Final Paper

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I believe that the book How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, teaches you that money cannot buy you happiness. Happiness should be found through our moral decisions because good moral actions are what will create the definition of true happiness.

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Ethics Final Paper

Final Course Reflection

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Reflection Questions 1:   

  • On your own blog, which one is your favorite post, the one you are most proud of; the one that you could even show to friends, family and other teachers?  Why is it your favorite, what’s good about it?

My favorite post that I have written this semester was one of the first blogs that was titled “Who Am I?” I enjoyed doing this blog the most simply because it gave everyone a chance to describe themselves. I found that getting to know the other people in this class was helpful because of how opinionated this class was. It helped me to understand everyone’s thoughts and ideas better because I technically knew them as a person and what they were all about from the details that they gave us.

https://kmccarthy9.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/who-am-i/

 

  • Which post is your least favorite, or least successful post and why? What could you do to improve it?

My least favorite post was the blog called “Suffering,” because it made me feel bad reading it. Although I rarely ever think about specieism, this post really made me think about it and how we harm innocent animals for our benefit. I do not think I would change anything about this post; it was just my least favorite because it made me think about everyday happenings in society that I never give much thought to.

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  • Which post did you have the most trouble writing?  Why do you think it gave you so much trouble?

The post that I had the most trouble with writing was probably the blog about trisomy 21. I struggled with this post because it is a difficult situation that people have such strong opinions about. I had trouble simply because I found myself going back and forth with my opinion because of certain aspects of the topic. I thought of and tried to understand both sides of the argument of having a baby with trisomy 21 or aborting it. I believe that it will always continue to be a controversy and people will always have their strong opinions, but it made it a challenge for me to try and express what I was thinking.

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  • Which post is the one that you learned the most from?   What did you learn from it, specifically?

 The post that I learned the most from was the blog about Aristotle. I chose this one to be the blog that I learned the most from because I believe that it was a reality check. Reading and discussing views on happiness almost makes you finally discover your view on it. It is so much easier to talk about and write about what makes you happy or your positive thoughts on happiness rather than actually do them. I will always believe that in order to appreciate the good, you have to experience the bad. And I agreed with Aristotle that the ultimate goal is to strive for happiness, however, I do find myself dwelling on the bad things in life rather than enjoying the good. This is definitely something I want to work on because I would love to actually follow through with my thoughts and opinions.

https://kmccarthy9.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/lesson-1-happiness/

 

Reflection Questions 2:  

  • What was the most interesting thing you learned in this course?  (It could be something about a particular philosophy or position, and/or it could be something you learned about yourself).
  • How do you know that you learned it?
  • What will you do with that knowledge in the future? (Could it be applied to other courses you will take, your job, your relationships with people or generally in your life?)

The most interesting thing I learned in this course was again the idea of happiness, as well as the idea of pleasures. I think that these two philosophies go hand in hand with one another because happiness was the goal that everyone strives for, and pleasures were the actions we take to maximize this happiness. I know that I learned these two philosophies because they were easy to understand and the reflections on them allowed me to understand what I do to attain my own happiness and helped me express that.  With the knowledge I learned from these two philosophies, I can finally understand and apply it to my everyday situations because everything I do, I try to make sure I am happy doing it. I think that these will apply with my life in general because again, I try to stay involved in activities that I enjoy. However, there will be sometimes where these philosophies will not apply to situations in my favor. For example, in school I will have to partake in classes that I do not enjoy because they are requirements. However, I could use the idea of pleasures to try and maximize the level of happiness that I can gain from these classes. I could do this by not focusing on the negatives of the course, but rather the positives. Happiness is a difficult situation because I believe the saying “easier said than done” applies to it.

 

Reflection Question 3: 

  • Do you think your moral viewpoint changed in any way?  Please explain.

Overall, I believe that my moral viewpoint did not change because of this course. I just believe that this course made me realize what my moral viewpoints really were. It was awesome to discuss different topics about ethics and morals because it allowed us to express our opinions without worrying and it makes you realize deep down what your actual opinions are. I believe that everyone has their own moral viewpoints, and you learn what they are and how to accept them through different experiences in life. Everyone has a right to their own opinions, and that is why I loved this class!

 

Reflection Questions 4:

  • If you were teaching this course, how would you teach it? What topics would you include for sure, what topics would you drop?  What else, what other themes and topics, in addition to what we discussed here, could be part of this course?
  • And, would you recommend this course to other students?  Why or why not – please explain.

I believe that if I were teaching this course I would teach it the same way, through blog posts because I find this class to be very opinionated and I loved that I could express anything I wanted to. I think that this was a successful course because of the blogs. I have taken 3 other online courses, and I definitely learned the most from this. For example, in online classes where we just have a test a week, I do not read the chapters I just take the tests, and therefore I only memorize the information for a short period of time. However, with this course, I am able to expand on my thoughts on various ideas and philosophers and read or comment on others thoughts about them. I believe this allowed me to think and understand the philosophies from others point of views as well. I can also say that I could include all of the same topics because each topic that was included helped with writing the introduction pieces as the end of each lesson.  I would and have recommended this course to others because although I only took it as a LASC requirement, I feel as though I learned more from this course than others because it required us to actually read the readings, and apply what we learned to our everyday lives.

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I chose this simple picture to describe what I learned from this course, because I have discovered many new opinions, thoughts, and goals from this class. I believe now that I have realized these things it is time to make it happen, time to go after my goals, and time to find continuous true happiness. Thank you for a great semester!

Final Project Part III

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  • Consider the different philosophers, ethical ideas and moral situations we discussed in this class so far.  Re-read your own blog posts to remind yourself.  Which one of these concepts or ideas of morality might be applicable for this book if you want to discuss the characters and their actions?  Write 1-2 paragraphs in which you connect something we discussed in this class to what you read in the book.

I believe that so many of these philosophers’ ideas, and moral situations could be related to the book “How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia.” The author of this book had his reasons for presenting the story the way he did, and the main goal was to find happiness. I believe this relates the best to Aristotle’s theory that the ultimate goal for all people in life is happiness. Everyone has different ways to find and create happiness in their lives, and people associate the meaning of happiness with whatever they want and believe. This is why as the audience of this book, we were taken through someone’s life from his younger years to his older years and watched him try to find his true happiness. This man’s ultimate goal was to get filthy rich and become powerful because he grew up poor so for some reason he believed that being wealthy meant happiness. He then realized that wealth should not be his goal, and happiness should, so he had to do whatever it took. Money and materialistic things may bring you temporary happiness, but at the end of the day those things should not be anyone’s ultimate goal.

  • Think about the language and style:  How does the style of this book compare to other books you’ve read recently?  Is it similar or different and in what ways? What type of language does the author use?  How does the style and language make you feel?  Can you connect it with any moral idea we’ve discussed here? If so, write 1 paragraph about this.

To be honest, I have not read much lately so I do not have a lot to compare this book to, especially because this is not a book I chose to read so it was hard for me to be 100% interested in it. However, from previous books that I have read this style was very different. This book was written as a self-help book where the main character was referred to as you. I found it interesting that none of the characters had names, but I believe it was so the audience could picture themselves as any character throughout the book. I liked that this was done because it really made you think that you were going through the experiences with him and you almost started to feel the emotions. I enjoyed how Mohsin Hamid used so much detail to describe certain things throughout the book because this also helped paint the image in the reader’s head. His style of writing and language had some difficult points for me to understand, but I believe that he really got the point across and really made the audience stay involved throughout the whole story.

  • Formulate your main idea or thesis statement. Write a 2-3 sentence statement that answers the following question:  What is the moral value of this book?  (in other words, what can this book teach us about morality, about being a good person, about doing good things, about pursuing happiness, increasing pleasure for others, respecting people and the environment, about global morality?) Try to answer this question in no more that 2-3 sentences. That’s your thesis statement for your final paper.

I believe that the book “How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia,” teaches you that money cannot buy you happiness. Happiness should be found through our moral decisions because good moral actions are what will create the definition of true happiness.

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Final Project Part II

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First list:  Make a list of situations in the book that are morally considered right and those are considered wrong (according to you).

  • It was morally wrong when the parents had sex in the room that their children were in.
  • It was morally wrong when the man stole DVDs from his employer to impress the pretty girl.
  • It was morally wrong when the teacher punished him for being smart.
  • It was morally wrong for the man to keep the extra money for himself that he made from a raise and did not tell his family.
  • It was morally wrong for the man to work with expired food, change the label, and resell it.
  • It was morally right that the father took his family to the city with them.
  • It was morally right when the matriarch gave him money to help with the expenses for his sick wife.
  • It was morally right when the man took his father in and let him live with him when he was sick.
  • It was morally right when the main character’s ex-wife visited him when he was sick in the hospital.
  • It was morally right for the ex-wife to help pay his medical expenses.
  • It was morally right for the man to start helping others and expect nothing in return.

 

Second list:  Make a list of characters from the book you would consider virtuous, good characters and list those that are not.  And say why?

  • I believe that the man’s father was virtuous. He always tried his hardest and did the best to support and provide for his family.
  • I believe that the man’s ex-wife could be considered virtuous as well. She tried her hardest to make their marriage last, but the husband never agreed. Even after she divorced him and he became ill she was still there helping him. I do not believe he deserved it, but she even helped pay for his medical expenses because of his illness.
  • I believe that the pretty girl was not virtuous simply because she used her body and sex to get what she wanted. I think she was extremely selfish.
  • I also believe that the pretty girl’s father was not virtuous because he did not care about his wife or daughter. I think that he cared for himself and worried about nothing else besides his own happiness.
  • The man who was the main character is hard to analyze because I believe he could be considered good or bad, virtuous and not virtuous. He did not always make the best decisions, but at the same time he did really care for his family.
  • I think the ex-wife’s brother was also a bad character and not virtuous because he screwed the man over and ran away with his money, which leaves the main character in trouble with the police.

 

Third list:  Make a list of events or occasions from the book that you believe would cause pleasure and those that you think would cause suffering for some or many people.

Pleasure:

  • When the main character and the pretty girl had sex for the first time.
  • When the main character was able to go to school.
  • When the man was able to buy his own home.
  • Whenever the pretty girl would call the main character.
  • When the pretty girl became a model/actress.
  • When the man spent time with his son.
  • When the man began helping people and expected nothing in return.

Suffering:

  • When the main character’s family members pass away.
  • When the main character’s wife tries to do anything and everything to make their marriage last, but he ignores it.
  • When the pretty girl lost her job as an actress.
  • When the man’s wife suffers because the pretty girl was the other woman in her husbands life.
  • When the main character was punished for being smart.
  • When the pretty girl’s father caused suffering by gambling away their money.
  • When the pretty girl’s father did not care about his family because he was an alcoholic.

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Lesson 6 Assignment 2

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  • What is your culture?  What is your closets community?  How does your culture and community influence who you are?

I think that since I live in the United States, my culture is already known as a primarily western culture. A lot of the factors that go into what my culture is could include the clothes I wear, the music I listen to, the extracurricular activities I partake in, the relationships I have with others, etc. For example, I am a Caucasian female whose ancestors are from Ireland. Although they eventually migrated to the US, I do not follow a lot of their principles and practices. I follow the practices my parents raised me with. My parents raised me to participate in activities to keep me busy, such as softball, soccer. Although I did not stay involved in all of these activities because I got injured it helped keep me involved in the community. My closest community would be my hometown, Rutland, MA.  This is because I grew up there for 19 years until we moved to Eastham, MA which is on the Cape. My culture and community influences who I am because I grew up with the same group of people and have been raised to live by the same standards they have. I graduated in 2010 with about 600 other students who grew up in the same community as me, and therefore we all share similar culture attributes and follow similar moral guidelines.

  • What are the THREE most important values you hold?  How are they influenced by your culture or community?

The three most important values I hold are honesty, respect, and compassion. I consider honesty to be an important value because if you can’t be honest with yourself and others, then I don’t believe you can truly be happy because you would never know what you truly want and deserve. Also, if you’re not honest, others would not really want to be around you because it can makes you appear to be unreliable. Respect is another important value I hold both for myself and towards others. I believe it is important to respect yourself and others because it allows both you and them to have a mutual relationship where both people hold a mutual feeling towards one another, and try to understand why each other do what they do. Lastly, I think that compassion is an important value to hold because I think it is a quality that really influences why you do what you do. For example, a person who loves to play a particular sport often plays with compassion. It is a quality that allows individuals to express how they feel about certain issues. I believe these are influenced by my culture and community because we live in a community that appreciates and values traits such as honesty, compassion, and respect.

  • What’s your ethics?  Given what we’ve discussed this semester, and all these different situations, moral perspectives, and philosophers  — WHERE DO YOU STAND?

I believe I should be considered a good person because I always try to do the right thing. I am caring for others and try to go out of my way to help them. For example, even little things like holding the door open for someone at a store. I believe that my three most important values I talked about in this post contribute to me being a good person. I think that if you are honest, always kind, have respect, and always care for others then people should always consider you a reliable and good person. I believe that my values and ethics lead me to be viewed by others as a well-mannered person.

MULTI-MEDIA: Include a picture that represents YOUR cultural community or your overall MORAL viewpoint. Discuss briefly why you selected it.

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I selected the cover picture of Rutlands town website where I grew up that has pictures from the center of town. It is an extremely small town outside of Worcester where everyone pretty much knows everyone. I also posted two pictures from my town on the Cape which is where my parents live now, and I occasionally go home too. I love these towns and have so many memories between the both of them.

Lesson 6 Assignment 1

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1. Selection

“There is something conventional about any morality, so that every morality really depends on a level of social acceptance. Not only do various societies adhere to different moral systems, but the very same society could (and often does) change its moral views over time and place. For example, the Southern USA now views slavery as immoral whereas just over one hundred years ago, it did not. We have greatly altered our views on abortion, divorce, and sexuality as well.”

2. In Your Own Words

Every and any morality depends on its level of acceptance by society. Every society, culture, community, etc. have different moral systems, and within all of those systems the moral views can change over time and place. For example, the Southern USA now views slavery as immoral, yet over a hundred years ago, it did not view it like that. We often alter our views constantly on many things such as abortion, divorce, and sexuality over the years as well.

3. Opinion and Interpretation

Right and wrong will always be judged by society, and I believe that thoughts and acceptance on any morality will continuously change throughout time. It may be fine to do a certain thing, and then after a little time many people will think the opposite and it will force people to change their beliefs and way of thinking. Many things are accepted now, that never were before and vice versa. Society bases everything upon social acceptance which is why it will always change. For example, nowadays many people are pregnant at such a young age, even before getting married and I believe that it has almost become a norm to be pregnant as a teen. However, way back in the day if you got pregnant and were young, you were sent away to live with family or to live with nuns at church to have the baby and then give it up for adoption.  Another topic that society has changed their views on is sexuality. I believe it is becoming much more accepting to be with whatever gender you chose and I believe that that is the way it should be. Even though back in the day it was and still can sometimes be a big controversy. I think happiness is the only thing that should matter to these people, not gender.

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4. Views on Pluralism

  • As a universal value, members of one culture have no right to evaluate the moral values of another culture.‘ Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not.

I do not agree with this statement because of our freedom to reason, which ultimately allows us to judge. I believe that everyone thinks their culture is the best simply because it is what they are accustomed for, and are practically forced to judge other cultures without even noticing. For example, if the culture I belonged to believed in the death penalty, I would absolutely judge a culture who did not believe in it for the sole purpose that their culture differs from mine. It almost forces me to believe that my culture is the best and gives me a reason to judge their culture. The article says that we live in a radically different world, and that every person has different beliefs, and this to me explains why we are so quick to judge. It proves that we always think our beliefs are the best and don’t understand others beliefs.

  • Is the argument against subjectivism convincing to you?

I do find the argument against subjectivism convincing because it shows how different cultures find certain actions to be either moral or immoral. It proves that what one culture could find extremely wrong, another culture could find right. The article best supports its argument by using Adolph Hitler as an example. It uses him as an example because as wrong as it was for him to kill innocent people to us, he was seen as a heroic figure to his followers. He was doing the right thing in his culture by killing these people and his fellow culture members supported him for doing so. This again relates to question one in judging other cultures. We are quick to judge his culture for supporting such a terrible event in history, however if the tables were turned, I’m sure his culture would judge us for doing so.

  • Is the argument against conventional relativism strong and convincing?

I do believe the argument against conventional relativism is strong and convincing. I find it to be both strong and convincing because it helps to explain why we consider our own morals to be justified by the virtue of our cultural acceptance. This means that our morals come from what we find acceptable in society, and we recognize and accept these morals because it is what we are raised to find tolerable in our culture. The argument in the article supports conventional relativism because Herskovitz says “morality is relative to its culture, and therefore we ought to be tolerant of the moralities of other cultures”.  To me, I believe this explanation means that even though we find morals most important in our own culture, we should not be so quick to judge others morals in their cultures, because their our reasons they act the way they do, as there are reasons we act the way we do.

  • Who are ‘we’ to make moral judgments?  Is it even possible? Under what circumstances?  Explain your thinking and refer to the reading.

I believe that since we were all raised in different ways from one another, and follow different rules and guidelines, that we are simply human individuals for judging one another. This is absolutely possible since every day we meet and see new people who are different from us. We can quickly learn if they are more laid back or strict, which without even thinking could cause us to judge. For example, if a child has fewer rules at home, such as not being forced to do homework or no bed time, then often many will judge and wonder why the parents are so carefree and do not care. We all follow different rules and believe that our own personal rules are best, and those who don’t follow the same rules are not as good. Overall, under every single circumstance where someone has a different belief or opinion, we will judge them without knowing their morals that cause them to think differently than us. To relate this to the reading, the article says that because of “conflicting moralities”, we must judge both wrong and not-wrong choices others make. This means that because of the different morals among cultures, we judge others actions regardless of if it is a wrong or right action. Overall, I believe “we are” to judge what is right and wrong in culture. “We” as a society should improve how we judge by better understanding the reasoning for why people do what they do, and we should do this with sympathy and understanding.

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Lesson 5 Assignment 3

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What is your gender? How do you feel about being a female/male? What does it mean to you in terms of your identity? ‘Do you think that your ethical view conforms to ethics of care/ethics of justice? Why or why not?

 I am a female and I love it! I like being a female simply because I enjoy a lot of the activities that come along with it, such as being able to dress up or go out shopping! The only reason why I would ever want to be a male is to be able to roll out of bed in the morning and look the same without changing anything because I am sure it is a lot less stressful. Girls tend to have to fix their makeup or hair to go somewhere so that they look good and feel comfortable. In terms of my identity, being a female means being able to do certain things in public without being questioned. For example, if I were to be caught crying somewhere it would not be out of the ordinary. However, if a male were to be, people would wonder what is wrong and probably find it strange. Although that sounds stereotypical, I feel as though it is a harsh truth. I think that my ethical view conforms to ethics of care and justice because both can be a guide in decision making and take into the consideration of others when making these decisions, which is exactly what I do. I think I fall under both of these because I would say I am a caring person who takes into consideration others needs when make a decision.

Who do you consider your best friend and why?  Describe your relationship to him/her in terms of trust, equality, fairness, love, caring, empathy and responsibility.  Discuss how easy or difficult is it to keep these qualities in your friendship?  Can you have more than one best friend?  Can you have many best friends?  Why or why not?

I cannot just chose one best friend. I believe that there are four people in my life who I consider my absolute best friends. Their names are Kacey, Brittany, Michelle, and Brenna. I love all of them but my friendships with each one of them could be considered very different in certain aspects. I believe that we are all equally fair when it comes to treating each other and helping each other out, etc. I have been friends with two of them pretty much my whole life, where as one of them I became friends with just last year but our friendship has grown so quickly. And another one of them is my best friend from college. I love and care for them all and am constantly there for them when they need help with anything because they would do the same for me. I have the best of times with them and I truly could not thank them enough for everything they have done for me. We have all learned certain ways to help each other out and be fair with all the different aspects of a friendship. I absolutely believe that you can have more than one best friend, and I also consider my parents and sisters my best friends as well. I believe when you have a true friendship there should never be struggles to keep those positive qualities in a friendship because it should come naturally.  And if it does not come naturally, and you do not have all those positives of a friendship then maybe that “friendship” is not worth your time.

 

  • MULTI-MEDIA:  Include a picture of you and your best friend (if you have one, and willing to share), or another picture that represents why you value your relationship with your best friend.

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Kacey

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Brenna

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Brittany

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Michelle

Lesson 5 Assignment 2

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Would it be wrong for parents to abort a fetus with trisomy 21?  What moral responsibility, if any, does a pregnant woman have for the fetus discussed in this article?

I think this is a controversial question, and I have multiple opinions on this topic. I guess if I had to choose one I would not find it wrong for parents to abort a fetus with trisomy 21. However, this does NOT mean I find it right. I do not think it is wrong because having a child with trisomy 21 can be a lot of work and stress on both the parents and the child because of their condition. For example, the article mentioned that many diseases can occur due to trisomy 21, which can shorten their life, such as early Alzheimer’s, hearing loss, heart disease, and others. I think that it is the parents’ choice to make whether to abort or not to abort in ANY situation. I believe that the moral responsibility a pregnant woman has for the fetus is to do what is best for the fetus. This means that if the baby is going to be at risk of serious disease and a shortened life, maybe the parents should consider aborting because why have the child live a shorter, ill life if they would not be able to continuously care for the child. It is hard to choose right or wrong about this topic simply because although the fetus has trisomy 21 and it would be a lot more of a challenge, it still has the right to have the life it was given. I am not against or for abortion. I just believe that parents have the right to always make the decision depending on what is best for the baby, illness or not.

Are there any circumstances that would justify aborting a child with Down syndrome? Does it make a difference if the pregnancy is wanted?  Imposed?

The only circumstance I could justify aborting a child with Down syndrome would be if the baby’s life is at risk. For example, if the baby were to be born with Down syndrome and also be born with a heart disease or other living impairment, then I could see justifying aborting a child. I believe I could justify this because if the parents truly believe they cannot handle the challenge that illnesses bring and if they are not willing to devote their lives to helping their child then they know the best decision they need to make when it comes to abortion. However, at the same time, I firmly believe that if you make the choice to become pregnant then you need to be prepared for ALL the possible challenges that come along with having a child. That is why this topic is so difficult to pick a side because I am constantly going back and forth with trying to justify each side with different reasoning. I do not believe that it makes a difference if the pregnancy is wanted because if a parent intentionally was having a child, and it turns out they were having a child with trisomy 21, then I’m sure they would do tons of research on how to raise a child with this, and how to help them live life to the fullest. However, I feel as though an unplanned pregnancy, the parent may be nervous and not know how to react to this, so they may consider abortion. Although I do not find this right, I do not think a child should be brought into the world with parents that are not going to fully take care of them and do what is best for them.

What are the strengths of the argument that any kind of prenatal testing is wrong?

I do not think there are any strengths supporting that any kind of prenatal testing is wrong, because I support prenatal testing. I think that prenatal testing can help parents prepare for what’s to come, as well as assure them that their baby will be born healthy and that they are doing everything right thus far in their pregnancy. Not only can prenatal testing help them prepare for a child that could potentially be born with trisomy 21, but it can also tell mothers if their diet is correct, because it is extremely important that their fetus is getting the correct number of nutrients per day.  Basically, I agree with this because it keeps parents updated with what is happening throughout the progress of their pregnancy.

What are some moral theories that might bear on these issues?

There could be many moral theories that could bear on these issues. The biggest moral theory bearing this issue would be abortion. Many people have mixed feelings on the subject, and I would like to think that I am against it. Many people consider abortion to be murder. I don’t know if I agree with this because technically the baby is not fully alive especially when a pregnancy is terminated early on, however, it is still the beginning of a life. Although at the same time, I do agree with abortion if the child is not going to be raised by loving, caring parents who are willing to take care of the baby, no matter the health issues they may face. I think that the moral theories that bear on these issues definitely vary depending on whether a person is pro-life or pro-choice. A person who is pro-choice would definitely support abortion for the right reasons, while a person who is pro-life would want the mother to have the baby regardless. The subject will forever be controversial and as well as an awkward subject to discuss with others, as it could be a personal subject for some.

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Multi-Media

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/w_ParentingResource/down-syndrome-births-drop-us-women-abort/story?id=8960803

Final Project: Part I

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First of all, when we got this assignment my truthful first reaction was “Ugh, another book.” I have read many books this semester for all my classes so I was immediately dreading this assignment. When I found out the name of the book, it made me dread it even more especially because I was not sure how this topic would even relate to this class. However, this book was surprisingly an interesting read.  One thing that I thought was weird about this book was the fact that none of the characters had names, however, the author managed to make you feel as if you were the character in the book which made it an even better read. I enjoyed that aspect of the book simply because it is so much easier to understand and paint an imaginary picture when you can imagine yourself in that certain situation. The only thing that made it difficult to read in a way was the fact that the author kind of jumped around often with topics, so it was important to pay attention and connect everything since the book was set up differently.  The book was based on 12 steps on how to get rich in rising Asia. Overall, this novel led me to believe that the hidden message the author was trying to give was that “money cannot buy happiness.”  This book made me think of a quote that has always stuck out to me in life which is “You can have all the money and power in the world, but it can’t buy you happiness and it certainly can’t buy you love.”

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Lesson 5 Assignment 1

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 1.      Selection:

“In friendship both fairness and caring are valuable. Although friendship does not usually center on formulating rules and applying them to cases, it typically does involve, as Marilyn Friedman has pointed out, a division of responsibilities in a more or less extensive mutual support system. A good friendship is fair about such divisions. Such fairness may even be a requirement of caring. Fairness in friendship also requires responsiveness to personal deserts or worthiness. If anything, to be a good friend one needs a better sense of fairness than to be a good citizen or soldier, an idea that makes good sense of Aristotle’s report that people say that “when [we] are friends [we] have no need of justice, while when [we] are just [we] need friendship as well, and the truest form of justice is thought to be a friendly quality.’ If “justice” here is meant to suggest enforcement, the idea seems sound. Responsiveness where enforcement is not forthcoming is a greater test of one’s fairness than where there is possible recourse to sanctions. If the idea is that the values of justice are superficial, however, it seems confused. For what makes sense of friends not needing justice is that they have the relevant values so well internalized…”

Card, Claudia. “One Feminist View of Ethics,” from Identity, Character and Morality by Owen Flanagan and Amelie Rorty (MIT Press, 1990).

2.      In Your Own Words

Fairness and caring are both valuable in friendship. A friendship is not something that you typically have to create or follow rules, but it does have general responsibilities. Both people must accept and perform those responsibilities because it is not just one person’s job. A good friendship is fair between both people and both people should be treated equally. To be a good friend, you need to have a better sense of what is right than to just be a good citizen or soldier. The best form of fairness and justice is to be friendly.

 3.      Opinion and Interpretation:

I selected this paragraph because it talks about the basic aspect of friendship. Friendship is extremely important to me and I love my friends more than anything. I am constantly trying to be the best possible friend I can be. I really enjoyed reading this paragraph the most because it was the easiest to understand in my opinion. I liked this because it discussed the fact that friendship is not a one sided thing, and most people tend to think it is. Fairness and caring are two important aspects of everyday life, not even just with friendship. Friendship does not need justice in the sense of following specific rules in order to gain fairness. Friendship just requires people to always do the right thing because they care for that person. I always make sure my friendships or relationships are fair because I never want the other person to think I take them for granted, or do not care for them like they care for me.

 4.      Views on Friendship

 1.      What is your understanding of ethics of justice and ethics of care?   Are they opposite or complementary?  Are they useful in understanding what we (should) believe and how we (should) act?

My understanding of ethics of justice versus ethics of care is that ethics of justice, or rights, is a more action guiding principle implicit in men, while ethics of care is more of a characteristic of women and is more apt to be implicit in the experience and ideals of women. I think that it could be argued that the two theories are both opposite and complementary to each other. They are complementary to each other  because the ethics of care basically guides one in the right approach in considering the needs others play in ethical decision making, and the ethics of justice basically allows one to make a decision based on what is right or fair to all people involved. This makes them both complementary and opposite because although it takes into consideration others needs which could allow fair treatment to all people, it could also not allow fair treatment or not allow the consideration of other’s needs. Different situations require different approaches to handling them, and sometimes you cannot always please everyone involved, or take into consideration the needs of everyone involved. These can be useful in understanding what we should believe and how we should act depending on one’s own beliefs. For example, if one had strong beliefs towards ensuring equality among all people, then they would be more apt to agree with the ethics of justice theory. However, if they had stronger beliefs in ensuring all needs of people involved are fulfilled, then they would be more apt to agree with the ethics of care theory. However, I personally think that the two theories go hand-in-hand with one another because both theories take into consideration the rights of everyone involved in the situation. It just depends if one wants to make sure all needs are fulfilled or if equality is distributed appropriately.

2.      What are qualities of friendship that might help us formulate more general ethical considerations?

The qualities of friendship that might help us formulate more general ethical considerations are fairness and caring. The article explains that to be a good friend one must sometimes focus more on the sense of fairness than focusing on being a good citizen. This means that we should put more of our effort into our friendships with people in our lives, than effort put into being a good citizen throughout daily tasks. The other quality of friendship is to be caring. This quality basically allows us to value our friend’s independence of utility for both respect and love.  In love, we value their particularities. This allows us and our friends to enrich our self-esteem.  I think that these two qualities can help formulate a more general ethical consideration because by caring and being fair to different relationships in our lives, we are not being selfish–we are taking into consideration of what is right for ourselves and others in different situations. This allows us to focus on both what is right for others, how we can fulfill other’s needs, and what provides equality to all.

3.      What is your definition of empathy and can you think of a situation in which you felt empathy towards someone else?  What can we learn from it and how could it apply to other, more general ethical situations?

My definition of empathy is understanding someone else’s feelings because you have been in a similar situation and have felt the same feelings before. Empathy allows you to relate yourself to a situation someone is going through, because you have gone through it before as well. An example of a situation in which I have felt empathy towards someone was when my friend’s uncle passed away because he had cancer, and a year before that my uncle passed away from lung cancer but he hid it from all of us up until he had absolutely no choice because he only had a few days left. So my situation was a little bit more difficult because it was more of a surprise, however, the emotions were based off the same reasoning and it was definitely a difficult time of my life, as well as hers. From empathy, we can learn to relate to others situations because a lot of the time even though we don’t realize it, we have probably been in similar situations and gone through just as difficult of times. We can apply this to a more general ethical situation by when making decisions, taking into consideration what people need based on what they are going through. For example, do they need moral support? This will allow them to go about a situation better especially if they are emotional and can’t seem to focus, we can relate to them and understand why it is so difficult for them.

4. Do you believe that too much emphasis on personal caring relationships will encourage many people to become morally apathetic towards larger ethical issues? Why or why not?

Yes I do believe that too much emphasis on personal caring relationships will encourage people to become morally apathetic towards larger ethical issues because if people focus too much on personal situations that they have gone through, then they will compare those situations to larger ethical ones. This creates a problem because if they are focusing too much on their own relationships, they won’t see why others feel the way they do about certain ethical issues. It is good to focus on your life, but sometimes you have to put it aside and see what others are going through. This means that if one person has strong feelings on a certain situation in relationships, they are less willing to change their views on situations that they are not personally involved with. It will be more difficult for them to emphasize with understanding why certain people make the decisions they do.

5. Multi-Media

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJZ3bcPr-Ds

I chose the song Lean On Me. I chose this song because it is extremely popular and it relates to friendship which is what this lesson is all about. It shows that friends should always be caring and should always have a shoulder to lean on if another friend needed help with anything.

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