GMU Ethics questions

Question 1: 

According to Natural Law Theory if something is natural it is good, and anything that is unnatural is wrong. Take this basic principle and apply it to the issue of euthanasia. Euthanasia is the intentional ending of a human life when a person is terminally ill. Is euthanasia natural or unnatural? Be sure to explain exactly what you think it means for something to be natural, based on your reading in the text and the lecture notes. Also, people sometimes make a distinction between active euthanasia (performing an action which will lead to a person’s death, such as giving them a lethal dosage of some kind of medication) and passive euthanasia (not performing those kinds of treatments which could save a dying person’s life. This is the basis for what are called DNR, or Do Not Resuscitate orders. These are instructions to paramedics and others trained in emergency medical situations. They essentially say that if a person is dying the paramedic is not supposed to engage in extraordinary measures to keep the person alive). Is passive euthanasia somehow natural but active euthanasia unnatural? What do you think about all this?

Question 2:

The notes and the text discuss WD Ross, a philosopher in the first half of the 20th century who was a moral pluralist. He believed that there were 7 basic moral duties. (If you’ve forgotten the list you might want to review it for this question.) Ross said that he knew that there were just these seven moral duties based on reason. Do you think he missed any moral duties? Which ones? Does your reason tell you that these are moral duties, or do you believe this just because of your religion, or the way you were brought up, or because of some other cultural bias? How might you convince Ross that there really is such a duty as the one you’ve suggested, and how might you explain to him the fact that he overlooked this duty.

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