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PHIL 209J (8)
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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 209J
Professor
Christopher Morris
Semester
Fall

Description
Do religious beliefs make killing less or more wrong? Thursday, September 5, 2013 12:23 PM I wonder if what you believe in makes killing less or more wrong. If you are someonewho believes in non-violencein all scenarios, then is killing always wrong? I wonder if it can be based on religion. If you believe in an after-life, or some sort of second chance/re-incarnation…iskilling less wrong to you, because you don't think that killing them is the end of everything? If you kill because you believe your religion demands it, is it wrong? You are acting in what you believe is the correct path. But perhaps that makes it more wrong, because other people who do not share your beliefs look at you and see someone brainwashed by a philosophy that lets them rationalize killing. It is commonlybelieved that killing is 'wrong', but who decides that? It is influenced by many people's beliefs and religions. Terrorism (Narrow) Narrow Terrorismis always wrong, because it kills civilians. Killing the innocent is wrong. Narrow terrorismis different than war-- they both have goals, and could have just causes, but there are at least some rules of war. War doesn't really focus on killing civilians who have nothing to do with the conflict. Terrorismis meant to scare the people and that's it, and they aren't the ones who are signed up for combat or making governmentaldecisions. Suicide Wednesday, September 25, 2013 8:49 PM To me, suicide seems completelywrong. How can someonehave the right to kill themselveswhen so many people depend on them? So why is suicide wrong: because it hurts the people around them. Scenario: deserted island, nobody is there. No family, no friends, etc. Is suicide still wrong? Yes: because there are other options than suicide. So maybe hurting others isn't the only reason why suicide is wrong? Purpose of life--> to live. If you commitsuicide, it goes against the very purpose of life. You're supposed to want to live. But on the other hand, some people say the purpose of life is to reproduce, so gay's are wrong because they don't. I don't believe in that logic, so maybe my logic of 'suicide is against the purpose of life' is wrong. Death as the greatest harm Monday, September 30, 2013 11:30 PM Aquinas: death is the greatest evil, weaknessof soul I agree, but for different reasons. I think it is better to suffer on earth than death, because death to me is nothingness. You no longer exist. Your nerves are cut. Our existence depends on nerve signals, we only 'feel' based on our biological responses. If those are gone we feel nothing--we die unhappy, we never gain happiness. We have a lifetimeof sorrowthen just…are nothing. We might get a brief moment of happiness the second before we die, but that's it. I remembera documentaryof people jumping off a bridge (was it the golden gate bridge)? And everyoneregretted it halfway through because they realized that all their problems could be solved, except for the fact that they just jumped off a bridge. So there are always other options to gain that momentof happiness other than suicide. Suicide wouldn't ease your suffering, it would just be…nothing. So I think death is the worst possibility, just 'not existing' anymore. Killing and gangs Sunday, October 6, 2013 12:36 PM Once I met someonewho expressed this view on life: It's either kill or be killed. So why is it wrong to kill someoneif everyoneelse is doing it anyway? If you don't kill, others are going to take advantage of you. I felt like this was morally wrong, but I could see the perspective.If you live in the ghetto it is likely that someonewill try to rob you, kill you, etc. If you establish yourself as a top gang member,that might not happen--although you are the one killing (and you might put yourself in more dangerous situations) That person said 'it's a good way to make money', but I think it's morallywrong to hold money over human lives. Still, I can see the logic if you are in an area that constantly values money over lives. Like it's horrifically morally wrong to do what people like those do, but it might be permissible, until they get caught. I'm not sure. Euthanasia Thursday, October 17, 2013 3:00 PM I think it's acceptable to pull the plug on someonewho is essentially brain dead. It's passive euthanasia, but I think since they are brain dead, they are essentially 'dead' already, as there is no hope of them ever regaining consciousness Other euthanasia -- suicide is wrong, so is euthanasia really putting someoneout of their suffering? Could it be better to suffer than to not exist at all? My view has always been it's better to suffer pain than feel nothing, than to not exist. But some people think differently. I don't think I should impose my views on other, so I think euthanasia could be permissible in situations where the person has no other hope for a cure, and is in pain, and the family membersagree to it as well (so it wouldn't be a harm on the family because they lose a family memberagainst their will). What are we? Tuesday, October 22, 2013 4:00 PM In class, we discussed "what are we". I believe our "existence"is defined by our thoughts, not simply by our body existing. If someonecannot consciouslythink, then they are essentially "gone". This might conflict with religious beliefs, which might believe that there is an additional "soul" can exist without the brain functioning in a patient. But I don't think that should affect discussion of non-voluntary euthanasia, as that "soul" would still be there if they were dead or not. If someonehas their high brain dead, I think they are dead. It should not just be 'whole brain'. Defeasible Morals Tuesday, October 22, 2013 4:10 PM Defeasible morals: - Do not lie ○ If someoneasks if they are ugly and telling them the truth would hurt their feelings ○ Lying about your plans for a surprise birthday party Indefeasible morals: - Pedophilia, perhaps? Unsure. I don't think there are any true indefeasible morals. Even when there are morals that are "Do not do this exceptionallybad thing", there could be scenarios where even the worst possible thing becomesokay. Examples:Killing is wrong, but is defeated in self-defense (unless you are a true pacifist and that is rare) Even pedophilia really depends on the culture. In our culture, dating a 13 year old would be completely disgusting and wrong (if the other person is an adult). But in ancient times, 13 was a perfectly acceptable age for marriage, and suitors could be many times that age. It all depends on a culture. Maybe there are indefeasible morals for different cultures--but does that change the meaning of 'indefeasible"? Abortion is wrong is definitely not an indefeasible moral, same goes with it is always wrong to kill an innocent. Example:if killing an innocent saved many people's lives, is it still wrong? Or could it be wrong, but permissible? I think it wouldn't be wrong. Or it would be wrong, but it would still be permissible, like it would be less wrong than letting many people die to save that innocent person. Abortion & Politics Friday, November 1, 2013 6:30 PM Abortion I think is morally permissible, but I don't think it should be divided in political terms like it is today in America. If you are for abortion, they label you as liberal and a Democrat,if you are against it, they label you as religious, conservative,and Republican. I think this is silly. There are many non- religious arguments against abortion, which most people forget. They assume if you are against abortion, your religion doesn't permit it. Most of the debate I see is with people saying things like 'stop trying to push your religion on me. This is a women's issues' and stuff like that. But I feel like people should try to consider all the reasons. Also, so many people vote on things like abortion. It shouldn't be a party issue at all. Politics should focus on governmentissues, not social ones like abortion. Infanticide and Warren Thursday, November 7, 2013 4:30 PM Warren's excuse for infanticide --> "it would harm others because they want to care for it" is silly because - They are human, not objects - Not everyonewants to care for infants. Ex. Adoption centers in poor countries, homeless children, etc. Her criteria though, could be adapted for babies if you just think of the definitions differently Warren’s criteria: 1) Consciousness 2) Reasoning 3) Self-motivatedactivity 4) The capacity to communicate 5) The presence of self concepts, and self awarene
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