Phil 320, Ethics (Vailati)  Paper topics

Write a paper on one of the following topics.  For length and due date, consult the syllabus.

1) Act Utilitarianism is often criticized for allegedly permitting the commission of horrible actions as long as it is necessary for the maximization of happiness.  By using your own example, clearly explain how Paley answers the charge.  Do you think his answer is satisfactory?

2) Peter Singer, Onora O’Neill, and Michael Slote disagree on what morality demands of us with respect to famine in poor countries.  Using Singer and O’Neill or Slote as a point of departure, state and defend your views on the issue.

3) Can one sensibly maintain that abortion is morally permissible and at the same time hold that we should embrace vegetarianism? Or do you think that pro-choice moral vegetarians are confused or hypocritical?  Discuss.