Philosophical Exploration on Ethical Obligations

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Due on: 02/07/2024
Posted On: 02/07/2024 02:13 AM
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CMU Philosophical Exploration on Ethical Obligations Question

1. What is the Restoration Thesis? What is the core problem here? Clearly and concisely state Elliot’s thesis about the Restoration Thesis. What is his definition of natural in this essay? Describe at least one case Elliot describes. How does he use it to support his thesis? What does he say that is significant about wilderness? Is Elliot correct about the analogy of nature with works of art? Does the fact that a wilderness has been replicated by human contrivance lessen the value of the replicated product? Can you imagine a situation where a natural object is replicated and where its value is greater than the original? What do you think? You must explicitly acknowledge whether you are defending or arguing against Elliot’s position. You must show how his view of the Restoration Thesis is defensible or not. Be sure to consider possible-counter-arguments to your position and state why you do not find those arguments compelling.

2. Why should we care about posterity? How does Heilbroner answer the question? How does Hardin? Do you agree with them? Why or why not? How does Parfit “solve” the problem of obligations to future generations? How does Parfit answer the critic who says that people born in the future cannot complain about our bad policies, since but for them, they wouldn’t exist? Why does Parfit still insist that a risky energy policy is “bad even though it will be worse for no one”? Do you agree with him? Why or why not?

3. Discuss the neo-Malthusian views, especially those of Hardin, on the relationship between population and food production. Evaluate his various arguments against giving aid to starving people in distant places. Don’t forget to discuss “benign demographic transition theory.” How strong is it as an objection to Hardin and what might be said against its use in policy development? Then examine Peter Singer’s argument in favor of helping famine victims. Evaluate his principle, “If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without sacrificing anything else of comparable moral importance, we ought morally to do it.” Do you agree with Singer that helping people in absolute poverty is not just charity, but a moral obligation? If we followed this principle, what would be the likely results? Whose position—Singer’s or Hardin’s—do you find the most compelling on balance? Explain your reasoning.

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