Then proceed to answer the questions inside the reading:
Questions 5.1 – 5.12
Because for many ethics questions there is no absolutely right or wrong answers as such, your responses will be graded based on completeness and thoughtfulness as opposed to rote or perfunctory ones. There are three grade levels for this assignment based on your responses to all the questions: 20 (no reasoning in responses), 35 (minimal to little reasoning), and 50 (sufficient reasoning and consideration).
Write your answers in a Word file using Times New Roman font (no smaller than 10 pt but no bigger than 12 pt), single spacing, 1″ margins on all sides. AT LEAST 3 PAGES.
Question 5.1: How would a conscious habit of thinking about how to be a better human being contribute to a person’s character, especially over time?
Question 5:2: Do you know what specific aspects of your character you would need to work on/improve in order to become a better person? (Yes or No)
Question 5:3: Do you think most people make enough of a regular effort to work on their character or amend their shortcomings? Do you think we are morally obligated to make the effort to become better people? Why or why not?
Question 5:4: Who do you consider a model of moral excellence that you see as an example of how to live, and whose qualities of character you would like to cultivate? Who would you want your children (or future children) to see as examples of such human (and especially moral) excellence?
Question 5:5: What would be the hardest part of living by the utilitarian principle of the ‘greatest good’? What would be the most rewarding part?
Question 5:6: What different kinds of pleasure/happiness are there? Are some pleasures more or less valuable or of higher or lower quality than others? Why or why not? Explain your intuitions about this:
Question 5:7: Utilitarians think that pleasure and the absence of pain are the highest goods that we can seek in life, and that we should always be seeking to produce these goods for others (and for ourselves). They claim that every other good thing in life is valued simply because it produces pleasure or reduces pain. Do you agree? Why or why not?
Question 5:8: A utilitarian might say that to measure a ‘good life,’ you should ask: ‘how much overall happiness did this life bring into the world?’ Do you agree that this is the correct measure of a good life, or not? Briefly explain.
Question 5:9: How often, when making decisions, do you consider whether you would willingly permit everyone else to act in the same way that you are choosing to act?
Question 5:10: What are TWO other examples you can think of, beyond those given in the text above, in which someone is treated as a ‘mere means to an end’?
Question 5:11: Do you agree that human lives are of the highest possible value and beyond any fixed ‘price’? In your opinion, how well does our society today reflect this view on morality and justice? Should it reflect this view?
Question 5:12: While each of the 3 distinct types of ethical frameworks/theories reviewed in this section is subject to certain limitations or criticisms, what aspects of the good life/ethics do you think each one captures best?
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