ethics 4

1) Consider two general strategies for living life: selfishness or benevolence. In the first strategy, you act in whatever manner that benefits you taking no notice or heed of other’s interests in doing so. In the second strategy, you balance your interests with those of others in society sometimes acting in their interests rather than your own. The first question is, what is the best way to act and why? Observe, you must also take into account that others will be acting in the world as well and their actions will affect the overall gains or losses of your strategy as well. (NOTE: this scenario is a form of the prisoner’s dilemma and you can read more about this in multiple places on the interwebs). The next question is how does the scenario pictured above please Thomas Hobbes and how does his social contract theory help us to determine how best to proceed? Please be sure to explain Hobbes view in brief and how it would deal with the prisoner’s dilemma situation. Good luck!

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ethics 4
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2) The ethics of care posits that something other than duties and obligations to others often motivates and justifies our actions. With this in mind, how would a care ethicist perhaps respond differently than a utilitarian or a Kantian in the following scenario. A four year old child with HIV is dying deep in the countryside of Africa, far away from any urban population. The child is not the only one who is very sick in the camp and the resources used to help the child are three times as much as what are needed to keep others with life threatening ailments alive. Furthermore, the camp is about to run out of basic medical supplies for at least two weeks unless multiple patients are rationed supplies needed to keep them alive. Would a care ethicist continue providing treatment and supplies for the HIV child? How might the answer be different for a Kantian or utilitarian? Does your first answer change if the child is in fact your own child? What about a Kantian? A utilitarian? Why or why not?

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