Module 3: Your Ethics Views

Question 1: Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

I believe that it is far more important to be actually performing good acts than to simply be a good person and have good virtue ethics. However, virtue ethics are almost always necessary in order to perform good acts, otherwise there would be no reason to perform them. Virtue ethics and action ethics are too closely related and necessary to be mutually exclusive, in nearly every situation. I think the only way a person can perform good acts without having virtue ethics is if they are only doing it for their own self-interests and action ethics are a side product. An example of this could be actions to promote someone’s own image to the public; Someone who is very wealthy could donate a large sum of money to charity, but only do it because they want to be viewed in a positive manner or to deduct the donation from taxes, and not because they genuinely care about the people they are helping. This situation does not occur very often; almost always there is real virtue ethics behind action ethics. When it comes to actually making a difference in the world, action ethics are far more important. Many people can talk all the time about how much they care about an issue or problem in society, but that makes no difference compared to when someone takes real action to solve issues. As the saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words”.

Question 2: Do the ends justify the means (ends ethics vs. means ethics)?

For this question, I think it can vary a lot depending on what the means and ends are in a given situation. The majority of the time I think that the ends do justify means. An example mentioned in the reading asked the question: Is fundamentally wrong to chop down a tree, even if it is for a good end cause like forest fire prevention? I think in a case like this, the ends absolutely justify the means. It would be ignorant to say that chopping down a tree is always bad, when the action of chopping down that tree will save many more trees. If society always thinks in a way that only looks at means and ignores their reasoning and ends, we would never make any progress and many irrational decisions would be made. Another example I can think of is hunting regulations. Many people like to believe that hunting is inherently bad. While ethically, people may think it is wrong to kill animals, it may be necessary to encourage hunters to hunt certain types of animals to keep populations and ecosystems stable. Hunting laws are already set up this way, such as deer hunting. It is one of the least restricted animals to hunt, because their population grows so rapidly out of control. Other species that have stable populations are more restricted to keep their populations in check.

Question 3: Does the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions (procedural justice vs. distributive justice)?

For this question, I think it can also relate back to the ends vs. means ethics debate. It is the balance between what is inherently good vs. what will ultimately bring benefits. Democracy seems to be a very large part of this justice debate. Our country was founded on the basis of democracy. Ideally, democracy brings freedom to people in many ways and allows people to excel above others financially and socially if they are willing to put in the effort to do so. Therefore people who believe a strictly democratic society is always best are on the procedural side of the debate. However, I believe making decisions based only off of procedural justice – what should lead to better society, will fail every time if we do not also focus on the consequences by using distributive justice. The history of our country has shown that having a solely democratic society will not work – less fortunate people tend to get left behind, monopolies occur when groups gain too much power, the rich become richer and the poor become poorer, etc…  These are all major problems that can and have occurred in our country. The only way to help solve these issues is to focus more heavily on distributive justice – basing our actions off of their consequences rather than what theoretically works.

Module 3: Your Ethics Views

Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

I personally believe that it is more important to perform good acts. Although many may claim that it is more important to be a good person I believe that actions speak louder than words. Someone can claim to be a good person but how is that truly proven? Being a good person is proven through the good actions and deeds you perform. I believe that action ethics is the key to being a good person. By performing acts of kindness or helpfulness you are becoming and maintaining being a good person. For example, is someone a good person because they feel bad for a homeless man sleeping on the street but do nothing about it? Or are they a good person when they help the man up, take them to get something to eat, and then help them to improve themselves and their lives. I have a hard time with people that claim to be good people but their actions prove otherwise. Action ethics is what a person should do in a particular situation, a good person has the ethics to think and perform the actions that will benefit others or the environment.

Do the pleasure and pain of non-human animals matter as much as the pleasure and pain of humans (speciesism)?

Personally I have a great love for animals and find their lives to matter just as much as a human life. But in reading this module I was made to think do I truly believe that? I eat meat from animals and yet humans don’t eat other humans (gross). So this question is hard for me to form a full response because I can not fully say I believe the earlier statement. I feel as though there are many screwed up people on this earth that find pleasure or entertainment out of the torture or abuse of animals, and that sickens me. Lives are lives no matter if they are human or non-human. They are breathing living beings and whose to say that a human life matter more or holds more value than an animal life? They also live on this planet, they aid to the planet and environment just as humans do. I believe that the pleasure and pain of non-humans matter and should be taken into account when individuals make decisions that will affect those non-humans. For example, a dog deserves to live out a happy life and not be thrown into a situation in which they are in harm or not being cared for properly. We have child services that acts on behalf of humans but when it comes to animals more often than not animals are over looked in painful situations.

Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?

I believe that my life is of the same value as all others. When considering this topic I take into consideration, why should one person’s life ever matter more or less than another? If you think about it humans are all composed of the same chemical compounds so does that make us any different? No, if we are composed of the same make ups then why should anyone be considered less. I realize that many people consider their lives to matter more than say a criminal, drug addict, or maybe terrorist but in their own ways and situations their lives matter to the people surrounding them and there would be an absence when they are gone. Taking into consideration, I lost someone very close to me recently, of course this was heartbreaking to me and I would do anything to get them back but I realize that although they meant the world to me, others have lost someone that meant the same to them. Lives are equal whether it’s me, you, or some random person off the street their lives are no more or less important then my own.

Chase Sandler Module 4

Part 1 A:


I am from Long Island, New York. During this module, I called up my local water district office and asked for the water supply chain information. The clerk at the desk informed me that she could give me specifics for legal matters but she gave me an overall idea of how the water flow directions itself. The water tower in my hometown is located on a back road called Haypath Road. The water comes down from the tower and underground up to our town park. At the park, the water pipes direct off into different directions of the town. There are three main areas in my town of which the pipes lead too. Once the pipes reach the center most parts of these areas, they funnel off into sewage systems underground. Homes receive the water supply from the underground pipes determined by one of three locations. The water is either funneled off to the user or sent underground to the sewage system.


As a side note, I found this information to be extremely difficult to find. My local office was not very happy to give out such information. I hope that the information I supplied above is sufficient. Thanks.


Part 1 B:


  1. Water Bottles consumed: 4 X 500 Ml
  2. Toilet Flush: 8 flushes X 8 Gallons
  3. Shower: 2 times X 15 Gallons
  4. Brush Teeth: 2 times X 6 Cups
  5. Cook Food: 10 Cups
  6. Gym Water Fountain: 1000 Ml

Total: 96.15 Gallons

Part 1 C:

If I lived in an area where water was restricted and I had 2 gallons to live on per day, I would use my share wisely. For this experiment, the first thing I dedicate my water to is brushing my teeth. I used 2 cups of water, one for the morning and one for the nighttime. I would consume 2 liters for drinking water throughout the day. Next, I saved 10 cups of water for cooking and cleaning. I then tried to save the rest of my water for any random activity I may need it for. At the end of the day, I needed to take a shower. In order to do this, I attempted to only shower for 30 seconds in order to use about a quarter of a gallon of water. This was unsuccessful. My other issue was the fact that our toilet is restricted in the way of each flush requires one gallon of water no matter what. This is where my experiment failed.


Geography is extremely important in terms of water use. Countries in places such as the Middle East tend to have to ration water. This is because they have many droughts and need to balance their use. This is a major problem.



Katherine Rigotti – Module 4

A.  I am from a small town called Horsham, which is right outside of Philadelphia in Montgomery County. In order to gather information on the water supply chain in my area, I was able to contact the local municipal water company through their website. The majority of the water supplying the town of Horsham’s supply chain comes from groundwater sources, such as wells. A small percentage of this water supply comes from surface water. The wells supplying most of the water system have been conveniently located throughout the Horsham Township. Some of these wells also form interconnections with other utilities such as Aqua’s Main System and North Wales Water Authority. The largest well in Horsham is located just south of a main road and this well alone produces approximately 13% of the total average daily demand of Horsham Township. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the Horsham Water and Sewer Authority actively monitors the quality of the water from each of the groundwater wells that is used to supply many of the households in this community. This past year, Horsham Township released the annual Consumer Confidence Report of all of the Authority’s in-service wells. This report illustrated that all of the service wells produced water into the system that meets the criteria for primary drinking water standards.


Water Usage for Sunday, February 7, 2016


Activity Water Usage Gallons
15 Minute Shower 2 gal/min 30 gal
5 Flushes 4 gal/flush 20 gal
5 Hand-washes   1 gal
10 Min Cleaning Dishes   8.27 gal
5 Min Brushing Teeth   1 gal

TOTAL WATER USAGE for February 7th, 2016: 60.27 gallons

C. If I were to live in an area where water was not as plentiful as it is during the present time, it would be very difficult to prioritize where I would need to ration my water supply. In order to understand this adverse situation, I made it a point to only use two gallons of water for an entire day. Through this experiment, I have learned that if I only had two gallons of water for one day, there is one main thing I would prioritize it for each day. I would need to drink at least half a gallon of water per day. It would be difficult to get by without water while cooking, but it is possible. Many processed carbohydrates, such as frozen meals, do not require any added water. Water is also necessary for bathing, but once again, if the water supply was this low, then bathing would not occur everyday. It was also difficult to keep track of water when using the bathroom and washing hands. Using the bathroom is definitely a priority, but the number of flushes can be controlled. It is obviously important to maintain hygiene, so washing hands is necessary, but it must be efficient. This also includes turning the water off while brushing teeth or in between washing dishes. The experiment succeeded until late in the evening when I became very thirsty. Given my daily water usage from part B, I would have a lot of work to do to get by on just two gallons per day. Geography matters to water usage because it determines not only the quality of the water, but also the quantity. A large amount of clean water is ideal, but there are many places where this does not occur. Water is essential to maintaining a healthy, hygienic, and clean lifestyle. Geography is a main determinant of water quality and should be considered a top priority.

Learning Activity: Your Ethics Views – Brian Barnhart

  1. Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

I believe that overall, it is best to perform good acts rather than simply be a good person. Performing physical action may be more beneficial and show more positive results than just being a person who truly believes in the cause behind these actions (though does not perform these actions themselves). When considering crime, a person who has good moral values and is a “good” citizen may still commit crime, whether motivated by a lack of money, opportunity, etc. This type of person would be fully aware that the crime they are committing is wrong, but makes the choice to proceed anyway. A person who regularly performs good acts, however, would avoid committing a crime no matter the motivation. In short, the most important aspect is physical action, as this is what will produce tangible results.

2. Do the ends justify the means (ends ethics vs. means ethics)?

In my opinion this concept goes hand in hand with the debate between virtue and action ethics. In this case, I find the fundamental issue to be how to judge the means (action) as compared to the ends (consequences). There is often a need for sacrifice or compromise in reality, and this concept considers this idea thoroughly. Continuing with the crime example, if someone robs a store (action) in order to feed his family (consequence) was he/she wrong to do so? We must analyze each aspect of the scenario, and determine whether the situation could have been solved without the use of crime. While we do not have any actual details, we can ask a few questions that may help us: did this person have a job; if not, did they have access to one? Did this person have any money at all, or could they have contacted a friend or family member for help? This type of analysis is critical in determining whether the ends justify the means.

3.  Does the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions (procedural justice vs. distributive justice)?

This is an interesting situation which considers a persons own ethics and the outcomes of their decision making process. I believe this to be a more complex example of the ends vs means debate. We must consider what brought a person to commit the acts that he or she committed as well as the outcome (or consequence) of the act(s). If whatever brought the actor to commit the act did not have any physical effect, then the result of the act would be all that matters. However, if whatever motivated the actor to commit the act had a negative impact on someone or something, then the process by which the decision was made is more, or just as, important as the consequence of the act.


Module 3 – Annaliese Long

  1. It is more important to perform good acts, rather than be a good person. I hold this view because I believe that actions speak louder than anything else. A person is defined by their actions, so it is more important for people to perform these good acts. If a person is just a “good person” they could just have good ideas or thoughts about a problem and how to fix it, without actually doing anything about it. A person that performs good acts will actually take action and try to help out with this problem. For example, a person can be a good person by thinking that domesticated animals should not be neglected. But on the other hand, a person could perform good acts by donating or helping out at the animal shelter and offering to take care of the neglected animals. By performing these good actions, I think that it makes them a good person, of course, but I think it is more important to actually perform the good acts. I believe that this is true in any kind of circumstance.
  2. Ecosystems matter for their own sake, not just to the extent that they impact humans. I hold this view because I think ecosystems are what ultimately matter in the world. The world would not be a world suitable for humans and other species to live if it were not for the ecosystems. The human race would not be alive right now if it were not for the perfect conditions of the ecosystems. Ecosystems are so important because it is sustainable for the human race and all other species. This means that it can provide the right conditions for any species to live and grow. Without the ecosystems supporting all the other species, besides the humans, the human race would have a hard time surviving because we rely on other species for everyday activities. The human race needs animals for their meat and other aspects. The animals need the ecosystems to sustain them. Without the ecosystems, the humans and the other animals would be out of luck, and the world would not be able to sustain us all.
  3. Personally, I believe that each person’s life should be valued the same. So that means that my life is worth the same as the lives of others. I hold this view because I believe that each person has the potential to live however they want to live and help whoever they want to help. Not one person’s life is worth more or less than any other person’s life. Even though this is my general view on life, there are some exceptions. For my sake personally, I sometimes believe that other people’s lives matter more than my own life because of the things that they have been through or done in their life. Because of this, I try to help others out others in any way that I can. Sometimes these people have had it much worse than I have, so I do what I can to make them feel better. An example that resonates close to me is THON. Children should not ever have to go through something as awful as cancer, so I put their life in front of my own. I try to donate and fundraise and volunteer as much as possible. That’s why I feel as though some people’s lives should be valued more than mine.

Ethics-Siying Chen

  • Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

In my opinion, I think it’s more important to perform good acts and I believe that ends justify means. Although virtue ethics and action ethics are usually bound with each other, action is the ethic that would make a difference in the end. For example, some people would do philanthropical works to make themselves famous, regardless from what their original purpose is, the action itself actually help people in need. On the other hand, some people can just talking about being an environmental-friendly person all the time without actually doing anything, and this would not benefit the environment.

However, there’s always exceptions. In most cases, people with good virtue ethics usually have good action ethics too. Environmentalists are always the people who are concerned about the environment, and those who have no concern about the environment usually just live their own ways. But in the rare cases, I think action ethics are more important than virtue ethics.

  • Does the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions (procedural justice vs. distributive justice)?

Being a realistic person, I always value the outcome more than the mean. In the case of dealing with environmental problems, we can only see the result, not the process. For example, when government is dealing with water contamination, all we know as citizens is that whether the water source is treated or not, or whether it is usable. Even if we know the process itself, it wouldn’t be much help since it’s already in the past, and only the outcomes matter to us as consumers. In the recent Flint water crisis, people are more concerned about if the problem is treated properly, not many are concerned about how the decision was made.

However, we still cannot neglect the process of how decisions are made. For example, when dealing with water pollution problem, we have to make sure that everyone who is affected has a say, not just those people with power. Just because someone is less powerful doesn’t mean they don’t have a right to stand for themselves.

  • Do ecosystems matter for their own sake, or do they only matter to the extent that they impact humans (ecocentric ethics vs. anthropocentric ethics)?

Since there are so many unseen connections within the ecosystem, I think we should see the ecosystem as a whole, not just the parts where human race is in. To me, I think ecocentric ethics “contains” the ideas of anthropocentric ethics, being ecocentric means you want to benefit the whole ecosystem, and since we are living in this system, so we’re potentially benefited. But being anthropocentric doesn’t usually mean is good for the environment. For example, if we’re anthropocentric, we would consider our own benefit versus the cost to the ecosystem, it’s like the supply and demand relationship in economics, we need to find the equilibrium to make both sides happy, but so far the human race is still favoring its own benefit over the ecosystem.

Even though we are trying to protect the environment for its own sake, it’s hard to achieve ecocentric ethics in a short time. But I believe that we are all working on it, and one day we can sustain the ecosystem without compromising our needs.

Ethics Module 3

  1. It is more important to perform good acts.  I hold this view solely based on my opinion of the significance of an action itself – the ends. For instance, in a scenario with two individuals, where person A is good and genuinely interested in the welfare of homeless veterans, and a person B takes on actions that promotes the welfare of homeless veterans. The results from the action by person B has an impact towards the wellbeing of homeless veterans. This action could lead to resounding effects and a solution for homelessness amongst veterans.  Being good lacks the results from an action /effort taken. As the saying goes ‘Action speaks louder than words’ which is applicable when we are looking at the end result. Nonetheless, virtue ethics is important since individuals who care about a cause and are good people, often take action towards the issue. Particularly, virtue ethics is important if the act will affect a large group in society. Inherently, because of the type of work I do, I’m constantly waiting for results and make decisions based on these actions. Nonetheless, I also evaluate and take into consideration the drive behind the action.
  2. Ecosystems matter for their own sake. I hold this view because ultimately it would be ideal if ecosystems can coexist with humans whereby there is no human impact to their continued existence. Regrettably, this not the case for the world we live in today. Humans are at a disturbing rate destroying ecosystems that predates us. Several these ecosystems under human degradation and exploitation have a key role in contributing to some of the major resources that we get from the earth plus maintain an environmental balance. Studies indicate that the human race is depleting the earth’s resources unsustainably. This is a concern for me because we humans, like other animals need the earth and should utilize the earth’s resources sustainably. Therefore since the ecosystem provides resources that contributes towards our human life today, we should treasure and nourish these systems. Sustainable consumption  of these ecosystems should be priority especially for the future generations to come.
  3.  Pleasure and pain for non-human animals do matter. I hold this view because non-human animals shouldn’t suffer for any human’s benefit. Domesticated animals provide food, shelter, shoes and clothing for us. Also non-human animals have reasoning and feelings which may be limited in comparison to the human animals, and mainly because they cannot express themselves. Therefore how we raise, treat and kill non-human animals is vital component of speciesism ethics. For that reason humane actions should be taken towards all non-human animals killings. And these killings should occur only when there is a necessity. In addition killings and torture of non-human animals for pleasure should be prohibited all together. For most of the non-human animals that we kill research shows that their DNA is evolving to identify humans as predators. The wild animals that we kill for pleasure are going extinct. These consequences have begun changing the world we live in today, unfortunately for the worse. We should all take action and protect the non-human animals

Module 3: Ethics

1) Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)? I think that performing good acts (action ethics) is more important than being a good person (virtue ethics). If you’re a good person, you may feel empathy for others, have less harsh judgements towards others, or think better about situations, but if you’re not going to do anything about it, then it won’t make a difference. You won’t make a difference. I do believe that actions mean more than words in every way. You can say that you believe something or that you will do something over and over again for someone, but if you never do it, then how does anyone know that you really mean it? You can only truly show people how you feel and what you mean if you perform good acts that reflect how you feel. Performing good acts will be remembered longer than just being a good person. While this may not always be important, I do believe that acts have a greater impact than just virtues.

4) Do ecosystems matter for their own sake, or do they only matter to the extent that they impact humans (ecocentric ethics vs. anthropocentric ethics)? I believe that ecosystems matter for both their own sake and for the impact that they have on humans. If ecosystems are destroyed, everything inside the ecosystem, including the plants and animals, will also be destroyed. Even with a decrease in the amount of food or animals or the slightest change to an ecosystem can cause a total crash. When ecosystems are damaged, humans suffer as well. Ecosystems provide food, shelter, and even recreational activities for humans too. Although humans are impacted by the health of an ecosystem, I think that ecosystems matter for their own sake more. A single ecosystem is home to tons of animals, so of course their impact is larger than only to humans. The extent that they impact humans is definitely important, but not nearly as much as they matter for their own sake. They impact the organisms that live in the ecosystem far more than they impact humans.

6) Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)? I think that my life is worth the same as other people’s lives, although I do think that children have lives more worthy than adults. I don’t think your life is worthy based on who you know or what you know. Your life is not worth more if you have more money or if you’re famous. Children have an entire life ahead of them. Children are full of innocence, so I believe that their lives are worth more than mine. I believe that children practice altruism more frequently than selfishness and more frequently than adults do. They may not always know right from wrong, but they do what makes them happy, in a selfless way. For this reason, I think their lives are worth more than mine. They may not have the money, skills, or education that adults do, but they do what they do for the good of other people, even if they don’t always notice it. Their innocence is something that most people will not have their entire life because of what they know, what they’ve experienced, or what they’ve done. That makes a life more worthy to me.


Module 3 – Ethics

  1. Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?
    1. It is, in my opinion, almost always better to perform good acts.  The reason I believe this is because no matter how good of a person someone is, that is almost all they are if they do not act.  I’m sure everyone, or almost everyone, has heard that actions speak louder than words.  To me, this quote is actually right on point and is by far the truest word to describe us beings known as humans.  Our actions all have a benefit, as well as a consequence.  Even in the best situations, something is sacrificed when we have to perform.  For instance, lets say that you are on your way to school, work, or an important meeting.  When you run into some trouble (ex. mugging, someone getting bullied, or any situation you believe you, yourself, would take action) and you are caught in a decision.  As long as you act, I believe you are indeed a good person.  The situation can end up from anywhere between good or bad, but to me the person who acts and does something about the situations will indeed be a great person.  Honestly, this questions compares two really similar aspects, which I believe should go hand in hand.  For instance, if you perform good acts you are a good person.  Of course, I also believe that depends on the situation as well.  Another scenario is the act of self-defense or even defending someone else.  Even though you had to retaliate with force, if it is to save either yourself or whoever is with you at that time you are still on the “good” side.  Remember actions speak louder than words.
  2. Do the ends justify the means (ends ethics vs. means ethics)?
    1. This is one of the question that I believe the answer lies somewhere in the middle.  Due to the nature of this question I thought about the extremes of each side.  For instance, I first thought about the ends.  Picture yourself on uncharted island with a couple of classmates.  Now you all must do anything, and I mean anything to survive.  Lets say you found a shack, it contained a bit of food, fresh water, and of course it was a shelter.  The ends I mentioned earlier, is the extreme of extremes.  The shelter has food that will last you for a little while, but only one person.  Of course this is your survival and say you kept everything a secret and hid everything from the others.  This by no means agreeable to me.  Two scenarios can play out: 1. They find the shack and trust turns to turmoil.  2. It turns dangerous and everyone is fighting for the food but eventually no one gets it because the whole shack is ransacked.  Now everything is gone and all are back to square one, but this time everyone has no trust in one another.  Moral of this scenario, in my opinion, is that one should not sacrifice the bonds they have built to meet the means, or goals, that you want to accomplish.  I believe that it is important to consider all possible outcomes of a situation, assignment, whatever it is and find a suitable way to get to the end.  No matter how extreme of one end of the spectrum you reach, it will probably never satisfy you.  Come to the middle ground and then decide the best “route” to take.  That is my opinion of this question.
  3. Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?
    1. My honest opinion of the question, is that no life worth more than another.  So I believe that I fall under the category of thinking my life is worth the same as the lives of others.  Life is an important aspect that makes us who we are.  When that life comes to an end then that is it.  No future, no present, and no past.  Of course we have famous people in the world that are still remembered today even after thousands of years, but what of it?  Their legend ended and all that is left is their foot print in the vast amount of history of this world.  One can neither take a step forward, nor can the dead come back and give you push when you need one.  The life a person has is finite and can end at any moment.  But that does not mean that the older one lives, that their life is more valuable or even that if you had all the riches in the world, it would still end in a flash if it so chooses.  Humans, no life is very fragile existence that one should treasure.  Spend it pursuing what you want and struggle to achieve those dreams.  Never belittle yourself nor belittle the lives of other, life is indeed precious and everyone should treasure it.  We all live on this planet and we will all be buried (unless we colonize space) on this plant.  No one’s value is worth more than yours and no one’s value is worth less.  Of course I believe every human has at least a bit of selfishness in their hearts, but that is natural and still perfectly fine.  Just do not ever think one person is higher than another, nor think they are lower than another.  That is my opinion.

Ethics Views: Caitlyn Ramirez Module 3

1.Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

I believe these answers are intertwined. There is no way that you could be a good person without performing good acts, because that is how you would want to be able to show people you are a good person. You also cannot perform good acts without having any kind of virtue. I think they are equally as important because you cannot seem to do one without the other. It also goes the other way around. You cannot be a good person if you don’t perform good acts because no one would actually know if you were a good person or not. Also you cannot do good acts, unless you are a good person unless you are just doing it for the heck of it. Then that would be a whole different discussion.

4.Do ecosystems matter for their own sake, or do they only matter to the extent that they impact humans (ecocentric ethics vs. anthropocentric ethics)?

I think ecosystems should matter for both sakes. However, I don’t agree with humans cutting down trees just to build things that they could build with other materials. However, trees provide oxygen for humans, and in that case we should maintain the ecosystem so we still have enough forests. By maintaining those ecosystems that will benefit humans with oxygen, we are also benefitting the ecosystem itself and for all those who inhabit it. Humans are quite wasteful with natural resources so limiting them to only a little would work better. This would make it beneficial for both humans and the ecosystem.

6.Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?

I think my life is worth the same as others. I personally, am a very altruistic person. I enjoy putting people’s needs before my own, because that is what makes me happy. But I also feel that it is quite alright for me to take a step back and take some time for myself and realize that my life is worth something too. That is why I think we are all the same. My life is worth just as much as any other person like myself. There are so many people in this world who put others before themselves, and they need to know that is also understandable to be a little selfish sometimes. There are obviously those people who others despise or don’t feel as if they deserve as much as they do, so I think that additionally to this, it also depends on the type of person you are. If you are a horrible person and everyone knows it, then there would be a difference in worth.

Module 3

1.Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

I feel like it is important perform good acts rather to be a good person, as people have the tendency to show or portray someone they are not. Performing good acts shows the kind of person you really are. Although being a good person is important it is easy to fake the kind of person you are. Performing good acts is not only beneficial to oneself but in fact it can help other people tremendously as well, which is where I feel like ethics really lies, doing good to your own people and to the people around you. Also, performing good acts in some way makes you a good person although not necessarily it still gives the intentions to people that you are a good person and are doing good thins for the benefit of other people. The actions you take always stand out which is the main reason I would choose performing good acts over being a good person.



3.Does the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions (procedural justice vs. distributive justice)?

Yes in my opinion they are, the decisions we make and actions we take are usually calculated similar to procedural justice. I feel like the importance lies in the decision making part of the process. When making decisions we analyze the possible actions we can take and the possible consequences or outcomes of those decisions. Although the possible outcomes may not be certain and predictions may vary it is still important to address all the decisions and outcomes when making decisions. The process is also important as it gives the person making the decision a sense of relief, that all outcomes have been analyzed and the consequences of each action were discussed. Also the level of the decision to be made makes a difference for example converting a land you bought into building or keeping the nature aspect of it, decisions like this take vital analysis. From a geographical perspective one would like to maintain the nature aspect however, from a business perspective you would want to build on that land. Therefore, the decision-making aspect is the more important.



  1. Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?

This question is a lot harder to answer than the rest, however the answer to this question will vary a lot from what people are actually thinking. Obviously people would say they are selfless and their lives are worth equal to others but when it comes to a life or death situation I feel like majority of people would put themselves above others most of the time, I know I would. However, the importance of ones life depends a lot on the other person’s life you are comparing it to. For example if there are two robbers and one is doing it for fun but the other is doing it due to unfortunate circumstances in his life, whose life would be worth more? Well for me obviously the one with unfortunate circumstances in his life. Also when it comes to family or one of my close best friends the importance of my life deteriorates for me. I would give more importance to my family and all the close people in my life depending on the situation. So finally, the answer of this question varies a lot depending on the people and the situation.


Yeeren Low – Ethics

1. I think that being a good person is more important than performing good actions. To me, being a good person is synonymous with desiring good actions. Performing a single good action isn’t contingent upon being a good person, but being inclined to perform good actions is, I think. To clarify what I mean by a “good person”, consider someone who asks, “Am I being selfish for trying to land a job better than one I am already offered?” I would say a person asking such a question is already a good person, and the person strives not to improve what may be called their “moral character” (how good they are as a person) but rather their ability to choose good actions. Performing good actions requires more than just being a good person. It encompasses more – it requires knowledge, experience, perspective, ability to remain unbiased, etc. I feel we would certainly hold a higher opinion of someone who is good person than one who has no sense of justice, even if the good person does not take good actions.

5. First off, I think many of us (myself included) would be far more willing to sacrifice our lives for another human being than for an animal, however unwilling we may be to do the former. Even considering something not so heavy, if there is a spider in my house, I will just kill it. I don’t spend time trying to figure out how to return it to the wild safely.

(Sorry, I know this is incomplete.)

Ethics Views Module 3

Question 1: Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)

I believe that it is more important to possess action ethics. Virtue and action ethics go hand in hand though as the notes said. You really possess both of these if you have one of them. Overall, I say that it is more important to perform good acts. This shows others what your thought process is and how you are morally. For example, if I saw a poster for a lost dog, I would immediately start to make phone calls or go out and help find the dog. This shows others that I know what is right and that in certain situations, it is morally right to lend a hand. By performing good acts, I am improving how I look to others while also making myself feel better. Actions truly show what people are like and you can learn a lot about someone by seeing how they act in certain situations. Sometimes people misuse tasks that help others in order to make themselves look better. This isn’t always the case though. For example, my grandfather flew in three wars. During World War Two, his officer asked for volunteers for a mission that they basically described as a suicide mission. My grandfather at the time wasn’t married and immediately stepped forward, knowing that most of his comrades had families at home. With his leadership, other men stepped up to go with him. By performing actions like this, true ethics are shown of a person and rub off on others. Action ethics help show what is right and wrong. Someone can possess virtue ethics but not always act out on them.


Question 3: Does the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions (procedural justice vs. distributive justice)?

The decision making process is more important than the outcomes of decisions. As the reading said, procedural justice is all about how decisions are made and who they will affect down the line. Major decisions need to be planned out before. The outcomes can be unexpected, but without planning anything, you are just going in blind. Distributive justice tries to balance the good and bad of the situations outcomes and these can’t always be measured. Going back to the story with my grandpa in the war, he knew that he may not return from the mission, but he sat down with his crew and supervisors to design a plan that gave them the best chance to survive. Decisions had to be made about where they would land, how they would fly into the area, and how they would rescue the hostages that they needed to get. Without any planning, my grandfather would not be alive today. They already knew the possible outcomes of the situation and that didn’t matter to them. The future is always up in the air, so if people didn’t make decisions to try and better the situation in the future, they would never know what could have been. Procedural justice helps people make the right choices for them when they need them instead of taking into account many outcomes that most likely won’t happen to them.


Question 6: Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?

I know that my life is just as important as every one else on this planet. This idea mostly comes from my faith and family. I am no more special than anyone else on Earth. For me, I believe that I lean more towards altruism. I have always been the guy that puts others needs in front of mine. It is all about how I was raised. We always learned that family and friends came first and I have had those ethics pounded into me since day one. There are certain situations where I can be selfish, but they are when I really want to get ahead, like in sports. Sometimes during hockey practices or tryouts, I would try to matchup against a kid that I knew was not as good as me so I stood out more. But then there have been other times where I had to give up my own stuff to help others. In high school, I missed a couple hockey games in order to travel to a poorer part of my county in order to help pack food and other items and deliver baskets to people who needed help. I try as hard as I can to stay away from being selfish and making sure that others are happy when they are around me.


Jason (J.R.) Brown


Peter Han Module 3

1.Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

I believe it is more important to be a good person than perform good acts. If someone is truly a good person, they will be inclined to perform good acts. This is part of the reason why they are a good person. Even though being a good person and performing good acts come hand in hand most of the time, some people perform good acts for their own personal gain and not because they are a good person. For instance, someone may volunteer at a food bank or donate to them in order to get a tax break. Also, someone who is truly a good person will put more effort in to their good actions while someone who just performs good acts may not do the as well as they can. Most of the time being a good person encompasses performing good acts and that is the main reason why I believe being a good person is more important.

2. Do the ends justify the means (ends ethics vs. means ethics)?

The ends do not justify the means in most cases. Most of the time, this statement has to do with wrong actions that end with a good outcome in which case the ends do not justify the means. For instance, cheating on a test to get a good grade cannot be justified. Even though the end in this case is good for you, you cannot justify cheating to get there. Also lying on a resume in order to get a better job cannot be justified because even though you are getting a better job, you may not be qualified for it or you may be taking it from someone else who deserves it. However, when the ends are morally good and the means are also good, the ends do justify the means.

6. Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?

I believe that all lives should be treated as the same. Even though we may value our lives and the lives of our family members as more important to us we can not say that they are more important in the whole scheme of things. All human lives are important to society and have been put on this earth for a reason even if it may not seem very good. You should practice altruism and try to help others as much as you can but not to the extent that you are seriously hindering your own well being. Even though I believe that my life is not worth more than others, there are some people that may not deserve to be treated with the same respect such as those who commit crimes for no reason. These people may not be deserving of the same kinds of sacrifices that we make for others but their lives are still valuable and should not just be forgotten.

Ben Ceci – Ethics – Module 3

  1. Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

I think that it is more important to be a good person because most people typically think before they act. Good people usually have positive thoughts and are often genuine and kind and therefore, they perform good acts because it is a part of who they are. The way that I look at it is that the main difference between a good person and a person who performs good acts is that a good person has a foundation. Being a good person is all that they know. If you simply perform good acts but are not a good person, you might get upset if those same kind acts are not reciprocated. I also think that people can tell whether your heart is into it or not when you perform acts of kindness. If you are a bad person doing good things, I don’t think that your good actions are as effective. A good person does the little things that make a difference more than any one action can and for that reason, I think that being a good person and having that foundation is more important than simply performing good acts.

  1. Does the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions (procedural justice vs. distributive justice)?

As a person who is very close with my family and close friends, this question is one of the tougher questions that I have ever had to answer. Being raised and taught to be a loyal person, I think that the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of the decisions. I believe that the most important things in life are not things, but rather people and the relationships that you have with them. There will almost always be another opportunity that comes your way, but if you try to screw somebody over or put yourself and your wants before the needs of somebody else, that can sever relationships forever. I believe that you have to see things in the big picture and examine the outcomes of the result of the decision and go from there. I am also a big believer in karma and that if you act as a good person and try to do something good for somebody else, people will remember that and in the future, they will return the favor, whether the desired outcome is reached or not. I believe that people knowing what you did for them can go a long way and that as a good person, you should try to do the right thing and make the best decision that you can.

  1. Do the pleasure and pain of non-human animals matter as much as the pleasure and pain of humans (speciesism)?

As a landscape architecture student, I have studied ecology and the effects that humans have on animals. The professors put a lot of emphasis on designing in sustainable ways that can both accommodate humans and animals. Before I studied landscape architecture, my point of view was that animals take resources from us as well, and it is just a dog eat dog world, with an everyman for themselves kind of mentality, as far as animals go. However, learning how much we have evolved as a species and how humans are tool makers really changed my perspective on that. The idea of sustainable development has taught me a lot about being less selfish in the design process. Being that we are tool makers, we have destroyed many animals’ habitats, separating families, and leaving some animals without a home / more susceptible to predators. I think that because we have the power to do these things, we have to be responsible and realize that we share the earth with these animals and treat them no differently than humans. We take care of our pets like they are members of our own family, and we must treat these animals the same way. This includes slaughtering animals and using them for food. Humans do not need animal products to survive and we should really think twice before consuming them.

Ethics Views – Michael Celoni

  1. Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

This is a tough question to answer but I think it’s more important to perform good acts. Naturally it could be assumed that the good person would perform good acts, but that is not necessarily true. A good person could be someone who just has good thoughts but never acts on them. Yes, a person who performs good acts could also perform bad acts but I think it’s worth taking that risk to see the good acts come to fruition. Besides, a person who performs good acts could be seen as a good person while a good person who performs a bad act could still be seen as a good person. This all changes under the circumstances however. A person who does 100 good acts and one horrific act will likely never be seen as a good person whereas a person who does 100 bad acts and and one fantastic act could potentially be seen as a good person. It all depends on the magnitude of the acts.

5. Do the pleasure and pain of non-human animals matter as much as the pleasure                 and pain of humans (speciesism)?

I think that this question depends on the animal. For the majority of animals on Earth, I think that yes, they do matter as much. If you think about an animal like a mosquito, however, I highly doubt you’re going to find someone who values its pain and pleasure as much as a human’s. There are plenty of species on Earth that don’t even have the capacity to even feel pain or pleasure and I think in that case they do not matter as much as a human’s since they can’t even process it. This subject matter gets very tricky when it comes to farm animals. Farm animals have the ability to experience pain and pleasure and naturally you’d think that it’s just as important as ours since every species has the right to live on Earth. I think that almost everyone wants to care about animals and would hate to see one in pain but from a global perspective, the reality is that their pain and pleasure do not matter as much. If it did matter as much, you would not be seeing any kind of meat sold at any store at any place in the world. It’s hard to even think about how the world would be or how it would even progress if everyone was a vegan.

6. Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness                vs. altruism)?

For this question I believe that all three options are valid depending on the circumstance. Odds are you value your life more than everyone else. If it came down to a life or death situation with you and another person of the same age and same background, odds are you’d do everything you could to save yourself. When you change the scenario, the perspective changes quickly. If there’s a life or death situation between you and your child (if you had one), I’d bet that you’d do everything in your power to save your child rather than yourself. In these cases you could perceive your life as being worth more or worth less. In my everyday life, assuming everything is normal and I’m not running into a freak situation, I think of my life as worth the same as everyone else’s. What makes me more important than the guy who sits next to me in class? How could I be seen as being worth more than someone on the other side of the world in a completely different living situation? I think it’s very valid to believe your life is worth more 24/7 if that’s how you think but I think it’s also valid to put the needs of others before yourself or even give equal treatment to others like you would to yourself.



Module 3: Ethics

Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

This is an interesting questions because as the lesson recognizes, virtue and action ethics are interconnected.  That being said, I believe it is more important to perform good acts.  Regardless of whether the person is good, when they perform good acts it has a positive effect on everything else.  I place more weight on doing what is right because the action is what will have an impact.  There are many great people who want to do good things, but never get around to it.  They might be good people, but they never did anything to help out and create a positive impact.  The flip-side is people who perform good acts, but have hidden motives.  Celebrities are a good example because I’m sure many of them only do charity out of self-interest.  Regardless of the fact that they are acting out of self-interest, their actions have a positive effect on the world.  This is not an easy question, but I believe we are judged by our actions, not our thoughts or intentions.

Do the ends justify the means (ends ethics vs. means ethics)?

I believe that there are many situations where the ends justify the means. For example consider a person who was wrongly convicted and sentenced to death. In this case a lawyer would be justified to break the law in order to overturn the wrongful conviction.  There are however limits when thinking about ends ethics.  The means that get you to the end cannot be too extreme.  This is where the essential problem with ends ethics lies.  How do you determine what’s justified and what isn’t?  I believe that for most things the end result is what matters as long as it is positive.  I would rather have someone do something immoral if the end effect outweighs their transgression.  I can however think of many situations where the means would not be justified by the end result.  I think that both types of ethics have a place in society.  Sometimes the means can be justified by the end.  In other cases the means cannot be justified by the end result.  We need to evaluate each situation individually.  I believe that whenever possible we should try to do things the right way, but sometimes it’s ok to use questionable means if the ends justify it.

Do ecosystems matter for their own sake, or do they only matter to the extent that they impact humans (ecocentric ethics vs. anthropocentric ethics)?

I believe that ecosystems matter or their own sake.  My view is more in line with ecocentric ethics because we as humans do not have a right to everything.  Natural environments and their living organisms have just as much a right to exist as we do.  I understand that humans are the ultimate apex predator and can basically do whatever we want with nature.  Just because we have the power, it doesn’t mean we should use it.  I think that ecosystems should be left as alone as possible.  This being said I do believe that some human interaction with the environment can help save ecosystems.  We need space to live, farm and exist.  Every natural environment cannot be preserved, but we should try to be as sustainable as possible.  If making a forest a national park can help preserve it, that’s what we should do.  It won’t be unspoiled wilderness, but it’s the best we can do.  If houses need to be built they should be designed in the least environmentally damaging way.  Our actions should be sustainable, where both humans and the environment live in cohesion.


  1. I agree with the idea that ends are important than means. The consequence is the most important thing, and no one will care about how do you achieve the consequences. That is your own business to decide how to achieve the goal. For example, a math problem could have several ways to solve it, and what students need to do is only to solve it and get credits. What actions you use and whether they are appropriate or not is another question we can talk about. If you use illegal means, it is also your responsibility to bear the consequence. Same theory applies to the example in the text. To be honest, I don’t think chopping down trees is fundamentally wrong, and I only care about whether the consequence is good or not. Doctors are trying to save a dog from a car accident, which the action is right, but unfortunately the dog dies. People usually say at least they did best to save it. So what? I feel like that is excuse, and they just using this excuse to comfort themselves or other people. What is the meaning of the action? The consequence is bad, and the action becomes meaningless. That is why I believe the consequence is more important.
  2. All lives have feelings, even plants. Scientists have proved that when people sing songs and talk with plant, it will grow stronger than other plants without caring. The view of anthropocentrism in the text is totally unreasonable. Actually, I think humans are less important than species in this world. Nowadays, human active like predators. We cut down forest, causing desertization, and release greenhouse gases, causing global warming. These are impacts of human activities. People even don’t know how to coexist with the ecosystem, but how could some people believe human are more important? However, as mentioned in the text,” we live in a society where specialism is already present and we are already getting a special treatment” I doubt this idea. Talking about virtue, we all know that racism is not good so we are trying our best to improve this situation. We should do same thing to specialism, not let them develop stronger. I understand that we are on the top of the food chain, but one and the most important point we all should never forget is that we are still one part of the food chain, which means in this ecosystem, we do not have any privileges. The nature didn’t treat us special but we think we are special. The nature selected dinosaurs to be the ruler before, like human today, but the nature also selected to destroy them. We may be stronger and cleverer than other species, but that doesn’t mean we are special. On the other, the example about giving death for hunting a deer is not quit right. Human are omnivores; eating meat is okay, like other species also hunting others for food. The wrong thing is that we kill and torture animals for entertainment. I believe those people should be punished by laws. In conclusion, all species are equal, so we shouldn’t look down on them.
  3. This question is really depended on the situation. Theoretically, life is equal for every one. However, it is depended on how do we value our life. Think about fireman, or any other rescue workers, do their lives worth less than other people? Most people may not agree with this idea, so the point is why they are willing to rescue other people in the case of highly risks, even life dangerous? Is it worthy when a policeman sacrifices himself to save a girl form a criminal? On the other hand, think about why we exist? Why we live on this world? What is the meaning of our life? As far as I am concerned, we live to realize the value of our lives. When a fireman rescues a person, he achieves his life value. In addition, Chinese people were influenced by the concept of altruism thousands of years. We had many old sayings like “sacrifice myself to achieve our goal”, “Be the first to worry about the troubles across the land, the last to enjoy universal happiness” or “Who will enter the hell if I don’t?” so I believe I am also an altruism. If under some extremely situations that my life could exchange more people’s lives, I am willing to do it. I believe at that time my life have value and meaning.

Module 3: Pavelko-Fox

2. Do the ends justify the means (ends ethics vs. means ethics)?

An important question in the context of action ethics we must ask ourselves is if what we are doing now will eventually lead to a justifiable outcome. I believe that this is a difficult question to answer without any context, it all depends on what the situation is and who is involved. For instance, America is the only country to have ever used nuclear capabilities in war. Nearing the end of World War II our government had to make a decision, should they drop nuclear bombs on two small cities in Japan? If they did it would kill thousands of innocent civilians but would most likely bring an end to the war, potentially saving more lives than those that would have been lost. However they would still be killing thousands of innocent Japanese and weren’t even sure that the war would come to an end. They decided to use the bombs and it did end the war in Japan,however many people were still killed. This is a case where we really aren’t sure whether the ends justify the means. We don’t know what the other outcome could have been had we decided not to use nuclear capabilities. Of course there are some more black and white scenarios like, if I stay up all night to finish a show on Netflix, is it worth losing sleep and decreasing your productivity the next day at work or school. For me it is simple, the answer is no. Nothing is ever clear cut and no matter what decision you make you are never going to know the ends (results) of what else could have happened had you chosen the other option. In most cases though I would agree, the ends do justify the means.

4. Do ecosystems matter for their own sake, or do they only matter to the extent that they impact humans (ecocentric ethics vs. anthropocentric ethics)?

We live in a time where anthropocentric ethics is more important than ecocentric ethics. It’s part of the reason for the climate change we are experiencing and why the sustainability of the human race is becoming more questionable. I believe in considering the welfare of non-human animals and their environments just as much as the welfare of humans. Destroying or altering an ecosystem effects the animals and natural processes in that environment. It is like the butterfly effect, one small action triggers a series of other events that can spiral out of control. If too much thought is placed on what is important for humans we neglect the natural world, and without the natural world humans wouldn’t exist. Ultimately what it comes down to is that ecosystems should be held at a higher standard because they are just as important to people as the new Wal-mart they are putting in that field or the road they are running through that forest. Every city, town, store, or restaurant that has ever been built has probably destroyed an ecosystem. It doesn’t matter how small it may seem, if we can’t take care of the ecosystems (some of which are necessary for our survival) then the ecosystems can’t take care of us.

6. Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?

This is another complicated question to answer. Speaking from a moral standpoint, no human life is worth more or less than anyone else’s. Ethically I believe this is true in most cases. Now I understand that this is a bold statement but let me elaborate. If you had a choice to save someone who works as a surgeon at the local hospital or a criminal serving multiple life sentences, who would you save. I would save the doctor who is capable of saving other lives. Don’t get me wrong a person is a person and every life matters but in certain situations you may have to look at the bigger picture. I know I would save myself before I would save a person who would spend the rest of their life in jail anyway. Recently I watched a video clip from a show which took place at a hospital. We watched this clip in my management class to learn how ethics works in a business setting. The scene depicted a situation in which a child needed an organ transplant or he would die and a serial killer who was admitted into the ER after he tried committing suicide was found to be a perfect match. This was a great example of what ethical action to take and who is more important, saving a child or saving a serial killer. There is always a gray area in which you really have to sit down and analyze what to do or what you should do.

Ethics Opinions

4)  Ecosystems matter for their own sake rather than on humans because in the end, nature has more control than the human race.  Looking back in time, there have been several instances where the Earth has gone through mass extinctions.  In these time periods, a large majority of the Earth’s species were eliminated all at once.  With that in mind, it is somewhat selfish to think that the human race will be able to withstand nature.  Human’s need ecosystems to thrive; however, it’s a one way street since ecosystems don’t need humans.  Ecosystems have been around for billions of years which is significantly longer than the time humans have been alive.  In conclusion, if the entire human race was to disappear, nature would thrive retaking over the planet.   If ecosystems were to disappear, humanity would be quickly extinguished due to their dependence on nature.

5)  As a human, I think it is natural to believe that the human species is more important than all other species.  You see that with today’s society because even though we know pollution is harmful to other species, humans continue to pollute the environment.  For example, it is well-known that both coral reefs and rain forests are the most bio diverse places on earth, yet for some reason people still have no remorse in destroying the sacred ecosystems.  Not all human’s hate the environment.  Some believe that humans are not the most important species and because of that they try to protect other animals.  For example, it isn’t in our best interest for species to go extinct.  This is why national parks exist, in hope to preserve nature and support the needs of other species.  In the end, I think half of human population believes that humans pleasure and pain is more important than any other species, and the other half feels the opposite way.

6)  Of course generically speaking most people will say that their own life is worth more than someone else’s.  It’s a natural tendency to be confident in yourself and believe that you are greater than you actually are.  With that being said, there are rare cases upon which someone truly thinks of others before themselves.  Personally I think that depending on the other person, I could value my life as greater than, less than or equal to another person’s life.  In my mind, I’d rate this based off of productivity in society.  If there was someone smarter, more creative and hard-working than me I would value their life higher than mine.  On the opposite side of the spectrum, if the person was lazy and careless I would like to believe that I am more important than that person.

Module 3 – Ethics (J. Pamplin)

Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts?

I believe it is more important to perform good acts than it is to merely be a good person for several reasons, chiefly because of the tangible and intangible impacts of performing good deeds. Another reason I favor the performance of good acts is because it has a greater chance of inspiring other good acts and other good people. What I find trickiest about the question is the definition of the word “good.” Also tricky is the definition of “acts.” Would inaction be considered an act? For example, if a person who aims to perform a good deed resists giving money to a panhandler because the s/he feels the contribution enables the panhandler, is that inaction an act? To carry the scenario further, would a person who fears giving to the panhandler enables them chooses to do so because they want to help the person in the immediate future (versus sending a longer-term message) be considered a good person performing a good deed or a good person performing a harmful deed? Those questions aside, I believe it is more impactful to perform good deeds because the products of those deeds will more often than not result in or contribute to a good outcome. Simply being a good person seems to me like potential energy whereas performing good deeds is more kinetic.

Does the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions?

I believe the process by which decisions are made is important. What’s troubling is the potential for a solid process producing unfavorable outcomes. If a process were in place that would determine an environmental policy based on the number of votes each potential policy received, and the electorate was comprised of more voters who stand to benefit from an environmentally destructive course of action, then the policy that wins the day would likely be unfavorable to the environment. An alternative is to in some way disenfranchise those who have a conflict of interest so as to not arrive at the expected destructive policy. If done in this circumstance, the same would have to be done elsewhere. Then, for instance, minorities would or could be barred from voting on Civil Rights – a matter in which they might have substantially more to gain than the majority; hence, a conflict of interest. I believe the process should be the focus because it is able to be refined to preserve fairness. Different parties may disagree on the outcomes but can agree on the process. It is not lost on me that matters such as Civil Rights progress often faces hurdles because of process. Why vote on equal protection when it’s “obviously” the right choice? Still, if I have to choose one, I lean toward process as the more important focal point.

Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less?

My life is more important to me than are the lives of others but my life has no greater value than the lives of others. In the abstract, it feels elementary to proclaim that the value of my life is equal to the value of the lives of others. Looking at the way I live my life, though, it’s clear that I think my life is more important. One way I know this uncomfortable truth exists is that I do not sacrifice all that I have above what I need in service of others. I volunteer regularly and have for my entire life (thanks to the example of my mother and others) and I give often to charities (almost as a reflex), but I have never given to the point that I was in serious discomfort after having done so. It isn’t that I don’t know ways of giving more exhaustively, it’s that I know and still choose a level of comfort over actions that I am sure would literally save the lives of others. What makes it easy is that most of those whose lives I would save are far away from me and I am able to resist thinking of them when I, say, spend more than I should for a luxury. I am also able to take comfort in the fact that I give more than most, even though I know I don’t give as much as I could. If I were asked to influence another person on whether to do something to benefit me or benefit someone else, to save my life or save someone else’s, in that situation my view of “value” would emerge; but left for me to decide, I have shown that I value my life and lifestyle over others.


Module 3: Ethics

  • Is it more important to be a good person or to preform good acts? (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)
    • I believe that it is more important to be a good person than to preform good acts. I have met many people that preform good acts, but are not good people. There are many people out there that try to make themselves seem like good people by doing things like donating to charities and even holding the door open for the person behind them but I believe if they are not good people at heart, these acts mean little to nothing. Of course it is great to donate to charities and that money is not going to change depending on who gives it away but someone who is donating to be able to look better for their own agenda as opposed to someone who is donating because they believe in the cause and want to make the world better, is where the true meaning is. A good person generally does good acts with some exemptions, but generally wants to bring good into the world for the benefit of everyone. A person that only preforms good acts is not looking out for others and only for their own agenda. This is why I believe that it is more important to be a good person than to preform good acts.
  • Do the ends justify  the means? (ends ethics vs. means ethics)
    • I believe that generally, the ends do justify the means. I do believe that it is important to make sure that when making decisions that you have to go through a lot to get to the desired end, exactly what means are to be taken must be put into consideration. There is always that great debate that people are often asked, would you kill a small number of people if you knew that it would save the lives of many others. Like all ethical views, there is no straight forward, correct answer. I personally believe that if I knew that by killing a few people, I would be saving many more then I would. But even taking almost the exact same scenario and changing it to the few people that I would have to kill would be people close to me I would not be able to do it. Even if I knew that I would be killing many other people in making that decision. In the second scenario, my means would be that they were people that I love and care for and could not bring myself to do it. The ends would be the other people dying and to me the ends would justify the means but to others, it might be completely different. 
  • Do the pleasure and pain of non-human animals matter as much as the pleasure and pain of humans? (speciesism)
    • I believe that the pleasure and pain of non-human animals matter as much as the pleasure and pain of humans. I believe that just because humans have been able to evolve and have the ability to make decisions about other animals, does not mean that we deserve a better quality of life. No animal, human or not, should have to go through pain and suffering and no matter it is a rodent or human, it does not make it better. Animal cruelty has been around forever and it is something that I have never been able to understand. I do not understand why people believe that it is okay to harm animals just because they are not human and can. Testing on dogs and rabbits and even rats seems better than people but in reality they should be held to the same standard. They are unable to defend themselves and unlike humans, they have no input on situations they are put into. Just because humans are lucky enough to be in the power position on the food chain, does not make the lives of all other non-human animals any less important.

Module 3 – Ethics

  1. I personally believe that it is more important to be a person who performs good acts because ultimately, if you are that type of person, then it automatically means that you are somewhat a good person yourself. I am a firm believer of the popular saying “Actions speak louder than words”. A person who fights for human rights, animal rights etc. and actually consecrates their time and energy to these causes will always be more believable and respected then the individual that simply speaks, posts Facebook statuses and tweets about these issues and how wrong they are. It’s absolutely amazing and important to have good intentions but to actually go out of your way to perform actions, to start a movement and gather a bunch of people that share similar views is completely admirable. Humans, groups of individuals are able to change the world and I think if more people believed this, then the negative outcomes that the world presents to us would diminish. I say this because I am a good person, rather than being the person that performs good acts and it’s something that I fundamentally want to change about myself.


  1. The answer to the question of whether the ends justify the means ultimately depends on what said ends are and the procedures are being used in order to meet these goals. I am a firm believer of people doing whatever it takes in order to achieve their aspirations and success, however, if the way that they going about doing this is dishonest, immoral and negatively impacts other people, then they probably should not be aiming to achieve said goals. I also believe in karma. Lies and other dishonest behaviors that were used in order to achieve a positive outcome will always eventually come to the light at the most unexpected times and will ultimately negatively impact the individual. There is a strong difference between achieving something through some form of competition with a peer and completely sabotaging your peer in order to move up. I believe actions should be performed in an honest, “fair and square” manner.


  1. I do not believe that my life or any other life is more important than the next; every life is worth the same and worth saving. We are all important, unique and special individuals in our own way and whether we believe it or not, we were all created the same and for a purpose. Every single one of us has the abilities to contribute to the world in some way, whether it is by saving a life, giving life, fighting for social rights, making somebody’s day more enjoyable etc. and that should not be taken for granted. This is my view on the subject matter with an ethical point of view. On the other hand, when I approach this question in a personal matter, there are lives that will always be more important and worth more than others to me. For example, I believe my mother’s life is worth more than the girl’s who sits next to me in math class. I would risk my own life for my mother’s sake any day but I couldn’t say the same for said girl in my math class. The world has also shown to us that every human life is not worth the same and that some should be valued more than others with atrocious historical events such as slavery, the holocaust, genocides etc.


Ryan Gebhardt – Modulus 3

Question 1: Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

This is the classic case of “what makes someone good?” I believe this question is fundamentally flawed because it fails to understand what ‘good’ is, in my opinion. I believe ‘good’ can not be objectively stated in all cases. An interesting (and somewhat extreme) case of this is one person many believe was the most evil man to walk the Earth, Adolf Hitler. Hitler committed many atrocities in his lifetime, but he still believed he was not only a good person, but he also was performing ‘good’ acts for the betterment of mankind. We may sit here and think he was insane for believing so, but what do you judge his decisions based off of? I don’t believe there is some absolute ‘good’ to judge every decision against. Every action we make is relative to our own moral compass and it is only the self that can determine what is ‘good’ in our eyes. We all like to believe we are not only good people, but our actions are for the most part ‘good’ acts.

Question 3: Does the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions (procedural justice vs. distributive justice)?

I believe that the process of how decisions are made are either even more important than the decisions themselves. I believe a great example of this is our justice system (at least in theory.) Our justice system has the duty of determining who is innocent and who is guilty, which in some cases is also the decisions between life and death. The process by which this decision is made is far more important to me than what the actual result is. I’ll use an example to explain my reasoning. Imagine a scenario in which a man is on trial for murder. The prosecution offers a piece of evidence which is damning, like the murder weapon with the defendants finger-prints on it. However it comes to light the prosecution broke into the defendants home without a warrant and found it in his closet. from the outside it’s obvious that the man did the crime, but should he face punishment? They had the evidence to convict the man, but only after committing a crime themselves. The method in which one makes a decision should be the the spirit of the decision itself, i.e, if one wants practice law, they must stay within the law themselves.

Question 4: Do ecosystems matter for their own sake, or do they only matter to the extent that they impact humans (ecocentric ethics vs. anthropocentric ethics)?

As humans, I believe we are only capable of believing they matter to the extent that they impact us. I do not believe humans have an inherent connection to the ecosystems outside our human environment. The only connection we have to the many multitudes of ecosystems in this world today is how they directly, or indirectly, affect our lives and the sentiment we show towards them. There are many reasons why we need to respect and maintain our ecosystems in today’s world, considering we draw so many resources from it. In the long-run the only thing keeping ecosystems from being rolled over by human development is our own sense of sentiment towards their utter complexity and beauty. What this means is that the value we each individually give to the ecosystems of our planet is the only value that can exist,. Without humans to subjectively determine value, no value can exist. Therefore anthropocentric views are the only view we can truly hold on to.

Question 5: Do the pleasure and pain of non-human animals matter as much as the pleasure and pain of humans (speciesism)?

This is a particularly hot topic of debate that more often than not leads to polarization of either side. In my opinion, there is a stark difference in the lives and experiences of humans and animals. Humans have the extraordinary ability of conscious thought. We can make decisions, ideas, revolutions, and philosophize. I believe this to be an incredibly important distinction when valuing the lives of humans to non-human animals. Our brains are not fully understood machines, but we are so far ahead of non-humans in intellect that it may be true that there exists a sort of existential line that, once crossed, catapults that creature’s brain to one of a self-aware thinking being. If I had to choose between the pain of a human or the pain of an animal, I would always choose the animal. Likewise, if the decision was of pleasure, I would always choose the human to experience pleasure. In some capacity animals are more like machines experiencing things, while humans are capable of understanding the impact of the effects.


I accidentally did 4 questions, might as well keep all four up though.

Ethics Views

Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

In my opinion, I believe it is more important to perform good acts than to be a good person. In order be considered a good person one must perform good acts to justify this. These acts provide some level of measurability to what is considered good,bad or just okay. It does not matter if you are a genuinely good person or a bad person. What matters is the impact you have made on society. For example, a celebrity decides to donate $1 billion dollars to the world hunger foundation solely for publicity purposes. Though the motive is selfish and narcissistic, the money donated will still be used to help thousands of people. In the end it does not matter that the celebrity is a bad person. That good act the celebrity performed is what is important and is what will be remembered. It is more important to focus on what a person should do as opposed to how a person should be.


.Do ecosystems matter for their own sake, or do they only matter to the extent that they impact humans


Ecosystems matter mostly for the extent that they impact humans.I think this is unfair because humans are only able to thrive because of the ecosystem. However, this is true for most things.Our views are extremely anthropocentric . When considering just about anything, the focus is first on how on how humans will be affected then other things are considered. When we talk about environmental issues such as global warming we focus on how these issues affect humans. For example, global warming is decreasing the amount of cold water fish available. The climate change is completely changing the habitat which is killing a considerable amount of fish. Humans tend to focus on how this is affecting the restaurant industry and the availability of fish for their next meal. We have placed ourselves at the top of the ecosystem in regards to importance.

Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?

I think this question is difficult because the answer is circumstantial and varies by perspective. When first answering the question I felt that my life is worth the same as any other person’s life. I believe that all people should be treated  equally thus no life is more or less important than another. However, if I were asked this question in an extreme situation such as being held at gunpoint I would probably feel my life is worth more than others. In this situation,I would only be concerned with my own welfare.In a situation like this I think it is instinctive to be selfish.   I next thought of this question from the perspective of society as a whole. Society tends to favor wealthier people or people belonging to certain ethnicities. I think in some situations the life of a doctor could be considered more valuable than the life of a cashier.

Learning Activity: Your Ethics Views

1.Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

I believe that it is more important to be a good person than it is to perform good acts. Now, others may disagree with me on this; however, good people are the best to be around and involved with. Grant it, performing good acts is a great for the soul, but is it really doing them any good if they are not 100% true of them? I would much rather deal with someone with a good heart who  does good deeds than someone who is not true to those around them in the acts they perform. Not being true to yourself gives a fake identity to others viewing you. In my own experiences of working with people, I can vouch that it is much more pleasant and satisfying to work with someone who is a good person inside and out rather than the person who is just there to perform the good act. Performing good acts certainly is a good thing, but it starts from having those good intentions.

5.Do the pleasure and pain of non-human animals matter as much as the pleasure and pain of humans (speciesism)?

Absolutely, yes! Now, I am in no way an animal rights activist who is going to throw these obscure facts in your face that eating animals is wrong (I am an active meat eater, myself); however, just because they are a food source does not mean that animals do not matter as much as we humans. It has been proven in many different experiments over time that animals do have feelings and are able to feel pain, happiness, fear, and many more. It is not fair to think of them lesser than ourselves. If we were being hunted or harvested by a much greater predator, would our pleasure and pain matter as much as that superior species? I am certain that you would believe that our feelings still matter just as much as every living organism around you.

6.Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?

Whenever I was little, I always thought that the world revolved around me (typical bratty child). I also thought that there was always a plan for me throughout my life. I was not until many years down the road where I realized that the lives of others matter just as much as mine. Now, I use to be selfish enough to believe that I was more important than others, and that their lives did not matter nearly as much as my own. It was not until I started volunteering my time in different youth organizations where I noticed that these children are our leaders of tomorrow; they are the ones we should be looking towards and promoting. It would not be fair to think that Little Johnny did not deserve an ice cream cone and I did simply because of the belief that he did not matter as much as I did. Life is not always fair, but that does not mean that the lives of others do not matter.

Shaud Unit 3

Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?

My life is worth at least as much as the lives of others, especially those who are total strangers and have not been affected by my actions. I lean toward the selfishness side of this argument because our lives are looked out for by ourselves, not others. In order to give ones self a best chance, it is best to put us before others. Not everyone does this but it is important to recognize that each person is, basically, the master of their own fate and is capable of making choices for themselves. Therefore having the power of controlling my actions gives me precedent over someone else because I cannot control their actions. However, obviously this is true for everyone and it is expected that to another person, their life is worth at least as much as mine. This has exceptions in things like friends and family, as there is a relationship there which allows for some degree of action in their lives and them in yours. Saying ones life is less worthy than another persons is against human nature and simply impossible to quantify unless some relationship exists with that other person.

Do the ends justify the means (ends ethics vs. means ethics)?

Yes, the ends do justify the means. Progress involves sacrifice, pain, and often unfortunate effects along the way. Halting the road to success because there is a pothole is a great way to get nowhere. Obviously this is limited to those with sound judgement, good ethical principals, and who are only seeking the end goal and not any unfortunate thing along the way. It is impossible to say exactly where this line is drawn between acceptable and unacceptable means to an end but that is where the debate comes in. Saying that the ends never justify the means in ridiculous. A homeless man should be able to steal a loaf a bread in order to survive. A homeless man obviously should not be able to beat someone to survive however. Laws exist to prevent people from going overboard in their pursuit of a goal, breaking even a slight law and getting caught results in punishment. However, many times it is okay to break that law. Overall, the ends can and often do justify the means, but there are definitely things to limit this. Someones life cannot be taken to save 2 but probably can be taken to save 20,000. Unfortunately this brings things like racism and speciesm into the question. There are some things that are justified for progress but there is a very big limit to what is justifiable.

Do ecosystems matter for their own sake, or do they only matter to the extent that they impact humans (ecocentric ethics vs. anthropocentric ethics)?

Ecosystems matter for their own sake, not just for their impact on humans. While humans are the “most important” species in the fact that it is wrong to put a human life behind an animals, destroyed an ecosystem which affects a large variety of living creatures is wrong and dangerous. Humans are a part of the ecosystem and the center of it but certainly not the only important part of it. Should humans suddenly die off the ecosystem would change but still exist meaning it already has some inherent value apart from our lives. Taking the view that only things that impact humans are important is wrong, much in the same way saying only things that impact me are important and nothing else matters for its own sake. That is a bad road to go down and while an ecosystems impact on humans is extremely important, there is certainly inherent value outside of that.

Ethics Module 3


  1. Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

I believe action ethics/ good acts, is definitely more important than virtue ethics because according to me, a good person has well defined personality traits and never does harm to others. However, anyone can fake personality, but their actions define what kind of person they are. I think, a good person is one who makes all the promises but good acts decide whether the person is capable of fulfilling the promises or not. It is said people judge you by your actions and not your intentions. For example : Coming from India, there was an unmarried woman who lived in my neighbourhood. She lived alone and never got along with anyone in the neighbourhood. She was a busy working woman, working hard to earn her living. People in the society, as she didn’t interact with them kept gossiping about her, saying she is very self-centred. But one day, a poor man got in trouble and as caste system prevails in India, he was from a lower caste and nobody was ready to help him except her. That day her actions made her respectful in everyone’s eyes, even higher than most of the respectable people in the neighbourhood. Also, in this case, I am too confident about my opinion that I highly doubt that any difference in circumstances; periods or places will change it.

  1.   Does the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions (procedural justice vs. distributive justice)?

Yes, the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions because, if the process is right the outcome will automatically become right. Normally, in real life, before making a decision we examine every situation that makes us take a decision, as well as we consider every little detail that the decision will affect in future. After understanding these points we jump to a conclusion of whether the decision is right or not, so that we don’t regret the decision in future. Therefore, in procedural justice we can expect a good outcome or we are satisfied with the decision rather than being random and regretting later. Also, no one in this world has seen the future, so no one can tell whether the decision outcome will be good or bad, but going through a process to make it happen can give us a peace of mind and can raise our expectations for a good outcome.

  1. Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?

No my life is not worth more than the lives of others. But being honest and selfish, most of the time that “others” include the people I love. Personally speaking, I’m not an emotional person so it is hard for me to gather myself around emotions and give someone else more worth than myself. According to me, if I was ever put in a situation to decide, lives of my family and friends would come before mine, but lives of strangers would be worth same as mine. So I am not sure if I’ll be selfish with strangers or selfless with them, it can change depending on different circumstances, periods, or places. For example if that stranger is a child or someone younger than me or someone older than me, but has his/her whole family dependent on them, then without a doubt I’ll be selfless with them and will be willing to give up my life for them. However, if that individual is a criminal or someone who is good for nothing then I’ll be selfish and put myself before them.


Module # 3 Ethics

1. In consideration of “Is it important to be a good person or to perform good acts?” (virtue ethics v. action ethics); the answer to this question to me is both. A person who is a good person is very likely in my opinion to also perform good acts. Virtue could be a person thinking of assisting in the Peace Corps or humanitarian aid efforts helping people in need. Until this assistance is put into action it is a thought, as just someone who truly cares about humanity and helping where help may be needed. Placing this thought of a virtue into action would create a situation where the ends justify the means as a result of such actions being taken and actually helping people. So the thought is equally important as is performing good acts.

3. In consideration of “Does the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions?”(procedural justice v. distributive justice); Again my answer to this question is both. Procedural justice and the mechanisms and what goes into formulating procedural justice is as important as the outcome. I think an example of an ethical and balanced criminal justice system with jury trials for example in a Democracy with checks and balance accountability is equal to distributive justice thereby in effect after the decisions about procedure are fairly constructed. The process is very important in formulation and ultimately carrying thru with the Distributive. Does one matter more than the other? No in my opinion they both go together.

4. In consideration of “Do ecosystems matter for there own sake, or do the only matter to the extent they impact humans? (ecocentric ethics v. anthropocentric ethics); Ecosystems DO matter for there own sake as well as the impact on humans. Ecocentric ethic matter in the matter of Ecosystems as they can remain and sustain a perfectly healthy and balanced environment completely on there own with out disturbance. The benefits of such are many to man kind also inclusive of healthy air to breathe and water to drink not even mentioning an Anthropocentric interest. The human benefit (Anthropocentric) is also important as we are human beings on the same planet. Finding and creating a delicate and sustainable balance between the two are most beneficial to all creation.

Module 3: Gershom Espinoza

2. Do the ends justify the means (ends ethics vs. means ethics)?
I’ll take the road less traveled here and say both (read forwards and backwards). First, reading it forward, the end goal should justify the process of how one sets about to accomplish their “ends” because the end purpose itself shouldn’t be compromised. However, by the very same token, the means of how one sets about to accomplish their goal should adhere to the principle of the “goal” as close as possible. While very hard to stick to both in life, by using both sets of standards, I for one can see how far I have compromised in what I wanted to achieve and in how I went about doing it. An example can be found between the Soviet Union and the U.S. during the cold war specifically on the “peace talks” amongst the arms race. Regardless of when the peace talks (meaning mutual agreements not use weapons of mass destruction) began, what’s more important to consider is that while the talks were ongoing both nations were still stockpiling nuclear warheads and countless other weapons. The “ends” or in this case, peace talks, were compromised by how both nations set out to achieve that, which was to strategically have more weapons than the other nation thereby forcing defeat. Granted self-preservation was a key role, but looking back upon such similar agreements, it seems silly to have peace talks or treaties when the very same participating countries are boosting their military capabilities thereby ironically showing no faith or trust in the “binding” word of nations. (Yes, I understand we don’t live in a utopia but as I once read…fighting for peace is like “screwing” for virginity)
1.Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?
Performing good acts is better than being a good person or better yet a person with “good” intentions. Though words can be an excellent means of expression, actions dictate what actually occurs and as actions usually have motive behind them; I consider actions “intentions or ideas” acted upon. While words can influence our actions, when one is changing a habit it is the act of repetitively changing or altering what one wishes to change that quite frankly demonstrates more willpower. For example, growing up on the typical American/Hispanic diet I considered myself healthy because my diet addressed most if not all needs in addition to the fact that I was a very active teenager. Around early high school however, I had above average blood pressure which especially shocked me because I would spend around 4 hours minimum (no exaggeration) on training for sports plus actual sports practice. Tired of hearing about eating “healthy” (I am not condoning the typical American/ Hispanic diet; rather I changed my diet to address a health concern) I decided to significantly change my everyday diet for the rest of my life (but right now taking it a month at a time) starting this year and so far I have stuck to my goal. However, when the actions of a collective group of people aren’t working as effectively or efficiently then that is when it is more important to step back from the situation and look at the options, then DO IT (Shia Labeouf style!). Lastly, intentions can only do so much but actions; history is full of people who performed extraordinarily good deeds.
4. Do ecosystems matter for their own sake, or do they only matter to the extent that they impact humans (ecocentric ethics vs. anthropocentric ethics)?
Personally, I favor the anthropocentric view more so than an ecocentric outtake. As I see it, if humans didn’t exist it would make no difference as to how “nature ran its course per se.” Besides the obvious bias, I also look at ecosystems from the point of view that humans are the only animals who can significantly alter the landscape they live upon. (In terms of sheer number and size of objects humans have and could make in the history of mankind) Due to this “craftsmanship” ability I look at how the ecosystem could best serve the interests of humans (because of the unique capabilities we have) at the sacrifice of the animals who aren’t represented in the “decision making” process. Though again, I would take great care as to preserve or conserve part of the ecosystem so as to make sure resources weren’t being outstripped compared to their replenishing rates.

Ethic Views

  1. Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?
  • I think it is more important to be a good person than to perform good acts. I think if somebody is truly a good person, their natural intuition would be to do good acts. Somebody who does good acts might not have the right intentions behind that act. They might only be doing it for attention, or for some anthropocentric reason. Virtue is greater than action because virtue ethics determine what we should be and it is better if a person is doing an action genuinely because they are a good person, not just because they feel like they should or have to – it is more important to be a good person than to simply do good things. To be a good person means that someone is performing things due to his or her moral values. Like the module states however, actions and virtues can go hand in hand, and in order to be a good person, you have to perform good actions and vice versa. Like Aristotle once said, the origin of action is choice and that of choice is desire. Good actions begin with who we are, which is why I feel it is more important to be a good person.
  1. Do the ends justify the means (ends ethics vs. means ethics)?
  • I do not believe that the ends justify the means, because no matter how good of an intention a person has, this intention cannot justify actions that are immoral and unethical. Though there can be a right way of doing things that has a positive payoff in the end without committing evil acts, this is only one instance of when the ends could possibly justify the means, but there are too many evil actions that could be taken with good intentions that hinders this claim. The more important thing is the action itself, not the consequences, because even if the consequences yield something good, if the actions were bad, the entirety of the situation is a bad situation. This reminds me of something Hitler would have said to justify his actions – murdering millions of Jewish people to achieve the end goal of “unifying” Germany. These morally wrong actions were not necessary in order to achieve what Hitler believed to be a morally right outcome. By saying that the ends justify the mean, Hitler could say his actions were morally right because of the virtue of the morality of his outcome – which was a unified Germany. This is why I do not believe that the ends justify the means.
  1. Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?
  • I believe that my own life is worth the same as others. This belief stems from attendance at a Catholic school for my entire life outside of college. Here, I was taught to believe that everybody is made is the same image and likeness. Though this is not the common belief of everybody, I see that we are all made of the same DNA and there is nothing that sets anybody apart than physical appearance, because inside we are all the same, which is why all lives matters. However, if it came down to it, I would sacrifice my lives for somebody else because I believe in altruism and putting others before yourself. However, the life I would have sacrificed would have had the same value and worth as the one I saved. I also believe it is responsible to take care of my own life, but also to take care of others in the same way – following the belief to treat others as the way I would like to be treated. When looking at equality, I find it important for everybody to see that they are important individuals with the same dignity and right as others.

Adriana’s Ethics Views

  1. Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

I believe being a good person includes your actions. For example, if you truly believe it is the right thing to help someone get up after they have fallen or hurt themselves, then you are most likely to help someone up after they have fallen. However, I believe in reducing plastic in our landfill or giving change to a homeless person, but sometimes I do not recycle and I do not give change to every homeless person I see. I consider myself an overall good person, but perhaps my convenience is at times more important. Some may perform “good actions” for selfish reasons or because it is an obligation. For example, some kids will help their parents wash the dishes or take out the trash because they will receive an allowance at the end of the week, or a person will give community service in order to be taken off probation. This would indicate that good actions does not always equal good person. When it comes to a person’s psychological well-being I believe virtue ethics is more important and when it comes to the well-being of others and the surrounding environment I believe action ethics is more important.

2. Does the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions (procedural justice vs. distributive justice)?

In my perspective distributive justice matters more than procedural justice. If there are decisions being made that improve sustainability of the environment and the well-being of humans and nonhumans, then the process in which the decision is made does not really matter to me. However, if decisions are being made that hurt the well-being of the people and the surrounding environment, then procedural justice becomes important. In this case it is important to make sure the people have a voice and the people who represent the environment and nonhuman species have a voice, or the right people are appointed to represent these voices. For example, if there is mass deforestation in order to print more money and other paper products, then procedural justice is more important in order to sustain the environment. But if trees are being cut down in order to prevent forest fires which would save more trees down the line, then distributive justice is more significant.

3. Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?

I think it is natural instinct to be somewhat selfish because we want to survive. Most care more about their own well-being over others. However, there is a balance and I believe many of us are trying to find that balance between selfishness and altruism. For example, if my brother needed a kidney I would give him mine, but I might not necessarily give it to a stranger. Most people will go above and beyond for their family or the people they love, but I could argue that the reason why we help them could be for selfish reasons. If I had to pick between giving my kidney to my brother and a stranger I would give it to my brother because I want him to be in my life. So as I am being altruistic by helping my brother, I am being selfish by putting my life and feelings as priority to another’s. Some argue that children’s lives are worth more than adults because they have not had the privilege of living as long or that the life of a mother of three is more important than a person with no family to care for. I believe all lives have worth and that we all need to keep in mind the consequences our decisions have on others.

My Ethics

  1. Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

It is more important to be a good person than to perform good acts because of the importance of intention. Performing good acts may be simply for show and may not be done with the best effort. On the other hand, a good person will indulge in good acts too, but they will do it because they want to. Even if they do not, in my opinion, a good person is someone who does not perform bad acts, or more importantly does not enjoy or intend to perform bad acts. Therefore, the difference that I see between the two is that performing good acts represents a good action, but a good person represents a good heart. The first step to changing others or the world is to change oneself and become the example. Being good is important to do good because it requires motivation and faith. If a person has a good heart, good acts are bound to follow, so virtue ethics is more important than action ethics because action ethics is a branch of the former.

  1. Do the pleasure and pain of non-human animals matter as much as the pleasure and pain of humans (speciesism)?

I strongly believe that the pleasure and pain of non-human animals matter just as much as the pleasure and pain of humans. I do not believe that humans have any more right in this world than other species. This does not apply only to humans and animals, but also plants and the earth in general. Animals are often given less priority because humans “need” a certain area that may be a habitat, a certain good that may come from animal skin, and so on. Rather, humans “want” these things, not so much “need” them. For example, poaching, stuffing, logging are not always necessary (the first two definitely are not). There is definitely a strong and easy possibility for humans and animals to coexist. This does not mean that eating meat is wrong. Humans eating meat is just as excusable as animals eating animals is. It is natural and a way of life; it helps against overpopulation and with sustenance. Yet, once again, humans need to consider the pleasure and pain of animals by not hunting too excessively or abusing the animals that are meant to be a source of food.

  1. Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?

It does not seem that this question can have any other answer other than “it depends.” It depends on which point of view this question is being answered. For example, someone who is educated or dedicated and is making a difference in the world may be worth more than a person who is living a life of crime. The first person may be able to touch many other lives and bring more worth to others, which accumulates. Yet, if you ask a mother this question about her child, she may say the child is worth more than the lives of others (especially if it comes to saving a child from a life or death situation). If you ask this question to a government or someone who seeks “the greater good,” the amount of lives may be the only factor that matters. Another completely different perspective is from a religious point of view. Someone who seeks salvation in the afterlife may say his or her own life matters more because in the afterlife, he or she will be accounted for his or her own actions. Now, if you look at this question from the same person’s perspective, but think of it as saving someone by sacrificing his or her self, he or she may say that the other’s life is worth more because saving someone will help them attain heaven. This question is too vague to truly answer, and is easily debatable.



Ranee Perricone – Module 3 – Ethics

  1. Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

Being a good person may keep you from doing bad acts where good acts will not keep you from doing bad acts. The reason that this class will focus on action ethics has to do with being able to sense actions, by seeing personally or feeling the effects of a positive action but knowing the virtue or a person or people in general is difficult on a small scale. In the scale of our studies it would be almost impossible. I agree with the reading that in most cases it in not a choice of one or the other, most actions are driven by virtue. The stance I take is due to the fear of bad acts by unvirtuous individuals. If there were only good acts coming from an individual it would be assumed that that was due to virtue but it may not be true. A person of that description would be a beneficial addition to society despite the fact that the virtue may not support the ideals being worked toward. This would obviously change if the bad actions started to outweigh the good.

2. Do the ends justify the means (ends ethics vs. means ethics)?

This ethical debate has to do with the impacts that will result from the “means” verses the impacts from the “ends.” In the example used of cutting down trees to stop the spread of a fire, a few trees or even many trees being cut down can save many more trees, people’s homes, and even lives. Obviously this would be an easy, almost strait forward, choice. What if the impact of the ends and means were close? Take eating candy, the end result would be satisfaction of taste buds and the means would be adding unnecessary and unhealthy calories to your diet. Would the satisfaction of your taste buds outweigh the result of the extra calories? There may be some with will power strong enough not to resist the temptation on occasion but many do fall prey to a sweet tooth. This may not be a very liberal interpretation but a good example of when impacts decide if the ends justify the means.

4. Do ecosystems matter for their own sake, or do they only matter to the extent that they impact humans (ecocentric ethics vs. anthropocentric ethics)?

For the matter of sustainability an ecocentric ethical approach would be most effective, in the sense that it would help keep the environment stable, although not completely because the pollution being produced is increasing. The ecosystem is not pollution itself in any high amounts but any changes for human benefit is almost guaranteed to have ties to pollution or create waste. The counter argument is that the increasing population will lead to the need for more land and area for production. Although it will be more than possible to increase production of the current developed areas, at some point there may be a need to use new land to keep the current standard of living. If that standard of living is to live with excess it would again be better to be ecocentrism but if there is a point where developing new land will help humans survive very few will take anthropocentric view.

Ethics – Syed Amirul

  1. Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

Ethic itself is a subjective term, just like the term ‘good’. Being good can be defined in so many ways, it does not hold a single definition and can vary according to different viewpoints such as religiously, culturally, or personally. We would all acknowledge that human should be a good person AND perform good acts-but that’s not how everyone is. I personally think that virtue ethics and action ethics are two elements that should go hand-to-hand; they complement each other. However, upon reflecting towards myself, I’m a little inclined to say that it would be more important to perform good acts rather than to be merely ‘good’ in the eyes of other people. With the definition of virtue (what we should be) versus action (what we should do), I strongly believe that taking ‘good’ actions are more impactful than being a good person alone. Taking myself as an example, I am not necessarily the most organized and neat person you might know, but I do not mess up my house because I know there are other people living with me and they would not feel comfortable with what I am comfortable with. Consequently, although you’re not ‘good’ person to begin with, performing good acts will make you appear good at least at the eyes of people who matter. A killer (by instinct) is not a criminal until he kills.


  1. Do the ends justify the means (ends ethics vs. means ethics)?

I was raised as a Muslim, and one ethical philosophy that I learned is Islam was “Intentions does not justify means”. This saying, although slightly different from the question, has the same core value. Even though most of what people want are ends that are ethically accepted, the mean at which it should be achieved should be ethical as well. My way of thinking are mostly molded by the system that I was raised in, and this system-Islam as a way of life-has provided guidelines to its followers to achieve a goal ethically; that is least harmful or best suited to a given situation. Although, I have to admit that life isn’t as simple as we might say it is. There are more complex situations in real life, one that might lead to an ethical dilemma. To this, I take the stand that most of the time, means ethics are more essential. I tend to accept that not all goals should be reached if it means the means to achieve it is not ethically sound.


  1. Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?

I believe that human lives are all equal. I do not envy the people who have more than me, but I’m petrified for the ones who have far less. I don’t believe that rich people should have less, but I wish for the impoverished, refugees, and homeless people to live their lives with better quality. My altruism isn’t based on monetary value, but rather on having a utility value that is at least the same for everyone. Humans are all created equally from the womb- all are but a white cloth, stylized within the first few years of living. To say that one’s life is more worthy than other, I question where this worth comes from? A person isn’t born to be a certain color by choice, nor does a disabled person. Should a life’s worth be put upon how people are situationally born into? I think not.

Syed Amirul

Dylan Hellings – Module 3: Ethics

1. Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts

I stand split on this issue. I find it is more of a test of rhetoric and can be argued both ways. It depends on what you define a “good person” as. If the “good person” you are thinking of is only good based on their actions, then the more important focus would be to perform good acts. Doing something for the benefit of another shows empirical positivity, so scientifically speaking, I am a better person for doing good than “being good”. However, performing good acts doesn’t always make you a good person – in the example of wealthy people giving to charity for a tax break and to call themselves a philanthropist. Some people perform good deeds for their own benefit, and not for the selfless act they are considered to be. The most generous person in the world might be a criminal. What if a drug lord makes millions upon millions of dollars at the top of a cartel that murders, rapes, and tortures people – but he puts millions of dollars into charity and building the community? Some could argue that these good acts are cancelled out by the bad acts, forming a sort of equilibrium.

2. Does the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions

Most, if not all, of these questions heavily focus on context. While in a very serious situation where the question is a matter of morality, there could be a very different answer than something more simple and straight forward. If a decision is a bad one, the process by which is was made could help explain one’s intentions. If a decision is a good one, the process might matter, but those on the receiving end of the positive outcome rarely would care about the process, possibly a more “don’t ask don’t tell” style situation. At the same time, if your decision is developed from poor judgement then the outcome does matter, whether it be good or bad. A decision should always be based off of an analysis of the various parts of a situation, not a judgement. If you go about making a choice only looking at it at face value, and not analyzing the reality of it, then odds are it’s not a good choice.

3. Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less

Inherently, our own life always matters more except in situations with very close friends or family – the “would you take a bullet for them” scenario. This being said, my life is worth as much as any life, and that is because consciousness and existence is absolute. My experiences are no more or less important than the experiences of some rice farmer in Laos, we both breathe, think, and feel like any other human, and there is no way to quantify or value consciousness beyond that it is. Although, as a species, I think some of us are a little more important in move us forward than others. But in the grand scheme of things, who even knows how long humans will be around. We are all bound the eternal void, one way or another.


Module 3: Ethics

Q1: I think it’s more important to be a good person because when I think of a good person, I think of somebody who has a level-head and doesn’t let drama or problems get in their way of being a good person and because they genuinely do things because they are a good person. They don’t do it so they can brag about it on social media and get little pats on the back. A good person does things because it makes them feel good to know they either helped someone or cheered someone up. I think it’s really rare to find someone that is genuinely a good person. Most small children that I have known are typically good people; they’re naive, but they try to be good people and even perform good acts. I believe as we grow up and become exposed to the real world, it makes us not necessarily want to not be a good person, rather it makes us have a sense of judgement of “should I do this for that person or should I not?” Someone I know very well always wants to brighten peoples days- especially if they’re having a bad one. It cheers her up to make people happy and I know she’s genuine when she does it. Does she always perform good acts? No, she doesn’t but that doesn’t make her any less of a good person.

Q3: I think the way decisions are made matter more than outcomes of these decisions. I watch a lot of Law and Order in my spare time and even though it’s just a TV show, it shows how the DA has to build his case on the information given to him and how the accused’s lawyer has to build his argument against the DA to argue for his client. Another example I have is they are remodeling where I work, and they didn’t really consult the employees that worked there about what things should change to make it easier and/or better for us. It was more along the lines of cosmetic changes that benefit us some, but not to the extent we were hoping. That would be an example of distributive justice, but my point is that I really wished they had let the workers have a say in what would change and would make things better.

Q4: I think ecosystems matter for their own sake because humans haven’t been around nearly as long as the ecosystems and animals (that have evolved by now) that have been here for millions of years. This planet really does belong to the ecosystems and the organisms that reside in them. As humans, it’s sad to think that we are slowly overpopulating the Earth and pushing some animals out of their homes and to almost extinction. Ecosystems matter because without them what are we? We need some ecosystems in order to survive and we need to take better care of the ones that we have now. So I suppose my view on this issue is ecocentric because I think the environment is important.

Module 3 – Ryan Daley

  1. Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts?
    1. Initially when I looked at this question I thought “well of course it’s more important to be a good person”.  The more I thought about it though, the more I began to think that its not as obvious as I had previously thought. I definitely think that both, being a good person and performing good acts, are important but in the end I think that performing good acts is the more ethical choice. I am justifying my choice in two ways. the first is, if you perform good acts then a greater number of people can benefit from these acts and therefore have a better impact. Secondly if you are performing good acts then there is a good chance that you are also being a good person and you can have the best of both worlds.  of course there is the possibility that you are not a good person and you are just performing good acts but I have never encountered a person of that kind. So in the end I feel that it is more ethical to be a person that performs good acts.
  2. Does the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions?
    1. I had some trouble deciding what side I am on when it comes to this question. I do believe that it is very important that matters be handled correctly and in a procedural manner. this procedural approach to crime is what keeps our society from crumbling into anarchy. Unfortunately there are flaws to this approach and it sometimes leads to bad individuals not serving time for crimes they may have committed and therefore leaving potential dangers in society. When things of this nature occur it is easy to think “well why doesn’t someone just do something about it instead of the police being held back by procedural constraints. This also presents some issues for society. When it is cool to see someone act as a Batman type hero and take justice into their own hands, what they are doing, most of the time, is illegal. Sometimes these vigilante acts can escalate and then that person is just as bad as the criminals they were trying to stop. So I will be on the side of procedural justice, because I think it has more good aspects to it than bad and in the end helps society more.
  3. Do ecosystems matter for their own sake, or do they only matter to the extent that they impact humans?
    1. Unlike the other two questions that I answered for this module, I had no problem deciding where I stand on this question. In the history of this planet we are pretty new to the club. In my opinion it is crazy to think that this world is here to serve humans and that’s it. The ecosystem matters for their own sake because they re animals, just like us humans, who are trying to live their lives. If we as humans think that the ecosystem is just for us to use then we will undoubtedly run this planet dry of resources and sooner then later there will be no ecosystem for anyone to live in. So in the end I definitely think that the ecosystem does matter for its own sake and it is definitely more important than just the impact that it has on humans.




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.



1: Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

I think the definition of a good vs. bad person differs from person to person. My view of a good/ bad person would be your internal thoughts and whether you do something because you really possess altruism. A person that thinks about how they want to kill animals, for example, would be considered a bad person to me. However, someone that has those thoughts could refrain themselves from doing that. I would still say they are a bad person because their intentions are bad. Someone else could say that since the person refrained from killing the animals they are actually a good person, but I would think they were bad because they have rotten thoughts. Someone with good thoughts could also decide to do something bad. I think it is important to be both a good person and perform good acts. This will make the world a better place. They must coexist, but if you had to pick one over the other, overall the most important ethic is whether you perform a good act or not. I hold this view because I believe that you can morally be a bad or good person, but if you perform bad acts then that’s where you will be causing damage to the world.

3: Does the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions (procedural justice vs. distributive justice)?

More pressure comes with procedural justice because the process directly influences how your outcome will be. An outcome is usually easy to conjure such as, “We need to stop climate change”, but you need to properly execute your process in order to get the right outcome. Someone might ask you the question “how are you going to reduce air pollution?” Any way you accomplish this goal will come from the process. If your process is not right you could also get the outcome you want, but you could create other problems. So, if I am going to ride the bus to reduce air pollution I need to make sure that the bus won’t be effecting the environment in some other way that is even worse than air pollution. Outcomes are just as important because you will spend a lot of time on creating these outcomes, so you want to have the right one. Also all outcomes will probably have an effect on something else whether it’s a gain or loss.

5: Do the pleasure and pain of non-human animals matter as much as the pleasure and pain of humans (speciesism)?

The pain and pleasure of non-human animals matters just as much as humans because of the fact that those sensations have the same impact on them as they do on us, as they are able to feel those emotions. If we think it doesn’t matter then that is simply our inability to put ourselves in their shoes. We can’t feel that pain or pleasure so as long as we feel okay it doesn’t really have an effect on us. Any creature badly harmed will ultimately want to survive. If a non-human animal saw me they would probably have the same thought in their head- “Oh that’s just a human.” Then, if they knew me they would realize that I would never want to experience pain. It’s all about imagining yourself as the other entity, and thinking about how they would really feel. We shouldn’t try to care about others, but instead we need to care about other human and non- human animals. If not, they will suffer at the hands of others who only care about themselves.


Ethics in a Nutshell

(1) I think that actions speak louder than words. If someone is a good person and don’t perform good or bad acts, no one will know that the person is good. When someone performs good acts, the people around them take note of that. For example, holding a door open for the person behind them I consider a good act. It may be a small act, but it is still a good act. It doesn’t matter the place or period, good acts are outweighed then good people. Now it can depend on the circumstance; if you know someone is a good person and they don’t do a good act like holding the door open for the person behind them, then you immediately think that was rude or mean because you expected them to. If it is a stranger and you never saw them before and they hold the door open for you, you will appreciate that more than if you know they are a good person

(3) I think the thought process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcome behind that, but the outcome of the decision is still very important. If I know someone’s thought process behind doing something and it works out, that’s great. If the decision doesn’t work out as planned, but there was a lot of thought given in the process, it will act as a learning experience for next time. If the thought process behind the decision was bad and the outcome of the decision came out good, that’s just lucky and next time the outcome might not be so lucky. Different periods and places shouldn’t make a difference, but a different circumstance might. For example, if there is a lot of risk involved or it is a life-changing event and your thought process is spot on, but the outcome of the decision is bad. This could mean losing a lot of money, job, or house; the outcome is more important for larger scale situations. In general though, the thought process matters more than the outcomes of the decisions.

(6) My own life I believe is worth the same as the lives of the people around me. Everybody have different circumstances come along where they think for a second that their life is more important than the one next to them. For example, whenever you beat someone or a team in a sporting event, you consider yourself better than them. You may think in the moment that winning the game means that your life is worth more than theirs. I have done that before, but then I come back to reality and realize that our lives are worth the same. Same thing goes in the opposite direction too. If you lose a game for example, you hate yourself or disown yourself, but then later realize that it was just a game and that your lives are worth the same. Other circumstances could be the color or your skin or the shape of your body, but everybody’s lives are worth the same. In reality, there will be situations or occasions where we may think our lives are more important or less important than the people around us, but the ending outcome is that all our lives are worth the same amount.

Thomas Devenney Ethics Views Learning Activity

To answer question number 2, I believe that each situation would need to be seen from a larger view to say whether ends justify means or not. I hold this view because it depends of the depth of the action itself or the consequences to truly determine whether the ends justify the means or not. For example, if someone wants to raise the property values of an area of a city, one would think that the ends are a very good thing. However, if his or her way of doing it is to drive people out of lower income residences to replace their residences with something of more value, I would argue that the ends do not justify the means. If his or her way of doing it was renovating the lower income residences while not displacing the residents, these means would be an excellent solution. This is why it is important to take into account the whole process, not just the end results. In a scenario where a student cheats on an exam to pass a class, this student may argue that the ends justify the means, but the rest of the students would most likely argue otherwise.

To answer question number 5, I believe that the pleasure and pain of humans is more important than those of the other animals. I hold this view because I am a human and I want to live in a world that we, as humans, have control of. Even though I do believe this, I believe that the welfare of other animals is important to the welfare of humans in that we need them for food, agriculture, and general enjoyment, but not to the point where we should see them as equals. This would lead to a slippery slope where we may not be able to eat meat or hunt for pleasure. In the case of race horses, they get injured and get put down in today’s society. In a society that sees animals as equals, horses would not get put down, leaving them to suffer on a daily basis until they would inevitably pass away. My dog was suffering to the point where she could not move, and we had to put her down, which would have been much worse for our entire family if she had to suffer for days.

In answering question number 6, I believe that the lives of others is worth the same as my life. I believe this because each person has an impact, directly or indirectly, on other peoples’ lives, and they should try to make most of these impacts positive. I try to live my life in the exact middle of selfishness and altruism, because either one on its own can lead to poor decision making. For example, I would do a lot of things for charity, but I would not give away all of my money. Doing things for yourself is not always bad. For example, not letting a student cheat off of your exam may be seen as selfish, but my molar compass would tell me that I would be doing the right thing. It is best to find a healthy medium in which you give to those that need it, but still have the ability to provide for yourself comfortably. This would be like giving your time and effort to charity, but still be able to do the things you want and live the way that makes you happy and fulfilled.

Module 3-Ethics

Question 1.

I think it is more important to be a person who performs good acts rather than to just be a good person. Being a good person is alright and all but you’re not really doing any good to anything, you are just good. I would rather be the person fighting for a good cause rather than the person thinking about it but not doing anything. By performing acts for good you are helping to create a movement; the more people involved in a movement, the bigger the impact it has on what you’re fighting for. I think the end justifies the means because doing the action and the consequence of the action both have great impacts, but the consequence of the action is the most important part. Usually the consequence of the action is good. I like in the text how it says that cutting down trees can save other trees which justifies the means. Cutting down trees that are dangerous to other healthy trees and animals/people is important.

Question 4.

I believe that ecosystems matter for their own sake as well as ours so I guess I’m a little anthopocentric. Without thriving ecosystems we wouldn’t be able to live. We can’t just turn every forest into an industrial area or tear it down for wood, but we can make some of these places into parks so that we conserve the land and can take care of it. I also believe some forests can be used for cutting wood but by deciding how to give and take correctly we can help ourselves and the environment. I also don’t see a problem with creating roads through forests so that we can have scenic rides through the woods every now and again. By seeing forests in such a way some people may think a little differently about what it means to conserve forests.

Question 6.

I believe that my life is worth the same as everybody else’s. In some cases I believe that my life would be worth less than others but this would be mainly for family or dire events. I would help any person, animal, or ecosystem to my greatest ability as long as I wasn’t threatening my own life unless it was something really important to me, like I said before, something would have to be really bad before I’d want to risk my own life. One example would be an animal crossing a busy road and having a hard time doing so: there have been plenty of cases where people stopped their cars and got out to help said animal and wound up dying from being hit by another passing car. I honestly probably would not get out of the car to help any animal just because of the thought of that. My life is worth just as much as the other people who haven’t stopped to save the animal and I wouldn’t risk myself for something like that unless it was absolutely horrible Continue reading

Natalie Hall Ethics M03

  1. Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

The popular quote, “you are who you are when no ones looking” helped me decide that being a good person is more important than just preforming good acts. Virtue ethics is described as what you should be, and action ethics is described as what you should do. When put this way, it seems like action is better because it implies that you make an active change in the world, compared to just being apart of the world. However, I interpreted that preforming good acts comes with being a good person. I see a good person as someone who’s second nature is to preform good acts, not just when they are being watched or are expected to.

  1. Does the process by which decisions are made matter more than the outcomes of these decisions (procedural justice vs. distributive justice)?

I think the outcomes of the decisions matter more than the process by which the decisions are created. The considerations before the decision are still important however, one cannot predict every factor and component of the outcome. Also, once the decision is made it is final, the consequences of what happen have to be dealt with no matter what. The unpredictability of the world causes me to think the outcomes matter more, and to deal with the flow as it happens on a natural course. We as humans can do everything to control each other and the environment, but we will never be able to create a flawless process, so the outcomes are overall more impactful.

3.Do the pleasure and pain of non-human animals matter as much as the pleasure and pain of humans (speciesism)?

Morally yes, the pleasure and pain of non-human organisms should matter just as much as you and me. However, through animal testing, zoos, and the destruction of ecosystems, I see that we are not on the same scale. Maybe it is because humans can relate to one another with pain and pleasure, but we cannot experience how a dog, for example, experiences these things. As much as I would like to think other animals feelings of pain and pleasure as much as mine, my inability to connect with non-human species make me believe that my fellow humans matter more.

Your Ethics Views- Megan Shrout

2) Do the ends justify the means?

The ends do not justify the means. I hold this view because I believe that the desired end result is interdependent upon the means in which it takes to reach it. The means used are therefore a part of the end itself, not just the method to obtain any particular desire. For example, say it is raining and your goal is to keep your feet dry on your way to class. In one scenario, you wear rain boots and take your normal route. In another, you wear flip-flops and have to travel on well-drained sidewalks and avoid puddles. In the end, you make it to class, but the way you made it to class made the arrival different (longer commute time, or simply the matter of the shoes on your feet). Maybe the boots were uncomfortable, so although you attained your end desire, this scenario is less favorable meaning that the same end result is impacted greatly upon the means in which it takes to obtain it. With the end obtained, it is often compared by the means used to judge on the performance. A project completed is a project done, but if it is done in half the time compared to other attempts, the means used to influence aspects of the end result reflect upon how the end is perceived (in the case, positively).

A famous phrase in the business world is “You can’t move up in the world without stepping on a few toes.” This indicates an end ethics viewpoint; acknowledging that the means to reach an end may not be pleasant but may be necessary. Goal orientation is highly sought, and if the end is the only check, than it makes sense to over look the means as they have already been established as irrelevant. Getting to class on time wouldn’t be pleasant in those uncomfortable boots (though).


6) Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less?

My life is not worth more than the lives of others and is the same. I hold this view because our individuality is malleable. The reason we believe we are unique, better, special derives off of our survival instinct. In many situations where you could be hurt in order to save another, be altruistic, you hesitate in selfish thought as your conscience argues to preserve who you are. There are instances when someone would be completely altruistic and sacrifice themselves for the ones they love, but the thoughts behind the action may be selfish ones (ex, risking life to save love because you wouldn’t know what to do without them). Even I believe myself to be “better” than others; it is only natural. Although I believe myself to be important, my life is not worth more than others. The sense of self is commonly taken away in military practices and in times of war so the soldiers act in the name of the country and not simply out of individual pride that would succumb to survival instincts in a battlefield.

What weighs us as being worth more or less is more easily debatable. As a nation, the United States believes the president to be one of the most important people, protected over and ravished more than most individuals. Many would argue that the president is worth more because he/she is contributing more to society. But, that is comparing human worth over life worth. Disregarding anything the individual has done, they are of the same composition and just like picking out goldfish from a tank, their life is worth just as much as the others (and that’s why most people don’t particularly care which one they get).


4)Do ecosystems matter for their own sake or do they only matter to the extent that they impact humans?

Ecosystems matter “for their own sake.” I take this stance because, in relation to the above ethical scenario, they would need to remain sustainable to support life whether we existed or not. I stated my position on life’s worth in the previous question, and find that ecosystem’s worth is based similarly to how we define our own. If a dog could walk, talk, and perform a job better than a human, the dog would be worth more to the job. But as an anthropocentric culture, we would (generalization) find the life of the human to be over the dog’s. However, if we put anthropocentricism aside (take humans out of the equation), the functionality of an ecosystem is still crucial to all the living organisms in the community.

One counter argument may be that animals that do not serve a purpose if they do not aid in the human survival, and therefore ecosystems matter for humanities sake. Every component of an ecosystem affects the way it functions. I learned from visiting Yellow Stone that reintroducing wolves back in to yellow stone have not only made the elk population healthier but also increased the bear population. So although farmers need to protect their flocks again, the elk, bison, and bear they eat/ use are now more plentiful. By dismissing the importance of one component, its interdependent components also become disrupted and ultimately affect the entire ecosystem, which affects us. Keeping the wolves outside would allow the decreasing biological health of the elk (edibility would be compromised, as well as the population could die off) and in turn the unrivaled elk would eat up the bear’s reserves.

Module 3: Ethics

1.) I believe it is more important to perform good acts. When I approached this question, I had an initial question of my own. What defines being a good person? One could talk constantly about how strongly they believe something, but until action is taken there is no benefit to their cause. From personal experience, I believe it is more important to perform good acts vs simply being a good person. Without action there is no basis on which to tell whether or not a person is good. Being labeled as a good person is not necessarily a negative, in fact it is a very positive characteristic to have. An issue that comes with this label is whether or not a person has the ability to justify it. Simply calling yourself a good person without physically demonstrating it, in my opinion, is selfish.  In modern day society people are starting to believe in only what they can see. A person can advocate their cause non-stop, but only empty promises will remain until they act upon their words. For example, one could state that they want to lose weight, until that person changes their eating habits or exercises more then the is no proof that they want to lose weight. Words are tangible, but actions are concrete.

4.) I believe that ecosystems only matter to the extent that they impact humans. Ecosystems have been here before humans existed and they will exist after humans are gone. Ecosystems exist to sustain the life within them. Untouched ecosystems can develop into complex systems allowing for multiple life forms to live, grow and thrive to their greatest ability. Most humans are anthropocentric when it comes to the ecosystem that surrounds them. Humans will use the environment for their own benefit without considering the long term negative effects. Unfortunately, I believe that in our current day ecosystems only matter for the impact they have on human life. When looking at issues based on sustainability and a world for future generations, all views are anthropocentric. We want to save rainforests and maintain those ecosystems not for the benefit of nature, but for the benefit of our children. Ecosystems have always mattered for their own survival. However, humans are not leaving this planet anytime soon, so regrettably ecosystems have to live for their benefit to humans.

6.)  believe that my own life is worth the same as the lives of others. I have never, nor will I ever believe that my my life is more important than that of any other. On the other hand, I also don’t believe that my life is worth less than any other. It is a very altruistic thought to believe that all human lives are equal, but unfortunately it is not a very realistic thought. When it comes to life and death, a person’s virtues and actions become very different. Given the situation of risking one’s life for a loved one over that of a stranger, it is never surprising that people choose their loved ones. This act may seem very selfish because in a way it is, but it is also human nature. It is a terrible thought to have putting more value on one person’s life vs another’s life. From my view, this is the basis that most humans operate on. Though we believe that one life is no more important than another, we will put more value into certain lives. This in turn will dictate our daily actions.

Module 3: Ethics

Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

It is my belief that it is more important to be a good person than to perform good acts. However I know that not all people have the ability, the empathy, the compassion, the want to be good people. Humans are selfish so it is more realistic that people perform good acts. How much those acts are truly worth though I believe are dependent upon the reasons. I think there is more worth to person when they are good and that their deeds hold more value because they are done for the right reasons. It is worth more for a good person to volunteer because they want to give back and help out than it is for a person to volunteer because they need to fulfill a class or probation requirement. The person who is doing the good deed because they are a good person will put more heart and feeling into it than the person who is there to just log hours. They’ll go the extra mile, while the parolee will goof off, lounge around, talk back, be lazy, text, grimace, etc.

Do the pleasure and pain of non-human animals matter as much as the pleasure and pain of humans (speciesism)?

The pleasure and pain of non-human animals does matter as much as the pleasure and pain of humans. Just because we are a superior species does not mean that our feelings are above others. Just because we have the power to inflict pain and pleasure, the power to speak up when we feel things does not mean non-human emotions matter less. Getting stabbed hurts just as much to them as it does to us. Losing someone we care for is as sad for them as it is for us. In fact it may even be worse, some animals like orcas have an extra part of there brain than humans have that processes emotions and feelings on a much stronger and deeper level than we do. I acknowledge that there is a pecking order and a need for food. I don’t think that because we choose to eat meat, like our bodies are designed to do, that means that we value non-human animal emotions less. I still acknowledge they have feelings and don’t like that they have to go through pain so that we can eat. Which is why I’m a firm believer in ensuring that animals are not treated cruelly during the slaughter process. And that they use the least painful methods to carry it out so that the animals feel the least amount of pain and fear.

Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?

I think this is a hard question because I think that the answer can be circumstantial. I would like to say that I find my live equal to others, but then I think there are situations where I may find when my life is on the line that it is more or less than the life of others. When it comes to my family, my loved ones, when I think about if I were to have kids, I believe I would place the value of my life below theirs. If there was a gunman, I would tell them to shoot me in place of the ones I loved. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I saved my life over theirs. It is my personality to be a protector and I do that with those I care for and for the random people I meet and see. I can’t say that my life is worth more than another persons. I don’t think I’m worth more than anyone else. But I also know that when my life is on the line and I’m not around people I love, I can’t speak on what my instincts and reactions would be, I’d like to say that I would find myself worth the same as the next person and not worth more, but I can’t say that I might not try to save myself over someone else if given the choice. I may be too weak and scared to sacrifice my life for a complete stranger and in that instance my life to me would be worth more than someone else’s.

Module Three: Ethics – Tyler Pegarella

Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

Performing good acts is far more important than being a good person. Society cannot benefit from a positive idea alone, but may benefit when the necessary resources are made available. For example, a rich man who has acquired his wealth through questionable tactics may donate money to various charities simply to improve his public reputation. He may not even be aware of who his money is truly benefiting. A far less wealthy social worker may wish to revolutionize education in Africa, but simply does not have the resources. The social worker’s motives are driven by compassion and empathy, although she can actually accomplish very little on her own. Therefore, today’s world is far move dependent on action ethics. With that said, virtue ethics are important and can do a great job of motivating people through ideas.

Do the pleasure and pain of non-human animals matter as much as the pleasure and pain of humans (speciesism)?

In some cases, non-human animals should receive similar treatment to humans, but not always. Many non-human animals have shown very advanced behavior, such as strong emotional bonds, task learning and even language recognition. Based on this information, the pleasure and pain of many non-human animals, including most mammals, should be considered when making relevant decisions. However, “non-human animals” is a very broad category. Numerous species of animals rely solely on instincts and have very short lifespans. Fruit flies are a non-human animal and fail to exhibit the qualities that make elephants, dolphins and chimpanzees so intriguing. Because of this intelligence gap, a discussion must be had about which qualities non-human animals must possess in order for their pleasure and pain to be considered. Rats and mice, often considered highly intelligent mammals, are currently subject to an array of gruesome experiments. These two animal types are definitely worthy of exemptions from harsh lab experiments.

3. Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?

To put it simply, all lives are of equal importance with a few exceptions. Geniuses and those with the potential to drastically improve society should be protected in the highest regard. These people are valuable because they may end up saving large amounts of people, species and the environment. As for everyone else, an individual’s altruism should depend on socioeconomic status and physical ability. For example, a healthy middle-class American has a fairly easy life when compared to those living in a third world country. The American should sacrifice some of their time or resources in order to improve the lives of those less fortunate. On the other side of the spectrum, those in third world countries need not worry about improving the lives of others and should focus on making the most of their own lives. This concept is based on the idea that everyone is entitled to basic needs, employment opportunities and an education. The country and household in which someone is born is a major factor, although unfair, in the type of life someone will live.

Steven DeAngelis Module 3 Blog Post

Question #1 response:

I believe it is more important to be a good person than it is to perform good acts. In my brief experiences in life I have known quite a few people that I wouldn’t categorize as good people, but who do good acts. Some of these people donate to charity, attend church regularly and even employ hundreds of people, but deep down they are not caring individuals. In certain cases a good person can be forced or required to perform a bad act, but that does not necessarily make them a bad person, just as a bad person doing a good act doesn’t make them a good person. My experiences have taught me that good people generally perform good acts more often then “bad” people. What is difficult is determining the criteria by which we determine if people are good or bad. I would say that a good person is someone who cares for others ahead of themselves and would go out of their way to take care of someone even if there is nothing in it for himself or herself.


Question #2 response:


Just as with many of these ethical questions there is quite a bit of grey area in this question, but I believe that generally the ends justify the means. The clearest example of ends justifying the means is in government. The president and many members of the government are often faced with making life and death decisions. One very tough ethical dilemma is whether or not to bomb terrorists, knowing that innocent civilians could possibly be injured or killed. In this situation law makers and government officials have to decide if doing so would save American lives. That decision is the ends justifying the means. If by killing a terrorist and possibly 5 civilians the president can save hundreds or even thousands of lives, then the president is likely to make that decision. Most decisions don’t require life or death decisions, but sometimes negative actions are necessary for the betterment of a situation for the most people.


Question #4 response:


I believe that ecosystems only matter to the extent that they impact humans. This may be a pessimistic view, but the only reason that we care about ecosystems is because of the effect that they have on humans. For example, we care about the over consumption of certain fish, such as tilapia and salmon because these fish are vital to the ecosystem that effects bigger fish like tuna. The problem with this is that humans are the cause of the changes in these ecosystems. Sustainability of certain materials only matters to us because we need them to survive as a species. Finding a sustainable, clean energy source is important because if we continue burning fossil fuels the environment will change and humans will no longer be able to survive, not because it effects other ecosystems that humans are not concerned with.