Assignment 1



Read pages 1 to 15 and answer the following questions:

1.Consider deontology, which treats ethics as a system of rules.  

(a) What is a situation in which many would consider it appropriate to break the rule, "Do not steal"?

(b) What addition to the do-not-steal rule might a deontolgist add to allow for the exception you suggest in 1a?

2. State two ethical rules which, at first glance, seem entirely appropriate to follow and then describe a situation
in which the two rules conflict with each other.

3. How would a utilitarian resolve the conflict you suggest in answer two?

4. Provide another example of a rule which is morally good to keep in one situation, but not in another.

5. What is one example of when following a simple formulation for utilitarianism, "Do whatever makes the most 
people the most happy" leads to behavior many would consider wrong?

6. What difficulties might arise in life for someone who is a staunch ethical relativist and claims disbelief
in right and wrong?

7. What is your opinion of Singer's defining ethical questions as those which require justification?  Are there
any weaknesses to this definition?

8. What would be the implications if someone decided to actually follow the rules, "Love thy neighbor as thyself"
or "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"?

9. When a utilitarian suggests a course of action which "maximizes the interests of those involved", what is meant
by the term, "interests"?  In other words, beyond pleasure, what qualities of ourselves, other people, and our environment
are valuable and worth pursuing?

10. As a preface to the second assignment, answer this question before reading it: What does it mean to say that
"All people should be treated equally"?