to the movies.” If you think that is likely to be your own result from taking Professor Ponder’s class, would you sign up? Explain. Your response should be at least one half of one page in length.
5. Suppose you have recently inherited $10 million from a long-lost relative. This inheritance, however, comes with a stipulation: you must give $1 million of this amount to total strangers. You can do this in any increment you choose – you can give 1 million people $1, 1 person $1 million dollars or any increment in between. What increment would you choose and why? Which form of utilitarianism would your choice best coincide with? Your response should be at least one half of one page in length.
PART II: Essay
In an essay two to three pages in length, compare and contrast act-utilitarianism and rule-utilitarianism, then make an argument for why you think one is better than the other. Your essay should take the following form: an introduction where you preview your essay’s content (i.e. “In this essay I will discuss…”), present your thesis statement (i.e. “X is better than Y because…”), a paragraph summarizing act-utilitarianism, a paragraph summarizing rule-utilitarianism, an essay comparing and contrasting the two, two paragraphs where you argue why one is better, and a conclusion. Your summary and critiques must be original and should include examples, analogies, etc.
Please describe what aspect of this week’s lesson you found most interesting and why. What effect, if any, did it have on your moral/ethical outlook?
Your response should be at least one half of one page in length.
Directions: Please provide detailed and elaborate responses to the following questions. Your responses should include examples from the reading assignments. Each response should be at least one half of one page in length and utilize APA format.
1. According to Kant, when is an action morally praise-worthy?
2. Describe one of the criticisms often leveled against Kant’s theory.
3. Although the two versions of the categorical imperative appear different, Kant contends that they are two ways of stating the same thing. How does Kant support his claim?
4. What is the difference between a qualitative pleasure and a quantitative pleasure?
5. What is the difference between a teleological theory and a deontological theory of ethics?