Moral Problems

requirements: tructure of the Paper:1.In the introductory paragraph, pique the reader’s interest by posing some of the central philosophical questions at stake in the issue you choose. End your introductory paragraph with a clear, specific thesis statement in the form of, “In this paper, I will argue that…”2.In section one (approx. 300-600 words = 1-2 pages), present the factual background information / context necessary for your reader to understand the contemporary moral problem you have chosen, and explain why it is philosophically meaningful / what is at stake.3.In section two (approx. 1200-1800 words = 4-6 pages), present, compare, and contrast the views of two authors we have studied on this issue.4.In section three (approx. 900-1200 words = 3-4 pages), present and defend your own position in response. Be sure that this is directly tied to your thesis statement in the introduction. outline: What is the contemporary moral problem your paper will address? As the nations of the world begin to produce a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus, the question of distribution has become a real consideration. Is it morally right for these states to provide the vaccine to their own citizens first? Or should distribution take place without consideration of state boundaries? This question calls into consideration several philosophical ideas: equality, utility, social contracts, ethics, global justice, and human rights. 2. Phrase this problem as one question, similar in format to these examples: Is it moral for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, by the wealthy nations that will produce it, to prioritize their own citizenry over the citizens of other countries? 3. What are some of the most important basic facts about this issue that your reader needs to know, in order to understand the context of this issue? This is not about taking a position – it is about first simply presenting some statistics and context for the situation. What is the current situation in which we find ourselves? Be sure to cite your sources. Present this information in 1-2 paragraphs or in a list. The COVID-19 pandemic is a global issue that has affected every part of our world. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html The development of a vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been an expensive project undertaken by several of the wealthier nations. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe2025111 Distribution of the vaccine will be resource-intensive and expensive See above Production of the necessary doses of the vaccine to achieve “herd immunity” worldwide will take months or longer. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31252-6/fulltext The highest level of mortality and rates of infection are found in a mix of wealthy (global north) and poor (global south) countries. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality The debate over which groups should be vaccinated first has been underway for some time already and is not a settled question. https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2020/september/who-should-get-the-covid-19-vaccine-first Global cooperation is difficult during any health crisis, COVID-19 is no exception. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28802695/ 4. What is at stake in this issue, philosophically? Where are some of the main conflicts in values? What are the big philosophical questions or points of disagreement that are in the background of this issue? Answer with a list. The issue at hand is one of life or death for thousands (or more) of people. The communities that receive the vaccine first will be protected from the direct effects of the virus. Furthermore, vaccinated communities will begin the process of recovery in other areas (economic, social, etc), advantaging them even further. One of the conflicts is between the social contract formed by citizens and governments and the universal obligations we have to our fellow man. Some of the relevant questions include: How does one reconcile the obligation of a wealthy state’s government to its citizenry with the obligation of those within that government to humanity in general? What ideas of justice, fairness, and equality should be considered by those making these decisions? What portions of each possible decision can be said to be proper? To be wrong? How can the ethical frameworks we use to judge our own actions be extended to the communal problems raised by the pandemic? How should intentions, actions, and consequences be judged after the decision has been made? 5. Your paper will present, compare, and contrast two conflicting views on this issue, as covered in our course. List the authors, titles, and page numbers of the two articles you will be using. Also briefly summarize the position of each author in approx. 2-4 sentences each. Hobbes and his Leviathan Author: Thomas Hobbes Titles / Pages: Leviathan, pages 101 to 107 Position: Hobbes “Leviathan” owes protection to those who have surrendered parts of their personal autonomy to it. In this sense, Hobbes might further the idea that the state has a duty to its citizenry above that of a general obligation to humanity. This is only one line of argument that will utilize Hobbes’ work. Mill’s utility Author: John Stuart Mill Titles / Pages: Utilitarianism, pages 70 – 75. Position: Mill might ask us to consider whether we would maximize the utility of the vaccine by sharing it with at-risk segments of the population without respect to political boundaries. Mills might also propose that by giving the vaccine to those most likely to contract the disease, we would be reducing the suffering of mankind as a whole – a benefit not limited to those receiving the vaccine itself. 6. Begin to formulate your own response. You can do this in a list, an outline, or in paragraph form. Write the equivalent of 1-3 paragraphs. Consideration of the arguments of Hobbes and Mill can provide us with a jumping-off point with which to analyze the possible frameworks we can construct for answering the question at hand. Hobbes social contract could lead credence to the argument for beginning distribution of the vaccine with those citizens of the states which manufacture it. Mill might counter by saying that it is in all of our self-interest to vaccinate the most at-risk amongst us. A brief outline of the structure of my response follows: Highlight that the two positions are not irreconcilable. Show that Mill’s position could be viewed as superior, as it also allows for the fulfillment of the obligations Hobbes’ ascribes to the “Leviathan.” Show that a position built from the “Mill’s perspective” would allow for an outcome that is more beneficial to all parties involved, including the citizenry of the manufacturing states.

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