Foundations of Professional Ethics

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Sunday, 09-18-11: Review 2 (lecture 1)

Assignments:

Read notes to Rachels, Chapter 1

Readings:

Texts:

  • Rachels, Chapter 1

Synopsis:

Exactly one answer to each question is best and thus correct.
 
1) The “Benefits Argument” (Section 1.2 of Rachels’ book) is an attempt to show what follows:
A) We ought to transplant Baby Theresa’s organs because it has overall good consequences (it benefits someone without harming anyone);
B) We ought not to transplant Baby Theresa’s organs because it would involve using here merely as a means;
C) We ought not to transplant Baby Theresa’s organs because it would kill her;
D) none of the above.
 
2) The “Benefits Argument” is based on the asumption that if we can benefit someone, without harming anyone else, we ought to do so. Stefan offered in class the following worries about this assumption:
A) It is a garbled statement of consequentialism because it does not tell us what to do when out action harms someone; so, careful consequentialists might reject this assumption; 
B) It is a garbled statement of consequentialism because it does not tell us what to do if each of two or more actions benefits someone (to various degrees) and neither harms anyone; so, again, consequentialists might reject this assumption; 
C) This principle may be false because morality may be a matter of treating everyone with respect, and not using anyone merely as a means, rather than a matter of bringing about good consequences; so, non-consequentialists might reject this assumption; 
D) All of the above;
E) None of the above.
 
3) In his argument for transplanting the organs Rachels seems to assume that Baby Theresa would not be harmed because
A) she cannot feel anything so, in particular, we cannot cause her any suffering;
B) she does not have any interests or preferences; so we cannot thwart  her interests and preferences;
C) the very fact that Baby Theresa is killed does not count as a harm (at least, it is not a harm in any morally relevant sense);
D) all of the above;
E) none of the above.
 
4) The Argument that we should not use people merely as a means (from section 1.2 of Rachels’ book) is an attempt to show that
A) we ought to transplant Baby Theresa’s organs because it has overall good consequences (it benefits someone without harming anyone);
B) we ought not to transplant Baby Theresa’s organs because it would involve using her merely as a means;
C) we ought not to transplant Baby Theresa’s organs because it would kill her;
D) none of the above.
 
5) Rachels offers the following explanation of what it can mean to use someone merely as a mean:
A) In typical cases, it typically involves violating their autonomy through manipulation, trickery, deceit, or coercion;
B) When we cannot violate someone’s autonomy in any such a way (because she has no autonomy), it may involve violating someone’s interests or preferences;
C) A) and/or B);
D) none of the above.
 
6) According to Rachels and class lectures, the rule that it is wrong to kill
A) is absolute, that is, it admits to no exceptions;
B) is not absolute; that is, it admits to some exceptions;
C) neither A) nor B).
 
7) Stefan argued in class that the following may count as exceptions to the moral requirement prohibiting killing:
A) It is an act of necessary self-defense;
B) It is an act of defending others who are in danger;
C) it is an act that is legal within some society;
D) A) and B);
E) all of the above.
 
8.  According to Rachels, the  prohibition against killing is very strong but not absolote, killing may be sometimes justified if
A) someone has no future because she is going to die soon anyway;
B) someone is not conscious and cannot gain or regain consciousness;
C) killing him or her would save others;
D) all of the above;
E) none of the above.
 
9) The argument for separating Mary and Jody (from section 1.3 of Rachels book), based on the idea that we should save as many as we can, is based on the assumption that
A) It is permissible to bring about overall good consequences;
B) It is impermissible to treat any person without respect (i.e., to use her merely as a means);
C) It is wrong to kill a person;
D) None of the above.
 
10) In this example, the parents of the twins object to their surgical separation because they believe that the surgery would kill one twin and also that it is absolutely wrong to kill an innocent human being (no matter what consequences, no exceptions). Thus, they seem to prefer that the nature runs its curse, even if both twins will die. Their reasoning is overruled by the court. According to Rachels, the court reasons as follows:
A) Neither of the twins would be killed; they would merely be separated from each other;
B) Neither of the twins would be killed intentionally;
C) Both of the twins would be saved;
D) None of the above.
 
11) During the class discussion, Stefan offered an alternative to Rachels interpretation of the court’s reasoning. This alternative is based on the assumption that 
A) Neither of the twins would be killed; they would merely be separated from each other;
B) Neither of the twins would be killed intentionally;
C) Both of the twins would be saved;
D) None of the above.
 
12) In class, Stefan argued that Roman Catholic views about killing are best understood as being based on the following principle:
A) It is absolutely wrong to kill an innocent person;
B) It is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent person;
C) We always have to act in a way that brings about the best balance of benefits and harms;
D) All of the above;
E) None of the above.
 
13) In the example of Tracy Latimer (Section 1.4 of the book), 12‑year‑old victim of cerebral palsy is killed by her father to save her excruciating suffering. The president of the Saskatoon Voice of People with Disabilities argued against this action as follows:
A) It is absolutely wrong to intentionally kill an innocent person;
B) It is absolutely wrong to treat a person merely as a means to save this person suffering;
C) It was wrong to kill her because [justice requires that] handicapped people should be given the same rights as everyone else.
D) none of the above.
 
14) Suppose that, indeed, everyone should be given exactly the same rights as everyone else. It would follow that:
A) Because some people have a right to vote, my 3 year old granddaughter should have a right to vote;
B) Because some people have a right to drink, my 11 year old granddaughter should have a right to drink;
C) Because some people have a right to drive, a blind person should have a right to drive;
D) All of the above.
E) None of the above.
 
15) Following Rachels, Stefan argued that the best understanding of what justice (as equality) requires of us is encapsulated in the following principle:
A) All people ought to earn exactly the same salary and all of us should pay the same taxes;
B) All people  ought to have exactly the same rights;
C) Similar cases ought to be treated similarly, but when the cases are significantly different in relevant respects, those differences may justify a different treatment (e.g., granting people different rights);  
D) All of the above;
E) None of the above.
 
16) Slippery slope considerations (discussed in the book and lectures) attempt to establish that
A) When you use a slope to haul heavy objects, it is best to grease it;
B) Parents ought to watch their children playing, because they can slide on a slippery slope and hurt themselves;
C) Some actions that are reasonably innocuous may undermine our moral values and lead to terrible things;
D) All of the above;
E) None of the above.
 
17) The following are examples of slippery slope arguments:
A) Even if smoking weed is OK, in a long run it may lead to using other drugs such as cocaine or heroin, which is antisocial and morally terrible;
B) Even if gay people unions are innocuous, they may undermine the sanctity of marriage and, in a long run, such unions may undermine the social order;
C) Even if killing Baby Latimer seems permissible, it may undermine the rule prohibiting killing and cheapen human life and in a long run it may lead to killing many people;
D) All of the above;
E) None of the above.
 
18) Following Rachels, Stefan argued that
A) Slippery slope arguments are always sound and establish that we ought not to allow for any action that simply may undermine moral rules and society;
B) Slippery slope arguments are sound when they merely claim that it is inevitable that certain moral rules will be undermined;
C) Slippery slope arguments are not always sound; it is not enough to simply claim that some action may undermine moral rules and society; rather, it is necessary to show (i.e., provide good evidence) that those bad results would occur;
D)  none of the above.
 
19) Following Rachels, Stefan argued in class that
A) We must base our ethical views simply on our feelings;
B) We must not base our ethical views simply on feelings because our feelings may be unreliable and irrational;
C) We must not base our ethical views simply on feelings because various people have different feelings about the same issues;
D) B) and C);
E) none of the above.
 
20) Rachels argues that our feelings are important but, also, they must be guided by the following:
A) Correct religious views;
B) Correct laws;
C) Reason, including the principle of impartiality (and other ethical principles);
D) All of the above;
E) None of the above.
 
21) Rachels argues that impartiality requires of us to assume what follows:
A) Each individual’s interests are equally important; no one should get special treatment;
B) The same ethical principles and rules are applicable across the board, to all similarly situated individuals; no one is above or below of morality;
C) Neither A) nor B).
 
22) According to Rachels, the following views violate the Principle of Impartiality:
A) Racism;
B) Sexism;
C) Both A) and B);
D) none of the above.
 
23) In class Stefan argued that
a) every act of killing an innocent person is murder;
b) murder can be defined as wrongful killing; but not every killing is wrong (some are justified or excusable);
c) neither a) nor b). 
 
24) In class Stefan argued that traditional Christina ethics can be best understood as prohibiting 
a) all cases of killing (including when killing is accidental or unintended);
b) murder;
c) both a) and b);
d) all of the above.
 
25) Autonomy can be defined as ability to decide for oneself how to live one's own life, in accordance with one's own values and desires (see, Rachels p. 3). Stefan argued in class that autonomy includes several features, including
a) ability to understand future including various possible courses of action and what they lead to;
b) ability to compare those different courses of action;
c) ability to choose one in accordance with one's own values; 
d) all of the above;
e) none of the above.  
 
 
=======
(SOME OF THE) ANSWERS:
 
2) The “Benefits Argument” is based on the asumption that if we can benefit someone, without harming anyone else, we ought to do so. Stefan offered in class the following worries about this assumption:
A) It is a garbled statement of consequentialism because it does not tell us what to do when out action harms someone;
B) It is a garbled statement of consequentialism because it does not tell us what to do if each of two or more actions benefits someone (to various degrees) and neither harms anyone;
C) This principle may be false because morality may be a matter of treating everyone with respect, and not using anyone merely as a means, rather than a matter of bringing about good consequences;
D) All of the above;
E) None of the above.
 
See the lecture notes.
 
3) In his argument for transplanting the organs Rachels seems to assume that Baby Theresa would not be harmed because
A) she cannot feel anything so, in particular, we cannot cause her any suffering;
B) she does not have any interests or preferences; so we cannot thwart  her interests and preferences;
C) the very fact that Baby Theresa is killed does not count as a harm (at least, it is not a harm in any morally relevant sense);
D) all of the above;
E) none of the above.
 
Notice, his principle says that if we do NOT HARM (and benefit someone), then... So, what doe Rachels have to assume?
 
4) The Argument that we should not use people merely as a means (from section 1.2 of Rachels’ book) is an attempt to show that
A) we ought to transplant Baby Theresa’s organs because it has overall good consequences (it benefits someone without harming anyone);
B) we ought not to transplant Baby Theresa’s organs because it would involve using her merely as a means;
C) we ought not to transplant Baby Theresa’s organs because it would kill her;
D) none of the above.
 
Please read section 1.2
 
5) Rachels offers the following explanation of what it can mean to use someone merely as a mean:
A) It typically involves violating their autonomy through manipulation, trickery, deceit, or coercion;
B) When we cannot violate someone’s autonomy in any such a way (because she has no autonomy), it may involve violating someone’s interests or preferences;
C) A) and/or B);
D) none of the above.
 
See pp. 3-4.
 
 6) According to Rachels and class lectures, the rule that it is wrong to kill
A) is absolute, that is, it admits to no exceptions;
B) is not absolute; that is, it admits to some exceptions;
C) neither A) nor B).
 
HINT: To say that a rule is absolute means that it is very simple, it admits to no exceptions. If the rules allows for some exceptions then it is not absolute. Also, recall what we said about absolute rules in class.
 
7) Stefan argued in class that the following may count as exceptions to the moral requirement prohibiting killing:
A) It is an act of necessary self-defense;
B) It is an act of defending others who are in danger;
C) it is an act that is legal within some society;
--> D) A) and B);
E) all of the above.
 
By the way, Rachels offeres further exceptions.
 
8) According to Rachels, the  prohibition against killing is very strong but not absolote, killing may be sometimes justified if
A) someone has no future because she is going to die soon anyway;
B) someone is not conscious and cannot gain or regain consciousness;
C) killing him or her would save others;
D) all of the above;
E) none of the above.
 
See our textbook, section 1.2. 
 
9) The argument for separating Mary and Jody (from section 1.3 of Rachels book), based on the idea that we should save as many as we can, is based on the assumption that
A) It is permissible to bring about overall good consequences;
B) It is impermissible to treat any person without respect (i.e., to use her merely as a means);
C) It is wrong to kill a person;
D) None of the above.
 
A HINT: It is a form of consequentialist reasonig.
 
10) In this example, the parents of the twins object to their surgical separation because they believe that the surgery would kill one twin and also that it is absolutely wrong to kill an innocent human being (no matter what consequences, no exceptions). Thus, they seem to prefer that the nature runs its curse, even if both twins will die. Their reasoning is overruled by the court. According to Rachels, the court reasons as follows:
A) Neither of the twins would be killed; they would merely be separated from each other;
B) Neither of the twins would be killed intentionally;
C) Both of the twins would be saved;
D) None of the above.
 
Read the book and my notes about this section of the book.
 
11) During the class discussion, Stefan offered an alternative to Rachels interpretation of the court’s reasoning. This alternative is based on the assumption that 
A) Neither of the twins would be killed; they would merely be separated from each other;
B) Neither of the twins would be killed intentionally;
C) Both of the twins would be saved;
D) None of the above.
 
I hope you were taking notes. But if you forgot, please read my notes.
 
12) In class, Stefan argued that Roman Catholic views about killing are best understood as being based on the following principle:
A) It is absolutely wrong to kill an innocent person;
B) It is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent person;
C) We always have to act in a way that brings about the best balance of benefits and harms;
D) All of the above;
E) None of the above.
 
I hope you were taking notes.
 
14) Suppose that, indeed, everyone should be given the same rights as everyone else. It would follow that:
A) Because some people have a right to vote, my 2 year old granddaughter should have a right to vote;
B) Because some people have a right to drink, my 10 year old granddaughter should have a right to drink;
C) Because some people have a right to drive, a blind person should have a right to drive;
D) All of the above.
E) None of the above.
 
I hope you can figure out what would follow.
 
15) Following Rachels, Stefan argued that the best understanding of what justice (as equality) requires of us is encapsulated in the following principle:
A) All people ought to earn exactly the same salary and all of us should pay the same taxes;
B) All people  ought to have exactly the same rights;
C) Similar cases ought to be treated similarly, but when the cases are significantly different, those differences may justify a different treatment (ae.g., granting people different rights);  
D) All of the above;
E) None of the above.
 
HINT: Rachels denies that equality requires that everyone should be treated in exactly the same way. That is, he argues that wen there are relevant differences betwen the cases, then these cases can be treated differently. Also, see question 14 above. 
 
16) Slippery slope considerations (discussed in the book and lectures) attempt to establish that
A) When you use a slope to haul heavy objects, it is best to grease it;
B) Parents ought to watch their children playing, because they can slide on a slippery slope and hurt themselves;
C) Some actions that are reasonably innocuous may undermine our moral values and lead to terrible things;
D) All of the above;
E) None of the above.
 
I think Rachels explains this sort of considerations rather well.
See also examples in the next question.
 
17) The following are examples of slippery slope arguments:
A) Even if smoking weed is OK, in a long run it may lead to using other drugs such as cocaine or heroin, which is antisocial and morally terrible;
B) Even if gay people unions are innocuous, they may undermine the sanctity of marriage and, in a long run, such unions may undermine the social order;
C) Even if killing Baby Latimer seems permissible, it may undermine the rule prohibiting killing and in a long run it may lead to killing many people;
D) All of the above;
E) None of the above.
 
18) Following Rachels, Stefan argued that
A) Slippery slope arguments are always sound and establish that we ought not to allow for any action that simply may undermine moral rules and society;
B) Slippery slope arguments are sound when they merely claim that it is inevitable that certain moral rules will be undermined;
C) Slippery slope arguments are not always sound; it is not enough to simply claim that some action may undermine moral rules and society; rather, it is necessary to show (i.e., provide good evidence) that those bad results would occur;
D) none of the above;
 
19) Following Rachels, Stefan argued in class that
A) We must base our ethical views simply on our feelings;
B) We must not base our ethical views simply on feelings because our feelings may be unreliable and irrational;
C) We must not base our ethical views simply on feelings because various people have different feelings about the same issues;
D) B) and C);
E) none of the above.
 
See Rachels.
 
20) Rachels argues that our feelings are important but, also, they must be guided by the following:
A) Correct religious views;
B) Correct laws;
C) Reason, including the principle of impartiality;
D) All of the above;
E) None of the above.
 
At A) -- religious prohibitions are frequently a matter of faith; so, sometimes it is hard to reason about them. 
At B) -- law is not the same thing (i.e., not th same normative system) as morality; so, a solution to a legal problem is not the same as a solution to a moral problem. 
 
21) Rachels argues that Impartiality requires of us to assume what follows:
A) Each individual’s interests are equally important; no one should get special treatment;
B) The same ethical principles and rules are applicable across the board, to all similarly situated individuals; no one is above or below of morality;
C) Neither A) nor B).
 
HINT: I suggested in class that B) may be a more neautral and thus better accout of what impartiality requires of us. In other words, Rachels seems to build some consequentialist considerations (i.e., taking into account everyone's interests) into the very "definition" of impartiality. I think there are other (perhaps, better) ways to define the idea of impartiality.
 
22) According to Rachels, the following views violate the Principle of Impartiality:
A) Racism;
B) Sexism;
--> C) Both A) and B);
 
23) In class Stefan argued that
a) every act of killing an innocent person is murder;
--> b) murder can be defined as wrongful killing; but not every killing is wrongful (some are justified or excusable);
c) neither a) nor b). 
 
24) In class Stefan argued that traditional Christina ethics can be best understood as prohibiting 
a) all cases of killing an innocent person (including when killing is accidental or unintended);
--> b) murder;
c) both a) and b)
d) all of the above.
 
25) Autonomy can be defined as ability to decide for oneself how to live one's own life, in accordance with one's own values and desires (see, Rachels p. 3). Stefan argued in class that autonomy includes several features, including
a) ability to understand future including various possible courses of action and what they lead to;
b) ability to compare those different courses of action;
c) ability to choose one in accordance with one's own values; 
d) all of the above;