Philo 171
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 LAROSA Questions for the Third Exam

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PostSubject: LAROSA Questions for the Third Exam   Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:46 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?

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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PostSubject: 3rd exam - LAROSA   Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:44 pm

1.Before analyzing the general context of human dignity, one must analyze the significant facets that contribute to the concept per se. One should consider the concepts of the definition of morality of being human, life, freedom, right, and rationality, responsibility in order to not produce confusion or anything similar to that.
The morality of being human stems out on different notions. However, all of them concentrates ion a specific idea: the actions and choices man makes and the responsibilities that are connected to it. With actions and choices in the picture, freedom comes into play. Freedom for me is practicing a general right but at the same time, it is not intended for irrational notions or ideas. The rights of a person are very important also in understanding human dignity. When does the right of a person start to become a right and when does a right stop being a right? I believe that rationality and objectivity comes into play. When responsibility on a given act is not addressed, then the right for that “right” is diminished.
Therefore, human dignity is based on the right of the person to live his/her life by his choices and actions but at the same time, the freedom of one’s human dignity is limited with regards to the degree of rationality of a person. If his/her responsibility to prove that one’s human dignity really exists then his/her right is not insulted or degraded if he/she is not rational to understand the essence of human dignity. For example, if a individual claims that his/her human dignity is being stepped on s/he must consider the grounds of it. Is he/she really entitled for human dignity? An uneducated person who lives in the slums and claims that his human dignity is being stepped on, he/she must consider these different facets before complaining.

2. My ethics class has provided me a better outlook on how I should live my life. All throughout my fundamental years, I have been raised up to follow what the “Supreme Being” (God) has taught us. Most of the moments in my life, I have been practicing this stand. I have been in Catholic schools, I regularly go to mass, I lived my life the typical Christian way.
However, I found myself asking different notions and started questioning my own principles in life. It came to a point that I doubted Him, I started questioning the morality of some people who were practicing God’s teachings and yet still do immoral acts, I also asked myself the question of people not believing in a Supreme Being, are they excused or accused on the concept of morality? Ii time, I felt that it does not stop from there. It does not mean you are moral and secured when you follow someone or something that was thought to be in authority. Ergo, I realized that it takes a lot more than going to mass, or even chanting the same prayer everyday.
I started questioning my existence, my importance in life. Through different experiences I have been with, I realized that we individuals have the freedom to choose, to set our own limits and essence in life. It is not merely following standard teachings and the like. It takes a lot more than that.
I believe that my own moral code would include the viewpoints of Mackintire’s natural quest and Kant’s view on rationality and his method of categorical imperative. I believe that these two views have their own comparisons hence they somewhat compliment each other’s views. Mackintires’ natural quest tells us that the mere importance of life per se is not the end goal, rather, the process, the experiences, the lessons accumulated makes the morality of an individual. It is by experiences (good or bad), by downfalls and by plight that one gain the knowledge and wisdom one needs to gain his/her essence in life. It does not matter if one becomes a successful doctor, lawyer or engineer. It is the accumulation of one’s own narratives, experiences that is important. One’s own experience of the long journey makes the journey per se worthwhile.
Still, Mackintire’s view somewhat did not highlight much on other specific significant factors. Kant’s definition and view on rationality, freedom, and morality comes into play in this scenario. What I like best in Kant is that his standpoint is very airtight in the sense that it is both practical and unbiased at the same time. Practical in the sense that he has provided the measurement for the morality of a given notion (Categorical Imperative) and unbiased in the sense that at the end of the day, it is still us who will decide on what want to do in life and how we want to view it.
With regards to that, I definitely concur on his notion that rationality and morality come hand in hand. When one is lacking, the other cannot exist. Also we should be rational enough if we want to have freedom as a right. “Freedom is for individuals with rational standpoints and principles.” In short, swinish acts, thoughts and the like do not enter the picture.
Furthermore, a moral individual for me is someone who will find his/her own way and would not follow quickly on what the society has entailed them to do so. I am not saying that the stand of others that something is moral if it is in accordance with God’s teachings or will. I totally respect that. What I am pointing out is that it takes a lot more than following, or practicing what is not from your own viewpoint or principles. Having an open mind does not even hurt also. My own definition of a moral individual is someone who is rational, practical and at the same time does not settle for swinish results.
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