Outline and Rough Draft of an Ethics Paper
Devise a two- or three-level outline on your final project and provide at least two reliable sources.
For the final project you must use two ethical perspectives you learned in the course in your approach to your chosen topic (Metaethics, Normative Ethics, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Siddhartha Gautama, Epictetus, Dilemmas, Altruism, Egoism, Universalism, Relativism, Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Epicurus, Bentham Utilitarianism, Mill Utilitarianism, Kant/Deontology, Human Rights, Existentialism, Virtue Ethics, Feminist Ethics, Divine Command). Be sure the outline shows that you are using two ethical perspectives.
A structural example of a two-level outline would be:
- The Right Questions
An example of a three-level outline on the same subject would look like this:
- Problems of Definition
- Natural or Imposed?
Purdue/Owl presents some very good examples here, https://owl.english.purdue.edu/media/pdf/20081113013048_544.pdf
These examples and each point are minimal but make sure these are as extensive as you can make it in order to give yourself something to go on for the finish of your final project which is due the last day of class.
But by all means, please review the announcement about the project.
One page would be a minimum, two pages would be a maximum length.
***After the outline and in the same document, present a rough draft and figure it should be about 400-500 words. I am not going to grade it according to grammar and style, just looking to see if you covered the major points and have a proper introduction and conclusion.
- An abstract or an introduction; tell the reader what you are going to do, see it as a "roadmap" as to where you are taking them or as an introductory preview. Ease the reader into the material.
2. When you write out the body, consider using either sub-headings or connecting paragraphsto help the reader follow; do not present just one long paragraph for the body. Yes, I have had grad students who do this.
3. Finish with a summary or a wrap-up conclusion of your points that helps to tie things together, ease the reader out of the discussion; consider giving an additional insight as a "final say" which the discussion in the body of the essay helped you to discover.
- Remember to use proper form and you have your choice of Chicago, Turabian, or APA; also double-space text and use proper reference information.
Here’s what not to do: Let’s say you choose a topic as abortion and you present a report about abortion in terms of statistics. Then in the conclusion you discuss whether you think it is right or wrong. This is not an Ethics paper. Instead, right from the beginning approach the topic philosophically.
Outline of a Moral Philosophy Paper on Normative Ethics
Gensler, (2011) notes that the concept of moral philosophy is concerned with the way people systematize, defend and recommend actions that can be classified as either wrong or right behavior. Ethical theories are grouped into; meta-ethics, applied ethics and normative ethics. Meta-ethics is concerned with understanding the origin or ethical principles, while applied ethics entails examining issues that are controversial such as infanticide, abortion, capital punishment, animal rights and nuclear wars among others. On the other hand, normative ethics concerns itself with moral standards that determine wrong or right conduct. It is upon this understanding that this paper explores the ethical perspective of normative ethics and how it solves controversial issues involving abortion.
Normative ethics is guided by moral standards which determines and regulates either wrong or right conduct. The golden rule of normative ethics is that we have to do to others, what we would want done to us. Using this rule, people can justify their actions based on what they would like done to themselves. Apart from the golden rule, normative ethics is founded on additional sets of principles that encourage good character traits leading to good decisions (Kagan, 2018). These are; consequentialist theories, duty theories and virtue theories.
Virtue theories direct that when making a decision, a person should follow defined rules of life such as do not steal and do not kill. The theory encourages good character and habit such as justice, courage, temperance, wisdom, self-respect, sincerity, generosity, fortitude, and good temper. Duty theories argue that morality is founded on the principle of obligation. They are also known as deontological or non-consequentialist because of the duty to obey rules and do right irrespective of consequences. For instance, it is wrong to neglect your own children. The three main duties are; duty to God, duty to others and duty to self. Consequentialist theories determines what is moral by considering consequences of a person’s actions. The best action is that which has the most favorable cost-benefit analysis.
Abortion and Normative Ethics
The topic of abortion is mostly contested. Because of this, it is often classified under applied ethics. Nonetheless, it touches on normative ethics because of the interchange of legal and moral aspects. The moral aspect of abortion results from the fact that the zygote that is formed in the human being has a right to live, thus terminating it, amounts to denying it its rights. The legal argument argues that fetuses have basic rights to life since it is an under developed human being. This argument leads to a question that stimulates the application of moral philosophies defined under normative ethics. This ranges from the virtue theories, duty theories and consequentialist theories.
The Right Questions
The right question involving this topic is to determine which group of normative ethics that the topic of abortion falls under.
This essay discusses the application of normative moral ethics and whether virtue theories, duty theories and consequentialist theories are applicable to the moral case of abortions. This has been a long standing debate that has elicited both positive and negative views. It is therefore prudent to put it into context by backing up various arguments using the different types of normative ethics.
Gensler, H. J. (2011). Ethics: A contemporary introduction. New York: Routledge.
Kagan, S. (2018). Normative ethics. London: Routledge.