Free «Theory and Contemporary Issues» Essay Sample

Question 1

Utilitarianism proposes the moral judgment of an action basing on its consequence on the people and that an action is good if it results on greater good to a greater number. Utilitarianism tries to bring moral good to the world by considering the good and worst sides of an action in comparison to the action's alternatives. The advantage of utilitarianism is that it is optimal in terms of alternatives. The drawbacks of the utilitarianism are; it fails to clearly state what is good, it is a threat to an individual and is impractical owing to number of participating individuals. It is also associated with expediency marking it with some immorality (Mackinnon, 2008).

Deontological approach is based on rules and duties or obligation: an action is morally right if it adheres to the prevailing rule or set of rules. It is basically interested on the duties and obligations. Deontological approach has some advantages over utilitarianism as t does not undermine an individual and it is the basis of law abiding (Mackinnon, 2008). Its main drawback is on justifying the constraints under which the rules must be protected. In addition, deontologist will find it difficult to balance between the conflicts between some duties and rights. My point over the duties and rules is on how rule bind one to duties regardless of the conditions.

Question 2

Positive (welfare rights) are those rights which gives a permission or obligation to benefit from an action for example the right to education or health while the negative (liberty) rights are those rights which give permission or obligation of not to being subjected to a particular action for example right to freedom of speech.

John Locke had a unique point of view on what human rights basically consisted which he termed as natural rights. He believed that as a human being, one is borne with particular divine rights. They consisted of the right to live, the right to have good health, and the right to liberty among others. These natural rights could on their make the rational the rational human beings live harmonious lives and that the presence of authority to implement human rights is not necessary. I summary, Locke had a belief that human beings could be capable to uphold their own human rights as they have an instinct on that (Mackinnon, 2008).

According to me, I think the Locke's human rights such as right to live, health, and education are important as they are the basic one's which if provided to a rational human being will use them to cultivate other rights which will be secondary to this. Human rights have ignited many talks with proponents and opponents on some human rights, which can be regarded as secondary. The talks are quite important or worth done as they have made some rights which were initially not recognized to be featured in the list of the rights e.g. the right of same sex marriage, recognition of the female gender. The major drawback of the talks is that they have created room for malicious manipulations of the actual rights. On the contentious issues such as same sex marriage, I am supporting those who base their argument on the Bible: "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. (Lev 18:22)

Question 3

The cons claim that fetus is biologically human but it is not a person with the right to life. While the pros claim that fetus is a human person who should not be innocently denied the right to life. Both sides revolve around personhood, which is tied to some consciousness, reasoning, ability to communicate, and self-awareness. Fetus is seen to meet only one of these i.e. consciousness justifying abortion. Personhood is very unclear as there is no line to mark where the fetus crosses from non-person to person.

Although some argument have succeeded that fetus is non-person, abortion still remains morally impermissible. This is because abortion leads to the death of a being with a future hence making the act immoral. Interestingly, the cons of abortion have adequate points for their argument due the practicality of conception, birth, and life.

Question 4

War is termed as just if it will be triggered as a response to any threatening coercion or a domination and also if the war will be to overthrow the existing domination. The war should also have a just cause, is the last resort, declared by appropriate authority, and must depict the high chances of success (Robinson & Paul, 2006).

During the war, just conduct is achieved basing on discrimination i.e. the targeted, and the moral proportionality in terms of amount of force applied. However, the criterion of discrimination is less practical in the contemporary warfare as there is no moral distinction in targeting an armed combatant or an aide civilian. Nevertheless, this does not render such a war unjust. States may be disadvantaged to abide by these principles of just conduct.

Question 5

Relativism is known to be either descriptive or normative relativisms. Basing on this, ethical relativism theory is the one that hold that: one's culture forms a basis of relative morality i.e. the rightness or wrongness of a particular action depends on the society in which it is practiced. The main strength of ethical relativism is that is quite adopted and can be integrated to generate universal moral principles. However, this relativism has drawbacks in that it leads to a question on the existence of moral principles or it is just a matter of "cultural taste" (Mackinnon, 2008).

Mary Midgley argues out about the moral isolationism. She believes that for one to make a correct judgment about an individual or a culture, one need to understand the individual or the culture. She also makes a clarification that it is possible to understand people in other cultures (Mackinnon, 2008).

Question 6

Personhood in the debate on euthanasia has brought contention regarding de-humanization or de-personalization. Likewise, the definition of death as a biological exit of personhood has challenged the "mercy- killing" called euthanasia. In addition, it can be defined as physician-involved suicide with no regards to personal decision by the patient. These definitions raise some challenges on the moral point of both the pros and cons. The terms in question is killing which is ending the life and allowing to die which simply means stopping any effort to avoid the death (Kuhse & Singer, 2010).

Ordinary and extraordinary treatment and well as voluntary and involuntary euthanasia have raised concerns on the debate regarding the will and accountability of the process. The process has received support in that: euthanasia alleviates suffering of patients, help to safely end the lives of incurably sick people, gives the patient the right to determine the fate of his/her life, and finally reducing the cost of long-term unpromising medications. The cons are: it is morally incorrect i.e. a humble term for murder, malicious influence by family members for wealth inheritance, and finally mishandling i.e. on what constitutes euthanasia among other cons and pros (, 2010). On the arguments, J Gay-Williams' are more utilitarian while the James Rachels' are Kantian. Here Gay-Williams' has stronger arguments as the statements are more logical hence the conclusion.


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