Learning Activity 3

Question 1: Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?  In my opinion, I think that both of these ideas go hand-in-hand. Just like the lesson said, most of the time a good person performs good acts. I also believe that in general a bad person isn’t going to perform good acts. However, I believe that ultimately it is more important to perform good acts. I’ve experienced many times where a good person can commit bad acts. In life everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect, whether you’re a good or bad person. For example, I’d like to think of myself as a generally good person but there have been times I’ve done things that aren’t necessarily good. I also believe that actions speak louder than words. You can portray yourself as a good person all you want but in the end your specific actions really determine everything.

Question 6: Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)? I’d like to believe that my life is just as equal as someone else’s. For example, the people in my life that I love and care for (my friends and family), I would do anything for them and value their lives just as much as my own. I’ll admit that sometimes I can be selfish and do things that are mostly beneficial to myself but I would never value my own life over someone else’s. I believe that in some cases selfishness is inevitable and everyone is going to act that way in some point in their life. I think it’s a shame that there are so many cases in this world where other people’s lives are seen as less worthy because of things like gender, race, sexuality, religious beliefs, etc. In my mind we were all put on this earth for the same reason and no one should be treated poorly for being different.

Question 5: Do the pleasure and pain of non-human animals matter as much as the pleasure and pain of humans (speciesism)? I think this is a hard question to answer because it’s not something that I think about often. It’s so easy to get caught up in your own life to even think about the please and pain of non-human animals. When thinking about this question, animal abuse is what comes to mind for me. I am so against animal abuse and despise anyone who commits any act that harms an animal, no matter the situation. However, I do believe in killing animals for food. I do eat meat and never think about what the animal went through for me to be able to eat that food. I think that killing animals for food is natural and isn’t morally wrong. However, when it comes to using animals for things like animal testing I believe there can be a strong debate against it. I agree that non-human animals have pleasure and pain but in my own personal life it’s hard to remember this. After reading through this lesson I want to start considering the concept of speciesism more often in my daily life.

Learning Activity 2- Haley Overton


After watching the video about the biogas in India I knew that it directly impacted two different systems, social and eco. Through each of these systems other things were then affected. I noticed that through the social system the people in India would be directly impacted by the biogas. For example, there would be better and safer homes which would lead to a lot of health improvements, especially because of the smoke reduction they talked about in the video. The social system would also be positively impacted through the businesses. More and more business opportunities would be created leading to a large decrease in poverty in India. A decrease in poverty affects so many different levels within a social system. Another thing that would be changing within the social system would be the decrease in child labor. With this going down significantly, more children would be able to attend school and get a better education. Then I started thinking about how the biogas would be affecting the ecosystem. This was pretty obvious since it is much better for the environment. There would be much less deforestation which would allow for more available firewood which could be used a lot of different ways. Overall there would be a large decrease in pollution which is not only better for the environment but also the health of the people because there would be a lot less disease. Biogas would also lead to cleaner  fertilizer which means there would be cleaner food and water. Clean food and water also means an improvement in health. Essentially, everything the biogas would be doing, whether within the social or eco systems, there would be significant positive changes for the people and the environment.

I think that my diagram is pretty similar to Gerald Marten’s in Figure 1.5. Both diagrams show how the biogas would be impacting the social and ecosystems. Both of our diagrams emphasized on the fact that it would benefit the environment and the people. However, in Marten’s diagram he focused a lot on how everything was connected within each system. When I was making mine I didn’t think so much about how each thing in each system also directly affected each other. I think that by looking at both diagrams do a good job of showing who/what is going to be affected and they both emphasize how good the biogas would be for India.

Getting To Know You- Haley Overton

Hi guys! My name is Haley Overton and I’m a sophomore here at Penn State from Doylestown, PA. I currently live on campus in South on my sorority floor. I started off in the College of Education as a World Language Education major intending to become a Spanish teacher. After last semester I decided that wasn’t for me and now I am an Early Education (K-4) major. I can’t wait to become a teacher and work with kids everyday. I also plan on studying abroad, hopefully in Barcelona. In my free time I spend a lot of time with my friends and participate in activities through my sorority Gamma Phi Beta. I needed to take this course to fulfill a requirement but I look forward to learning some new information. since I don’t know much about geography.

The part in this module that stuck out the most to me was the part concerning global warming. I feel like this is something we hear so much about but it is so easy to forget how serious it really is. After reading the first lesson I learned how much we affect the earth and have such a strong impact on global warming. I find that it’s easy to forget how much our actions now will really affect things in the future. Reading this stuff is scary but I think it’s important that everyone is aware of what’s going on when it comes to global warming.