We Americans are some of the most unhealthily heavy people on the planet, Is overeating a moral problem? Is McDonald's doing something immoral every day?
Overeating is not a moral problem because everybody can choose how much food they wish to ingest as long as they do not interfere with anyone else's rights. McDonald's is, therefore, not doing anything immoral by selling their products since the customers have an option of not buying. McDonald's is merely feeding the available demand just like any other legal business in a different sector.
Do you think that you need to be a good person in this world, in addition to following ethical and legal rules? Or can you be an a-hole and get along just fine?
It is essential to follow the rule of law as well as observing the ethical code, to live harmoniously with others. Individuals should also be good people since it goes along with the right morals. Good people are kind, caring, and loving among other virtues. Bad and mean people get along just fine, but they experience many issues along the way since they do not enjoy cordial relationships with others.
Do you think we even need a god anymore to be morally good persons nowadays?
We do not need a god to be morally good people. People have evolved over time to discern what is right and what is wrong. Observing the rule of law and exercising the proper virtues are ways of ensuring a harmonious co-existence. Being morally good is the right and appropriate thing to do, and we do not need a god to do it.
Can you give an example of when specifically a feeling (and not reason or "thinking through it") should be what we rely upon to make a moral decision?
Making a moral decision depends on various factors. Sometimes people are forced to make a decision based on a mere feeling. An example is a young child trying to cross a busy highway. It is a sight that arouses shock and concern in any grown up, and the first reaction is to rush and catch the child before he is hit by an onrushing car. Helping in such an emergency does not require any reasoning but just action.
There are some industries, like the tobacco industry, that are in the business of selling things that are inherently dangerous to their customers (I'm not talking guns here, necessarily). The connection between smoking and the myriad of problems is too obvious to mention at this point, as there is now something like 60 years of solid data. And then the government takes a good share of the sales of some of these products, at times, with so-called "sin" taxes. It seems like there are two moral wrongs here: (1) a moral wrong done by a company "selling death" to its customers; (2) a moral wrong done by the government taking advantage of people's addiction/weakness. What do you think?
The cigarette company sells its products to willing customers who are well aware of the side-effects of smoking hence it is not immoral. The cigarettes are not meant to cause any harm, although they do in the long run, but to be used for leisure and personal pleasure. The government has to take any business that operates within the country and hence it is not immoral in taxing the cigarette factory. The government is not taking advantage of people's weakness but allowing them to decide for themselves.
Are there really any moral laws "out there" that we should follow, or do we just make them up as we go along?
There is no defined set of moral laws that people should follow. We tend to make them up as we go depending on the situation, culture, and other reasons. For example, it is immoral to kill, but it could be a necessity in another scenario where one's life is in danger.
Some will argue that businesses should not have obligations beyond what the law requires. Who cares about the environment, for example, as long as what my company is doing is within the confines of the law? What do you think about that?
Businesses have several moral obligations beyond the scope of making profits. Adhering to the law is good for ensuring the business does not come into conflict with the government. However, the social impact is vital since companies extract resources, hence sustainability, from the surrounding community.
Should we stop eating meat? If so, why? If not, why?
No, we should not stop eating meat. Eating meat is a matter of choice and people should be free to decide what they eat. Furthermore, preventing the eating of meat would put many people like butchers and farmers out of work.
Do you think abortion should be banned completely in the United States?
Abortion should be banned entirely in the United States. The killing of an innocent human being, although yet to be born, is not right. Life starts at conception hence unborn babies have a right to live like other humans.
Lots of religions think that homosexuality is disordered and wholly unnatural. What do you think?
Many religions find homosexuality unnatural, but I think that it is okay if people's choice. If it does not end up harming anyone, and gives emotional comfort to the participants, I find it alright.
If you use the exact same paper in two classes, are you plagiarizing?
Using the same paper can be considered as plagiarism since there is a lack of originality. It is essentially cheating since you are copying from somewhere instead of producing new work.
Suicide seems to be a psychological problem. So, how could it be a moral problem where we hold the person who commits suicide responsible for her/his actions?
We would hold the person responsible if the actions of anyone else did not cause the suicide. If nobody knew of the impending suicide, hence no ability to intervene, nobody else could carry the blame except the victim.
Should we show beheadings (like the ones ISIS performed) on TV news?
The beheadings should not be shown due to their gruesome and horrific nature. Airing the videos advances the propaganda mechanism for the terrorists and causes emotional discomfort without solving the issue.
Someone might say, "You shouldn't do anything that you wouldn't want your mother to see you doing." What do you think of that as an ethical guideline?
It is a proper ethical guideline since most people would not want their mother to see them doing the wrong thing. Mothers are traditionally known for raising people to be upright citizens with the right set of morals.
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