Ethics Final Take Home Exam

Ethics Final Take Home Exam - Ethics Final Take Home Exam...

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Ethics Final Take Home Exam May 9, 2011 Sara Martinson Part I 5. The Doctrine of Doing and Allowing was a principle first illustrated by Philippa Foot. The main question being is there a difference morally in doing something and allowing it to happen and if there is, does it make a difference in what we are permitted to do. There is a fine line between allowing something to happen and actually doing something. If you are doing something, an action started by you is required. If you are allowing something, you are choosing to let something to continue to happen without acting upon it. In a simple example you can either push a shopping cart over a hill in which you are doing and action, or you can watch a shopping cart fly down the hill and do nothing to stop it, or allow it to continue to happen. Another example is a case we talked about in class where two uncles are asked to care for their niece after the child’s family passed away. There was a large sum of money on her life that the uncle really wanted. He decided one day to drown her in the tub. Here, he is doing something; he is killing her. In another instance, the other uncle walks past and notices her drowning in the tub. He remembers that he would inherit a lot of money if she were to die so he doesn’t do anything to save the child. In this case, both actions – doing and allowing – seem very morally wrong. In this case we would expect both actions to be punished to the fullest for what they did. Morally the child is dead because of the uncle. It is this significance between killing the little girl and letting the girl die that adds the moral significance to the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing. If both uncles in this case would have been charged with the death of the little girl then both scenarios are just as bad for a moral point. Of course legally there would have been a lot of loop holes
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because it would have been hard to prove that the uncle really didn’t do anything to save the child but that is beside the point. If, however, there is nothing you can do in the event of something happening to prevent what is going on, and you are technically therefore allowing something to happen, you should be put to blame for what happened. 7. An idea first crafted by Aristelian, Virtue Ethics is all about a person as a whole, not just their actions. Virtue Ethics maintains character and excellence rather than whether or not something is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. So, an action would be considered ‘right’ not because it is right, but because a virtuous person would do that action in those circumstances. Virtue is seen as a quality that will
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This note was uploaded on 09/24/2011 for the course PHI 201 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '10 term at Northwestern IA.

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Ethics Final Take Home Exam - Ethics Final Take Home Exam...

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