HW for Ethics


God & Morality Homework Assignment (ED)

Step 1: Read this.

Step 2: Write a 1-2 page paper (approximately 350-500 words) explaining Cahn’s exploration as to why many think ethical inquiry and religious considerations are separate enterprises.

In particular, explain the Euthyphro Dilemma. Be sure to discuss the strange implications of the assumption that God simply invented morality and why this leads some to the alternative view: that ethics is an independent field of inquiry, fully divorced from religion.  

Note: If you disagree with Cahn, provide a counterargument.

First Seven Homework Assignment (F7)

Write a 1-2 page summary (approximately 350-500 words) of the first seven ethical theories covered in class: Cultural Relativism, Ethical Egoism & Hobbes’ Social Contract Theory, Kantianism, Utilitarianism, and Virtue Ethics. Include also Divine Command Theory.

In particular, be sure to discuss how each theorist approaches a moral issue. For example, Kantianism is based on rules, Cultural Relativism has to do with the culture in which the action was performed, etc.

Note: Some theories (e.g., Kantianism) will likely require more explanation than others (e.g., ethical egoism).

Triage Homework Assignment (T)

Step 1: Go to RadioLab.org and type “Playing God” in the search tab. Listen to the podcast in its entirety. Or click here

Step 2: Using font size 12 (and a reasonable font), with single-spacing and a length of 250-500 words, answer the following questions:

  • How should you ration care during crisis? Should you use a Utilitarian principle, where you should care for patients who have the most years to live first? Should you care for patients on a first-come-first-serve basis? Should you issue a lottery and care only for those patients who “win”? Explain your choice in 1-2 paragraphs.

  • Should a drug or alcohol abuser receive the same priority as other patients who don’t abuse drugs and alcohol? Explain your reasoning.

Just War Homework Assignment (JW)

Step 1: Find a historical example of a just (or unjust) war.

Step 2: Write a single-spaced 250-500 word summary explaining how the government engaging in the war kept (or broke) all (or at least one) of the criteria for a just war.

Note: When citing, use footnotes.

Thomson Arguments Homework Assignment (TA)

Step 1: Choose a thought-experiment from Judith Jarvis Thomson’s article titled “A Defense of Abortion.”

Step 2: Assess whether you think her analogy is a good or not.

Note: The finished piece should be between 250-500 words.