Reflection

Review your own blog posts. Which one is your favorite post, the one you are most proud of; the one that you could even show to friends and other teachers?  Why? Which post is your least favorite, or least successful post and why? What could you do to improve it?   Which post did you have the most trouble writing?  Which post is the one that you learned the from the most?

The blog I am most proud of is my introduction post where I had describe my best friend. This blog was easy for me to right but mainly the reason I like it so much is because I wrote it because it was important to me. Honestly most of my posts this year were just to get it done. But this post I found that I had fun doing because I was writing about something I truly care for. My worst post/ one I disliked the most was the Chemical Castration. The information was interesting but I just could not seem to get my point across the way I wanted to and without more vivid or detailed examples our responses were all speculation on certain crimes that we imagined, making our responses look strange to others. The post I learned the most from was definitely the Glow Fish. I love animals but fish were just simple minded creatures to me. Today when I went to feed my fish I thought he was dead and I was actually distraught for a moment until I saw him swimming again. I guess when I wrote the post about his close encounter I learned that I had learned to love a creature that shows nothing but content.

https://davidmenardethics2012.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/intro/

https://davidmenardethics2012.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/chemical-castration/

https://davidmenardethics2012.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/fish/

 

* please make sure to copy links to the posts that you referencing here…

Question 2:   What was the most interesting thing you learned in this course?  (It could be something about a particular philosophy or position, and/or it could be something you learned about yourself).  How do you know that you learned it?  What will you do with that knowledge in the future? (Could it be applied to other courses you will take, your job or generally in your life?)

I learned that happiness is truly in the eye of the beholder. We all experience happiness but everyone has a different idea of happiness. I know I have learned it from the readings and analyzing people and observing the things that make them happy; things that would drive me insane. I will use this knowledge as I develop more relationships in my life. I will learn to better understand the other side of the coin and see the other perspective in ways that I never knew before.

Question 3:  If you were teaching this course, how would you teach it? What topics would you include for sure, what topics would you drop?  What else, what other themes and topics, in addition to what we discussed here, could be part of this course?  And, would you recommend this course to other students?  Why or why not – please explain.

I would teach just as you had. You gave us plenty of information without it seeming like a workload and gave us many chances to express ourselves in a world where your opinion does not matter, only facts. I can’t imagine dropping a topic, but editing the castration  topic to include actual specific examples. I would recommend this to other students because this class was the most stress free class I have ever had and it stimulated my mind.

FINALLY:  Anything else you want to add, and complete your post with a representative image of your learning or of closure.

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Intro

What is your culture?  What is your closest community?  How does your culture and community influence who you are?

I am a Caucasian male born in Southbridge Massachusetts. Culture is the process in which a person becomes a member of their society. My culture would be being a resident of Southbridge Massachusetts. I moved to Southbridge when I was eight years old and I had left my old culture to become part of a new one. My community would be the people I work with. I work at a retail store where I have developed strong bonds with my coworkers. Being around the people in my community has influenced me to become a mature and responsible adult and my culture has influenced me to care and communicate with people around me. It has also influenced me to learn and grow with people.

 

What are the THREE most important values you hold?  How are they influenced by your culture or community?

The three most important values I hold are care, respect and fairness. These values have been influenced by both my community and culture. These values are enforced in my everyday life thus strengthening the values.

 

Do you consider yourself a global citizen?   Why or why not, please explain.

Yes I am because I make decisions based on the wellbeing of people around me. I care and look out for people in my life and invoke random acts of kindness. So I do believe I am a Global citizen.

 

Include a picture that represents YOUR cultural community. Discuss briefly why you selected it. I selected this picture because it shows a group of people who are working together for a common goal. This is how the people in my culture and community and myself live. We work together to solve issues that any of us experience.

Judgment

  1. As a universal value, members of one culture have no right to evaluate the moral values of another culture.‘ Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not.

Evaluate yes, judge no. One culture can look at another in order to compare with their own. Members cannot judge because culture’s have their own beliefs and are easily offended when their ideals are criticized or attacked. A universal rule should be do onto other as you have them do unto you. So if they were allowed to judge another’s culture then they should be ready to receive the same kind of judgment. We all have different moral values and can even discuss them with one another, but we should not judge other’s moral values just because we do not understand them.

  1. Is the argument against subjectivism convincing to you?

It was very convincing especially the Gandhi and Hitler comparison. If one is living up to their principles then they are morally right. Hitler’s evil reign was moral because he was living up to his moral values. It would be pointless to argue otherwise because he is living up to his principles. He is not wrong in his individual thinking but society says he is.

  1. Is the argument against conventional relativism strong and convincing?

Culture determines moral principles. It is a strong argument because it shows as to why there is variations in morals among people. Because moral principles are determined by culture we should not go to another culture and judge their morality.

  1. Who are ‘we’ to make moral judgments?  Is it even possible? Under what circumstances?  Explain your thinking and refer to the reading

We are no one to make moral judgment. We are outsider’s to others in terms of morality. We all have different morals and should not impose our beliefs onto others or judge them for their differences. We cannot and should not make moral judgments.

Thesis

Global Poverty is a serious problem that can be fixed if we all do our part to help out. Mill said that maximizing utility would be to maximize happiness and that doing the right thing was directly related to happiness. With poverty rising on a global scale it is becoming necessary to act. Also Kant’s categorical imperative applies here. The decision to help out people in poverty is necessary and needs to be made for the right reasons. So far my references focus on the statistics of global poverty. Along with those stats I am going to look on the web for foundations that help the poor to support my thesis that global poverty can be resolved if everyone does their part. And to really cement the idea that every person, whether they are very wealthy or middle class, can help destroy global poverty by showing that organizations for other causes have worked in helping people. Such organizations would be the RED campaign to help people with aids and ONE (which does help fight poverty and other diseases). Both of these organizations, although created by a rich musician (Bono), allow any donations making it possible for everyone to help out.

I will also try to include the harsher viewpoint on poverty; the viewpoint that people bring it upon themselves. I know this does not speak for the whole of people who are stricken by poverty but many people believe that poverty is the result of laziness or lack of responsibility.

Intro

  1. What is your gender? How do you feel about being a female/male? What does it mean to you in terms of your identity? ‘Do you think that your ethical view conforms to ethics of care/ethics of justice? Why or why not?

I am a 21 year old male. I love being a male because it is part of my identity. I feel comfortable liking crappy action movies or trying to build my body. Being a male is something I can be proud of because I am seen as a dependent and responsible person who can defend what is important to me. I will be there when my loved ones need protection. Being a male, in essence, to me is being a provider and a protector. My identity is linked strongly with being a man because after my family broke apart as a child I was the only male in the house. Being taught the old norms of masculinity helped making coping easier because in my mind the man had to be strong and hold in his emotions for the sake of others around him. It is so far ingrained in my personality that only 2 people have ever seen me cry, one being my mother. In some ways I do believe my views conform with ethics of care and justice because I make decisions and  choices based on what I believe is right and what will be more beneficial to those around me.

  1. Who do you consider your best friend and why?  Describe your relationship to him/her in terms of trust, equality, fairness, love, caring, empathy and responsibility.  Discuss how easy or difficult is it to keep these qualities in your friendship?  Can you have more than one best friend?  Can you have many best friends?  Why or why not?

My best friend is my partner in life. She is one of the few who have ever seen my true emotions and heard my true thoughts. I have told her secrets that will never be heard by anyone else and I am fine with that. Since we have been together we try to be fair and keep equality with each other, whether it be giving each other equal chances to talk or even just cutting the frozen pizza into exact proportional pieces. Love, there is no question. I love her more and more each day. Even when I think I am fed up or had enough during intense fights I think about one day without her by my side, one day without talking to her and then suddenly the anger disappears. That is how I know I love her; even when you are as angry as you could possibly be and the thing you care about the most is not to hurt her or to end the fight because it doesn’t matter anyways. Caring and empathy go straight in with the love factor. Responsibility is crucial to this relationship because not only must I be responsible for my actions but hers as well. Once in this kind of relationship people learn to work and cooperate together in order to maintain stability, being careless and irresponsible can break a relationship. These qualities are very easily maintained in this relationship/ friendship. By definition you can only have one best friend, however I believe people can have many strong friendships and have no best friend. Sometimes people like to have strong connections with different people for different reasons, and may not want to interact with one more than the other.

3. Include a picture of you and your best friend (if you have one, and willing to share), or another picture that represents why you value your relationship with your best friend

Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography

http://juditethicsfall2012.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/poverty-group.pdf

This pdf provided by Professor Judit gives pictures and examples of poverty around the world. Also it gives statistics and numbers to illustrated just how bad Global Poverty is.

http://www.npc.umich.edu/poverty/

When we think of Global Poverty we think about Africa, Asia and Central America. With this article I feel like I can get the point across better by showing that poverty is in our own back yard. This article gives information to poverty changes over time and percentage of people in poverty in the year 2010.

http://www.thp.org/learn_more/issues/know_your_world_facts_about_hunger_and_poverty?gclid=CKbv8qT70bMCFelFMgodL3AAsg

Because I want to use numbers and statistics in this paper I found this article which gives stats on the percentage of men and women in poverty, individuals with access to clean water in poverty stricken countries s e.t.c

Trisomy 21

Would it be wrong for parents to abort a fetus with trisomy 21?  What moral responsibility, if any, does a pregnant woman have for the fetus discussed in this article?

No it would not be wrong for abortion to be used in this scenario. In my opinion the child will have a challenging life and will have to fight a losing battle through the duration of their life. If the parent believes they cannot care for the child the proper way then they should be able to make this choice. Even if they decided to give the child away when they were pregnant, when the child is born they will have that connection, or bond and then the parents will keep a child they cannot provide for properly. The moral obligation the woman has for herself and the unborn fetus is to abort because neither will be able to live a normal happy life if the child is born.

Are there any circumstances that would justify aborting a child with Down syndrome? Does it make a difference if the pregnancy is wanted?

I have already stated that the readiness and responsibilities of the parents is certainly a reason for abortion. If they cannot handle and care for the child then they should not let it come into this world. It does not matter whether the pregnancy is wanted or not if they do not want a child and are not ready for it they will abort no matter what.

What are the strengths of the argument that any kind of prenatal testing is wrong?

Easily the strengths of prenatal testing are determining possible diseases the fetus may have and try to fix them. Some illnesses and disorders can cause the child to die soon after birth, but with prenatal testing they can find it and fix it. For the argument that it is wrong some strengths would be that people will abort any fetus with a disorder just because they either do not want the responsibility or because they may not be able to love the child.

What are some moral theories that might bear on these issues?

People will always be back and forth when it comes to this subject. One side will say that it is murder and not allowing the fetus to actually live. Others would say that if allowed to live the child’s life would be horrible and would be better off dead.

Friendship

1. What is your understanding of ethics of justice and ethics of care?   Are they opposite or complementary?  Are they useful in understanding what we (should) believe and how we (should) act?

Ethics of justice is doing what is right morally and ethics of care is treating someone with respect. I believe they are complimentary because justice is about fairness, respect and equality and caring employs these same ideals. We should act in accordance to the ethics of justice and care and they provide guidelines as to how we should live. The article even says they are mutual upon each other. Justice is not just about enforcement of laws, it is doing the right thing and when it comes to friendship, doing the right thing is essential.

2.  What are qualities of friendship that might help us formulate more general ethical considerations?

Friendship consists of fairness, trust, respect and morality. In general trust is crucial in maintaining friendship because without it there is only mistrust and mistrust leads to immoral and unfair interactions that cause a loss of respect. Each of these qualities is a building block for friendship, if even one of these ideals is removed from the equation there is resentment.

3. What is your definition of empathy and can you think of a situation in which you felt empathy towards someone else?  What can we learn from it and how could it apply to other, more general ethical situations?

Empathy is being able to feel/ experience what someone else is feeling and being sympathetic towards them. A situation where I was empathetic towards someone else was when my girlfriend’s fish “died”. A few months ago we bought a Beta fish and during that time she had grew some sort of bond with it. One night while I was at work my cat (who likes to watch the fish and tap on the glass) tipped the little tank over the edge of the banister making the water pour out and leaving the fish sitting on top of his pebbles without water. She was distraught when she told me and I truly felt sorry for her and the fish. I have had experiences losing pets and know how it feels. Because she was so upset she left the fish in his tank because she could not flush his body. When I got home I saw the fish and touched the body just in case. I thought it flinched, but assumed I was just exhausted. I cannot stand to see a creature die for unnecessary circumstances so I needed to be sure before I flushed the fish. I went upstairs to the sink to clean the bowl and when I went to pick up the fish it flopped. I thought maybe it was some kind of bodily reflex but I was hopeful. So I filled a cup of water and used the fish net to full out the fish. I dropped the body in the water and sure enough he started swimming. Mind you he was laying without water for 4 hours. It was funny because when I thought he moved the first time I remembered back when the pet store associate said they could breathe air, but at the time I thought that was farfetched and a fabrication of my mind.

What we can learn from my experience in relation to the assignment is that we should not judge someone for something that may seem insignificant. We should empathize because we all value different things. Everyone should walk in someone else’s shoes every day before passing judgement. Also we can rest soundly knowing that some fish are apparently invincible! 😀

4.  Do you believe that too much emphasis on personal caring relationships will encourage many people to become morally apathetic towards larger ethical issues? Why or why not?

I am on the fence with this question. In some instances no because people can become engrossed in personal relationships and pay no attention to the larger issues. On the other hand people develop strong relationships and care so much that they will become more apathetic to the ethical issues.

5. Include a song or video (from YouTube) that represents values of friendship and love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oOHr–AMes

Final Project 1

I chose to do my final on Global Poverty. Poverty is a big issue across the nations and it concerns me even though i am not directly affected by it. I hope that with this project and my posts I will be able to spread awareness about the silent issue that has gone global. Here is a sample from the pdf I have to read; Some people in countries that are supposedly developing make less than $1 a day. The author estimated their income to be $300 a year. $300 a year; some of us spend that much in a day. Could any of us live a comfortable life making $300 a year? I doubt it.