Philosophy Case Study.docx - Running Head RESOLVING ETHICAL DILEMMAS USING PHILOSOPHY Resolving Ethical Dilemmas Using Philosophy A Cryogenics Case

Philosophy Case Study.docx - Running Head RESOLVING ETHICAL...

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Running Head: RESOLVING ETHICAL DILEMMAS USING PHILOSOPHY Resolving Ethical Dilemmas Using Philosophy: A Cryogenics Case Study Anza Syed Ryerson University
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Running Head: RESOLVING ETHICAL DILEMMAS USING PHILOSOPHY 1 Resolving Ethical Dilemmas using Philosophy: A Cryogenics Case Study Philosophy, derived from the Greek term, philosophia , translates to “love of wisdom”; it considers methodologies of thinking and believing to examine and understand thoughts and beliefs. It seems a perennial concept but often, in it’s redundancy, we find solutions to our predicaments. Various schools of thought have in large, influenced movements in moral philosophy that we draw upon today to resolve ethical dilemmas. For instance, the premise behind John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarian theory is shaped by the hedonist ideology of holding pleasure to be the most important pursuit of mankind (Mastin, 2009). Subsequently, there exist theories sprung from the distaste of monistic approaches such as William David Ross’s pluralistic deontology. Mill’s Utilitarianism proposes that “the right action is that which facilitates the greatest possible degree of good for all those affected by the action” (Boetzkes & Waluchow, 2012) whereas Ross’s deontology contradicts teleology by claiming that good and bad consequences have no bearing on actions being morally right or wrong (Boetzkes & Waluchow, 2012); rather is suggests that we have fundamental obligations that he refers to as prima facie duties. Taking the cryogenics case study provided by the Department of Philosophy at Ryerson University alongside fundamental theories of ethics into account, in the event of the suggested worldwide pandemic, the choices in the lives to be preserved for restarting civilization lie within taking a utilitarian course of action, in spite of any contradictions proposed by deontological pluralism. The first ethical dilemma encountered is the choice of preserving the five people currently placed in cryostasis. Although some of the individuals currently occupying the chambers could add value to the progression of civilization (i.e. the world-famous physicist whose work forms the basis for current research in space exploration), it is imperative to consider the fact that none of these individuals can be reanimated unless the cure to their terminal illness is discovered. Although not
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Running Head: RESOLVING ETHICAL DILEMMAS USING PHILOSOPHY 2 impossible, given a situation where all of the human population on Earth is to be eliminated for at least the next 50 years, the medical research required to curate their diseases will likely not be expended. And therefore, their contributions to society will likely not be reaped in time, which could potentially cause a lot of harm as preserving these lives jeopardizes the reformation possible from saving more valuable lives that can assist in restarting civilization. Of course, at this point, the
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  • Fall '15
  • HamidTimorabadi

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