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Philosophy 302: Ethics
Test #1 The Problems of Ethics

I. Distinctions: Clearly distinguish between the following concepts by giving a definition and a specific example of each concept. Answer any four of the five parts.

A.  ethics and morals


B.  ethical relativism and ethical absolutism.

ANSWER                    ANSWER

C. moral problem and a nonmoral problem


D. nonmoral and amoral


E. ethical skepticism and ethical nihilism


II. Essay: On the back of this sheet of paper answer any two of the following essay questions in as much detail as time allows.

A. Describe four or five possible ways that the question "Why be Moral?" has traditionally been answered. Give advantages and disadvantages to each answer.


B. Define ethical relativism and ethical absolutism. Give at least two arguments to show that ethical relativism is false.


C. Suppose a parent knows that his daughter has said "Bug off" to her elementary school teacher once when the teacher has reminded her to pay attention in class. Suppose the parent also knows that his or her daughter put gum on the teacher's chair as a "trap." The parent believes the first incident is quite serious but the second is somewhat humorous.

First, state clearly what you believe to be the moral rules violated in both incidents, second state the moral categories into which these rules fall, and third, state what these considerations imply about the parent's ethical beliefs. Finally, evaluate these beliefs on the basis of what a moral problem is.


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