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Chapter

Week 1 - INTRODUCTION AND ETHICAL THEORY: UTILITARIANISM

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHL 302
Professor
Meredith Schwartz
Semester
Fall

Description
Week 1 INTRODUCTION AND ETHICAL THEORY UTILITARIANISMSeptember1511304 PMWhat is theoretical ethics Explain how it is useful1Ethicsis a branch of philosophy that considers ideas about how humans should treat one another and how societies should be organizedTheoretical ethicsasks questions about how we ought to act what our responsibilities are to other people what sort of persons we should try to become and the arguments that can be given in support of any of the claims about these things being madeBiomedical Bio ethicsis a branch of ethics that applies these theoretical considerations to specific issues that arise in connection to the body with the practice of medicine and with technologicaldevelopments that have implications for human beings and how we liveIssues range from reproductive technologies to euthanasiaResponsibilities medical professionals have to other peoplePatient autonomyBecause human beings and society are complex sometimes ethical dilemmas arise Ethical dilemmas occur whenever we must make a decision and none of the possible courses of action open to us is entirely satisfactory because each violates a value we think importanteg If our values are I will not let my children starve and I will not steal then stealing for the purpose of feeding our children would become an ethical dilemmaThe purpose of ethical theory is to help us think clearly about what is at issue and to make a rational decision a decision that has the best arguments in its favour about what should be done provide guidance for decision makingEthical theories help us to be conscientious moral agents by alerting us to our obligations and by providing guidance for our choices The guidance these theories provide also allow us to make consistent not arbitrary impulse decisions and to justify them to othersAllow us to extend our judgements into less certain areasAre ethical relativism and subjectivism adequate theoretical approaches to ethics Provide 2two reasons why they are or are not adequate approaches to moralitySinc
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