Prepare the answers to the following three questions and bring them with you to the final exam session. Your paper must be double spaced, with your name and section (A or B or C) on each page. Number the pages.
Define “virtue ethics.” Define “moral character”. Use only our textbook to find these definitions.
Describe ways in which students “cheat” in school. Why is cheating so common? Think hard about this – discuss not just short-cuts to success, but also negative attitudes of students towards school, particular subjects, professors, etc. Distinguish between reasons and rationalizations. (Note: you will know a lot about this topic, even if you have never or seldom cheated. It’s part of the culture.)
How does a habit of cheating (a vice) developed in school incline a person to cheat in other areas of life? What are some of the many ways in which people in business cheat? Name at least 10. Cheating on taxes is common, too, as well as cheating (infidelity) in marriages and committed relationships. Don’t stop there.
The net result is that a person’s moral character is degraded. Discuss. How is a person with this vice worse off than a person with little or no inclination to cheat? How is such a person less free? Why is such a person less appealing to others?
The habit of cheating is a vice; what is the corresponding virtue? Describe a few of the circumstances likely to help us acquire, maintain and enhance this virtue in ourselves, and to promote its development in others. Think big here – what circumstances, relationships, pastimes, jobs, political systems, etc. move people in the direction of developing morally good character?
Revisit your group case, as well as the ‘big picture’ material. Each case has at its center a major moral dilemma, problem, or moral catastrophe. How might individuals associated with the situation have prevented or lessened the problem by “giving voice to values” at some point in the process. Review materials on the Babson webpage http://www.babson.edu/Academics/teaching-research/gvv/Pages/home.aspx and the University of Texas Ethics Unwrapped videos http://ethicsunwrapped.utexas.edu/ to give depth to your essay.
We began the class by watching the video Tapped. Rewatch the film. The film’s website http://www.tappedthemovie.com/ will suggest where to go to see the movie — Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and other places on the internet.
Show that you understand how each of the five ethical theories could be related to the claim: “Under ordinary circumstances, people who have access to clean tap water ought not buy bottled water, and should discourage its indiscriminate use by others”
If you prefer, base your essay on The House I Live In. The film makers contend that the War on Drugs, especially as “waged” since the Reagan administration in the 1980s, has diminished social utility, violated the rights of some individuals, promoted racial and class injustice etc. You are encouraged to disagree in whole or in part with the arguments made by the film makers – you must only establish that you understand the message of the film, and are very familiar with the ethical theories.
**Note: you must closely study your text book to answer these questions. Your answers should not be long, but they should be precise.
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