Short-Essay Assignment 3

Assignment Instructions


For this assignment, you will compose a well-written and thoughtful short-essay of 500-750 words in length (2-3 pages). Select and answer one of the four questions provided.

In terms of research, you should not use articles more than 5 years old except for historical perspectives. 

Format & Expectations

State your thesis, the answer you want to defend using at least three well-supported reasons embodying logic, reason, and research. Give possible objections to your arguments, answer these objections and restate your conclusion. Essays should include a Works Cited page following MLA Style. For grading expectations, please see the iRubric for this assignment in the Gradebook.


Answer one of the questions below in a well-written, thoughtful essay:

1.    Why according to the “principle of equality” must one show that there are real differences rather than just surmise that they exist? [Be sure you are discussing this concept as it is used by John Rawls]

2.    Give arguments for or against the proposition that any form of genetic manipulation is “playing God”. Might there be forms that are acceptable such as fighting cancer?

3.    Agree or disagree with Kant’s thesis that acts that cannot be universalizable or that manipulating persons without their permission (you can choose one or the other, you need not do both)  are wrong even if they bring about good results or consequences. Be sure to explain the role of a Good Will and duty.

4.    Compare Nietzsche’s notion of “will to power” with C. G. Jung’s insight Quoted in the following citation: “Where love rules, there is no will to power, and where power predominates, love is lacking.”

Supporting Materials

·          MLA Template.docx (15 KB)


Look up the term Environmental Ethics at, then answer the following questions: Do you think that a book, a plant, or a building can be said to have intrinsic values, a good of its own? Or are there real differences between these three types of things?  Can any of these things have intrinsic interests that should be honored?  Explain your answers.

Westermarck writes, “…a theory which leads to an examination of the psychological and historical origin of people’s moral opinions should be more useful than a theory which postulates moral truths enunciated by self-evident intuitions that are unchangeable”. Agree or disagree and give your reasons.

Do you think that non-human animals have interests? Does this mean that they also have rights? Explain.



For this assignment, you will identify a current ethical issue from those provided and suggest an approach to the issue that is consistent with each of three major ethical theories presented in this course (consequentialist, non-consequentialist, virtue). For example, if you are for allowing divorces, then you would present a deontologist perspective for justifying divorce, a utilitarian perspective for justifying it, and a virtue theorist perspective for justifying it. Additionally, pick one of the methods of justification and state why you prefer it over the other two.

Format & Expectations

The format will be a narrated PowerPoint presentation of 10-12 slides and should include an introductory slide and a Works Cited slide following MLA Style. Keep in mind it is “works cited” and that means you must cite the resource either on the slide or in the notes to justify listing the resource.  If you are unable to add narration, be sure to add commentary in the notes section for each slide. DO NOT just read the slides if you narrate. The slides should contain bullets that are explained by you in the narration or the notes. Ideally, you will have bullets on the slides and your commentary as a transcript in the notes section.  Note that you should be looking at a minute or less on each slide. If you submit a presentation where the narration is longer than 12 minutes, I will not listen to the whole thing.

minimum of 6 references is required, with 2 references per theoretical approach. NOTE, just like papers, there needs to be a citation ON the slide or IN the notes section to justify using it as a work cited.


Submit your presentation as an attachment within the Assignments area.


Please select your topic from the following:

·         Abortion

·         Affirmative Action (as a way to fight discrimination)

·         Animal Rights

·         Civil Disobedience (should be encouraging for the right reasons or should be oppressed)

·         Genetic manipulation in babies

·         Euthanasia (specifically, for or against physician-assisted suicide)

·         Poverty (need to work to eliminate or need to keep as part of an orderly society)

Supporting Materials

·          MYERS Best Practices.pptx (1 MB)


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