Course Reflection

Reflection Questions 1:

1.) On your own blog, which one is your favorite post, the one you are most proud of; the one that you could even show to friends, family and other teachers?  Why is it your favorite, what’s good about it?

One of my favorite posts was lesson 3 – assignment 3. I was really proud of the way that I compared the philosophers in this post. It took me a long time to do, but it was well worth it. After analyzing the similarities and differences between the philosophers, I had a better understanding of ethics and how each philosopher related to each other.

I also liked being able to talk about my hobbies and share photos of the things that I love. Pictures are important to me because they help keep memories alive, so I was happy to be able to share those with the class.

2.) Which post is your least favorite, or least successful post and why? What could you do to improve it?

Lesson 3 – Assignment 1 was probably my least favorite post because it was hard to understand. The first assignment of all of the lessons was usually hard to understand because of the language used by the philosophers. This assignment was my least favorite because I never really understood it. Pleasures to me are different than pleasures are to Mill. I think I did a good job at the time of trying to understand Mill’s theory, and I think that my post was good. But the overall topic is what I was not a fan of. I had a hard time relating higher and lower pleasures into something that could happen in today’s world.

3.) Which post did you have the most trouble writing?  Why do you think it gave you so much trouble?

I had the most trouble writing the last post with the final paper. This was really hard for me because I am not good at writing especially when it comes to papers. I have trouble writing what I want to say in an intelligent way. I knew what I wanted to write about, I just had a hard time getting it on paper and making it flow and sound right. Also, I do better when I have to answer questions, where with this paper, I had no questions to answer, I just had to write from my thesis.

4.) Which post is the one that you learned the most from?   What did you learn from it, specifically?

Wow, it really is hard to narrow it down to only one post that I learned from. I actually learned so much in this course. One of the posts that I learned a lot from was lesson 2 – assignment 2, where we had to write a letter to an elderly man who was going to commit suicide. After reading everyone’s posts and their responses to mine, I learned that everyone has different opinions and that there might not be just one right answer. Some things are morally right and morally wrong no matter what, and other things have conditions to whether they are morally right or wrong. This instance of the elderly man wanting to die, is one of those times where it could be morally right and it could also be morally wrong. It depends on many things including the reasoning for wanting to die.

Reflection Questions 2:

1.) 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).

I learned so much in this course! I learned a lot about myself in this course and who I am as a person. I learned that I am who I am because of the way I was brought up. My cultures and communities had a great impact on that way that I was raised and what my beliefs are. I also learned that I treat certain animals better than others and that is not right. Because of the way I was raised, I value dogs more than I do chickens. I would never think to eat a dog, but I wouldn’t think twice about eating a chicken.

One of the most important things that I learned is that there is not always a right or wrong answer. I am a very literal person, I think of most things to be black and white, no grey areas. However, this course helped me to see that something’s can not always be black and white.

2.) How do you know that you learned it?

I know I learned this because I did not know them before. I was always aware that I am who I am because of my parents and the way I was raised, but I wasn’t aware of the fact that my beliefs are what they are because of my culture and communities. I also never gave though to the fact that I wouldn’t think to eat a dog but eating a chicken is okay.

3.) What will you do with that knowledge in the future? (Could it be applied to other courses you will take, your job, your relationships with people or generally in your life?)

The knowledge I received from this class can definitely help me in the future. This could help me to think before I speak. Instead of thinking that there is only a right and a wrong answer, I will now be able to think about the fact that there could be situations where there is no right answer at all. This will help me to be a better person, because I will try to understand people better instead of judging their answers right away.

Reflection Question 3:

1.) Do you think your moral viewpoint changed in any way?  Please explain.

Yes, I do think that my moral viewpoint changed. Like I said before, I now realize that there isn’t always a right and wrong answer. Sometimes, things have grey areas and they are not so easily decided upon. For the most part, my moral viewpoint stayed the same, but now I am able to understand that not everyone is going to agree with my view and that is okay. I am very religious and I believe a lot of things that many people do not believe, but that does not mean that I am right and they are wrong.

Reflection Questions 4:

1.) 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?

I liked the way that you taught the course. If I was teaching it, I might have helped the students understand the philosophers readings before they had to submit their assignment because that was really hard and sometimes impossible. I would definitely include Aristotle, Kant, Card, Singer, and Pojman as philosophers. I might not include Mill as a philosopher because his theory was so hard to understand and relate to.

I would keep everything related to Aristotle because that made the most sense and went well with the rest of the topics covered in the class. I would keep topics like chemical castration,  elder suicide, and animal rights. However, I’m not sure I would keep the trisomy 21 discussion. That is a very controversial topic and it touches a lot of people hearts. I know that this is an ethics class, and everyone is going to differ in opinions, but I think that talking about Down Syndrome went a little too far. It was a little too personal and not really appropriate for discussion.

2.) And, would you recommend this course to other students?  Why or why not – please explain.

I would definitely recommend this course to other students because I learned so much from it. I took this class because I find ethics interesting and because I needed another class. I never really thought I would end up liking the class so much, especially with it being an online class and all. I would definitely warn the students that this is not an easy class and that you have to work for a good grade, but it is so worth it. Although it was a hard class and it was time consuming, you gave us time to do each assignment and you graded the assignments in a timely manner and helped students when they needed it. Many online teachers are not good at communicating grading policies and assignment with students, but you did a very good job of that.

FINALLY:  Add anything else you want to say, and include a representative image of your learning.

I just really enjoyed this course and learned so much from it. Thank you for teaching this course and caring about the students learning rather than us just passing your class.

Course Reflection Image


Final Project – Part 4

Final Project - Part 4 Image 2 Final Project - Part 4 Image

“How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia” by Mohsin Hamid, was an intriguing novel about a boy’s journey to become rich.
Hamid uses the second person point of view and disguises the novel as a self-help book. The book ended up being a compelling love story as well as a story about desires.  This book can teach us that it does not matter if you are rich or poor, or the qualities that you possess, what matters is that you are happy and that you are living a moral life. This book proves that it is better to be a good person than to cheat your way through life in order to get what you want. Also, this book is an example of how culture influences what people think is ethically right and wrong.

Final Project – Part 4




Final Project – Part 3

Final Project - Part 3 Image

1.)    Consider the different philosophers, ethical ideas and moral situations we discussed in this class so far.  Read your own blog to remind yourself.  Which one of these concepts or ideas of morality might be applicable for this book if you want to discuss the characters and their actions?  Write 1-2 paragraphs in which you connect something we discussed in this class to what you read in the book.

One of the moral theories that we discussed in this class was Aristotle’s theory that the ultimate goal for all people is happiness. This theory relates to the book “How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia”, in many ways. People differ on what happiness is and they find happiness with different things. People associate the meaning of happiness with what he/she wants in his/her life. People identify living well and doing well with being happy. In the book, the man’s original ultimate goal was to get filthy rich and powerful. The man was poor as a child so he believed happiness is wealth. So although the man thought he was searching for wealth, he was really searching for happiness and he thought that wealth would bring him happiness. Aristotle’s theory was confirmed in this book because the man thought that being rich would bring him happiness, but he realized that love was what would make him happy and therefore, happiness was his ultimate goal.

2.)    Think about the language and style:  How does the style of this book compare to other books you’ve read recently?  Is it similar or different and in what ways? What type of language does the author use?  How does the style and language make you feel?  Can you connect it with any moral idea we’ve discussed here? If so, write 1 paragraph about this.

I don’t read so I don’t really have anything to compare this book to. When I was in high school I read a lot of books and I don’t think any of them were presented in the second person. This book was portrayed as a self-help book and the main character was referred to as “you”. Mohsin Hamid used a lot of detail in describing most of the book, which is similar to the books I have read. The only lack of description I noticed in this book was the lack of names for the main characters. The author used persuasive language, profane language, some figurative and some not figurative language, and intelligent language that was easy to understand. Hamid’s style and language made me feel like I was one of the main characters. His style was perfect for me because he sounded intelligent, but the book was easy to understand. The style and language made me feel smart and accomplished because I was able to finish the book and actually enjoy it.

3.)    Formulate your main idea or thesis statement. Write a 2-3 sentence statement that answers the following question:  What is the moral value of this book?  (in other words, what can this book teach us about morality, about being a good person, about doing good things, about pursuing happiness, increasing pleasure for others, respecting people and the environment, about global morality?)

This book can teach us that it does not matter if you are rich or poor, or the qualities that you possess, what matters is that you are happy and that you are living a moral life. It is better to be a good person than to cheat your way through life to get what you want.

Lesson 6: Assignment 2

1.)    What is your culture?  What is your closets community?  How does your culture and community influence who you are?

Culture is hard to define, but I would say that I have a lot of different cultures. My culture is defined by how I dress, act, what my values and beliefs are, where I live, what I like, what I do, what type of music I listen to, etc. I am a U.S. citizen who lives in New England so I am  part of the Northeast culture. I am a part of the Catholic culture as well as the Christian culture. I am a Caucasian young lady which would make me a part of the female culture, Caucasian culture, and the younger generation culture. I am a part of the art/sport culture because I am a dancer as well as a dance teacher. Being a teacher and a senior in college makes me a part of the education culture. I am a junior accountant, so that puts me in the professional culture category as well. Oxford is a part of my culture because it is a small town and it is where I was raised.

It is really hard to pick my closest community because I feel like I am close with all of my communities and cultures. I guess my dance community, work community, and family would be my closest communities. I cannot pick just one because I am so close with all of them.

My culture and community influence who I am in a huge way. If I was not raised as a Catholic Christian with a close, loving family, I would not be the same person I am today and I would not have the same values and beliefs I do now. My family and being a Catholic Christian probably have the most influence on who I am. Without my family I am not sure who I would be. If I did not come from such a warm, loving, close family, I do not think that I would be as kind, responsible, and religious as I am now. If my parents did not raise me to believe in God and to treat others the way I want to be treated, I am not sure if I would believe in God or not. My parents faith and loyalty to God has given me a reason to believe in God.

We learn from our parents and our surroundings. So if I did not grow up in a small town in New England I would probably speak differently and not understand how to live in a small community. There are so many things that could be different if I was a part of different cultures and communities. I definitely feel like my cultures influence who I am. Like Pojman said in his article, different cultures have different values and beliefs. So there is a possibility that I could be a totally different person if it was not for the cultures and communities that I belong to.

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

It is so hard to narrow my values down to only three! I guess my most important three values would have to be, family, helping others, and honesty. Of course, my three most important values are the hardest for me to describe and analyze. However, I do think that these three values are definitely influenced by my cultures and community, I am just not sure how to explain it. All of my values are influenced mostly by my family, my religion, and where I was born. If I was born in a different family I am not sure that I would value family. My family is so different from most families. I value family because it is what I was taught to do and my family has given me a reason to value it. I have a lot of friends who do not value family because they were not raised like I was. Being a Catholic Christian influences my idea that family is important. When I talk about valuing family, I do not mean just my biological family, I mean anyone who is extremely important to me. I consider members of my dance studio to be family because of the love and care we share for each other.

My mother raised me to care about other people and to live by the Golden Rule (Do unto others as you would want done unto you). I learned from her example and by watching her help others and treat people the way she would want to be treated. From watching her, I realized how important it is to be kind and help other people. If my mother wasn’t as helpful as she is, I do not think that I would have realized how important it is.

I learned to value honesty from my family, people I went to school with, my religion, and from living in America. My family and religion taught me that honesty is the best policy and that people who lie will eventually pay for it. Throughout my years, I have seen many people lie and cheat and most of the time the truth prevailed. Even though my family and religion told me that lying was wrong, I’m not sure that I would value honesty as much if I did not see the consequences that those people faced from lying. So being an American and having to deal with lying politicians influenced me to believe that honesty is important.

3.)    What’s your ethics?  Given what we’ve discussed this semester, and all these different situations, moral perspectives, and philosophers  — WHERE DO YOU STAND?

I believe that people should strive to do what is right and to treat others the way they would want to be treated (the Golden Rule). I feel that if everyone lived by this people would be much happier and the world would be a better place. People should do what makes them happy ONLY if they are treating others the way they would want to be treated and their actions are morally correct. I feel that we can determine what is morally correct by following rules like the Ten Commandments because even if you are not religious, these rules make sense in accordance with the Golden Rule. I think that the Golden Rule should be universal because no matter what religion you are, what cultures you are from, or where you were raised, treating others the way you want to be treated is a good way to determine what is right and what is wrong. For example, if you believe in a religion where killing people is good, I do not think that anyone would kill anyone because they would not want to be killed if the tables were turned. So unless they were being forced to kill someone, I do not think they would kill someone. And if they were being forced to kill someone and they did kill someone, then that person would universally be considered immoral. Even if the person wanted to die (if they were unhappy and they wanted to commit suicide), my moral principle would still work because the person would not be living in accordance with the Ten Commandments. So even though they were treating others the way they want to be treated, they would be considered immoral because they were violating one of the Ten Commandments.



Lesson 6 - Assignment 2 Image

I chose this picture because it represents two of my cultural communities. This picture represents my family and my dance community. We are all having fun in this picture and showing that we care for each other. We are a true family and we all share the love of dance.

Lesson 6- Assignment 1


In section 2 Subjective Ethical Relativism, the second paragraph states, “This form of moral subjectivism has the sorry consequence that is makes morality a useless concept, for, on its premises, little or no interpersonal criticism or judgment is logically possible. Hemingway may feel good about killing bulls in a bull fight, while Albert Schweit­zer or Mother Teresa may feel the opposite. No argument about the matter is possible. The only basis for judging Hemingway or anyone else wrong would be if he failed to live up to his own principles, but, of course, one of Hemingway’s principles could be that hypocrisy is morally permissible (he feels good about it), so that it would be im­possible for him to do wrong. For Hemingway hypocrisy and non­hypocrisy are both morally permissible. On the basis of Subjectivism it could very easily turn out that Adolf Hitler is as moral as Gandhi so long as each believes he is living by his chosen principles. Notions of moral good and bad, right or wrong, cease to have interpersonal evaluative meaning.”

Pojman, Louis. “Who’s to Judge?”


Moral subjectivism makes ethics and morals useless. This is because it is not reasonably possible for other people or society to judge. If we use Hemingway’s definition, then one person might feel good about killing while another person may feel the opposite. Those two people who disagree would not be able to argue each other because they are both technically right according to subjectivism according to Hemingway. No one would ever be wrong unless they did not follow their own principles; but one of their principles could be that hypocrisy is moral and it makes them feel good, so they could never do wrong. Someone who is considered immoral today, like Adolf Hitler, could b considered moral on the basis of Subjectivism. If this were the case, ideas of what is morally right and wrong would have no significance.


I chose this paragraph because I agreed with what Pojman was saying. His argument was strong, logical, and sensible. The way Pojman wrote this paragraph was well thought out and easy to understand. I have a very strong opinion on this matter of Subjectivism so this paragraph was extremely interesting to me. I loved this paragraph and thought that it was essential in order to make the point that Subjectivism is not correct. This paragraph helps the reader understand the next few paragraphs.

I think that the meaning of this paragraph was to get the reader to understand that Subjectivism is not logical and it would cause more harm than good. Pojman included this paragraph in order to help prove his argument against Subjectivism and get the reader to understand that with Subjectivism there would be no value or need for moral principles. My further interpretation of this paragraph is that with Subjectivism people could do no wrong which would cause chaos in the world. Murderers would be moral so long as killing someone was one of their principles and it made them feel good.


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.

I agree and disagree with this statement. Humans are creatures of habit and we learn what we see and hear. Everyone is different and everyone was brought up differently. What we think is right and wrong is based on our personal experiences, how we were raised, where we were raised, and what culture and religion we are. However, I do feel like there are some moral principles that should be universal. I read the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and I guess my question is who decided these rights, what makes them universal, and what makes them right or wrong? After reading Pojman’s article, I am not convinced that these rights are universal, which is why I agree and disagree with this statement. Who are we to say whether a culture has a right or not? I agree that every culture has different values and every person may have different values, however, I do not agree that members of a culture have no right to evaluate the moral values of another culture, because I believe that we should have freedom of speech and the freedom to believe what we want to believe. Also, it is difficult to define culture which makes it hard to agree or disagree with this statement. Like Pojman said, some people belong to more than one culture or society which would make it nearly impossible for this statement to be feasible and for cultures not to judge other cultures.

2.)     Is the argument against subjectivism convincing to you?

Yes, the argument against subjectivism is very convincing to me because subjectivism is not logical. I agree with Pojman when he said, “This form of moral subjectivism has the sorry consequence that is makes morality a useless concept, for, on its premises, little or no interpersonal criticism or judgment is logically possible.” His argument is convincing to me because no one would ever be wrong if subjectivism was true. There would be no use for morality and life would not be fair. The examples that Pojman uses are really effective in helping me see that morality cannot be dependent on the individual him or herself. Adolf Hitler is in no way moral, but if we used subjectivism then he could be moral so long as he is living by his principles. No one would be put in jail and the world would be in chaos because there would be no rules or sense of what is right and what is wrong. Killing someone would not be a crime as long as the murderer was living by his principles.

3.)    Is the argument against conventional relativism strong and convincing?

Yes, I believe it is. The argument is not as strong as the argument against subjectivism, but it is still valid. Pojman brings up good points that convince me that conventional relativism is flawed. One of the points he brings up is that we could not morally criticize anyone outside of our culture. So as long as his actions are accepted by his culture, then I could not criticize Adolf Hitler because I am not a part of his culture. For a better example, people down South tend to believe in slavery more than people up North. So, if conventionalism would allow the South to have slaves and the North could not do anything about it. There would be no collective moral principles so killing someone might be morally accepted in one culture but not in another culture. Pojman brings up an excellent point that change would not happen if morality was based on conventionalism. Slavery and racism would still be going on today because reformers would have been morally wrong.

The major thing that convinced me that conventional relativism was wrong was when Pojman brought up that Jesus would have been immoral because He broke his law of resting on the Sabbath day in order to heal someone. As I was reading I was trying to figure out what defined a culture, and then Pojman answered my question in saying that it is hard to define a culture. Someone could belong to many different cultures which would make it hard for that person to conform to conventionalism because they are a part of more than one culture. I can see where Pojman is coming from when he says that “Conventionalist Relativism seems to reduce to Subjectivism. And Subjectivism leads, as we have seen, to the demise of morality altogether.”

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

Pojman believes that we are to judge what’s right or wrong. According to Pojman, “We are to do so on the basis of the best reasoning we can bring forth and with sympathy and understanding.” I don’t know how to answer this question because I do not agree that we are to make moral judgments. This theory does not make sense with the rest of Pojman’s article. If we were to judge what is right and what is wrong, wouldn’t we be using subjectivism? I guess I just don’t understand his last few pages where he discusses his theory.

In his third to last paragraph Pojman talks about how we should be able to judge what is right and what is wrong as long as we have scientific evidence to back it up. I do not think that this is possible because who is to say that science is right? I am a Catholic Christian and we believe that God created the world; we do not believe in the big bang theory. Therefore, by saying that as long as something is scientifically sound, it is right is not being fair to all cultures. Pojman is bringing his own culture and beliefs into his theory because he is leaving out some other cultures that would not agree with him. What makes science the judge of whether something is right or wrong? It just does not make sense to me.



Lesson 6 - Assignment 1 Image

This picture represents that there are universal moral principles that does not have to do with culture or an individual. I am not sure who this quote is by, but it reflects how I feel. “The subjective means the arbitrary, the irrational, the blindly emotional.”

Final Project – Part 2

wrong or right ethical question

First List: Make a list of situations in the book that are morally considered right and those are considered wrong (according to you).

  • I think it was morally wrong for the man to steal DVD’s for the pretty girl. I also think it was wrong for the pretty girl to have asked the man to steal for her.
  • It was morally wrong when the man’s teacher punished him for being smart. The teacher was taking his anger our on the man and that was not right. Just because the teacher did not want to be a teacher and because he was unhappy, does not give him the right to punish students for giving correct answers.
  • I don’t think it was right that the man’s parent’s promised that his sister could go to school and then made her get married instead.
  • I think it was morally right that the man’s father took his family to the city with him.
  • I think it is wrong that the pretty girl’s father doesn’t work and he gambles the money that the mother and the pretty girl earn.
  • I think it was morally wrong for the man to use his raise for himself rather than telling his family about it and sharing it with his family. He wasn’t being considerate and he was only thinking about himself.
  • I don’t necessarily think that it was morally wrong for the pretty girl to have sex before she was married, but I do think it was wrong that she had sex for a reason other than love. She had sex in order to get ahead in life.
  • It is morally wrong that the University the man goes to allows students to cheat if they pay for it.
  • It is morally right that the man went home when his mother was sick and his sister was pregnant. That shows he cared for his family and thought about others over himself sometimes.
  • It was morally right that the matriarch helped the man’s family pay for medical expenses when his mother became sick.
  • I think it is wrong that the man’s mother has a favorite child. She should love her children unconditionally and not love one more than the other.
  • It is morally wrong for the guard at the pretty girl’s hotel to not let the man in because of the way he looks. It is also wrong that the guard’s supervisor makes the man park in the secondary parking lot just because of the man’s class.
  • It was wrong for the motorcyclist who works for your competitor to beat the man up and cause him pain.
  • I think it was wrong for the man to marry his wife when he really didn’t love her. It is also wrong that the man does not tell his wife about him and the pretty girl’s past together.
  • It was morally wrong for the man’s security guard to kill the motorcyclist even though he was trying to hurt the man. He could have hurt him for self-defense without killing him.
  • It is morally wrong that the man cheated (paid) his way to getting his municipal vendor’s license. This is cheating in order to get what you want.
  • It was also morally wrong for the bureaucrat to take money from the man in exchange for his municipal vendor’s license. The bureaucrat is using his power for his own personal gain which is wrong.
  • It was morally wrong that the man was not there for his wife when she needed him the most (during childbirth). He cared more about his work than he did her health or her happiness.
  • It is wrong for the man to think about the pretty girl while he is married to another woman.
  • I did not understand chapter 9 so I could have read this wrong, but it is morally wrong for the man to watch the pretty girl on his laptop without her knowing it. That is an invasion of her privacy and it is wrong.
  • It was morally right that the man’s ex-wife went to see him in the hospital and took care of him.
  • It was wrong for the man’s brother-in-law to run away with the company money and leave the man broke and in trouble with the police.
  • It was morally right for the man’s ex-wife to help the man with his medical bills.
  • It is morally wrong that people are sending the man death threats and people are not being his friend anymore just because he is not rich and powerful anymore.
  • It was wrong that someone broke into the pretty girls’ boutique and stole all of their money.
  • It was also wrong of the burglars to hit the pretty girl’s assistant.
  • It is right for the man to use his contacts and the power he once had to help people and not accept anything in return.
  • I think it is right that the actress who is the pretty girl’s tenant stayed in the apartment because the pretty girl asked her to.
  • It is right that the factotum stays in the apartment for the pretty girl but it is from that he steals from the man.
  • It is morally right that the factotum helps the man and takes care of him.


Second List: Make a list of characters from the book you would consider virtuous, good characters and list those that are not.  And say why?

I don’t think that a person can be defined as simply virtuous or not virtuous. I think that what you do, how you act, and the traits you have determine whether what you did was virtuous or not. There are many instances where someone can be both virtuous and not virtuous. I believe that everyone has some virtuous traits to them. Therefore, it is hard for me to say whether these characters are virtuous or not virtuous.

The man’s father is virtuous because throughout the book he seemed to do what was right and he seemed to be an upright guy. He paid for the village to survive because it was the right thing to do, but then he decided that it was more important to provide for his family and take them to the city with him. He shows many virtues throughout the book some including; appreciation, responsibility, charity, gratitude, love, and consideration. The man’s father did not want to be a burden on his daughter or his son after his wife passed away.

The pretty girl’s father is not virtuous because he does not seem to care about his wife and daughter. From the little information given about him, he seems to only care about himself. He does nothing to support his family and he puts his own happiness before his wife’s and his daughter’s. Even though the wife has arthritis and it hurts her to work, the father does nothing to help and takes advantage of her kindness and strength. The father is not being fair to the pretty girl and her mother and he is not taking responsibility for his actions and his family.

I would consider the man to be both virtuous and not virtuous. He was not virtuous when he stole the DVD’s and when he didn’t tell his family about his raise. He was only thinking about himself and putting his happiness before his families. However, later in the book the man returns home when his mother was sick and his sister was pregnant. That shows he cares about his family which is a reason that he might be virtuous. The man was sympathetic and kind to his mother when she was ill. When his mother heard that she had to have surgery, the man told her, “it won’t be painful; they’ll put you to sleep.” Then, the man asks his organization leader for money to help your mother. This shows his love and care for his family and his courage and responsibility for his family.

The man keeps a lot from his wife which is not virtuous to me. He should not keep so many secrets from her and he should not have married her when he didn’t really love her. You push your wife away and are preventing her from being happy. What I am trying to say is that the man is not virtuous when it comes to his wife because he is not being honest and he is caring more about his own happiness than hers. The man is caring more about his work and becoming rich then making his wife happy and spending time with her. He was not around when his wife needed him the most. She had a hard childbirth and the man was absent for most of it. It is not virtuous that the man thinks about another woman (the pretty girl) while he is married to someone else. The man was not virtuous when he paid his way to getting his municipal vendor’s license. By doing that, he was cheating in order to get what he wanted.

After the man lost his wealth, I feel like he became virtuous again. His one indulgence is providing tea and biscuits to your supplicants. The man helps people by using his contacts and the power he once had and does not accept anything in return. This shows that he cares more about other people now and that he does not need money to be happy.

The marketing manager is not virtuous because he takes advantage of the pretty girl. He lies to her and he gives her money and gifts in exchange for sex. The bureaucrat is not virtuous because he uses his power for his own personal gain. He takes money from the man in exchange for his municipal vendor’s license. The man’s brother-in-law is not virtuous because he stole the company’s money and ran away with it. He left the man bankrupt and in trouble with the police.

The matriarch is virtuous because she was giving, caring, and sympathetic. She helped the man’s family pay for the mother’s medical bills. She is a philanthropist so she helps people in need which is kind and morally correct. Although she seems a bit harsh at times, it seemed like her intentions were good.

The pretty girl is not virtuous. She leaves her mother when her mother clearly needs her. I can understand why the pretty girl wanted to leave, but I do not think that it was right for her to leave her ill mother with her drunken father. The pretty girl was only thinking about herself and not about her mother’s needs. The pretty girl also has sex before marriage which is considered un-virtuous.

The man’s wife is virtuous. She tries so hard to make the man happy and to please the man even though he does not truly love her. The wife honors marriage and her commitments which is ethically moral. The wife starts dressing modestly because she does not want to violate her marriage when young men at the university look at her. She is virtuous because she put her son’s happiness and well-being before her own. She stayed in a bad marriage for the sake of her son. The man’s wife is selfless and seems to have a good heart. She is a member of a woman’s group that helps beaten spouses, homeless divorcees, disinherited widows, etc. She also insists on paying her own bills and not taking anything from the man. Even though she divorces the man, she is still virtuous. Even after all the man did to her, the wife still went to see him in the hospital and cared for him. She brought an expert to help the man with his surgery and she helps the man with his medical bills.


Third List:  Make a list of events or occasions from the book that you believe would cause pleasure and those that you think would cause suffering for some or many people.

  • I would think that when the man’s father and mother have sex that they would have pleasure. Also the man and the pretty girl having sex on the roof probably caused them pleasure.
  • Being in the same room as your mother and father while they had sex probably caused the children suffer mentally.
  • In the beginning of the book, moving to the city probably caused the family both pleasure and suffering. They probably were happy to be with their father and husband but suffered having to leave their friends at the village and learning a new way of life.
  • The man’s teacher punishing him for being smart caused the man suffering. His ear was scared and it caused him pain.
  • The man’s teacher suffered by not getting the job as a meter reader. He suffered by not being the oldest boy in his family.
  • The man’s sister not being able to go to school caused her suffering. She also suffered when she had to marry someone she did not love and she had to move away.
  • Although the man’s brother might think that smoking causes him pleasure, it actually causes him to suffer health wise.
  • Watching TV together as a family probably causes everyone pleasure.
  • The pretty girl’s father probably caused her to suffer emotionally and mentally due to his gambling, alcoholism, and lack of care.
  • The pretty girl’s father’s problems causes the pretty girl, the mother, and the father to suffer
  • The pretty girl’s mother suffers when she has to work even though she suffers from arthritis.
  • I would assume that the pretty girl’s mother suffers from the pretty girl leaving her to become a model. The mother probably had to work more which caused her more physical pain and she probably suffered from emotional pain from losing her daughter and being stuck with her drunken husband.
  • The man suffered emotionally when the pretty girl ran away after they had sex. He suffers from losing the girl he likes.
  • Students who pay the University in order to cheat their way through school probably end up suffering when they get in the real world because they did not learn what they should have.
  • The man going home when his mother was ill caused the family pleasure, especially his dad.
  • The matriarch helping with the mother’s medical expenses caused the family pleasure and maybe caused the matriarch pleasure as well.
  • The lack of money caused the mother to suffer because she was unable to afford the ongoing medical treatments after her surgery. She could not afford medicine to help ease the pain of dying.
  • The mother’s death caused everyone who cared and loved her to suffer emotionally. The father suffered
  • Being a servant or the son or daughter of a servant causes suffering because people treat you differently and you do not get the same opportunities as someone of a higher class.
  • The food that the father ate during his life is now causing him to suffer.
  • In chapter 6 it says that poor people have to drink bad water because they can’t afford bottled water. The water causes them suffering health wise.
  • The man leasing his own house probably made him happy because it was a change and that is what he seeks.
  • The man suffered when he got beat up in chapter 7 by the motorcyclist who works for your competitor.
  • The man’s wife is suffering by being marries to the man. He does not truly love her and he will not get close to her because she reminds him of the pretty girl. The wife suffers emotionally because she is not happy but she wants to honor her commitment to marriage and later to her son.
  • Being with the man’s son and listening to him talk causes the man pleasure.
  • The man’s wife suffered when she had to go through childbirth alone.
  • The man is probably suffering from being alone. His wife left him and remarried, his son is in North America, and his parents, sister, and brother are all dead.
  • It probably causes the man pain to know that people who he thought were his friends are no longer his friends and never really were his friends.
  • The pretty girl’s assistant suffered from simply doing her job. She was hit by the burglar and later died because of it.
  • It probably gives the man pleasure to be able to help people by using his contacts and old power and not take anything in return.
  • I think that the man losing his wealth caused him pleasure in the end.
  • Spending time together causes the man and the pretty girl pleasure.
  • The man’s son visiting him causes the man pleasure.
  • The pretty girl suffers from old age and having cancer. Cancer is killing her and medications do not help her pain.
  • The man probably suffered from the pretty girl dying.
  • The man dying caused him pleasure because he was able to be reunited with the pretty girl.

Lesson 5: Assignment 3

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 female and for the most part I like being a female. Sometimes it is hard being a girl, but I think I would still rather be a girl than a boy. To me, girls have it way harder than guys because we have to go through pregnancy, give birth, and have that dreaded week every month. It is also proven that men lose weight easier than girls so we have to work that much harder to stay fit. There are many other challenges that girls have to go through, but I still love being a girl.

Being a girl means that I can basically do anything I set my mind to. I’m not saying that men can’t do anything they want; I am just saying that society makes it hard for boys to do certain things. For example, if a man wants to be a dancer, he has to go through ridicule and hard times in order to do what he wants to do. Girls can play basically any sport they want and not get discriminated. Also, woman can wear any color, but if a man wears pink or bright purple, he is automatically considered gay. (I have nothing against gay people!) All I am saying is that girls seem to have more options when it comes to that stuff. I’m not really sure what being a female means to me in terms of my identity. Being a female doesn’t define who I am or how I should be. I am a strong, independent, caring, human being.

I think that my ethical view conforms to both ethics of care and ethics of justice. My view conforms to ethics of care because I am respectful, sympathetic, kind, understanding, and loving. I always try to put myself in other people’s shoes and understand their side of a story or how they are feeling. My view conforms to ethics of justice because I do believe in following the laws and doing what is morally right. My view is both ethics of care and ethics of justice because I think that sometimes we need to consider the needs of other people and sometimes we need to do what is right and fair to everyone. Some rules should be the same for everyone, but some rules have exceptions where exceptions are needed.

2.)    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?

First off, YES you can definitely have more than one best friend. In fact, I have many best friends. Being a best friend does not mean that they are superior and that you love them more than another friend; being a best friend is about the relationship between you and another person. You can have the same type of relationship with many different people. It does not have to be just one best friend.

I consider my entire family to be my best friends because we love each other unconditionally, we care for each other, we help and listen to each other, and we tell each other basically everything. My three overall best friends are my mom, my friend Haley, and one of my sisters Kimm. These three people are my best friends because they are always there for me when I need them and I am always there for them. We can trust each other and we have fun together.

My mom is my best friend because she is always there for me and we are extremely close. We can relate to each other and we are alike in many ways. We are both loving, trustworthy, caring, motherly, sickly, and anxious. We share empathy and sympathy for each other. My mother suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and other health problems and I suffer from chronic migraines and other health problems. So we can relate to each other and understand how the other person is feeling. It is very hard for people to understand how you are feeling when they have never been through what you are going through, but my mom and I are very good at that. Even though our diseases and problems are not all the same, we can relate to each other and realize that the other person is hurting and cannot control it. I trust my mother with my life and it is my responsibility to help her in any way possible. I do not know where I would be without my mother. I honestly, don’t think I could live without her.

It is not difficult at all to keep these qualities in my friendship with my mom. Our friendship comes naturally. Yes, sometimes we have disagreements or struggles, but for the most part it is really easy. The only trouble is sometimes we lose track of our empathy/sympathy for each other, but I find that normal. It is hard to always be sympathetic and understanding. Sometimes I forget how my mom feels because of her MS and what she can and cannot do. She is such a strong woman who never gives up, so I sometimes forget that she is in pain or that she needs help. Occasionally, I take for granted that I am able to walk without any struggle or pain. I need to remember that what would take me 2 minutes to do, will take her much longer to do.

My sister Kimm is my one and only. We have been through so much together and we have always been there for each other. Kimm and I have been best friends since we were born. We have so much fun together and I know that I can count on Kimm if I really needed her. Our relationship is kind of odd, but it works for us. We are complete opposites in so many ways, yet we get along so well. I trust her with my life, but I do not trust her to keep a secret. If I tell Kimm something I have to make sure that I tell her many times not to tell anyone because she has such a bubbly fun personality that she says things without thinking sometimes. We share a lot of the same friends and we always have. Being fair and equal is a challenge when it comes to sisters, but I think we do a pretty good job at it. Until recently, we shared a car and we were both respectful of the other person’s schedule, needs, and wants. There were times where we would fight over the car, but for the most part, we thought about the other person and put them before ourselves.

Kimm and I have been through a lot together so we understand each other’s personalities really well. We respect each other and know that our friendship will never fade. Although Kimm is my one and only and my best friend, it is hard for us to keep the qualities of our friendship. Since we are such opposites, our priorities are different. Therefore, what I think is important is sometimes different than what Kimm thinks is important. For instance, when we did share a car, I thought it was important to keep the car clean, whereas Kimm did not. Instead of focusing on the fact that our opinions on what is important are different, we focus on what we do for each other. Since I thought keeping the car clean was important I did that, and she helped me with my dancing. Friendship is all about give and take. So we might not have had exactly the same responsibilities, we still have equal responsibilities to each other. Because we are so close, we are also quite competitive. We compete with each other in many things which can sometimes conflict with our caring and kindness towards each other. However, one thing that is never a challenge is our love for each other. We love each other unconditionally and in the end, we would do anything for each other.

Haley is my best friend because we can go a long time without talking to each other and when we finally talk, it is as if we had never stopped. We understand each other better than anyone else (besides Kimm for me and Matt for her). Even though we have only been friends since high school, we trust each other like we have known each other our whole lives. I am the only person that Haley can fully trust. She knows that when she tells me something I won’t tell anyone, not even my family. Both Haley and I have gone through a few best friends but we realize that our friendship is the kind that lasts forever and it is real. Our friendship is not one sided; we both take responsibility to keep the friendship going. For the most part Haley understands my hectic life and my family situation. She understands that it is hard for me to hang out a lot, but that does not stop us from being best friends.

Haley and I seem to have a lot in common as well as a lot of differences. The things that we do that in common are really important traits to us. We are both honest, good friends, trustworthy, kind, and responsible. It is difficult to keep fairness in our relationship just because of our different lives. Most of the time, Haley is the one that has to ask me to hangout and make the plans, which is not fair. I struggle to keep this part of our friendship fair, but my schedule and time constraints, make it hard. Our trust for each other comes really easy. We do not have to work to keep each other’s trust or our care for each other. Like I said before, we both care for each other so much that we would do anything for each other and that doesn’t change even if we haven’t seen each other in a while.


Lesson 5 - Assignment 3 Image 5 Lesson 5 - Assignment 3 Image

These first two photos are of me and my mom. 🙂

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These next two photos are of me and my sister Kimm. ❤

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These last two photos are of me and Haley. 🙂

Lesson 5: Assignment 2


1.) 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?

Yes, it is wrong for parents to abort any child. It does not matter that they are technically “abnormal” the child is still a living being that deserves to have life. The article said that some people abort children with Down Syndrome because they do not feel up to the challenge of raising a child with special needs. Well basically by using that as your excuse to abort your child, you are essentially saying that you would rather have your life than your child’s. If you feel this way then you do not deserve to be a parent, but that does not mean that you have to abort the fetus!! Have the child and then give him/her up for adoption.  That child would be better off with someone who actually cares for the child and wants him/her.

I know you said to try not to bring our own prejudices to this discussion, but it is so hard not to! Nevertheless, the article brings up some good points about why testing to see if the child has Down Syndrome is wrong. Mary Wollstonecraft said, “Duties might vary but virtues are the same for everyone.” This quote was from Claudia Card’s article and it goes good with the topic of Down Syndrome. No matter what abnormalities your fetus might have, it is a mother’s responsibility to love and care for that fetus no matter what.

A pregnant woman has the moral responsibility to do what is right and to care about her baby. Like said in Claudia Card’s article, fairness and caring are both valuable in friendship. When you think about a mother and child, you think about a strong bond and friendship. In order to be a good mother I think you have to also be a good friend. Therefore, a pregnant woman has the moral responsibility to be fair and caring to her child. She has a moral right to protect her child no matter what deformities he or she might have. A pregnant woman is responsible for doing whatever she can for her child. God gave that woman the gift of being pregnant, she has such an important job and therefore she needs to take that job seriously. The woman has a responsibility to show empathy to her child. “Do unto others as you would want done unto you.”

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

No, it does not make a difference if the pregnancy was wanted. You chose to have sex, so both the mother and the father have to live with the consequences of their actions. If by imposed you mean that the woman was raped, then I think that no matter how hard it is for the mother, I think she needs to have the baby anyways. It is a horrible thing that the mother was raped, but that does not mean that she has the right to punish the child. If the mother wants to give the baby up for adoption after she gives birth then that is fine, but it is morally wrong to take the life of a child for any reason. So no, I do not think that there are any circumstances where aborting a child with Down Syndrome is justified.

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

While reading it became clear that the strengths were that prenatal testing could harm your child. Also, Amniocentesis and CVS have a risk of miscarriage, which is a very strong reason why prenatal testing is wrong. Some people do these tests because they want to be able to prepare if their child is going to have Down Syndrome. To those people I would say, prepare as if you had had the test and thought that your child was going to have Down Syndrome. That way, you would be prepared, but you are not risking your child’s health or the possibility of a miscarriage.

We thought that my nephew was going to be born with Down Syndrome, so we all prepared and learned about Down Syndrome more. My nephew did not end up having Down Syndrome, but we were prepared if he did. My sister did not get the prenatal tests because she did not want to harm her baby. I think that was the right decision and even though my nephew was not born with Down Syndrome, we were prepared and now know more about Down Syndrome.

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

Our most resent moral theory that we learned about bears on the issues of prenatal testing and abortion. I am talking about Claudia Card’s feminist theory that no matter what gender we are, we should be caring and fair to other people. Therefore, parents of a Down Syndrome child/fetus should be caring and fair to that child. They should love and protect that child no matter what. Card’s theory also stated that, “Valuing others independently of their utility is at the core of both respect and love, and being so valued is important to self esteem.” I took this as you should love and respect your friends for their good and their bad. Therefore, you should love, care, and respect children whether they have Down Syndrome or not.

Another moral theory that goes well with this topic is Singer’s theory. Singer’s theory of equality suggests that our concern for others should not depend on who they are as a person, what their talents are, or what they do as a person. Therefore, children with Down Syndrome should have the same rights as any other child. They have the right to equality just like everyone else. Singer’s theory was that if a living thing has the ability to suffer, then they have the right to equality. This theory goes well with our discussion of Down Syndrome because a fetus is a living being that has the ability to suffer so therefore, it is immoral to treat them differently and to abort them. Children with Down Syndrome should have the same rights and children without Down Syndrome.

Kant’s moral theory is about freedom. We can relate Kant’s theory of freedom to a parent’s choice to get prenatally tested or not. Kant believed that people should always use the categorical imperative when making decisions. Although I do not agree that we should always use the categorical imperative, I do agree with Kant when talking about prenatal testing. Prenatal testing is not good within itself, so we should not do it. It is not good because of the effects it has on the baby and on the chance of miscarriage.


Stumbo, Ellen. Abortion and Down Syndrome. Web.

I chose this article because it is basically the opposite of my opinion. This article is written by a woman whose daughter has Down Syndrome. The mother explains how hard it was and why she considered abortion, but was unable to do so.


First Reaction

Final Project - Image

Wow, I’m not even sure where to begin! I usually hate reading but I actually enjoyed reading this book. There were a few chapters that I did not quite understand, but for the most part, I think I understood it better than I usually understand the readings for this class.

At first I was not sure what the book was really about, I knew that is was about this boy wanting to become rich, but I did not know if this was a self-help book or not by the way it was written. Given the circumstances in the book, I was not shocked by how the book ended. Towards the middle of the book I kind of figured that the man and the pretty girl would get together in the end. The book was very descriptive, sometimes too descriptive, especially when describing sex scenes.

I am describing my reaction to the book by explaining what I liked and what I didn’t like because that is the only way I know how to describe my reaction. I really enjoyed this book and I liked the outcome because to me the point of the book was that money cannot buy you happiness. In the end love made the man happy and that is why he was okay with dying. No matter how much money, power, and success the man had, it did not make him happy. The man thought that all of those things would make him happy but in the end he realized that love really made him happy. This is also true of the pretty girl. The pretty girl wanted to be famous and was not interested in marriage/love. The pretty girl realized that her looks were fading and with that her fame would fade as well. This was an important part of the book to me because it proved that looks do not matter as much as people think they do. When the pretty girl and the man got older the pretty girl still liked the man because of his personality and what was on the inside, despite the man’s old appearance.

This book had a few moral dilemmas or considerations. For instance, when the man stole movies from his work and gave them to the pretty girl. Throughout the book the man lied, cheated, and paid his way to the top (paid his way to get rich and successful). There were a few other moral instances as well.

Lesson 5: Assignment 1

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Page 2 of A Feminist View of Ethics by Claudia Card: “In friendship both fairness and caring are valuable. Although friendship does not usually center on formulating rules and applying them to cases, it typically does involve, as Marilyn Friedman has pointed out, a division of responsibilities in a more or less extensive mutual support system. A good friendship is fair about such divisions. Such fairness may even be a requirement of caring. Fairness in friendship also requires responsiveness to personal deserts or worthiness. If anything, to be a good friend one needs a better sense of fairness than to be a good citizen or soldier, an idea that makes good sense of Aristotle’s report that people say that “when [we] are friends [we] have no need of justice, while when [we] are just [we] need friendship as well, and the truest form of justice is thought to be a friendly quality.’ If “justice” here is meant to suggest enforcement, the idea seems sound. Responsiveness where enforcement is not forthcoming is a greater test of one’s fairness than where there is possible recourse to sanctions. If the idea is that the values of justice are superficial, however, it seems confused. For what makes sense of friends not needing justice is that they have the relevant values so well internalized…”

Card, Claudia. “One Feminist View of Ethics,” from Identity, Character and Morality by Owen Flanagan and Amelie Rorty (MIT Press, 1990).


Both fairness and caring are valuable in friendship. Friendship does not usually involve creating and following rules, but it does involve general responsibilities between both friends. A good friendship is fair about who performs the responsibilities. In order for you to be a caring friend, you need to be fair. A fair friendship has to be open to self-value/rewards.  To be a good friend, you need to have a better sense of what is right than to be a good citizen. When we are friends we do not need fairness. When we are fair, we need friendship too. The best form of fairness is to be friendly.


I selected this paragraph because I enjoyed reading it and it is one of the paragraphs that I think I understood. The language in this paragraph wasn’t as hard to understand as the other paragraphs. When I read this paragraph I felt like I understood the article more and what ethics of justice and ethics of care are. I tend to pick these kinds of paragraphs in my assignments because they have such an impact on my understanding of the topic.

I like that this paragraph talks about friendship and how it cannot be one-sided. Friendship, fairness, and caring are important to me, so I enjoyed reading this paragraph. I liked that this paragraph wasn’t sexist, meaning it did not focus on a specific gender that friendship pertains to. The paragraph made it so friendship could be between a man and a woman, two men, or two women.

My interpretation of this paragraph is that in order to have a good friendship you need to be fair and caring. Friendship does not need justice in the sense of rules, but it needs justice in the sense of what is right. So in order to have a good friendship you need to do what is right and in order to do what is right you probably need to care about the other person. A good friendship is not one-sided. You each have responsibilities to the other person and you need to care about the other person and do what is right for them and not only what is right for yourself. Fairness is more important in friendship then it is in being a good citizen.

I think that Aristotle’s quote meant that friends do not need to be implemented because they are friends because they want to be and because they care for each other. Friendship already has the values that would be needed to have enforcement. Friendship already has fairness and care so there is no need for justice. However, there is a need for friendship when someone is fair because in order to be just, you need to have the qualities that friendship has. I am not sure if I interpreted that correctly, but that is what I got out of it.


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?

If I read this correctly, my understanding of ethics of justice and ethics of care is that only men can administer justice and only woman can administer care and kindness. Ethics of justice is men’s ethics and ethics of care is woman’s ethics. What I got from this is that ethics of care is treating someone with respect, sympathy, kindness, and love, whereas ethics of justice is following the laws and doing what is right morally.

I think that ethics of justice and ethics of care are both complimentary and opposite. They are complimentary because justice is about fairness, morality, and equality and ethics of care is also about fairness and morality. Ethics of care considers the needs of others and how that plays a role in ethical decisions. Ethics of justice is based on what is right and fair to everyone. Therefore, they could be opposite or complimentary. This is because it could or could not allow the consideration of the needs of others depending on what is right for all people. Sometimes you can’t take into account the needs of everyone and you can’t always make everyone happy. If you put both ethics of justice and ethics of care together, then they are useful in understanding what we should believe and how we should act.

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

Fairness and caring are both qualities of friendship that are valuable and might help create general ethical considerations. The article states that fairness is so important in friendship that it may be a requirement of caring. It says that in order to be a good friend, it is more important to be fair than to be a good citizen or soldier. Therefore, we should focus more on being a good friend than to being a good citizen.

When discussing caring, the article states that being valued is important to self-esteem. So we must be respectful and loving in order to be a good friend. The quality of caring is important because we have to value our friends independent of their function/usefulness (utility). The article states that, “In respect, we appreciate others as like ourselves in certain fundamental ways; in love we also cherish their particularities.” Caring is a source of self-esteem when it is values because it comes from us and we are not just a tool.

Caring and fairness can help formulate a more general ethical consideration because we are not being selfish by taking into account what is right for ourselves and what is right for others as well. Every situation is different so caring and fairness allows us to consider the needs of others and how we can provide equality to everyone.

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?

My definition of empathy is being able to relate to someone else and how they are feeling. Empathy is when you can understand what someone else is going through because you have gone through it before.

Just recently, I felt empathy towards my best friend Haley when she was telling me about her grandmother and how it is affecting her. Her grandmother is older and had to get surgery done and Haley was telling me how she had to go visit her grandmother every day and how Haley’s mom was stressed and did not know what to do. Haley told me that her grandmother was getting worse and they were not sure whether she could live on her own any longer but the grandmother is stubborn and in denial.

There is more to the story, but basically I could relate to what she was going through and how she was feeling because I had gone through the same thing with my nana last year. Things that Haley was saying and how she was feeling was exactly how I was feeling just a year ago. I felt bad that she is going through what I had to go through. Since I had gone through this before, I felt like I could help Haley in a way that most other people could not. I have comforted her and have given her an outlet and I told her that she can always talk to me if she needs to. I gave her advice and told her what I did to handle the situation and that might help her.

We can learn how to relate to others and how to help them from empathy. Even if we haven’t gone through exactly what someone is going through, we can probably relate in some way. Very rarely are we going to go through the exact same situations as other people because everyone is different and everyone leads different lives. However, that does not mean that we cannot relate to them in a more broad sense, or feel bad for what they are going through.

Empathy can be applied to more general ethical situations by considering what people are going through when making ethical decisions. Everyone is different so sometimes we have to take into account what someone is feeling of going through when we make an ethical decision.

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 don’t really know what I believe when it comes to this topic. The last two paragraphs talk about this and I am still not sure about how I feel. My opinion on this could go either way. It will be interesting to read what other people wrote for this and maybe they can help me chose an answer. If I had to choose, I guess I would say no because I think people can understand that there are bigger things out there then themselves and that there are bigger issues than what they have to go through.


I chose this classic song from Toy Story called, “You Got a Friend in Me”. I chose this song because it shows that no matter what happens between friends, how far away you are, or how often you see/hear from friends, you are still friends and you would do anything for that friend because you love and care about them. The song says, “Some other folks might be a little bit smarter than I am, bigger and stronger too (maybe), but none of them, will ever love you the way I do, it’s me and you boy.”  Here, the song talks about how when it comes to friendship it doesn’t matter what your qualities or characteristics are as long as you love and care about the person.

Sajani Shah

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