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Applying an Ethical Theory[WLO: 4] [CLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4]Please read these assignment instructions before writing your paper as they contain very precise and specific instructions on both the content and format requirements. You should download the provided outline and use that to structure your paper, and also consult the assignment guidance and modeled example for additional help. Finally, before submitting your assignment please use the checklist to ensure that you have completed all of the requirements.OverviewThis course has three written assignments that build upon one another and are designed to take you step-by-step through a process of writing a paper that identifies an ethical question, examines the context, issues, and arguments surrounding the question, and attempts to defend an answer to that question using strong moral reasoning.This second written assignment is a four-part exercise comprised of the following sections:Ethical QuestionIntroductionExplanation of the Ethical TheoryApplication of the Ethical TheoryFor sections (1) and (2) revise and expand on what you did in the first assignment.Sections (3) and (4) are new.The main purpose of this paper is to define the nature and scope of the ethical theory in a way that shows how the core principle(s) of that theory lead to a specific moral conclusion on your ethical question. Another way to think of this is to explain how someone who is fully committed to the moral reasoning of the ethical theory would answer your ethical question (even if it is not necessarily how you would answer the question).The assignment should be 900 to 1,000 words, written in essay form with clearly labeled sections as indicated below, and include a title page and reference page. Part 1: Ethical QuestionState the ethical question beneath this heading.This question should be on the same topic as the question presented in the week one assignment, and if necessary, revised based on your instructor’s comments and the additional insight and information you have gained from research on the topic. If you would like to switch topics, you should first consult with your instructor.Place your ethical question beneath the Part 1: Ethical Question heading. Part 2: IntroductionProvide an introduction to the topic and question.This should be revised and expanded from the Week 1 Introduction in light of your instructor’s comments and the additional insight and information you have gained from research on the topic.For instance, you may find that your original ideas about the issue have changed and clarified, that the focus of the ethical question has shifted or become more specific, and/or that there are important background and contextual details that need to be explained.The revised introduction should reflect your additional thinking on the scope and significance of the ethical issue, and address any feedback provided by your instructor.The introduction should be at least 300 words in one or two paragraphs.Place the introduction material under the Part 2: Introduction heading.Part 3: Explanation of the Ethical TheoryEthical theories provide accounts of how to reason well about moral questions and of what justifies answers to those questions. In this section of the paper, you will discuss either the ethical theory of utilitarianism, deontology, or virtue ethics.You should not discuss your topic in this section, but focus only on the ethical theory.The discussion should include the following elements:A brief account of the historical background of the theory and the philosopher(s) associated with it.An explanation of the core moral principle of the theory, or if there is more than one, the principle that you will focus on in applying that theory to your question.A brief, general explanation of how the theory and its core moral principle applies to moral questions, using an example different from the issue that is the main focus of your paper. (For example, if your focus is on how deontology applies to using animals in medical research, you could explain Kant’s moral theory by discussing how it would apply to an issue like lying for the sake of the greater good.)This section should focus only on the ethical theory. For instance, if you are discussing physician-assisted suicide from a utilitarian perspective, this section should only discuss utilitarianism in general terms; you should not discuss physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia, or other related topics until the next section.The discussion should be around 300 words and must incorporate at least one quote from the required resources on the ethical theory you have chosen to discuss. Required resources include the textbook chapter focused on that theory (3, 4, or 5) or the “Primary Sources” listed at the end of Chapters 3-5.Place this section under the Part 3: Ethical Theory heading.Part 4: Application of the Ethical TheoryNow that you have explained in general terms the core principle of the ethical theory you are focusing on in this paper, you will apply that theory and its core principle to your ethical question.Explain as clearly and precisely as you can how that principle leads to a particular conclusion.You can think of that conclusion as the answer someone would most likely give to your question if they were reasoning along the utilitarian, deontological, or virtue ethics lines you explained in Part 3.Note: This conclusion does not need to be the same as the position you stated in the Week 1 assignment. In fact, it could be the opposing position you discussed there. See the remarks about main purpose of the paper above.This section should be around 300 words.Place this section under the Part 4: Application of the Ethical Theory section.In your paper,Identify the ethical question.Introduce the topic and question.Explain the ethical theory of utilitarianism, deontology, or virtue ethics.Apply the selected ethical theory to the ethical question.The Applying an Ethical Theory paperMust be 900 words in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s APA Style (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. resource.Must include a separate title page with the following:Title of paperStudent’s nameCourse name and numberInstructor’s nameDate submittedFor further assistance with the formatting and the title page, refer to APA Formatting for Word 2013 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..Must utilize academic voice. See the Academic Voice (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. resource for additional guidance.Must quote from at least one of the required resources on the selected ethical theory.The Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.Must document any information used from sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. guide.Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. See the Formatting Your References List (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. resource in the Ashford Writing Center for specifications.Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.
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Running head: SHORTENED TITLE
[Title of Paper]
[FirstName LastName]
PHI 208: Ethics and Moral Reasoning
Prof. [Name]
[Date]
SHORTENED TITLE
2
[Title of Paper]
Part 1: Ethical Question
[Put the question here]
Part 2: Introduction
[Introduce the topic here]
Part 3: Explanation of the Ethical Theory
[Discuss the ethical theory here]
Part 4: Application of the Ethical Theory
[Apply the ethical theory to the ethical question here]
SHORTENED TITLE
3
References
[Include references here]
Running head: PROTECTING FREEDOM
Protecting Freedom of Speech
Student Name
PHI 208: Ethics and Moral Reasoning
Prof. Phil O’Sopher
March 15, 2018
1
PROTECTING FREEDOM
2
Protecting Freedom of Speech
Part 1: Ethical Question
Do we have a moral obligation to protect free speech even in cases where that speech causes
harm to others?
Part 2: Introduction
In August of 2107, the city of Charlottesville, Virginia became the focal point of violent
demonstrations that resulted in injury, death and psychological harm. The violence was the
result of clashes between white supremacists who gathered in Charlottesville for a planned
“Unite the Right” rally to protest the possible removal of the Confederate Statue of Robert E.
Lee (Katz, n.d.). The violence included hate speech in the form of signs, chants and a Friday
night “Hitler youth” torch rally. These events and the reactions to them launched the issue of
free speech into the national spotlight.
Freedom of speech is one of the most fundamental rights cherished by Americans and
granted to all through our Constitution, but ethical issues arise when the exercise of that right
results in direct harm to others. The primary ethical issue that arises concerns the balance
between protecting this fundamental right of speech and preventing the harm associated with
hate speech. According to our textbook, ethics asks the question of how we should live and
that with “each conscious, deliberate choice we make, we are living out an answer to this
question.” (Thames, 2018).
PROTECTING FREEDOM
3
Americans have many rights granted to them by the Constitution, but these rights are
not absolute or limitless and they carry with them a responsibility to uphold laws (Brandenburg
v. Ohio n.d.). It is perfectly legal to hate someone, but it is illegal to act on that hate if doing so
causes harm. From an ethical standpoint, our responsibility to act in certain ways goes beyond
merely conforming to society’s laws. When considering the balance between protecting free
speech and preventing harm, the ethical theory of utilitarianism tells us that we should weigh
the overall positive and negative consequences of an action and choose only those actions that
result in the greatest overall good (Thames, 2018. Sec. 3.1). This paper will consider the
positive and negative aspects of protecting free speech vs. preventing the harm that it may
cause and show that utilitarianism would support restrictions on speech that is intended or
likely to cause harm.
Part 3: Explanation of the Ethical Theory
This section of the paper should focus exclusively on explaining the ethical theory you
have chosen to use to examine the ethical issue. There should be three components to this
section. The first is a brief account of the historical background of the theory and the primary
philosopher associated with it. For example, if you have chosen utilitarianism, you would begin
this section with a brief account of John Stuart Mill and/or Jeremy Bentham and the historical
context in which they wrote.
The second component is an explanation of the core moral principle (or principles) of
the theory. A core moral principle is a principle that lies at the center of the theory and defines
and drives the moral reasoning of the theory. For example, although relativism is not per se,
PROTECTING FREEDOM
4
an ethical theory, we might define its core principle as the idea that there are no absolute
moral values, or that moral notions of good and right and just differ from one culture to the
next.
The third component is a brief, general explanation of how the theory and its core moral
principles applies to moral questions. Note that here you must choose an example that is
different from the ethical question you are addressing in the paper. For example, based on the
Freedom of Speech Week One Model Example, and focusing in this paper on how utilitarianism
applies to freedom of speech, here you could explain how utilitarianism would apply to an issue
like lying for the sake of the greater good.
This section should be around 300 words and must incorporate at least one quote from
the required resources on the ethical theory you have chosen
Part 4: Application of the Ethical Theory
Now that you have explained in general terms the core principle of the ethical theory
you’re focusing on in this paper, you will apply that theory and its core principle to your ethical
question. The main focus in this section is to explain as clearly and precisely as you can how the
core principle of the ethical theory leads to a specific answer to your ethical question. For
example, based on the Freedom of Speech Week One Model Example, and on the selection of
utilitarianism as the ethical theory, in this section you would demonstrate the moral reasoning
of utilitarianism by showing how the core principles of this ethical theory lead to a specific
conclusion on your ethical issue such. In other words, you should demonstrate the clear
connection between that core principle and the specific conclusion it reaches. It might be
PROTECTING FREEDOM
5
helpful to think of this task as filling in the following sentence: Because the core principle of
utilitarianism is _________, someone using this ethical theory to consider _______ would arrive
at the conclusion that _________.
This section should be around 300 words.
PROTECTING FREEDOM
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References
Brandenburg v. Ohio. (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved from https://www.oyez.org/cases/1968/492
Katz, A. (n.d.). Unrest in Virginia. Time. Retrieved from http://time.com/charlottesville-whitenationalist-rally-clashes/
Post Editors (n.d.). Great American thinkers on free speech. Retrieved from
http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2015/01/16/history/great-american-thinkersfree-speech.htm
Mill, J. S. (1873). Autobiography. Retrieved from http://www.utilitarianism.com/millauto/
Thames, B. (2018). How should one live? An introduction to ethics and moral reasoning (3rd
ed.). [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/

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