1st semester Flashcards Preview

Ethics > 1st semester > Flashcards

Flashcards in 1st semester Deck (42)
Loading flashcards...

Define the phrase "Freedom of Action" as related to ethics.

No one is morally guilty for failing to do what he could not do or for doing what he could not fail to do. That is a moral responsibility presupposes freedom of action. If someone points a gun at you and tells you to rob a bank, you are generally not held responsible for the robbery.


Define Morally Permissible actions.

One may do it or refrain from it without incurring any moral guilt because the action breaks no rule. These deeds are neither mandated nor forbidden.


Define Morally Obligatory actions.

There is a moral command that mandates it or forbids it.


Define Morally Supererogatory actions.

These deeds are not duties, but praiseworthy, because they produce good that goes beyond what duty demands. For example, jumping on a grenade to save a fellow soldier’s life.


What does "Deontology" and "deontological" ethical theory mean? What are key terms that denote deontological theories?

Deontology: The moral goodness of an act is determined by the non-moral consequences it produces. An act is considered right because it keeps a promise, it is just, or God commands it. An act is right because it is one’s duty. Both Divine-Command theories and Kant’s reason based system are considered deontological. Use terms like “duty,” “ought,” and “rule.”


Virtue Ethics -- What are the four cardinal virtues and the three theological virtues? (Just a note: Virtue ethics does not deny the existence of moral absolutes)

Virtue Ethics focus more on the moral character of the agent than on the moral nature of the act. Virtue ethics focuses on the nature and formation of a good person, and the sort of dispositions and character traits that constitute the good person.

Cardinal Virtues: Fortitude, Temperance, Justice, Prudance

Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope, and Love


Define Teleological systems of ethics.

What is morally good or bad, right or wrong, obligatory or forbidden is determined by the non-moral value produced when the act is done. If the deed generates more non-moral good than evil, the act is considered morally good. "Consequences" If the end justifies the means.


Define Utilitarianism: Be sure to differentiate between act and rule Utilitarianism. Though it's not in the textbook, do you know what Hedonistic Utilitarianism is from Branch's lectures and notes?

Act Utilitarianism - an act is morally right and obligatory if it would produce the most utility (the best consequences) under prevailing conditions. Since this means one must calculate the effects of his action in each situation, no general rules such as “telling the truth produces the greatest general good” should be stated.” (Usually associated with Bentham)

Rule Utilitarianism “claims that an act is right if it would be more beneficial to have a code of moral rules permitting that act than one which excluded it. Thus, rule utilitarianism looks for the rules that as a whole produce the greatest utility, and prescribes them.”

Hedonistic Utilitarianism is a system of moral reflection in which one consequence supersedes all others: my personal pleasure. Right and wrong are determined by what does and does not give “me” personal pleasure.


Differentiate between Act Deontological Systems vs. Rule Deontological Systems.

According to act deontology, a moral agent should intuitively grasp the right thing to do in each specific moral situation without relying on moral rules. For act deontologists, each human act is a unique ethical situation and a decision must be made by consulting our conscience and intuition, apart from any rules.

Rule Deontology is the view that types of acts are right or wrong depending on their conformity or conformity to one or more correct moral rules. Rule deontology accepts the concept that we should appeal to principles or rules. Kant is in this category.


Define Ethical Egoism. Who is the major name associated with the school of thought and what was the famous book she authored?

Another form of teleological ethical systems is ethical egoism. This view maintains that the right thing to do is whatever is in a person’s self-interest.

Ayn Rand / Atlas Shrugged


What is the most common type of surgical abortion procedure in the United States?

Suction Abortion, aka suction curettage


T Griswold v. CT;

Griswold v. Ct: 1965. The SCOTUS declares a Constitutional right to privacy. The idea of the right to privacy becomes central to Roe a few years later.


Roe v. Wade,

Roe v. Wade. 1973. The SCOTUS declares that abortion must be legal in all 50 states based on the Right to Privacy declared in Griswold. Roe divided pregnancy into 3 trimesters. In the first two trimesters, states could make no laws outlawing abortion. In the third trimester, states could outlaw abortion except in cases where the Mother’s health is concerned. This sets up for Doe.


Doe v. Bolton, Remember to explain how Roe and Doe are connected

Doe v. Bolton. 1973. The same day as Roe. Roe and Doe are evil twin sisters. Doe defined mother’s health in the broadest possible context to include financial and emotional issues. Taken together, Roe and Doe gave abortion on demand throughout all 9 months of pregnancy.


Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Planned Parenthood v. Casey. 1992. The Core holding of Roe is sustained, but abortion rights are shifted from a vague and debated “right to privacy” to the more explicit liberty interests of the 14th amendment. The SCOTUS did allow states to enact waiting periods and parental consent laws if they choose to do so. So the SCOTUS in 1992 shifted abortion rights to the more explicit liberty interests of the 14th amendment. They kicked these issues back to individual states. Thus, abortion laws in Kansas and Missouri are stricter than those in New York.


How does the incarnation and the birth narratives of Jesus inform our Christian stance regarding abortion? This question has two parts: 1) the incarnation and 2) the birth narratives. Remember, there was a specific Greek word in class that I addressed regarding the birth narratives.

The incarnation began at conception. If we believe the incarnation began at any later point, we have a heretical form of adoptionistic Christology. Because Jesus was fully God and fully man at conception, his personhood was established at conception, and by inference so is the personhood of all other babies at conception.

The key word is brephos. This Greek word is used in reference to John the Baptist in the womb and Jesus after he was born. Thus, the text points to the equal moral status of prenatal and postnatal human life.


Discuss the findings of Simon Levay regarding the INAH 3. What did he claim to have found? What are some weaknesses with his claims? What year did he make these claims?

1991. Levay claimed the INAH3 is 2x as large in heterosexual men as in heterosexual women and homosexual men. Because the homosexual men in his sample had an INAH3 with a similar size to heterosexual women, Levay claims this explains why homosexual men are attracted to other men.

But, there are several problems with this claim. First, his sample was rather small for making global claims. Second, his claims have not been clearly replicated in the 27 years since. Finally, Levay’s own data shows that a particular INAH3 size is neither necessary nor sufficient to cause homosexuality.


Briefly discuss the “abortion pill” used for pharmaceutical abortions. What is its brand name? How is it administered? (5Points) How did the Obama administration expand the potential use of this pill?

Mifeprex. It causes the baby to detach from the endometrium. The mother is given Mifeprex on the first visit to cause the pregnancy to end. Then she goes back and is given drugs to cause her to go into labor and expel the baby. The Obama administration expanded the legal use of the drug from 7 weeks gestation to 10 weeks gestation.


Who / What is the largest abortion provider in the United States?

Planned Parenthood


What is an Ectopic Pregnancy?

An ectopic pregnancy occurs with the baby implants in an abnormal place outside of the uterus. The most common site of ectopic implantation is the Fallopian tube. •Secondary sites for ectopic implantation include the abdomen, ovary, or the cervix.


Spontaneous Abortions

happen on there own or a miscarriage


3 types of Induced Abortions

1. Therapeutic abortions are performed to save the mother’s life.
2. Eugenic abortions – Ex: Downs Syndrome
3. Elective abortions


Saline Injection abortion

A needle is inserted into the water bag surrounding the baby, some fluid is removed, and then replaced by a concentrated salt solution.•Baby is burned and poisoned to death. Gianna Jessen surviver.


What is a partial Birth Abortion ?

This method is also known as DandX, or dilation and extraction and is performed in the second or third trimester. •Using this method, the baby is delivered “feet first” while the head remains in the body. Scissors are forced into the baby’s skull and the brain is then sucked out. •The dead child is then removed and discarded.


Where was the first assisted suicide?



Who started planned parenthood?

Margaret Sanger (1879 – 1966) – Founder•Originator of the term “birth control”•Favored Eugenics•American Birth Control League 1921, later changed to Planned Parenthood


Euthyphro Dilemma

Socrates asks Euthyphro, “Is the pious being loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is being loved by the gods?”
Is an act right because God says it's so, or does God say it's so because it's right? 


Categorical imperative

Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.
Elevated Human Reason



The verb yada usually means “become acquainted with.” “To Know”•It can be a euphemism for sexual intercourse. (Genesis 4:1)•The offer of Lot’s daughters seems to be determinative here.


Dean Hamer 1993

114 families claimed 33 or 40 pairs of homo bros had co inherited genetic information in th X chromosome in region called Xq28
There are lots of Genes in Xq28 its a region
This study found in a small number of these families a disproportionate number the maternal uncles were homosexual