IGNOU BPYG 171 FREE Solved Assignment 2022-23 PDF : BPYG 171 Solved Assignment 2022 , BPYG 171 Solved Assignment 2022-23, BPYG 171 Assignment 2022-23, BPYG 171 Assignment, IGNOU Assignments 2022-23- Gandhi National Open University had recently uploaded the assignments of the present session for MEG Programme for the year 2022-23. Students are recommended to download their Assignments from this webpage itself.
1. What are the different ways in which the idea of personhood is defined? And how do these ways affect the ethical debate on abortion?
Ans. One underlying ethical concern is, “What is a person?” How people answer this question shapes how they think about a developing human being. When philosophers talk about “personhood,” they are referring to something or someone having exceptionally high moral status, often described as having a right to life, an inherent dignity, or mattering for one’s own sake. Non-persons may have lesser rights or value, but lack the full moral value associated with persons.
To be a person means having strong moral claims against others. For instance, persons have a claim to be treated fairly and a claim not to be interfered with. A healthy adult human being is often considered the clearest example of a person. Yet, most philosophers distinguish being a person from being human, pointing out that no one disputes the fetus’s species, but many disagree about the fetus’s personhood.
In current law, fetal viability is often used to mark the beginning of personhood. However, viability varies based on people’s access to intensive medical care. It also changes as medicine and technology advance.
Some state laws restricting abortion identify the presence of a “fetal heartbeat” as morally significant and use this as a basis for personhood. However, many living things have beating hearts, and they are not all considered persons. And as physicians point out, though they may use the term “fetal heartbeat” in conversations with patients, the fetus does not yet have a functioning heart that generates sound during early development.
Defining the limits of personhood is especially dicey due to its far-reaching consequences. Personhood carries implications for how we treat animals, ecosystems and anencephalic infants, who are born with their cerebral cortex and large parts of their skull missing. It also shapes the rights of people who will be born in the future, people with disabilities and individuals in a persistent vegetative state. Debates over personhood have recently extended to robots.
Personhood is also important for issues at the end of life, such as disputes over defining death. Physicians have disagreed with families over whether to declare a patient dead or continue to offer medical interventions. Philosophers have debated whether a person’s death occurs as soon as “higher” brain activity ceases – activity associated consciousness and cognition – or only after all brain activity ends.
In short, there are plenty of reasons to figure out what personhood requires. Doing so demands wrestling with at least three common opposing views.
The first holds that fetuses qualify as persons from the moment of conception. Supporters say that from conception on, the developing fetus has “a future like ours,” and abortion takes that future away. A variation on this theme is that at conception, a fetus has the full genetic code and therefore the potential to become a person, and this potential qualifies the fetus as a person.
A second view regards personhood as arising at some point after conception and prior to birth. Some people reason that a human being’s moral status is not all-or-nothing, but, like human development, a matter of degree. Others say that what matters is consciousness and other cognitive capacities, thought to develop late in the second trimester.
Finally, a third view maintains that personhood begins at birth or shortly thereafter, because this is when an infant first acquires a sense of themselves and an interest in their own continued existence. Another source of support for the third view is Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant’s claim that what makes human beings morally special is their rationality and capacity to be autonomous.
2. Discuss in detail preference utilitarianism of Peter Singer in the context of animal rights.
Ans. In Practical Ethics, Peter Singer argues that ethics is not “an ideal system which is all very noble in theory but no good in practice.” Singer identifies deontological approaches, such as rights approaches, to ethics as impractical and as having to “rescue” themselves from their in applicability to real-world moral issues through the introduction of “complexities” such as formulating very detailed rules or establishing ranking structures for rules. He argues that utilitarianism does not start with rules but with goals and thus has greater normative specificity because actions are prescribed or proscribed based on “the extent to which they further these goals.” Utilitarianism, Singer argues, is “untouched by the complexities” required to make deontological moral theories–including rights theory–applicable in concrete moral situations. According to Singer, “[t]he classical utilitarian regards an action as right if it produces as much or more of an increase in the happiness of all affected by it than any alternative action, and wrong if it does not.”
Singer’s views about the nature of rights theory have had a profound impact on the animal rights movement. In the past five or so years, an increasing number of animal advocates have eschewed rights theory for precisely the reason that rights theory is supposedly incapable of providing determinate normative guidance. These animal advocates express concern that rights theory demands the immediate abolition of animal exploitation, and that immediate abolition is simply unrealistic. Instead, these advocates support the pursuit of incremental welfarist reform as a “realistic” means of reducing suffering and eventually achieving abolition. For example, Ingrid New-kirk of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ostensibly endorses a rights position and ultimately seeks the abolition of animal exploitation, but she argues that “total victory, like checkmate, cannot be achieved in one move,” and that we must endorse the moral orthodoxy of animal welfare as involving necessary “steps in the direction” of animal rights. Newkirk argues that animal welfare facilitates a “springboard into animal rights.” Similarly, Animal Rights International’s Henry Spira maintains that animal rights theory requires an “all or nothing” approach, and that ” if you push for all or nothing, what you get is nothing.” I refer to this position as “new welfarism,” and its proponents, as the “new welfarists.” Animal welfare theory is very much like utilitarianism in that both permit all animal interests to be traded away as long as the requisite aggregation of consequences so indicates.
Singer is an act utilitarian who believes that it is the consequences of the contemplated act that matter, and not the consequences of following a more generalized rule. There are, of course, differing views of which consequences are relevant. For classical utilitarians, such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, pleasure alone was intrinsically valuable and pain alone was intrinsically not valuable. Singer, however, claims to subscribe to a modified form of utilitarianism, known as “preference” or “interest” utilitarianism, which provides that what is intrinsically valuable is what “furthers the interests of those affected.” Those interests include the desires and preferences of those who are affected. Pleasure and pain matter because they are part of what humans and non-humans desire or prefer or seek to avoid. In Animal Liberation, Singer argues that in assessing the consequences of our actions, it is necessary to take the interests of animals seriously and to weigh any adverse affect on those interests from human actions as part of the consequences of those actions. Humans have failed to do this, Singer argues, because of a species bias, or speciesism, that results in a systematic devaluation of animal interests. Singer claims that speciesism is no more morally defensible than racism, sexism, or other forms of discrimination that arbitrarily exclude humans from the scope of moral concern. When people seek to justify the horrific ways animals are treated, they invariably point to supposed animal “defects,” such as the inability of animals to use human language or to reason as intricately as do humans. But there are severely retarded humans who cannot speak or reason (or, at least, can do so no better than many non-humans), and most of us would be appalled if those humans were used in experiments, or for food or clothing. Singer maintains that the only way to justify our present level of animal exploitation is to maintain that species differences alone justify that exploitation. But that is no different, Singer argues, from saying that differences in race or sex alone justify the differential treatment of otherwise similarly situated persons.
Singer’s approach is clearly more favorable toward animals than classical animal welfare, which accorded little weight to animal interests. It is important, however, to understand that Singer’s theory is not a theory of animal rights. For Singer, the rightness or wrongness of conduct is determined by consequences, and not by any appeal to right. If violating a right-holder’s right in a particular case will produce more desirable consequences than respecting that right, then Singer is committed to violating the right. For example, Singer opposes most animal experimentation, only because he thinks that most animal experiments produce benefits that are insufficient to justify the animal suffering that results. But he does not–and cannot–oppose all animal experimentation because if a particular animal use would, for example, lead directly to a cure for a disease that affected many humans, Singer would be committed to approving that animal use. Indeed, Singer has acknowledged that under some circumstances, it would be permissible to use non-consenting humans in experiments if the benefits for all affected outweighed the detriment to the humans used in the experiment.
3. Answer any two of the following questions in about 250 words each.
a) What are the salient features of animal-centered ethics?
Ans. Animal ethics is a branch of ethics which examines human-animal relationships, the moral consideration of animals and how nonhuman animals ought to be treated. The subject matter includes animal rights, animal welfare, animal law, speciesism, animal cognition, wildlife conservation, wild animal suffering, the moral status of nonhuman animals, the concept of nonhuman personhood, human exceptionalism, the history of animal use, and theories of justice. Several different theoretical approaches have been proposed to examine this field, in accordance with the different theories currently defended in moral and political philosophy. There is no theory which is completely accepted due to the differing understandings of what is meant by the term ethics; however, there are theories that are more widely accepted by society such as animal rights and utilitarianism.
The history of the regulation of animal research was a fundamental step towards the development of animal ethics, as this was when the term “animal ethics” first emerged. In the beginning, the term “animal ethics” was associated solely with cruelty, only changing in the late 20th-century, when it was deemed inadequate in modern society. The United States Animal Welfare Act of 1966, attempted to tackle the problems of animal research; however, their effects were considered futile. Many did not support this act as it communicated that if there was human benefit resulting from the tests, the suffering of the animals was justifiable. It was not the establishment of the animal rights movement, that people started supporting and voicing their opinions in public. Animal ethics was expressed through this movement and led to big changes to the power and meaning of animal ethics.
Animal testing for biomedical research dates to the writings of the ancient Greeks. It is understood that physician-scientists such as Aristotle, and Erasistratus carried out experiments on living animals. After them, there was also Galen, who was Greek but resided in Rome, carrying out experiments on living animals to improve on the knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, and pharmacology. Animal testing since has evolved considerably and is still being carried out in the modern-day, with millions of experimental animals being used around the world. However, during recent years it has come under severe criticism by the public and animal activist groups. Those against, argue that the benefits that animal testing provides for humanity are not justifiable for the suffering of those animals. Those for, argue that animal testing is fundamental for the advancement of biomedical knowledge.
b) Write a note on the tempered use of moral theories in the domain of technology.
Ans. Technology ethics is the application of ethical thinking to the practical concerns of technology. The reason technology ethics is growing in prominence is that new technologies give us more power to act, which means that we have to make choices we didn’t have to make before. While in the past our actions were involuntarily constrained by our weakness, now, with so much technological power, we have to learn how to be voluntarily constrained by our judgment: our ethics.
For example, in the past few decades many new ethical questions have appeared because of innovations in medical, communications, and weapons technologies. There used to be no need for brain death criteria, because we did not have the technological power to even ask the question of whether someone were dead when their brain lost functioning – they would have soon died in any case. But with the development of artificial means of maintaining circulation and respiration this became a serious question. Similarly, with communications technologies like social media we are still figuring out how to behave when we have access to so many people and so much information; and the recent problems with fake news reflect how quickly things can go wrong on social media if bad actors have access to the public. Likewise with nuclear weapons, we never used to need to ask the question of how we should avoid a civilization-destroying nuclear war because it simply wasn’t possible, but once those weapons were invented, then we did need to ask that question, and answer it, because we were – and still are – at risk for global disaster.
4. Answer any four of the following questions in about 150 words each.
a) What are the arguments given by Immanuel Kant to oppose the idea of suicide?
Ans. Here, Kant wants to say that a suicide would be “making use of his person merely as a means to maintain a tolerable condition until the end of his life”. This is incompatible with the moral law, which demands that we treat people as an end in themselves, and never wholly as a means. Personhood, Kant thinks, gives a creature a dignity that is beyond price; no matter what advantage we may gain by treating a person as a means to an end, this will never be sufficient to offset the value of their personhood. Quite why this should be is, I think, clearest when we view CI2 through the prism of CI1—just because CI1 cannot establish the impermissibility of suicide directly, it does not follow that it cannot do so indirectly. The argument would work like this: in treating people as a mere means, I am denying their personhood. But a maxim like “deny personhood” cannot be universalised without amounting to a denial of my own personhood—that is, my very capacity to form a maxim in the first place. So to treat people as mere means violates the moral law—and this naturally extends to treating myself as a thing.
b) How reproductive rights can be manifested?
Ans. Reproductive rights are legal rights and freedoms relating to reproduction and reproductive health that vary amongst countries around the world.
Reproductive rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. They also include the right of all to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence.
Women’s reproductive rights may include some or all of the following: abortion-rights movements; birth control; freedom from coerced sterilization and contraception; the right to access good-quality reproductive healthcare; and the right to education and access in order to make free and informed reproductive choices. Reproductive rights may also include the right to receive education about sexually transmitted infections and other aspects of sexuality, right to menstrual health and protection from practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM).
c) What is surrogacy? What are the arguments given against surrogacy?
Ans. Human Beings have a natural instinct for procreation. It is one of the life functions. Every individual wants to bear a child of their own. However, this remains only a dream if a one out of the couple is infertile, or if the woman can’t carry the baby or in case of homosexual couples or people who want to lead a single life. Other reasons may include the age factor, uterine problems, failure of IVF, heart disease, etc.
Adoption is one of the options available to them however the major drawback in case of adoption is the fact that the adopted child does not bear your genetic material. This is where surrogacy steps in and rules out the shortcomings of the process of adoption for those who want ‘a part of themselves’ in their child.
With Surrogacy, it is possible to combine the sperm of the father with the ovum of the surrogate mother. Thus, the birth mother is also the genetic mother. This is classified as Traditional Surrogacy. It is also possible, with the advent of IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) to form a zygote and then transfer it to the surrogate mothers’ womb enabling the formation of a complete genetic descendant. This is called Gestational Surrogacy and is a preferred form of surrogacy.
d) What is the argument from theological position against suicide?
Ans. Throughout history, suicide has evoked an astonishingly wide range of reactions—bafflement, dismissal, heroic glorification, sympathy, anger, moral or religious condemnation—but it is never uncontroversial. For example, suicide has long been a central concern within many academic disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, psychology, and psychiatry. These disciplines converge in the multidisciplinary field of suicidology. But there remain many controversies within suicidology, including which methodologies are best suited to identify the causes of suicide and whether the study of suicide can be fully disentangled from researchers’ political or institutional commitments. But perhaps the most enduring controversies surrounding suicide are philosophical. For philosophers, suicide raises a host of conceptual, moral, and psychological.
5. Write short notes on any five of the following in about 100 words each.
a) Informed consent
Ans. Informed consent is essential to patient autonomy. Informed consent requires a thorough understanding of transfusions and the ability to convey this information to a patient in a way that they can understand it. However, obtaining consent often has deficiencies in the explanation where benefits may not be entirely true and risks related are omitted. It has been shown that involving experts from transfusion units in obtaining informed consent for transfusion results in patients having a better understanding of the risks and benefits. However, always involving an expert may not be the most efficient way to obtain consent, although new graduate physicians have a knowledge deficit when it comes to transfusion medicine. However, physicians that had previous transfusion medicine education displayed more understanding than those who did not. As most physicians will need to obtain informed consent for a transfusion at one point in their career, it could be argued that physicians should have enough education in regards to transfusion medicine.
b) Choice problem
Ans. Problem of choice refers to the allocation of various scarce resources which have alternative uses that are utilized for the production of various commodities and services in the economy for the satisfaction of unlimited human wants.
Scarcity gives rise to the economic problem of choice. As there are limited resources, the choice is given to decide what one wishes to get by sacrificing one of its demand. When the choice is made there is sacrifice involved in it. The decision to consume a product also means a decision to not consume another.
c) Conventional morality
Ans. Conventional morality is characterized by an acceptance of society’s conventions concerning right and wrong. At this level an individual obeys rules and follows society’s norms even when there are no consequences for obedience or disobedience.
The conventional level of moral reasoning is typical of adolescents and adults. To reason in a conventional way is to judge the morality of actions by comparing them to society’s views and expectations. The conventional level consists of the third and fourth stages of moral development. dherence to rules and conventions is somewhat rigid, however, and a rule’s appropriateness or fairness is seldom questioned.
d) Role of business ethics in corporate governance
Ans. Business ethics is considered as heart of corporate governance. Business ethics is noting but a process for integrating values such as honesty, trust, transparency and fairness into its policies, practices and decision making. It is essential and vital component of corporate governance.
The balance of pursuing market opportunities while maintaining accountability and ethical integrity has proved a defining challenge for business enterprise since the arrival of the joint- stock company in the early years of industrialism. The accountability and responsibility of business enterprise is constantly subject to question. The manifest failures of corporate governance and business ethics in the global financial crisis has increased the urgency of the search for a better ethical framework and governance for business.
Ans. Coherentism, Theory of truth according to which a belief is true just in case, or to the extent that, it coheres with a system of other beliefs. Philosophers have differed over the relevant sense of “cohere,” though most agree that it must be stronger than mere consistency.
Among rival theories of truth, perhaps the oldest is the correspondence theory, which holds that the truth of a belief consists in its correspondence with independently existing facts. In epistemology, coherentism contrasts with foundationalism, which asserts that ordinary beliefs are justified if they are inferrable from a set of basic beliefs that are justified immediately or directly. Coherentism often has been combined with the idealist doctrine that reality consists of, or is knowable only through, ideas or judgments.
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