1500 words on Ethical War with provided rough draft and sources

Oct 5th, 2014
Price: $30 USD

Question description

I have attached my "rough draft"    horvet_phi208_w1_a1.docx 

Applied Ethics

Choose one of the applied ethics topics from the list below. Provide a brief description of your topic and the thesis you chose in the opening paragraph of your paper. This topic should be the thesis that you worked on in Week One and refined in Week Three. Remember that your first paragraph must contain a clear thesis statement as in the assignments from Weeks One and Three. In the body of your paper, examine the issue by discussing how three of the ethical theories presented in this course could be used to answer the particular question you have formulated. Use the core principles of each of these theories to support your discussion. Complete your paper by identifying which ethical theory you think provides the most satisfactory moral answer to your question, or the theory that provides the least satisfactory answer to your question. You should create a list of strengths and weaknesses for each of the theories as applied to your question to assist you with this task. However, you should not merely present the strengths and weaknesses of each theory but must argue that one theory is better or worse than the others in this case. Remember that each paragraph in your body must begin with a topic sentence that clearly identifies the main idea of the paragraph. Your paper should be 1500 to 2000 words (not including the words on the title and reference pages) in length. This means that you should devote approximately 300 words to each of the ethical theories, and 300 words to supporting your argument for which theory works best or worst.

Just War

  • Resources for this topic can be found in Weeks Two and Four. Be sure to analyze both required and recommended resources.


  1. Miller, R.W. (2010). Crossing borders to fight injustice: The ethics of humanitarian intervention. In R. Wertheimer (Ed.), Empowering our military conscience: Transforming just war theory and military moral education (pp. 57-73). Retrieved from the ebrary database.
  • This article examines issues in military ethics and the acceptability of humanitarian interventions.


  1. Brandt, R. B. (1972). Utilitarianism and the rules of war. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 1(2), 145-165. Retrieved from the JSTOR database.
  • In this article, Brandt attempts to outline the morality of war using a rule-utilitarian account. As you read this article, think about how Brandt uses utilitarian thinking to support his claims about the laws that ought to govern war.
Nagel, T. (1972). War and massacre. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 1(2), 123-144. Retrieved from the JSTOR database.
  • In this article, Nagel claims that there are moral aspects of war that extend beyond the legal aspects of war. He claims that even if a war might be considered legal, it still might not be moral and the actions that occur in it might not be moral.
Regan, T. (1985).The case for animal rights. In P. Singer (Ed.), In defense of animals (pp. 13-26). New York, NY: Basil Blackwell. Retrieved from http://www.animal-rights-library.com/texts-m/regan03.htm
  • In this article, Tom Regan argues against moral theories that exclude animals from moral consideration. Then he attacks the utilitarian approach to animal ethics, advocating instead for an approach that grants equal rights to all conscious beings.
Singer, P. (1989).All animals are equal. In T. Regan & P. Singer (Eds.), Animal rights and human obligations (pp. 148-162). New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Retrieved from http://spot.colorado.edu/~heathwoo/phil1200,Spr07/singer.pdf
  • In this article, Peter Singer critiques arguments that animals do not deserve equal moral consideration. He then makes a reasoned case for a new approach to how we should treat animals based upon a principle of non-discrimination.


  1. Alfie A. (2010, Nov. 22). Meet your meat [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32IDVdgmzKA
  • This is a brief exposé about how farm animals raised for food are treated on today’s factory farms. This could be a bit difficult to watch.
Easyaspeace. (2008, April 7). Tom Regan, a case for animal rights [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5RRLBC1S3w
  • In this short video, Tom Regan outlines his position and his reasoning about why animals have rights.Transcript
Garcia, P. (Director). (2004).Ethics: What is right?[Series episode]. In C. Scherer (Executive producer), Great ideas of philosophy I. Retrieved from the Films On Demand database.
  • Watch this video between the 25-minute and 31-minute marks. This segment of the video discusses the history, development, and core principles of the ethical theory of utilitarianism.
Labaton, A. (Producer) & Schindler, M. (Director). (2002). Religion, war, and violence: The ethics of war and peace [Documentary]. Retrieved from Films On Demand database.
  • Start watching this video at the 1:20 mark. This segment of the video examines the origins and principles of “just war theory” and considers moral and political objections which question just war theory in light of recent and contemporary wars.
Pangeaprogressblog. (2010, June 29). Peter Singer (II) speciesism & animal rights [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV-w6rwDiws
  • In this interview, Peter Singer explains his positions about why animals deserve moral consideration and why humans should change their treatment of non-human animals.
WestmontTV. (2013, March 7). What is just war theory, Michael Walzer, Feb. 21, 2013 [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f4XuOkMCSA
  • Start this video at the 14-minute mark. In this video, Michael Walzer discusses the principles of just war theory by comparing actions in war time to actions in civil life, and examining the moral equivalency of soldiers on both sides of the battlefield.Transcript

Recommended Resources

  1. Amjad-Ali, C. W. (2009).Jihad and just war theory: Dissonance and truthDialog: A Journal of Theology, 48(3), 239-247. Retrieved from http://cges.umn.edu/docs/Amjad-Ali.Jihad_and_Just_War_Theory.pdf
  • In this article, Amjad-Ali attempts to analyze just war theory in both the Christian and the Islamic traditions. The author analyzes improper interpretations of both traditions with the goal of clarifying the foundations that guide both traditions.
Baxter, W. (1975).People or penguinsJournal of Economic Literature, 13(3), 943-947. Retrieved from http://drr.lib.athabascau.ca/files/phil/375/baxter5.pdf
  • William Baxter adopts the view that all of our obligations to protect the environment are for the sake of humans only. Animals have value only if they are valued by humans.
Bentham, J. (1843). The principles of international law. Retrieved from http://www.laits.utexas.edu/poltheory/bentham/pil/pil.e03.html
  • In this piece, Bentham examines the causes and types of war. He outlines these forms and examines the motivations of the people who engage in these wars.
Cavalieri, P. (2005).Are human rights human? Logosjournal, 4(2). Retrieved from http://www.logosjournal.com/issue_4.2/cavalieri.htm
  • Paola Cavalieri makes a case that philosophy attempts to give rights to all and only humans fail. The reason is that all of the arguments that humans have certain rights also apply to some animals as well. Therefore, logically, they should have those rights as well.
Chappell, T. (2013).Bernard WilliamsStanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/williams-bernard/
  • This encyclopedia article discusses the work and influence of Bernard Williams and the objections he raises against moral philosophy in general and specific criticisms he has raised against utilitarianism.
Cohen, C. (1986).The case for the use of animals in biomedical researchThe New England Journal of Medicine, 314, 865-869. Retrieved from http://spot.colorado.edu/~heathwoo/phil1200,Spr07/cohen.pdf
  • Carl Cohen states that rights are based upon an agreement, like a contract. Therefore only those capable of making and keeping such agreements (i.e. humans) can have rights. He then argues that we have a moral obligation to use animals in research to protect the lives of humans.
Orend, B. (2008).WarStanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/war/
  • This encyclopedia article provides a general discussion of the nature of war and a detailed discussion of the ethics of war and of just war theory.
Vining, J. (2008).Animal cruelty laws and factory farmingMichigan Law Review First Impressions, 106(5), 123-127. Retrieved from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1282251
  • Joseph Vining makes a legal case that there should be stronger laws protecting the welfare of animals on factory farms. He gives legal precedent for such regulation of private industry, and demonstrates that current laws appear to be inadequate.
Wallace, D. F. (2006).Consider the lobster. In Consider the lobster and other essays (pp. 235-254). New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company. Retrieved from http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/2000s/2004/08/consider_the_lobster
  • Widely admired, author David Foster Wallace writes an article chronicling his visit to the Maine Lobster Festival. What he finds is rather disturbing. He investigates the question of whether lobsters feel pain when boiled alive and seems to wonder why so many people seem not to care about the answer.


  1. Berkeley Center. (2013, March 19). Is the military use of drones ethically defensible [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pc2kOMJQJoQ
  • This is a video of a lecture given at Georgetown University by Michael Walzer, a leading expert on just war theory. In the video he discusses key concepts of just war theory, and considers the question of whether the targeted killing of drone warfare is justifiable from within the framework of just war theory.
Chadron State College. (2011, May 11). Food, inc. [Motion picture]. Retrieved from http://vimeo.com/23607359
  • An interesting documentary about how large corporations and the government have controlled and manipulated food production in the United States in ways that are detrimental to animals, the environment, labor, and people’s health.
Nation Earth. (2012). Earthlings [Video file]. Retrieved from http://earthlings.com/?page_id=32
  • A highly disturbing film with footage of the human treatment of animals for food, entertainment, research, companionship, and clothing. Warning: this is an extremely troubling film; however, what is being shown is real footage of things that are going billions of times every day.
Rainer Ebert (2008, March 15). Carl Cohen: Why animals do not have rights [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbk7xY9t-UQ
  • A six-part series in which Carl Cohen outlines his reasoning that animals do not have rights because they cannot make and keep contracts.
Rainer Ebert. (2008, March 16). Tom Regan: Animal rights – an introduction [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTNNJspZXA4
  • A five-part series in which Tom Regan gives a public lecture about why animals should have rights and how those rights are routinely violated by humans.
TEDxPeachtree. (2012, April). Frans de waal: Moral behavior in animals [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/frans_de_waal_do_animals_have_morals.html
  • An interesting public lecture about many ways in which non-human animals demonstrate moral behavior.
WilliamsCollege. (2009, Dec. 14). Peter Singer: The ethics of what we eat [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHzwqf_JkrA
  • A public lecture in which Peter Singer explains his reasoning about the ethics of eating. Singer has been innovative among philosophers for arguing that theoretical philosophy should have practical consequences in terms of modifying how we actually live.


  1. Rigstad, M. (2011). JustWarTheory.com. Retrieved from http://www.justwartheory.com/
  • This website contains links to hundreds of articles, resources, websites and other media sources on all things related to war, terrorism, counter-terrorism, pacifism, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and just war theory.


  1. Aristotle. (350 B.C.E.). Nicomachean ethics (W. D. Ross, Trans.). Retrieved from http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.html
  • Read: Book I, Chapters 1-5, 7, and 10; Book II, Chapters 1-4, 6, and 7. These portions of Aristotle’s work focus primarily on different aspects of virtue ethics and the relationship between virtue and a flourishing life.


  1. Hill, T. (1983).Ideals of human excellence and preserving natural environmentsJournal of Environmental Ethics, 5(3), 211-24. Retrieved from http://www.umweltethik.at/download.php?id=403
  • This article attempts to outline a response to the problem of environmental preservation through the lens of virtue ethics. Hill utilizes virtue ethics to examine how people ought to respond to the environment and how others might be able to judge their actions through the lens of the virtues that they display.
Robinson, P. (2007). Magnanimity and integrity as military virtues. Journal of Military Ethics, 6(4), 259-269. Retrieved from the EBSCOhost database.
  • This article relates to the second applied ethics topic this week: military ethics. In this article, Robinson examines military ethics through the lens of virtue and argues for a re-evaluation of military virtues.
Zúñiga y Postigo, G. (2013). How to write an argumentative essay [Unpublished work]. College of Liberal Arts, Ashford University, Clinton, IA.
  • This document explains how students can effectively present a philosophical argument.


  1. Albert, T. (Producer), & Ramis, H. (Director). (1993). Groundhog day [Motion picture]. United States: Columbia Pictures.
  • This classic film follows the life of a man who is trapped in the same day. He cannot escape, and he must figure out how to live and keep himself sane as he wakes up to the same day every morning. The main character struggles with questions about life’s meaning and the importance of the ways that people live their lives as he attempts to escape the monotony of repetitive existence.**Please be aware you need to stream, buy, or rent Groundhog Day (Week Four) in order to successfully complete this course.
Wingclips. (n.d.). The bridge on the river Kwai [Movie clip]. Retrieved from http://www.wingclips.com/movie-clips/the-bridge-on-the-river-kwai/the-best-bridge
  • In this clip from the film, which is set during World War II, a group of British Army prisoners of war are building a bridge for their Japanese captors. The Colonel expresses the significance of character in the life of the soldier.
Wingclips. (n.d.). The emperor’s club [Movie clip]. Retrieved from http://www.wingclips.com/movie-clips/the-emperors-club/who-we-really-are
  • The clip from this film relates to cheating and the relationship between cheating and one’s moral character. It also explores responses to virtue ethics and the relationship between virtue and success.

Recommended Resources

  1. Berry, W. (2003). Art of the commonplace: The agrarian essays. Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint Press. Retrieved from the ebrary database.
  • While the whole text is excellent, you might want to start with the essays “The Unsettling of America,” “Agrarian Economics,” and “The Body and the Earth.” Berry’s essays focus on the relationships that exist between the human, nature, and society. He examines agrarianism and his works include ideas about how to live virtuously in a world that is becoming more distant from nature.
Wirzba, N. (Ed.). (2010). Essential agrarian reader: The future of culture, community, and the land. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky. Retrieved from the ebrary database.
  • It is a collection of classic essays in the history of agrarianism. The “Introduction” is a good place to start here. These essays deal with the place for humanity in the natural world while also attempting to define an ethically virtuous life within that world.


  1. Mercola. (2012, Aug. 1). Dr. Mercola and Joel Alatin discuss water and manure at polyface farm [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gBwCQspdwo
  • In this video, Joel Salatin and Dr. Joseph Mercola examine the relationship between irrigation and fertilization on a farm and the virtues of the farmer as he or she tries to create a healthy farm.Transcript
Mercola. (2012, Aug. 1). Dr. Mercola discusses pigs with Joel Salatin at polyface farm [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjBtZxlkEDw
  • Joel Salatin discusses ethical treatment of pigs and the relationship that exists between pigs, land, soil, and biodiversity in an ecosystem. He also examines the responsibility of the virtuous farmer in relation to allowing these relationships to exist in harmony with one another.Transcript
Moyer, B. (Interviewer), & Berry, W. (Interviewee). (2013). Wendell Berry on his hopes for humanity [Video file]. Retrieved from http://billmoyers.com/segment/wendell-berry-on-his-hopes-for-humanity/
  • In this interview, Bill Moyer interviews the great agrarian writer and poet Wendell Berry. Berry’s expresses ideas that relate to the virtues of a life lived well, one in which the human regains its place in nature and finds peace and hope.
USDA NRCS ENT SC. (2012, Sep. 20). Under cover farmers – feature length [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWXCLVCJWTU
  • This short film follows farmers as they begin using cover crops in their planting. Cover crops are offseason crops that farmers plant that they then later plant through when they plant their cash crops. This video demonstrates new methods of farming that enhance production through diversification and conservation of the soil. As it relates to virtue, farmers appear to be learning how to work their lands to enhance the health of the soil and this in turn leads to higher levels of flourishing in relation to production as well as overall farm health.

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