Introduction to ethics

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Answer one and only one of the following numbered questions.  Please ensure that you answer each part of the numbered question you select to answer.  Your essay needs to be typewritten, in black ink, double-spaced, with one-inch margins on all sides.  You must either use MLA or CMS style.  I prefer Times New Roman font, size twelve.  Lastly, your essay needs to be at least four FULL pages in length, but the essay should not exceed six pages.  If you should have any questions, please let me know.



  1. It has been suggested that, evolution being what it is, monogamy is not obviously something that human beings are suited for.  Human beings are all but plagued by sexual desire.  So this raises the interesting question of whether or not monogamy is a rational social practice.  If it is, there ought to be some very good reasons for it notwithstanding the aches of sexual desire.


So make the case for monogamy.  This requires speaking to the weaknesses and strengths of monogamy.  And in making your case, be sure to take into account the extent to which the considerations you proffer are or are not at odds with evolution.


  1. For several decades, bioethicists have debated whether killing differs from letting die.  A leading physician in medical ethics once admitted, “I have had occasion to give a patient pain medication we both knew would shorten her life.”  Obviously, we can ask: does this differ from killing her?  Some have argued that just as rape and making love are different, so are killing and assisted suicide.  Even so, James Rachels argues that this distinction has no inherent moral value and often leads to decisions about death based on irrelevant factors.  What argument(s) does Rachels’ use to help to establish this thesis?  Is intending death by removing a respirator equivalent to suffocating a patient with a pillow?  Is it difficult to draw a line between active and passive?  Why or why not?


  1. For most of us, our families are very important.  Although they can cause discomfort, anguish, and pain, they often infuse our lives with meaning, bring us great joy, and heighten our contentment.  When relationships with family are flourishing, it is difficult to envision life without them.  At those times we don’t really think about what we owe them or what they owe us.  According to Jane English, this is as it should be; for she holds that strong family relationships are based on love.  Explain further why English claims that grown children do not owe anything to their parents.  Discuss in detail the arguments she uses to establish this thesis.  What is your assessment of her argument?  Is moral obligation at odds with close personal relationships?

Last Updated on August 2, 2019 by EssayPro