Final Philosophy 230 paper - Neurosurgeon and the Homeless

Final Philosophy 230 paper - Neurosurgeon and the Homeless...

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RD1 1. Struggling to find food and shelter each day, homeless derelicts press on hoping good fortune will find them and change their lives. They face every day unaware of what the future holds and question how long they can last without consistent provision. These individuals carry a burden wherever they travel; often requesting monetary donations out of pity only to repeat the actions which originally deprived them of a home. They tend to take the easy way out and hold onto their habits rather than seeking help to get out of the wretched living conditions they endure. While the homeless are out begging for assistance, they fail to realize how they can be- nefit others. In this case, the Neurosurgeon has a brilliant idea for the greater good of humanity; the idea that the homeless men could be taken off of the streets and used for research and sur- gery involving spinal cord injury. The Utilitarian viewpoint revolves around a person’s obligation to benefit the greatest number of people and the individual needs power over his or her charac- ter to make the association between personal happiness and good for the entire group. Though the homeless men may not understand at the time of the “relocation,” the Neurosurgeon intends on using them to develop a cure for spinal cord injuries; not for some sadistic pleasure or other cruel intention. The Utilitarian ideal requires the greatest amount of pleasure to be derived from a certain action and through the Neurosurgeon’s research and experimental surgery, a cure may soon be available to those suffering globally. The suffering of the homeless men will be small in comparison to the pleasure experienced worldwide from those victims with spinal cord injury. The Neurosurgeon is helping the homeless men change their role from being society’s burden to becoming society’s contributor. Once the homeless derelicts acknowledge their new contribution as greater to the world than before, they will have developed a nobleness of char- acter. This is likely difficult for the homeless man to judge because of the pain brought upon himself, but the Utilitarian sees the power of acting towards a collective good for the benefit of humankind. As the homeless men are being operated on, the Neurosurgeon is also exhibiting Utilitarian facets. He sees the potential benefits spinal cord research and development offers and knows what steps are needed to improve the human condition and bring pleasure to many. 1
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This note was uploaded on 02/12/2011 for the course PHIL 230 taught by Professor Holmgren during the Spring '07 term at Iowa State.

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Final Philosophy 230 paper - Neurosurgeon and the Homeless...

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