Week 5 – Final Paper
Please read these assignment instructions before writing your paper, and re-read them often during and after the writing process to make sure that you are fulfilling all of the instructions.
In the Week One Assignment, you chose a concrete moral problem, identified three ethically significant issues that pertain to that problem, and constructed a thesis statement that articulated your position on that problem. In the Week Three Assignment, you discussed either deontological or utilitarian theory, applied that theory to the problem, and raised a relevant objection.
By engaging with the course material, you now have had a chance to refine your thinking and broaden your understanding of the issue by approaching it from the perspective of multiple ethical theories.
In this paper, you will demonstrate what you have learned by writing an essay in which you
Present a revised thesis statement on the problem you are discussing.
Identify, explain, and apply the core principles of at least two ethical theories to draw specific moral conclusions about the problem you are discussing.
Present your own reasoning on the problem you are discussing and explain which of the ethical theories best supports your own view on the issues.
Write an essay that conforms to the requirements below. The paper must be 1500 to 2000 words in length (excluding the title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Writing Center.
The paragraphs of your essay should conform to the following guidelines:
Introduction (150 to 200 words):
Your first paragraph should introduce the topic by briefly and precisely discussing the concrete problem or question that you will be addressing, including a brief preview of the ethically significant issues that make this question important. This should draw upon your work in the Week One Assignment, but should be more succinct and reflect the development of your understanding of those ideas throughout the course.
Conclude your introductory paragraph with the revised statement of your thesis, and a brief description of the primary reason(s) supporting your position. (If you changed topics, you will need to repeat the exercises from the Week One Assignment, including using the Thesis Generator from the Writing Center. Please see the notes and guidelines for more on this).
Application of Two Ethical Theories (1000 to 1200 words):
This section of the Final Paper consists in explaining and applying the core principles of two ethical theories to the question or problem you have chosen. One of these theories may be the theory you used in your Week Three Assignment, but your discussion here should be more refined and must identify the specific moral conclusions(s) that result when the theory is applied to the question or problem you are addressing.
For each of the theories you are considering, you should
Explain the core principles or features of the theory and the general account of moral behavior it provides.
Explain how these principles or features apply to the problem or question under consideration and identify the specific moral conclusion that results when these theories are applied to that problem or question.
A specific moral conclusion is a statement that takes a moral stance on the issue at hand. For example, if you’re discussing the question, “Is the death penalty moral?” a discussion that identifies and applies the core principles of utilitarian theory might yield the specific conclusion that the death penalty is moral because it ensures the greatest good for the greatest number. Applying virtue ethics might conclude that the death penalty exhibits the vice of cruelty, or a deontological theory might worry that it fails to treat the criminal as an end-in-itself. (Note: These are just examples; you may not write on the death penalty, nor is it necessarily the case that each theory would lead to the conclusion mentioned).
For purpose of this assignment, it’s best if you explain and apply the core principles of one theory first, and then turn to the second theory. This section of the paper should be approximately 1000 to 1200 words (500 to 600 words for each theory application).
Evaluation (150 to 300 words):
In this section of the paper, you should explain which ethical theory you think presents the most persuasive moral argument on this question and why. Then briefly address a common objection to that argument that you have not yet considered in the main part of your paper, and provide a concise response to that objection.
For example, if you were writing on capital punishment, you might think that a utilitarian argument that defends position X is most persuasive. You would then raise an objection against a utilitarian defense of position X, and defend that view against the objection.
Conclusion (150 to 300 words):
Provide a conclusion that sums up what you presented in the paper and offers some final reflections, including a revised statement of the thesis (do not simply repeat your thesis, but rephrase it in light of the discussion you just presented).
You must use at least four resources. Two of the resources must be drawn from the list of acceptable resources on each of the two theories you discuss. For example, if you write on deontology and virtue ethics, you would need at least one resource under the “Deontology” list, and at least one resource under the “Virtue Ethics” list. The other two may be from either the Required or Recommended Resources, or from the University Library.
If you need help with finding additional resources, or are unsure about whether a particular resource will count toward the requirement, please contact your instructor.
The textbook does not count toward the resource requirement.
Cite your sources within the text of your paper and on the reference page. For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar.
List of Acceptable Primary Resources for the Week 3 and Week 5
These are the primary resources that you can cite when explaining a moral theory in order to fulfill the
relevant portion of the resources requirement. Readings included in the “Required Readings” list are
indicated with a *.
*Mill, J. S. Utilitarianism, in the original version in the textbook, or in the version by Jonathan
Bennett retrieved from www.earlymoderntexts.com.
Haines, W. (n.d.). Consequentialism. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from
Singer, P. (2003). Voluntary euthanasia: A utilitarian perspective. Bioethics, 17(5/6), 526-541.
Retrieved from the EBSCOhost database.
* Kant, I. (2008). Groundwork for the metaphysic of morals. In J. Bennett (Ed. & Trans.), Early
Modern Philosophy. Retrieved from http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/pdfs/kant1785.pdf
(Original work published in 1785).
* Aristotle. (350 B.C.E.). Nicomachean ethics (W. D. Ross, Trans.). Retrieved from
Annas, J. (2006). Virtue ethics. In D. Copp (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory (pp. 515–
36). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from
Hursthouse, R. (2012). Virtue ethics. In E. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-virtue/
MacIntyre, A. (1984). After virtue. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press. Chapters 14-15
are included in the Chapter 6 readings of the textbook.
*Held, V. Feminist transformations of moral theory. Included in the Chapter 6 readings of the
*Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women’s development.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Retrieved from
* Noddings, N. (2010). Maternal factor: Two paths to morality. Berkeley, CA: University of
California Press. Retrieved from the ebrary database.
Copy of Week One Assignment
Communities have different moral codes from us and as humans we possess an independent right to judge what is wrong and right. The primary reasons as to stating this position are; we can independently judge what is wrong and right, judgment or cultural relativism is just an opinion from different people as to what is right and wrong and the ‘right way’ is the one handed down from the ancestors and accepted by the community.
The ethical problem in this issue is the judging of other communities’ morals to be either wrong or right. An individual should not judge other community morals as they are just their opinions. The individuals have their own moral codes that might not be accepted by the others as they also view other communities’ codes (Eriksen, 2014). The judgment is relative to the social context that the individual comes from. The truth in social codes should be viewed as variable and not absolute. There is nothing inherently good or wrong in cultural relativism. The moral codes change from one community to another and the only way to understand each other is by respecting moral codes that other communities. Ethics are limited to a community setting as there are things that they believe are right or wrong in their opinion.
The significant ethical issue is peace and prosperity in the society. When communities are able to live and understand each other, they will always be prosperous. Without peace, the world will be a dangerous place to live in. Peace can only be found if people appreciate each other and respect what they believe in. We will always have different views towards different things. Our beliefs should not be the cause of feuds in the society (Lentin & Titley, 2011). Peace has been the basis of the survival of humans which needs to be addressed.
Economic cost is another issue that is presented in cultural relativism. Business is a crucial means of survival to each and every human being (Rachels, 1999). Business can only be conducted if people understand and appreciate each other. One will not be willing to do business with a person who does not respect them. The economy will therefore suffer due to the lack of doing business between individuals.
The last ethical issue is the impact that the judgment might have on the people from the community. Based on the fact that they have feelings, judging them on their moral grounds will prove to be hurtful to the people (Michelbach, 2012). They will feel hurt since they are being judged on what they believe. This may result to hostility and other unexpected issues. It will compromise the peace in the region and lack of understanding between them will be imminent.
Eriksen, T. H. (2014). Global Citizenship and the Challenge from Cultural Relativism. InGlobal Citizen–Challenges and Responsibility in an Interconnected World(pp. 53-60). SensePublishers.
Lentin, A., & Titley, G. (2011).The crises of multiculturalism: Racism in a neoliberal age. Zed Books Ltd.
Michelbach, P. A. (2012). Grounding the View from Nowhere? Essentialism, Liberal Universalism, and Cultural Relativism.Philosophy Study,2(4), 244.
Rachels, J. (1999). The Elements of Moral Philosophy (pp. Chapter 2, pp. 15-29). McGraw-Hill.
Copy of Week Three Assignment
Applying an Ethical Theory
In order to analyze an issue in ethical terms, the ethical and non ethical issues and concerns which raised in situation and need to remove all the problems and obstacles in questions, the ethical/ moral issues, rightness or wrongness of public policy or personal behavior. All policies actions that impact people always have an ethical dimension while some other restricts ethical issues which may cause harm and affect the personal conduct and ethics. These social ethics are comprehensive includes How does business ethics relate to corporate responsibility? Is the death penalty an ethically acceptable type of punishment? Should animals have rights?
By learning about ethical theories, you will be able to evaluate complex ethical issues from different perspectives so Deontology often is seen as an overarching ethical theory that encompasses duty ethics and rights-based ethics. Both duty and rights-based ethics are forms of universalism because they rely on principles that must be applied at all times to all people. Some people object that the universalism of duty and rights-based ethics make these theories too inflexible.
“Deontology, taken in its largest sense, is meant that branch of art and science which has for its object the doing on each occasion what is right and proper to be done “(Louden, 1996).
Core principles of Deontological ethics theory
There are two major ethics theories that are explained and justify moral rules and principles: utilitarianism and deontological ethics. Deontological ethics theory is mortal theory which comes from the Greek word deon which means “binding duty.” It defines natural moral law, and intuitions from common sense. Deontological ethics, in philosophy, ethical theories that place special emphasis on the relationship between duty and the morality of human actions. In the Deontological moral systems are characterized by a independent moral rules or duties. We understand the moral duties and correct rules to regulate the correct moral choices we follow our duty to behaving morally. When we fail to follow our duty, we are behaving immorally. Typically in any deontological system, our duties, rules, and obligations are determined by God. Deontology is one of those kinds of normative theories which are related to morally choices forbidden or permitted. In other words, deontology falls within the domain of moral theories that guide and assess our choices of what we ought to do (deontic theories).
Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative takes this and breaks it down into rules, demonstrates
“All people are moral like someone, no matter if it is in self-defense or cold blooded then the person is considered immoral.”
This theory of Deontological theory is not complicated but it is easy to follow for supporters. He discussed the issue of men and women have being treated equally. There have no matter that one is the staying at home and other is secretary because there should not have differences or no less important to do work at home or anywhere, the reality is both are important for each other.
“Act in such a way as to treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of anyone else, always as an end and never merely as a means” (Kant, 2008).
Deontological ethics has at least three important features.
· First, duty should be done for duty’s sake means the rightness or wrongness of an act or rule like acts of lying, promise breaking, or murder we have not to do because these things are intrinsically wrong.
· Second, humans should be treated as objects of intrinsic moral value like overall happiness or welfare.
· Third, moral principle is a categorical imperative that is universalizable which is applicable for everyone who is in the same moral situation.
Principles or features of the deontological theory apply to the problem
The deontological ethical theories are called deontic or action-based theories of morality because they focus entirely upon the actions which a person performs. The reasons why certain actions are performed under the consideration of Deontological moral systems. Simply in deontological moral system, a correct motivation cannot be used as a basis for describing an action as morally correct. It is hardly to believe that something is the correct duty to follow. Duties and obligations must be determined objectively and absolutely, not subjectively. There is no room in deontological systems of subjective feelings on the contrary; most adherents condemn subjectivism and relativism in all their forms.
By understanding this approach relies upon three principles for determining whether behavior was ethical.
· First, ethical duties and the motivation to fulfill those duties should always outweigh competing motivations and desires.
· Second, certain kinds of actions, like lying, are always wrong like no situation justifies lying.
· Third, a single, unarguable principle of reason exists that we can use to determine what our ethical duties are. Because this principle is unquestionable or undebatable, it is called self-evident.
Perhaps the most significant thing to understand about deontological moral systems is that their moral principles are completely separated from any consequences which following those principles might have. Thus, if you have a moral duty not to lie, then lying is always wrong even if that result in harm to others like you would be acting immorally if you lied to Nazis about where Jews were hiding.
Here are example that show how deontology is applied on the problems and questions,
According to the Golden Rule, you should
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
So, applying the categorical imperative, this rule is ethical. It respects the dignity and worth of others, and it is universal in its application. The common types of Deontological Ethics have some examples like “Divine Command” the most common forms which derive their set of moral obligations from a god and “Monistic Deontology” an action is morally right which guides all other subsidiary principles.
Obstacles /Objections with Deontological Ethics
A common criticism of deontological moral systems is that they provide no clear way to resolve conflicts between moral duties. As we know that a deontological moral system rely on moral duty not to lie and safe others from harm.
Some critics argued that deontological moral systems are, in fact, consequentiality moral systems in disguise. According to this argument, duties and obligations which set forth in deontological systems are actually those actions which have been demonstrated over long periods of time to have the best consequences. Eventually, they become enshrined in custom and law and people stop giving them or their consequences much thought they are simply assumed to be correct. Deontological ethics are thus ethics where the reasons for particular duties have been forgotten, even if things have completely changed.
A second criticism is that deontological moral systems do not readily allow for grey areas where the morality of an action is questionable. In real life, however, moral questions more often involve grey areas than absolute black & white choices. We usually faced conflicting duties, interests, and issues that make things difficult.
Deontology ethical theory based on duty ethics and rights-based ethics. Both duty and rights-based ethics are forms of universalism because they rely on principles that must be applied at all times to all people. Some people object that the universalism of duty and rights-based ethics make these theories too inflexible.
Although the theory of Deontology of Immanuel Kant is very clear and fair in deciding if an act is moral or immoral is not perfect but one problem with this theory is that it does not look at the other side of an action.
“One other classical, or traditional, theory remains; it does not look at the consequences of our acts or at the acts themselves and the rules that guide these acts” (Mosser, 2014)
Like a man and a woman both work at the same company, and do the same job. Under the rules of Deontology many people in the working world would like this to remain true but in normal circumstances the boss would check performance. One may receive a raise and one may not depend on their job performance. According to the theory this would be wrong and immoral and has nothing to do with ones gender that men and women have treated equally is an ethical question.
However, is this fair in every situation? Actually many times not looking at the result of an action actually causes the action itself considered to be unethical like the battle of the sexes continues to rage on, and the question of what is right and what is wrong is never a clear cut answer.
In conclusion, utilitarianism theory based on the idea that an action is right or wrong depending on its consequences. The utilitarian theory is another form of universalism which based on a principle that applies to all people at all times and happiness but this principle that do not respect the idea that individual rights may not be violated. The second theory Deontological ethics based on natural moral law, and intuitions independent moral rules or duties.
With this law we see that it is still unethical and unmoral to take a life but in some situations we see that this theory have allowed for suicide to be an option. With both theories we see that no matter what way we go it is unethical and unmoral to take a person life and even our own. In end we should make a life ending decision have own to make a happy life.
J.P. Moreland. “Ethics Theories: Utilitarianism Vs. Deontological Ethics.” Christian Research Institute. N.p., 17th Apr. 2009. Web.
Cline, Austin. “What Is Deontology, Deontological Ethics?”
Alexander, Larry. “Deontological Ethics.” Stanford University. Stanford University, 21 Nov. 2007.
Kant, I. (2008). Groundwork for the metaphysic of morals. In J. Bennett (Ed. & Trans.), Early Modern Philosophy. Retrieved from http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/pdfs/kant1785.pdf (Original work published in 1785).
Mosser, K. (2013). Understanding philosophy. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.