Philosophy 101 First Paper

Instructions: Pick one of the following topics and write a paper of 3-4 pages (1000-1400 words) in response to the question posed.

1. In our unit on moral philosophy, we have covered three different approaches to animal ethics: utilitarianism, deontology, and Aristotelian teleology. Pick one of these approaches to focus on in your paper. Now, choose an example of something that human beings did to Nim Chimpsky, as presented in the documentary film Project Nim, that you feel strongly was morally wrong. How does your chosen theory explain the morality of this action, and does the theory give us the right answer? Why or why not?

2. Suppose that you are in a pinch and you really need some quick cash. You know if you promise to pay it back, you could borrow the money you need from your roommate. However, you also know that you will not in fact ever be able to pay it back. Thus if you promise to pay back the money you will be making a lying promise – a deliberately deceitful vow that you have no intention of keeping. Write a paper in which you compare the ways in which Bentham and Kant would assess the morality of this lying promise. Which approach does a better job of explaining the morality of the lying promise, and why?

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