Absolutism vs Relativism Questions

Reflect upon and discuss the questions:
Which ethical position is correct, absolutism or relativism? Why?
In your discussion, consider the arguments for and against both views as presented in this unit.
What does Aristotle say about the good life and the “ingredients” which can make us happy?
What do his views imply about children and their ability to be happy?
What is the Doctrine of the Mean?
What does Aristotle use it to explain?

“Kant and the Categorical Imperative”:
Reflect upon and discuss the questions:
What does Kant mean when he says that our actions must conform to the Categorical Imperative?
In your answer, be sure to consider both versions of the Categorical Imperative as discussed in the lecture: the “Universal Law” version and the “Means/Ends? version.
Is his argument persuasive?
Why or why not?
Examine current events in light of the Categorical Imperative – how would issues such as sweatshop labor, human trafficking, pollution or income inequality be analyzed by a Kantian approach?

Mill and the Greatest Happiness Principle

Is Mill right when he says that goodness is simply “whatever promotes the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people”? What is the greatest happiness? How can we determine what that might be? In your answer, explain Mill’s distinction between “higher and lower pleasures” in contrast to Bentham’s “moral arithmetic.” Consider, also, the various objections to utilitarianism as discussed in the lecture.
Does this approach work for our ethical problems today? Can you think of current practices that are in alignment with the Greatest Happiness Principle? What about
practices and behavior that would be morally impermissible according to Utilitarianism?

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