Theory And Practice

In this course, we look at classical ethical theories of utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics. We also look at the different kinds of perspectives on ethical issues introduced by relativism, ethical egoism, and emotivism.

For this paper, you will pick an ethical issue to discuss, but one that is not a specific topic addressed in our text (thus, gun control or product liability would not be possible choices). Some examples are given below, but it is recommended that you choose to write on a topic you have already encountered or you have thought about previously. (One way of thinking about this is to think of an ethical issue that either worries you or enrages you.)

Identify, specifically, the ethical issue and the ethical problems it presents. Drawing on various sources, explain how one of the classical theories (utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics) would resolve the problem. Then, contrast this response with the perspective brought to the issue by relativism, emotivism, or ethical egoism. Finally, state which of these views is closer to your own, supporting your response with a clearly-presented and well-supported argument. The more specific you can be the better, and feel free to include examples that will strengthen your account.

Possible Topics

  • Physician Assisted Suicide
  • Corporate Contributions to Political Campaigns
  • Ethical Treatment of Prisoners
  • The Media and Its Responsibilities
  • Gay Marriage
  • Health Care: Right or Privilege
  • Ethical Treatment of Animals
  • Legalizing Marijuana
  • Ethical Problems of Gambling
  • Progressive Taxation Rates
  • Following Military Orders That May Be Unethical
  • Age Restrictions on Alcohol Relative to Military Eligibility

The rough draft must be at least three (3) pages in length, (excluding the title and reference pages), and must include a thesis statement and a list of the resources you intend to use. Format your rough draft according to APA (6th edition) style and properly cite all your resources. If you would like to refer to APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, within the Learning Resources tab in the left navigation bar, in your online course.

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