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ETHC 101 Capstone Essay Instructions

 

Summary

The final assignment for ETHC101 is a capstone essay that brings all of the knowledge and skills developed in this course to bear on a single ethical issue. Each student will write a paper of 2200 to 2400 words (total, including the title page, table of contents, quotations, footnotes, and bibliography), in current Turabian format, that combines the insights and arguments of the third and fourth discussion boards into a single carefully-articulated work.

 

Content

Begin your paper with a brief introductory paragraph that clearly states what positions you are going to argue for. State what metaethical theory you will utilize, the issue in applied ethics to which you will be applying it, and the conclusion(s) on that issue that you want to defend.

 

Next provide a lengthy and detailed explanation of your metaethic. This will likely reflect the metaethic that you argued for in your Discussion Board Three (see Discussion Board 3: Virtue Ethics below) thread and the feedback that you received from the professor and/or classmates who responded to your thread. (see Virtue Ethics Response below) Here you can go into much more detail than you could in the Discussion Board, which was limited to 600 words. If you use half of your paper to develop your metaethic, then it will contain approximately 1100 words, which means that it will be roughly twice as long as your Discussion Board thread was. As in Discussion Board Three, in your explication of your metaethic you must interact with the ethical theories that we have studied in this course.

 

Once you have fully explicated and argued for your metaethic, proceed to an application of that metaethic to the applied ethics issue that you discussed in your Discussion Board Four thread. (see Discussion Board 4: My Ethical Theory: Virtue Ethics below) This discussion may end up being twice as long as your discussion board thread was. Add detail, nuance, and argumentation, providing a fairly complete and comprehensive argument for approaching the issue the way that you do. You may illustrate the issue with real-life examples, but please do not fill your paper with anecdotes. You should anticipate possible objections to your approach to the issue and respond to them in an objective and informed manner. (For ideas on how others might object to your approach, a good place to begin would be your own imagination and the many books and articles that have been published on issues in applied ethics can provide a wealth of possible arguments relevant to every issue.)

Your final paragraph should reflect that you have accomplished your thesis. It should recap what you have accomplished and how you have accomplished it.

 

Research

This paper is not required to utilize any sources outside of those that were used in the class but use of additional resources is permitted and encouraged. At the minimum the paper should utilize the resources from the class. All resources used must be listed in the bibliography and any resources quoted, paraphrased, or alluded to must be documented via footnotes formatted according to Turabian.

For this capstone essay both the footnotes and the bibliography count toward the word count. In other words, the 2400-word limit is all-inclusive. You will be penalized if you exceed the limit, so please do not.

 

Format

Your paper must begin with a title page that includes a paper title, your name, the date, and the course name and number. The second page of your paper must be a table of contents. The last page of your paper must be devoted to your bibliography. The paper must utilize 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins. It must be double-spaced rather than triple-spaced between paragraphs and there should be only one space after the end of each sentence.

Any documentation in the body of your paper must be done via footnotes formatted according to Turabian. If you are not familiar with how to do this, simply look it up online. There are many websites that explain Turabian formatting. Footnotes should be single-spaced 10-point Times New Roman font.

Your paper must be submitted as a Microsoft Word document.

 

Format Example

Title Page

Table of Contents

Body of Paper:

  • Introduction
  • Metaethic
  • Application
  • Conclusion

Bibliography

 

Miscellany       

Errors of spelling, grammar, syntax, and punctuation will affect your grade. This is a university-level writing assignment. Please write accordingly.

This will be checked by SafeAssign.  This a program that checks for plagiarism.

 

 

Discussion Board 3

 

My Ethical Theory: Virtue Ethics

Top of Form

 

From the amount of time we have spent studying metaethics and examining the many ethical theories, I believe that some of better methodology to determine right from wrong for me would be the areteological approach, which is also known and listed in our assignment as Virtue Ethics. I say this because, according to my understanding of Virtue Ethics, the right thing to do is to live within your virtuous capabilities. Or, at the very least, stay within the realm of the capabilities of a virtuous person, creating a set of norms. The goal in Virtue Ethics is to become virtuous ourselves and fulfill our purpose. In Virtue Ethics, making a sound moral judgment is determined by one’s good habits and practices. When we are trying to figure out what the right thing to do is in a situation at hand, and we are unsure of our own abilities, we should seek out a virtuous person for guidance. If you already have someone who’s virtuous abilities you admire you can also simply ask yourself, what they would do. One of the more common phrases in that regard, heard within the Christian community is: “What would Jesus do?”. Although this has also become a phrase used in a lot of humor, the meaning of it still holds true.

 

As Christians, our goal is to be seen as a good person in Gods eyes. To do this we have to make good ethical and moral decisions and some of those decisions may have already been made by a known virtuous person. “Those who take this approach think that good ethical decisions will be made by good people.” (Stivers, Gudorf, & Martin-Schramm, 2012) By doing this we can then know our decision, if it is the same, will be a good one. An example of this would be reading the Bible and following the word of God. We know this alone is a good decision but by following the guidance within we can make many other good ethical decisions as well. “An advantage of this approach is that life is complicated and often requires ethical decisions that have to be made quickly.” (Strivers, et al., 2012) By creating the set of norms I has mentioned earlier, a moral intuition will form. Having this moral intuition will help you in making quick ethical decisions. One of the drawbacks to this is that it can become very subjective. There are many who may wear the mask of a virtuous person but are not actually virtuous themselves.

 

In the military, when questioning something you were doing, one would often hear the phrase: “Do as I say, not as I do.” I worked with a specific individual who commonly preached this. He would provide sound advice to many that any Christian would have seen as good or moral. He himself, however, often did not follow is own advice. This often caused him to end up in difficult situations or make bad decisions himself. “The focus of virtue ethics is on cultivating one’s inner character.” (Jones, 2017, p. 38). This is similar what I stated earlier and I believe my friend simply lacked. “If a truly virtuous person would not perform some act, then that act must not be moral.” (Jones, 2017, p. 40) This leaves me with a dilemma. Since my friend would often not follow the moral advice he gave, does this make him someone who is not virtuous? If so, does that mean that in reality his advice may not have been moral?

 

References:

 

Jones, Michael S. Moral Reasoning: An Intentional Approach to Distinguishing Right from Wrong. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt, 2017.

Stivers, Laura A., Christine E. Gudorf, and James B. Martin-Schramm. Christian Ethics: A Case Method Approach. 4th ed. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2012.

 

 

Discussion Board 3 Virtue Ethics Response

I can relate to your military experience and know very well the term “Do as I say not as I do.” Especially being an aviation mechanic, there were some short cuts to maintenance that didn’t follow the publication that you just pick up from the people you learn from. As a brand-new naval aircraft maintainer, I worked under a guy that, whenever performing one of these short cuts he would say “Do as I say not as I do.” Then as he is performing the short cut, he would proceed to tell me the correct way to do it and would also tell me why this short cut won’t have a major effect on the aircraft. He would say it in a way that sounded like he was trying to justify to himself why he was doing the short cut.

 

In my opinion, any time you have to justify doing something to yourself, it is not morally correct. Having to justify something to yourself is your subconscious telling you that what you’re doing is wrong. When you said, “Having this moral intuition will help you in making quick ethical decisions.” It stood out to me because my mentor at the time that was taking these short cuts didn’t have this moral intuition to help him make these ethical decisions. The ethical decision in that situation would have been to do exactly what the publication says to do. Also, when you said, “One of the drawbacks to this is that it can become very subjective.” It made me think that maybe he did have the moral intuition but he was subjective like you said, and that doing that short cut, to him, was morally ethical.

I believe that your moral ethics can be subjected to how you are raised. Everyone is raised differently and therefore not everyone will have the exact same moral ethics. I also believe that society can also have a huge impact on your moral ethics as you grow up. I’ve used this example before however, an example of this is the movie Jojo Rabit. It is about a little boy who grew up in Nazi Germany. When he was a little boy, he wanted to become a Nazi mostly because he believed it to be the right thing to do due to the society, he grew up in. His mom, however, was able to subjectively teach him otherwise and he eventually does the right thing. I believe now it is even easier for kids’ moral ethics to be subjective because of the ease of access to social media. Kids’ can just hop on their phones or tablets and watch a YouTube video about someone ranting on a moral ethic perspective of theirs and be subjected to their opinions. This is especially in celebrities and social media influencers because they are looked up to. Of course, there are different situations for everyone to can change or influence someone’s moral ethics and I believe that some people can change from believing one thing is morally correct to believe in the complete opposite.

 

 

Discussion Board 4

 

Applying My Ethical Theory: Virtue Ethics

 

On discussion board forum 3, I explained my approach to metaethics. I believe that the methodology to determine right from wrong for me is the areteological approach. This approach is better known and listed in our last assignment as Virtue Ethics. In Virtue Ethics, making a sound moral judgment is determined by one’s good habits and practices. The goal in this methodology is to become virtuous ourselves and fulfill our purpose. We achieve this by following the guidance of a virtuous person.

As someone who has spent a significant amount of his life in the military and his entire life around the military, I wanted to apply my methodology to poverty. I was raised to feel pity for those who are less fortunate than I. I was always told never to give money to the poor and instead volunteer at organizations that help them. My grandparents had taught me that by handing a homeless person money I am only placing myself one step closer to their situation while they take a step away from it. My views changed very little as I grew older. I remember reading a book that mentioned how by handing someone who is homeless money, you are essentially paying them to be homeless. Since Virtue Ethics focuses on becoming a virtuous person, I certainly do feel a moral obligation to help those less fortunate. I do what I can to specifically help veterans of our military. I know how difficult it is to work with the government when trying to receive help once you no longer serve. “Veterans make up 20 percent of people who are homeless, and about half of the people experiencing homelessness suffer from mental health issues.” (Stivers, Gudorf, & Martin-Schramm, 2012)

There is a plethora of reasons that lead to our veterans living in poverty. There are also various organizations that provide resources to help them in almost every way. I once volunteered to help a small organization build free homes for homeless veterans in Virginia. There are others who provide food, education, clothing, and many more out there as well. In the Christian Standard Bible: Digital Reader Edition it says: “If there is a poor person among you, one of your brothers within any of your city gates in the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Instead, you are to open your hand to him and freely loan him enough for whatever need he has. (Deut 15:7-8) Having served, brother or sister, carries another meaning for me which is why this passage stood out to me. By helping my brothers and sisters, the ones that are less fortunate than myself, I believe I am on the right path to becoming a more virtuous person. The Bible teaches us that helping others is the right thing to do. There are many examples of our Lord, a virtuous person, helping those living in poverty. I do my best to follow the Virtue Ethics methodology and base my decisions based upon good habits and practices I have developed from virtuous people over the years.

 

References:

Stivers, Laura A., Christine E. Gudorf, and James B. Martin-Schramm. Christian Ethics: A Case Method Approach. 4th ed. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2012.

 

 

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