Week 5 – Final Paper
Please read these assignment instructions before writing your paper as they contain very precise and specific instructions on both the content and format requirements. You should download the provided outline and use that to structure your paper, and consult the assignment guidance and modeled example for additional help. Finally, before submitting your assignment please use the checklist to ensure that you have completed all of the requirements.
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This course has three written assignments that build upon one another and are designed to take you step-by-step through a process of writing a paper that identifies an ethical question, examines the context, issues, and arguments surrounding the question, and attempts to defend an answer to that question using strong moral reasoning.
In the Week 1 assignment, “Ethical Question,” you chose an ethical question, provided an introduction, a position statement and supporting reason, and an opposing position statement and supporting reason.
In the Week 3 assignment, “Applying an Ethical Theory,” you explained utilitarianism, deontology, or virtue ethics, including its core moral principle or ideal, and applied that theory to the topic by demonstrating how its principles would support a particular position on your ethical question.
In this final written assignment, you will combine what you have done in these two exercises by examining an ethical issue and defending your own position on an ethical question regarding that issue.
This final written assignment should be written in essay form with the following clearly labeled sections:
- Ethical Argument
- Explanation and Defense
- Objection and Response
The paper should be between 1,300 and 1,500 words, utilize three scholarly resources, and include a title page and reference page.
Part 1: Introduction
In this section of the paper, you will begin with your ethical question, introduce the topic and paper, and close with a thesis statement.
- The ethical question may be the same as your Week 3 written assignment (“Applying an Ethical Theory”) or a revised version of it.
- The introduction should be revised in a way that reflects your additional thinking on the issue and question.
- End this section with a thesis statement that states your position on the issue (the answer to the ethical question you believe is strongest) and provides a brief summary of the main ideas you will be presenting in the paper. Please see the assignment guidance for examples of thesis statements.
Place the introduction under the Part 1: Introduction heading.
Part 2: Ethical Argument
In this section of the paper, you will present the strongest argument you can in support of the position you have stated in your introduction.
- This will be similar to the “supporting reasons” you offered in the first assignment; however, this argument should reflect your research into the key ethical issues that need to be identified and addressed, the arguments on different sides of this problem, and the theories of moral reasoning we have studied in the class (you will discuss the specific details and implications of the moral theories in the next two sections).
- You can think of this as a summary of the main argument you would give if you were an attorney trying to convince a jury of your position.
Place this information under the Part 2: Ethical Argument heading.
Part 3: Explanation and Defense
In this section, you will explain and defend your argument by drawing on the moral theory that aligns most closely with the argument you presented in Part 2. This may be the same theory you discussed in your second assignment, but it may also be a different theory.
- You must first explain the theory in general terms similar to how you explained a theory in your second assignment, including a brief account of the historical background of the theory and the philosopher(s) associated with it and general overview of the core moral ideal or principle of the theory, including the way it guides and constrains moral reasoning.
- You should then clearly show how your argument represents an application of that form of moral reasoning.
- In other words, if the argument you present in Part 2 is utilitarian, deontological, or virtue-based (teleological), you will want to explain utilitarianism, deontology, or virtue ethics in general terms, then explain how your argument from Part 2 reflects or draws upon the core principles and values of that theory. Please refer to the Week 3 assignment instructions for directions on how to explain and apply the moral theory.
Place this section under the Part 3: Explanation and Defense heading.
Part 4: Objection and Response
In this section of the paper, you will present the strongest objection you can to your argument, and briefly defend that objection by appealing to a different ethical theory than the one you focused on in Part 3.
- Briefly explain the core moral ideal or principle of the theory and how that could be the basis of an objection to your argument. For instance, if you explained and defended your own argument by applying the principles of virtue ethics, you could raise an objection from the perspective of utilitarianism by briefly explaining the core utilitarian principle and how applying that principle could lead someone to a different conclusion than the one you are defending.
- Next, you should respond to the objection by explaining why it is not strong enough to undermine the main argument in defense of your position.
- See the assignment guidance for suggestions on how to effectively respond to the objection.
Place this section under the Part 4: Objection and Response heading.
Part 5: Conclusion
In this section of the paper, provide a summary of what you have done in the paper by briefly describing what you accomplished in each of the above sections.
Place this section under the Part 5: Conclusion heading.
You must use at least three scholarly resources, only one of which may be the textbook. In other words, you must use at least two scholarly resources in addition to the textbook.
Acceptable ways of using a source include providing a quotation, summary, or paraphrase; merely providing a citation, especially when it is unclear how or where the text supports your claim, is not sufficient.
If you need help with finding additional resources or are unsure about whether a particular resource will count toward the requirement, please contact your instructor.
For sources to count toward the resources requirement, they must be cited within the text of your paper and on the reference page. Sources that are listed on the references page but not cited within the paper do not count toward fulfilling the resources requirement.
In your paper,
- Introduce the topic and paper.
- Provide a thesis statement.
- Present an argument in support of the position.
- Defend the argument by explaining and applying the ethical theory that most closely aligns with the argument.
- Present an objection to the argument by appealing to a different ethical theory.
- Respond to the objection.
- Provide a conclusion that describes what was accomplished in each of the sections of the paper.
The Ethical Reasoning Final Paper
- Must be 1,300 to 1,500 words in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s APA Style (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.resource.
- Must include a separate title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submittedRUNNING HEAD: UTILITARIANISM VS DEONTOLOGY: A CASE STUDY 1
UTILITARIANISM VS DEONTOLOGY: A CASE STUDY 5
UTILITARIANISM VS DEONTOLOGY: A CASE STUDY
Steve Rogers’ and Tony Stark’s Captain America: Civil war is a classic example of a clash between utilitarian and deontological theories. Featuring in the fictional movie are household-name heroes such as Captain America, Iron Man, and Spiderman. All of the heroes are known for their good acts of saving people from their previous screen appearances. Despite this, the new release creates a dilemma through a legislation that requires all powered heroes to be registered (Abad-Santos, 2016). Iron Man pushes for the registration, while Captain America supports the opposing side. The ridge creates great adversary between the two sides and end up in exchange of blows. Newer heroes who are on the ground such as Spiderman suffer most and are torn between which sides to support.
The show begins with superheroes trying to film a reality TV when the need to take down some super villains emerges (Abad-Santos, 2016). In the process, one superhero destroys buildings and injures innocent civilians among them kids in a playground. He sees no problem in it as in the end he saved the super villains but this does not go well with the government. In a rare occurrence where normal people can decide on the fate of powered heroes, the Congress makes it mandatory for superheroes to be registered. All are required to reveal their identity as well as the source of their power.
Being a pragmatist, Iron Man foresees that most of the public will need the legislation to be effected and is guided by his utilitarian belief to support the matter (Abad-Santos, 2016). On the other hand, Captain America believes superheroes require anonymity if they are to protect the public effectively. The differences between the two are so huge that they end up exchanging blows. Iron Man even takes the matter further and builds a secret prison in which he detains unregistered superheroes.
Kant’s Categorical Imperative
The philosopher Kant ethical imperatives are widely applied today in sociology especially where reasoning is involved. His two imperatives are the Hypothetical and Categorical imperatives. In his thoughts, Kant believed a command to be the representation of a binding commitment while an imperative to the formula of a command. For instance, the statement “Study hard” may have different meanings depending on how they are perceived. When understood as a command, the person to whom it is directed has to obey it although not at will. On the other hand, it may be understood as a short form of the sentence; “Study hard so as to pass exams”. In the latter example, it is not a command but rather an imperative that should be obeyed out of morality.
In Captain America: Civil War, the requirement that all superheroes must register is command. However, it ceases to be a command in Kant’s categorical view when we analyze the reason behind the statement. The government puts forth the legislation in order to prevent more civilian deaths in the hands of superheroes. Through registration, the government believes, superheroes will be bound to be responsible for their actions. By knowing their identity and residence, the government can easily take action against any erring superheroes. On the contrary, Captain America sees this as a threat both to the superheroes as well as the public. Although both approaches aim at the common goal of protecting the civilians, views from both sides are far wide apart.
In my view, Captain America was right to oppose registration. Although immoral in the sight of the government and that of Kant’s imperatives, the end results justify the position. Registration of superheroes would mean that their identity is known throughout the land. To some extent, this makes the people vulnerable to outer attacks as opponents would be able to judge superhero abilities. Additionally, it is more satisfying to know that a superhero may show up for rescue than knowing their identity and residence. This would bring a sense of doubt especially if we attribute limitation of speed and power to the superheroes.
In the event where all superheroes oppose the registration, there will be no accountability for any fatalities caused by superheroes in their rescue operations. However, the proportion of civilians affected in this case is too small compared to those who benefit. First, all the public in the territory would have peace of mind even in the event of catastrophes. Secondly, superhero activities do not always result to civilian fatalities hence it does not necessitate registration. Thirdly, registration infringes the rights of anonymity of the superheroes so they should be allowed to exercise their right to freedom. Fourthly, there would be no victims ending up to the secret jail established by Iron Man.
Abad-Santos, A., (2016, May 19). Captain America: Civil War: in defense of Captain America. Vox. Retrieved from https://www.vox.com/2016/5/19/11700560/captain-america-civil-war-defense-captain-america
Discussion 2: Deontological Tropes on America’s Immigration
America’s immigration policy is complex. At any given time, immigration in America depends on a number of social, economic, political and cultural factors. America mainly allows outsiders to settle in its land if they come to bring economic benefit. Needless to say, killed laborers with expertise in a given area find it easier to settle in the land than those fleeing calamity in their countries. Other factors include reunion of families, promoting diversity, and protecting refugees. As in any other policy making process, immigration brings about a conflict of interest between morality and prudence. Should the cap on the allowable number of immigrants per year be lifted to absorb more refugees? Or should we put our economy at the fore?
Deontology requires we do the right things if it is our duty to do so and shun the wrong ones no matter the consequences. By right it implies certain principles such values such as equality and human dignity. A closer observation of immigration reveals that there is more to it than just allowing people in. immigration increases competition on resources, space, status good and jobs among others. It also determines international relations and affects the identity of the communities as well as those of the receiving communities. It suffices to mention that not a single philosophical approach can sufficiently encompass all the aspects of immigration.
Five aspects always come out clear when we tackle the debatable aspect of immigration from a deontological approach. These are family unity, human rights, historical continuity, fairness, and sovereignty. Concerning human rights, most asylums flee dangerous battles in their home countries and either face persecution due to their race, ethnicity, religion, political opinion, and so on. In their case, there is no other alternative and returning them to their countries risks their security. Deontology offers no other option than to allow such people in.
Family unification forms the greater part of U.S. immigrants every year. Fortunately for the immigrants, immigration law offers priority to people with relatives living in the country. It is further supported by the simple fact of the family being the basic unit of the society. The public can hardly acknowledge any policy that fails to recognize the family factor. As a result, this consideration draws no opposition and even gets support from consequential approaches.
Deontology is based on the principal of fairness by treating all people as equal. The issue also draws considerable arguments in immigration policy making, with some inclined supporting while others outweighed by racism. Since immigrants pay taxes just as the other citizens, there should be no discrimination when deciding who is to be allowed in. worse still, immigrants get a smaller share of the national cake even when their contribution to the economy matches that of other citizens.
Save for a few aboriginal traits, America is a country of immigrants. This automatically qualifies anyone seeking asylum into America the right of entry. However, the 25-year dry spell that saw very little immigrants settle in America between 1921 and 1965 is alarming. Hostility towards immigrants in the recent past also puts the prospect of historical continuity at question. However, the random diversity visa program established in the 1990s has helped promote diversity (American Immigration Council 2016). Given the diversity of the American population, policies restricting immigration of people of a certain religious or political inclinations should be abolished.
Sovereignty can be cited as the greatest hindrance to immigration to the United States today. By granting the nation independence to make laws as it wishes, sovereignty locks out scores of deserving immigrants. The categorical imperative requires these people be allowed entry on the basis of their vulnerability even if the act strains our resources. From a deontological view, these asylums have a right to get refuge from their inhuman environments. Immigration laws that rate such issues as of less priority should therefore be changed to accommodate all.
As a country, we have a duty to grant permanent residence to outsiders based on a number of factors. Asylum seekers whose home countries are hostile should be given first priority. The current position is accommodative enough as immigrants whose home countries are still unstable are protected from deportation. While family-based immigration have a restriction as to the type of relationship, the considered next-of-kin is sufficient as logistically the country cannot accommodate the whole world. Job-based immigration law requires amendment to allow the workers freedom to seek work elsewhere if they are not comfortable with the current one.
American Immigration Council (2016, Aug 12). How the United States Immigration System Works. Retrieved from: https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/how-united-states-immigration-system-works