Nature or Ethics assignment

Nature or Ethics Assignment
Yablon 1
For these two chapters -- Nature and Ethics – there are eleven pieces of writing, so I am
giving you eleven choices. You only have to choose one piece of writing/author. For the piece
of writing/author you choose, please address each of the questions that follow. For example,
there are three questions to address if you choose Francis Bacon but there are four questions to
address if you choose Charles Darwin.
For this assignment, you will need to do a bit of research. Each of the sets of questions
is intended to focus your efforts on making the pieces of writing/authors relevant to the modern
day. So, on your Works Cited page, you will need to list the textbook by Jacobus as well as any
outside research you use. The formatting of the paper is as usual.
All papers must have the following characteristics. Papers that do not follow these
guidelines will be returned to the student without being read or graded.
All text double-spaced
Use a sans-serif font such as Arial or Chalkboard
12 point height (neither less nor more)
Follow consistent MLA formatting
A hard copy delivered to the instructor (no disks/emails/excuses)
Length: 4-6 pages, not including Works Cited page
Identified as to type of paper being submitted (“Mind Paper”)
Given an appropriate title (not a label such as “mind paper”)
MLA citations and a Works Cited page
A formal outline
Francis Bacon: The Four Idols
1. What prejudices and misconceptions guide our American society? Our politics?
2. What are the counter/contrary thoughts?
3. How are these thoughts-prejudices-misconceptions institutionalized?
Charles Darwin: Natural Selection
What is/are the moral basis of the evolution vs. creationism debate?
What are the commonalities?
The rebuttals?
Logical fallacies?
Rachel Carson: The Sunless Sea
1. What is the current state of the world’s oceans?
2. How is that played out on a regional (ocean-by-ocean) basis?
3. How is that played out on a sea level/layer basis?
Stephen Jay Gould: Nonmoral Nature
1. How do the world’s religions deal with-treat-relate to-respect the natural world?
2. What are the moral, ethical relationships?
3. How do they differ from an evolutionist’s viewpoint?
Nature or Ethics Assignment
Yablon 2
Michio Kaku: The Mystery of Dark Matter
1. Please examine and explain the concepts of the three possible states of the universe –
expanding, contracting, or stable.
2. What other theories are floating around about the state of the universe (string theory,
3. What is hoped to be explained by the current experiments with the particle accelerator?
Frances Fukuyama: Genetic Engineering
1. Where are we in the evolution of the science of genetic engineering?
2. Given the current situation, and the future possibilities, please examine the concept of
justice or morality or equality in relation to genetic engineering?
Aristotle: The Aim of Man
Compare Aristotle with Lao Tzu. Or….
Compare Aristotle’s view of happiness with our modern views of happiness.
Are we happy? To what degree? Why? How? Who?
What are the benefits and detriments to our current happy/unhappy state?
Friedrich Nietzsche: Morality as Anti-Nature
1. If the anti-“natural” morality values represent a declining, condemned life, then how have
these values (religions) endured so long?
2. How are morality, ethics, and/or goodness defined in a “natural” manner?
3. Can you basically disprove Nietzsche?
Iris Murdoch: Morality and Religion
1. What is a moral life?
2. Can you live that life without religion?
3. What are the benefits and detriments of a nonreligious moral life AND a religious moral
4. Is religion moral?
5. How is morality defined in a largely secular world?
Aldo Leopold: The Land Ethic
1. Which societies can actually have a land ethic? Which cannot?
2. What is the dividing line between the societies that can and cannot achieve/have a land
Peter Singer and Jim Mason: The Ethics of Eating Meat
1. What are the scientific arguments for and against eating meat?
2. What are the cultural arguments for and against?
3. Ethical arguments?