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 RODRIGUEZ Questions for the Third Exam

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jimenez



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Join date : 2008-11-25

PostSubject: RODRIGUEZ Questions for the Third Exam   Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:51 pm

Rodriguez
Rodriguez
1. In bio-medical ethics and in both “beginning-of-life and end-of-life issues/dilemmas, the concept of human dignity often figures in. Do a conceptual analysis of the concept of “human dignity”. How is this concept understood in different contexts or with reference to different issues (give examples)? How do you think should this concept be understood?

2. After careful considerations of the various ethical theories/views we discussed, what “personal moral system or code” can you come up with and which you can adopt? Be sure to talk about the values, precepts/ideas, and other elements that should comprise this “personal moral system or code”. Include your conception of freedom and accountability in this given moral system and your view of what it means to be a moral individual.
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apex12rodriguez



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Join date : 2009-03-30

PostSubject: answer to the exam   Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:45 pm

1. In bio-medical ethics and in both “beginning-of-life and end-of-life issues/dilemmas, the concept of human dignity often figures in. Do a conceptual analysis of the concept of “human dignity”. How is this concept understood in different contexts or with reference to different issues (give examples)? How do you think should this concept be understood?


Dignity is a concept that is used in moral, ethical and political discussion to imply that a being has an innate right to respect and ethical treatment.
It is a belief that individuals have God-given, unchallengeable rights that is closely related to the ideas like self-respect, respect, virtue, autonomy, human rights and enlightened reason.
At some extent human dignity or dignity has been used to critique the treatment of some oppressed groups, cultures, sub-cultures, religious practices and beliefs, up to animal rights and plants that are used for research.
The term has been more synonymous to anything that is supposed to attain a certain degree of treatment, care, and proper respect.
For example, a particular tribe in Africa practices clitoris mutilation to its women. The tribe’s justification is that it is only the men who are supposed to have the right to experience pleasure, and the mutilation prevents the woman from cheating from their husbands.
Feminist and other human rights group would argue that it is against the human dignity of the women in that tribe in Africa or in any part of the world for that matter, to participate in such traditions that will repress their intrinsic right to pleasure.
In bio-medical ethics that includes abortion, embryonic stem cell, cloning, euthanasia and the like has been hardly debated by scientists, physicians, religious sectors and even politicians.
The usual debate is scientific breakthrough versus God’s will and human freedom versus the concept of the “person”.
Last example is cloning. Cloning according to The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity “is the creation of a human being whose genetic make-up is nearly identical1 to that of a currently or previously existing individual.” Proponents of cloning suggest that it is a breakthrough in medicine and science while those against it argue that men are playing god or even the less religious approach that “Human beings have a right not to be created for purposes of experimentation (CBHD).”
As I see it, human dignity is such a complex concept. From Kant’s reasoning, a person should be treated as ends to themselves (formula of the End in itself) and not as an instrument to achieve an end.
However, there will be times that the debate is not on the “ends” of the person but to the definition of a “person.”
And Kant was able to answer that by posing his Formula of Universal Law, where he stressed that the motives behind the act should be the basis of morality.
Whatever acts that the scientific community will do, it should be in accordance to respecting and seeing the human life as an end and not as an instrument to achieve another end that maybe arbitrary and temporal at best.


2. After careful considerations of the various ethical theories/views we discussed, what “personal moral system or code” can you come up with and which you can adopt? Be sure to talk about the values, precepts/ideas, and other elements that should comprise this “personal moral system or code”. Include your conception of freedom and accountability in this given moral system and your view of what it means to be a moral individual.



I always loved Kant’s philosophy. Even though it is complex, I stand in the idea that humans are bound by duty. And that this duty emanating from our roles in the society is crucial in maintaining peace and stability of the existence of humanity.
My personal system or code is based on Kant’s Universal Law.
To be a moral individual, one’s motive must be aligned with the general welfare of everyone.
He should first and foremost concede to himself that he would do the same thing for others as what he would have done to himself
There should be consistency in action and application of the principle only then a person can be called moral.
Freedom comes from our roles in the society. In my personal moral system, I concede that there is no absolute freedom, but freedom based on the limits set forth by the environment, sanity, social status, genes, phenomena, government and laws.
We are duty bound to perform our role in our family, school, society, relationships and other affiliations, but this doesn’t mean we are not free. We can always choose not to follow any rules, but that leads to anarchy and other consequences that may deteriorate the maximum potential of the person.
For example, if a man decided to kill his cheating wife, he is free to kill his wife but this entails consequences set forth by forces (government and law) that are beyond the immediate powers of the man. He is free to choose not to follow the law, but that option entails consequences that would further limit his freedom enjoyed. If the man ends up in jail, his freedom is substantially decreased and therefore this is not to be aimed for.
Our freedom comes from our role, and with our roles comes accountability. We are autonomous to decide for ourselves what we want and we are not "at the mercy of the situation."
We are also accountable for the actions we did and did not do.
If a man saw another man being mugged and he choose to do nothing, we can say that he is immoral if when in his mind he wished that hopefully someone will help him if a particular incident would happen to him or that if he decides to help the man but was overcome by fear.
We have our own duties, duties not just to ourselves but to other people. And without these duties it is impossible for humanity to reach this age of relative cooperation and harmony. A systematic existence and balance between pain and pleasure.
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