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21. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Donald Ipperciel The Latimer Decision: A Case Study on Euthanasia
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I would like to use the highly publicized Latimer decision in Canada as a case study on euthanasia. In this case, Robert Latimer killed his severely disabled 12-year-old child in order, in his mind, to end her suffering. Consequently, he was convicted of first-degree murder. I will argue that condemning Robert Latimer's act 1) ensues from hermeneutically misconstruing the concrete situation; 2) does not respect the criterion of reasonableness, which is linked to the consideration of an ethos. The elaboration of the arguments will refer to the ruling of the Canadian Supreme Court (R. v. Latimer, 2001), which produced the most comprehensive case against Latimer's actions.
22. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Mary Richardson "Challenged Forth by the Need for Paper": Ethical Aspects of Genetic Modification of Trees
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Genetic modification of trees has the potential to change our forests forever, yet there has been little publicly available information or debate on this important topic. Ethical analysis of genetic modification of plants to date has been focussed mainly on food and feed crops and pharmaceutical production. The purpose of this paper is to examine one major ethical issue arising in connection with the genetic modification of trees, the necessity to examine the practice in its full scientific, social, economic, political and environmental context. It is argued that if this is not done, important factors that play a role in a through ethical critique will be overlooked. The analysis focuses mainly on the Canadian situation, but there are implications for other timber-producing nations as well. The paper concludes that a thorough ethical critique must take into account the ends for which biotechnology is being pursued.
23. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Toralba Cora Solidarity Facing World Problems
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Human beings consider the world's problems as such because they affect humanity. Problems are "created" by human beings directly or indirectly either through intended actions or consequences of unintended ones. Human beings inflict problems on themselves or others. One of the greatest social problems the world is facing is the lack of peace and security. The latest threat is caused by terrorism. The people in the regions known for terrorism are suffering from extreme poverty and use terrorism as a means to make their cause heard. Poverty is unfortunately caused mainly by lack of opportunity for self growth and development. Poverty has reduced the populace to living conditions that undermine human dignity. Lack of self-esteem or self worth creates a mind set that looks at human life as worthless. The only saving factor they see is in the spiritual realm, their religion; hence the tendency present among fundamentalists to become suicide bombers. A solution to these problems might be sought through solidarity, as envisioned by Karol Wojtyla. Solidarity sees others as equals and partners in attaining self-fulfillment. Forgetting this principle of social ethics has led to the rule of might, which has led to the human catastrophes that the world witnesses.
24. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Joanna G. Patsioti The Relevance of an Aretaic Model in Business Ethics
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In this paper, we provide a philosophical perspective on the domain of business ethics in our attempt to examine to what extent an aretaic model can serve as an adequate moral context that can also accommodate the practical requirements of business. Our main objective is to show that despite any conflicts that may occur between an aretaic model and what is required in business, the Aristotelian ethical theory can serve as a morally adequate theoretical framework for business. To that effect, we examine certain aspects of this model, such as the notion of virtue as a settled ethical quality, as well as that of practical wisdom as the capacity of making a choice on the basis of proper ethical reasoning. Certain criticisms of such a model are also discussed. We derive the conclusion that the aretaic model can serve the organization's objectives to a great extent, since it provides a creative fusion of individual morality with the integrity of the corporate environment as reflected in its collective responsibility
25. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Tuija Takala Designer Babies and Treating People as a Means
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Among the many ethical problems brought about by the latest developments in medical sciences is the possibility of creating "designer" babies. In this paper I will look at one such a case from the viewpoint of the Kantian "humanity principle". The various aspects of treating people as a means that can be brought up in discussions about "designer" babies are scrutinised. These will obviously include treating the future child as a mere means, but the proper role of the mother and others involved are also looked at. I will conclude by arguing that, contrary to the usual presuppositions, the humanity principle is of very limited use in discussions about designer babies, in this case and in others too.
26. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Hung-Yul So Beyond Rational Insanity
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Insanity is identified with irrationality, while rationality is considered to be the mark of sanity. Yet we want to say that rationality could be the cause of insanity. We can see a subtle kind of insanity inherent in an institution believed to be highly rational. Rationality in an ideological belief also turns into rational insanity when the ideology itself works for the interest of the advantaged as a tool of deception. We believe in the rationality of open communication. We believe that information technology has given us the most rational means for open communication. The Internet revolution or Internet democracy is expected to become the most rational means for the institutional goal of democracy. However the rationality of Internet communication has demonstrated a serious tendency to cause Internet insanity. We have been proud of being 'rational animals'. But now we are concerned because 'rational animal' could mean 'rational but animal-like' or 'rational but impulsive', which in turn could mean 'rational but violent' or 'rational but mad and insane'. Perhaps it is time for us to think seriously about the possibility of mass insanity through rational insanity, and seek the way beyond such rational insanity.
27. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Gerd Gerhardt Sorge um das Wesentliche: Moralische Verpflichtung - im Blick auf Kant und Habermas
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In der Kantischen Tradition wird moralische Verbindlichkeit formal bestimmt. Kant berücksichtigt jedoch in seiner gesamten Entwicklung aber immer auch eine inhaltliche Komponente, die er glaubt formal uminterpretieren zu können. Ich versuche zu .zeigen, dass Moral in einer gestuften Reflexion zu gewinnen ist: Auf einer fundamentalen Ebene reflektiere ich auf das mir Wesentliche; Verbindlichkeit ist auf dieser Ebene nicht ohne die Motivation der Selbstsorge zu erreichen. Habermas' Trennung von ethischer Verbindlichkeit (Bereich des für mich oder uns Guten) und moralischer Verbindlichkeit (Bereich des Gerechten, des für alle Guten) greift erst auf einer höheren Stufe, wenn die fundamentale Verbindlichkeit bereits gestiftet ist. Die Sorge um das Wesentliche wird als Leben gemäß der Vernunft expliziert, die sich in verschiedenen Lebensbezügen als Autonomie, als Sachlichkeit bzw. als Achtung und Liebe artikuliert.
28. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Jerzy Pelc Human Cloning and Organ Transplants vs. Definition of Human Being: A Philosophical Point of View
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In bioethical discussions of human cloning there are sometimes employed definitions broadening the denotation of the term human being to include also, on an equal footing, human embryos. Also, the fact of being human is being equated with being a person. Consequently, embryos are treated as having dignity and calls are heard in the name of justice to protect the rights and interests of embryos whenever these clash with the interests of mature human beings. The author, being a layman in the area of human cloning, limits himself to indicating views he agrees with and those he finds doubtful. He expects human cloning will be taking place, albeit on a small scale, regardless of any bans which would only force the practice to become clandestine. Arguments in favor of controlled human cloning include not only the need to preserve freedom in scientific research, but also hopes for minimizing the adverse effects of cloning. The author indicates factors of an emotional nature which hamper discussions of cloning. He also argues that objections to experiments with humans and demands to make them conditional on prior consent of the people being experimented on are ineffective and often impossible to satisfy. The author also believes that it is impossible to unconditionally obey the commandment "You shall not kill". He does not see any threats posed by the fact that the clone and the cloned person will be identical. While not overlooking the potential dangers to clones (such as genetic defects), the author also sees potential advantages of cloning and transplantology (therapeutic, psychic, social).
29. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Harry van der Linden Is Global Poverty a Moral Problem for Citizens of Affluent Societies?
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The gap between the affluent and the global poor has increased during the past few decades, whether it is measured in terms of private consumption, income, or wealth. One would expect that severe poverty in a world of abundance would constitute a moral challenge to the affluent, but in fact it hardly seems a serious ethical concern. Affluent citizens seem so little morally concerned with global poverty. However, the most promising approach seems to be to explore and divulge factually and conceptually the numerous ways in which the affluent are implicated in a wholly unjust world of growing inequality. Changing people's moral perception is an arduous task and it is to be expected that affluent people will only gradually come to morally question their comfortable lives, at least in the absence of environmental or political disasters that might occur in the future. The immense human suffering at stake makes it a duty for moral philosophers to continue to work at and even increase their efforts towards this task.
30. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Donald M. Nolen Business Ethics after Enron: How American Ethicist Lost their Innocence
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Applied ethics in the United States has been a story of vacillation between micro-ethical and macro-ethical reforms. The tragedy of Enron has caused another crisis of confidence in how to pursue these reforms. However, the current rush toward macro-ethical critique will succeed only i f it builds on the gains made by the micro-ethical movement. One without the other will be doomed to failure.