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Basic Ideas in Moral Philosophy

1.Please determine which questions belong to theoretical ethics and which belong to applied ethics.

1.What is the good life?
Is a hungry person justified in stealing food?
Do animals have rights?
Should mentally ill people face capital punishment for crimes they commit?
Should doctors receive financial bonuses from pharmaceutical companies when they prescribe their drugs?
Should mothers stay home with children or work in an office?
Why should I share?

2.Please compare the following two statements:

Statement 1: President Nixon lied about illegal wiretapping.
Statement 2: People should not lie.
What is the difference between these two statements? How would you go about confirming the truth these statements? Why do you think the distinction between facts and values matter in ethics?

Solution Preview

Ethics is the study of ethical judgments and ethical action. Theoretical ethics deals with the nature of right and wrong as well as the nature of the good. Applied ethics deals with how ethical theory is applied to certain actions or experiences. It asks the question which actions are right and wrong. Theoretical ethics will be concerned with the nature of values while Applied ethics is concerned with how to apply these values to life situations.

What is the good life?
Why should I share?

Do animals have rights?
Should mentally ill ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides brief introductory discussions to the basic concepts in Moral Philosophy.