Philosophy Assignments

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Philosophy Assignment 1

Write a 3-page paper on one of the following topics. Your paper should be double-spaced, use a 12-point font and use APA 7th Edition format.

  1. Christian writer C. S. Lewis claims that there are three parts of morality. One part of morality has to do with how we relate to other people, and as such it governs social relations, that is, fair play amongst human beings. But it also concerns harmonizing the person internally, and it means fulfilling the person’s true purpose as a human being. However, he notes that, for most modern people, morality is simply the first part, and concerns only how we relate to other people. Which view do you think of as being correct? Is there a “true purpose” that can be achieved or missed, even when one’s life is outwardly happy?
  2. Peter Singer, on the basis of utilitarianism, argues that the happiness of a person in Bangla Desh should be treated as equally significant as the happiness of a member of one’s own family, or a fellow citizen of one’s own country. Do you think Singer is right about this?
  3. Are there certain types of actions that can be considered wrong even if the expected and actual consequences of those actions produces a greater balance of pleasure over pain than any alternative action that might have been chosen? (Kant would say yes, utilitarians would say no).

Philosophy Assignment 2

Question 1: Virtue ethics seems to imply that human beings have a purpose for their existence. Do human beings have a purpose for their existence? Is the moral life a matter of achieving the purpose of human existence? Can someone who denies that there is any purpose to human life be a moral person?

Question 2: The following is an argument against the claim that we are morally responsible for our actions:

  1. Every event has a cause.
  2. Therefore my actions and decisions have causes.
  3. All events, including my actions and decisions, therefore, are the inevitable result of a chain of events stretching back before I was born.
  4. If all events, including my actions and decisions, are the inevitable result of a chain of events stretching back before I was gone, then I am not responsible for my actions.
  5. Therefore, I am not responsible for my actions.

– What (if anything) is wrong with this argument? Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins compares the idea of trying to give people what they deserve for what they have done to Basil Fawlty (of Fawlty Towers fame) bashing his car for failing to start. Is this a good analogy, or not?

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