Learning Goal: I’m working on a writing report and need a sample draft to help me learn.
The following questions ask you to explain the arguments and claims made in the various readings done in week 4. Your responses to the questions should include complete explanations of the arguments—arguments use several steps of reasoning to establish a conclusion, and you must explain each step of reasoning when asked to explain an argument (do not just state an author’s conclusion). Your thoughts should be explained fully and completely. Although there is not page minimum (that is, you will be graded for the content of your response, not the length) it is unlikely you will be able to answer all of the questions completely in less than 500-750words.
Your questions this week are directly related to three of the possible paper topics. If you are considering one of these topics, you should write your reading response this week with the aim of making the content from it into the core of the final paper.
You must answer ONE question from EACH section, for a total of TWO questions (but note that you should be able to answer all of the questions for the purposes of the test).
Part I: Covering week 4.1 readings. Answer this question completely.
1. People have different moral beliefs and different moral values. Imagine you are debating the morality of a particular action or case with your friend, and you and your friend have different beliefs about the morality of the case or action. (1a.) Imagine your friend says to you “well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so it’s fine if we have different moral values and make different moral judgements, there is no right or wrong answer about what is moral”. By putting together all you have read about moral relativism this week, explain what is problematic about your friend’s statement. (1b.) Then, using the arguments made by Rachels in “The Challenge of Cultural Relativism”, explain why the fact that people have different moral values does not necessarily mean that there are no objective moral truths.
Part II: Covering week 4.2 readings. Pick ONE question (1 or 2) and answer all parts of that question completely.
1. At the end of 9.3, you read a selection from Peter Singer’s book, “Animal Liberation”. In this selection, Singer argues that it is our moral obligation to avoid inflicting needless pain on animals if we would not also inflict it upon humans–which entails that it is wrong for us to eat meat. (1a.) In your own words, explain Singer’s argument for the claim that we have a moral obligation to avoid inflicting needless pain on animals if we would not also inflict it on humans. (1b.) People often say that human lives are more valuable because we have higher mental capacity than animals, so it’s morally acceptable to disregard their interests (and so its morally acceptable to eat other species). Explain how Singer responds to this objection (that is, explain the reasoning that Singer employs to “defeat” this objection).
2. In “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”, Singer argues that people that have money to spend on non-essential items have a moral obligation to donate money to people in famine conditions. (2a.) Explain Singer’s argument in support of his claim that we have a moral duty to donate money to people in famine conditions. (2b). Then, explain one of the objections to his argument that Singer considers in the article. (2c,) Then, explain Singer’s response to that objection (that is, explain the reasoning that Singer employs to “defeat” the objection.