Analytical Skill Building:
This class has profoundly helped me shape my way of thinking and my perception and views of situations and occurrences that happen in life. When I first began this class I was intimidated by just the actual title of the class “ethics” and because of that, I never thought I would get much out of the class or enjoy it in any way. My first post or response about the study of ethics and why it was important to me I posted or stated that “I felt ethics was important because it helps define people for who they are. And I still believe and I am reassured even more now that the moral fiber and principles of ethics truly define people for who they are, And reminds people to honor their principles morals and values that ethically define the character of their being. In my younger days my actions and reactions toward any given situation were instant and without thought or regard for others feelings and wellbeing. As I have gotten older I find myself being more considerate to others and more sensitive to how my actions may affect or impact them. I find this intriguing because when I was younger I did not have a lot of empathy or sympathy for others most of the time, basically I could have cared less to be brutally honest. The other night at work I could have easily told a co-worker who was sharing his moral dilemmas he was experiencing in his life, that I did not want to hear it or I could have easily said to him that sounds like a personal problem. But instead I listened and gave him the best insight and advice I could offer to the situation he was going through. I felt guilty knowing I had the ability to devastate or impact someone’s personal perceptions and views in such a negative way had I chose not to listen and had blown my co-worker off without regard for his feelings or well-being. The goals in this course I hope will allow me to be more sensitive and rational to others who may have different ethical opinions and views than what I do. When I look back at the situation with my co-worker I feel my thoughts were there but I probably used a very weak example of how I truly felt. To write it all over again I would not change the strong feelings I have about ethics defining a person. But I would reshape my thinking around some issues. This class has changed my mind and thoughts on how ethics ultimately does help define a person. I can say with sincerest confidence and the slightest hesitation of doubt that ethics helps people honor their morals, values, and principles that help define who they are. In the Unit 7 employee rights case Study and the discussion board following this study, I stated “the constitutional right to free speech and certain other ethical standard is not an employment right, so basically in Allen’s case the focus is based more on ethical considerations. ExtremeNet was morally and ethically wrong for the way they treated their lower level employees and were wrong for their unethical business practices all together. Allen was wrong for creating the website to expose his company’s unfair business practices and risking ruining the company’s reputation. This was not my strongest post but one of the posts that helped reassure me and remind me how important it is to shape your way of thinking when developing a perception or a view on an ethical basis of any given situation that occurs. After Unit 7 I felt like I was able to shape my thinking a little more clearly when developing a view or perception over an issue or a situation. By the time Unit 8 rolled around I felt the ability of shaping my way of thinking to develop a positive and open minded perception or view of any situation or incident that could happen was evolving in a very productive way. I was becoming more confident in my discussions with my fellow classmates in seminar and on the discussion boards, by slowly developing a positive and open minded perception and view of my fellow classmates opinions and feelings. Animal Rights and Andy Stewart’s Choice brought out one my best well thought out responses in the discussion boards. I stated, “This is a very difficult choice influenced by a lot of facts, but I guess to best answer the question how and to what extent should ecological concerns about energy and resource consumption influence Andy Stewart’s choice? would be to many extents Andy should be concerned because even though these animals provide things such as milk, eggs, cheese and meats they still deserve to be treated in a humane manner because if animals can give so much of themselves to ensure human survival, then up until the point that the resource that animal can provide is needed it should be allowed a decent living environment to graze or roam as freely as possible in its maintained environment.
Animal cruelty to any extent is wrong. And Andy in his choice also needs to consider the healthier the environment of the animals is the healthier the product produced from these animals will be. Leaving less room for disease and pain of the animals that can lead to disease and pain of the consumer if an infected resource from one of these animals was to reach the market. So ultimately in Andy’s choice he should put first the treatment and concern of the animals and by doing this he in a way would also be putting first the interests and concerns of the consumers because healthy animals in healthy environments produce healthy resources for consumers as my grandma used to tell me. And I believe this would be the positive and responsible choice for Andy to make. This section really made me start to think about how serious the dangers of issues like factory farming really are, and how I felt about the rights of animals and just how safe the resources and products that come from mistreated and malnourished animals truly are. I was really neutral on this issue at first and did not know how to shape my thinking around it in a positive way in my view or perception of this issue. But my fellow classmates helped me see things in a different light. These are all examples of my progress in terms of analytical skill building and how I improved shaping my way of thinking around issues and occurrences in everyday life to develop a positive perception or view over those issues and occurrences.
I realized over time the more I studied and read; I started to go deeper and deeper in the units I actually started recognizing how much I was actually learning about issues and situations I knew very little about. For example the ethical views and perceptions over abortion between the pro-life groups associated with The National Right to Life and pro-choice groups associated with Pro-Choice America that was debated in Unit 3. I did a lot of research on this topic and in the discussion board over this debate in Unit 3 I stated, abortions in many people’s minds are wrong immoral and considered murder in a sense to many people around the world. One group I researched The Americans United for Life, believe every life should be welcomed and when threatened protected by law. This group uses any and all legal measures to protect the unborn and oppose the laws that support abortion. This group’s biggest opposition is The NRAL- the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League.
This group support legal and safe abortions and looks for new ways to reduce the need for abortion by improving access to birth control. From my research I could see conflicting views from each of these organizations and there stand on abortion. The Aul argues abortion is wrong in any measure used to make it legal without it being a medical emergency should be banned.
The NRAL believes safe ways of abortion should be legal and a right of the woman but believes alternatives should always be in the works to give women other choices more positive than abortion but believes it should be a choice of freedom not a law of demand like the AUL continues to fight for. These facts views and opinions
In my opinion abortion has times when it may be justified such as threatening pregnancy not in full term that threatens the mother’s or in some cases where a woman is raped I am pro-life in a sense but I am not close minded to abortion because ultimately women are human and they make choices and it is their body and their choice and they will do what they please whether we as a society support them or not. The views and opinions of the pro life group The Americans United for Life and the pro choice group National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League were obtained from articles and written statistics and facts obtained from these websites http://www.aul.org/about-aul/ and http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/what-is-choice/ which helped to define what each group’s views and perceptions over issue of abortion were. The importance of the facts that were expressed and identified with in each group’s perception and views regarding abortion help to bring up many important questions over the issue of abortion and help to defend each groups position on where they stand over this issue. I found it is impressive and intriguing how strong willed people can be over their moral and ethical perception and views of an issue like abortion and I found it to be noble for people to adhere to their convictions and allow that to be their justification in making their decision for which side they stand on over such a powerful issue like abortion. This Unit taught me how ethics plays a vital role in every perception, view or stand taken on any situation or occurrence that happens in life, and how people allow their morals, values and principles to be their conviction on where they stand on such ethical and debatable situations that impact the value of life as we know it. The example of the websites listed above for each group and their reasons for their stands they have over the issue of abortion to me exemplifies moral and ethical convictions of people using different forms of known facts and statistics to support their stand on this crucial issue and gain supporters for their stand on the issue by using guilt tactics supported by these facts and statistics to support why their view or perception on abortion is right and the oppositional view or perception on the issue of abortion is wrong. To me these kinds of tactics to gain support on where you stand over an issue is unethical, but to others they may see things differently. At the start of Unit 3 I wrote my first paper exemplifying what I had learned up to this point in the class. The paper was a position paragraph over any topic of my choice that I had learned about in the class up to this point. I was able to write a clear and concise paragraph. I stated in my paragraph “Amniocentesis” is a medical procedure that can be performed after the 16th week of pregnancy. If used correctly, amniocentesis can help parents and doctors determine what if any health problems the fetus will have prior to its birth. This procedure is done by a needle being inserted into the amniotic sac, and some of the amniotic fluid being withdrawn. The fluid is then tested to determine whether or not there is a presence or an absence of abnormalities and the sex of the baby can also be determined through this test. Even though there are several risk associated with the procedure, there is a high level of successful accuracy about 98 to 99 percent associated with the Amniocentesis test. Using Amniocentesis prior to a child being born has helped save the lives of many children who have had an abnormality such as underdeveloped lungs, blood disorders, etc. This is a subject that I had very little if no knowledge about before I attended this class. In the views and perceptions over abortion I learned a very valuable lesson in how divided society can be over strong convictions it feels are backed and supported with moral and ethical circumstances that can be used as a foundation to support one belief and oppose another. In the Unit 5 case study and the debate forum that followed the moral and ethical issues of physician assisted suicide came into question and from this case study and the debate forum that followed I felt like I learned a lot about how the suffering terminally ill patients should have the right to obtain assisted suicide. I derived this conclusion from what I felt I had learned from the unit. I was free of doubt in what I had learned from the unit. I at first was very hesitant in my thoughts over this issue. But by the end of the Unit I was clear in what I had learned and what I felt to be ethically moral in the situation. In my debate forum initial post I “wrote, Physician assisted Suicide in my opinion should not be legalized because no one has the right to play God and if something like physician assisted suicide was legalized it would undermine the credibility and reputation of the physicians that participated such an act. And not only would damage the credibility of the physicians it would create hostility among the family and friends of the patients that would choose this course of action to end their life if it was legal, and would lead to serious repercussions much in the same way as abortion clinics. Such as bombings, protest and other means of public violence in protest of such an action and for that reason the risks, cost and unethical dilemmas legalizing something like this would cause are too great and implement every possible reason why Physician Assisted Suicide should not be legalized now or ever.
Physician Assisted Suicide is in no way is ethical because places the most difficult decision of life or death and the repercussion of that decision and act on the shoulders of someone who has taken an oath to preserve and protect life at any and all cost. And physician Assisted Suicide questions the credibility of that oath for future physicians for one another reason Physician Assisted Suicide is not ethical it breaks the laws and balances of morality, and places the mindset in the world if a mortal even though a physician can take a life and it be legal; why can’t I and sets up precedence for people like serial killers to see justification in their eyes using an action like this as an excuse there are many reasons why this action is unethical but as unethical as it may seem there are some individuals even physicians and terminally ill people who will see as a justified means to end suffering and whether seen as right wrong or indifferent will do everything in their power to make sure the act is carried out regardless of how the rest of the world sees it whether ethical or unethical.
The question of to what extent I have been able to connect course material to contemporary society and to my own life is not a difficult one to answer. The most important thing and the main thing I have learned is my personal ethical values may be completely different than those of any other individual. I have learned I need to evaluate and analyze all information I perceive or view before jumping to conclusions on any issue or occurrence that happens or takes place in life. For example Unit 8 introduced me to the moral status and rights of animals. Before this Unit I had never really thought much about how animals were treated or what rights they should have, or how the mistreatment and malnourishment of these animals could affect the quality of the resources and products I use like milk, eggs and meats. I am a lot more careful in my selection of where I buy my meats and dairy products, and a lot more concerned now over animal cruelty than I ever was before. In my Unit 8 debate forum I wrote, The processes that takes place inside the world of factory farming for the intent of quick and big profit with the risk of the consumers health at stake and the mistreatment and cruelty to all animals such as cows, pigs and chickens that provide viable resources needed for human survival at these factory farms is insane, and hat is even more insane is the number of pollutants such as ecoli, various other forms of bacteria and diseases that can be spread from the lack of concern in the quick packaging and preparation of such resources such as eggs, meats and milk.
The government should bring farming back to where it belongs to real farmers and if the government is going to continue to allow factory farms than yes there should be very strict and safe regulations enforced to ensure fair treatment of the animals and healthy products and resources being produced, manufactured and shipped to the markets for the consumers. And if these regulations are not going to be made the government needs to go ahead and shut-down and ban factory farming in the interest of fair and humane treatment to animals and the safety of the consumers who receive resources from these animals because humane treatment of animals produces healthier animals and healthier products and we as consumers should care as much about the animals well-being as the animals do in their sacrifice to us to provide us with food needed for survival.
I do believe the Meatrix is a very fair depiction of what happens in our meat industry because I worked for Tyson foods for about three months through a temp service once and the things I saw in the meat packing process in that factory would make a Billy-goat puke so yes in my opinion in more ways than on the Meatrix cartoon is fair and justified in what it is depicting and exposing about our meat industry especially the treatment of the employees and lack money and benefits those employees receive for the risks and dangers they take. And the government’s lack of concern over this whole situation is what is so alarming and scary because if we keep going the way we are going we will have a really happy medical profession with overly sick society for no other reason but to net a big profit to keep corporate greed and big business happy. A good example of how I was able to connect the material in the course to contemporary society can be brought out in my Unit 4 project paper that regarded my reflection and position on capital punishment. I addressed the governor of my State and wrote, I am writing you to address the issue of Capital Punishment in our state. I stand as a firm believer of capital punishment in the State of Arkansas for many reasons. One of the key reasons I am a firm believer in Capital Punishment in our state is the constant rise of homicides and the number offenders who commit brutal crimes and serve little time and our released and then commit even more brutal crimes and shatter the lives of innocent people. From 2010 to 2011 homicides spiked by 50% it is the staggering statistics like these that confirm all the reasons the death penalty and capital punishment in our state should be enforced. Capital Punishment being enforced in our state would be a strong deterrent against crimes like premeditated murder, Kidnapping with the intent to do bodily harm and vicious and brutal rapes. We currently have 40 prisoners sitting on our state’s death row in Grady, Arkansas and it costs the tax payers $883,592 per year to house vicious criminals who have committed murder and rape and some of those murders and rapes were of innocent children. Offenders, who have been proven guilty of capital crimes beyond the shadow of any doubt like murder or brutal rapes, like all of our state’s death row inmates have, should have their rights forfeited to be treated ethically. Because they have violated both morality and the law and by putting these individuals to death, it would be no different than killing a wild animal who threatened the innocent lives of people in our society. When we weigh the odds of housing prisoners at the taxpayers’ expense of $883,592 per year for each year these inmates are kept alive on death row; which is what it cost the tax payers of our state me being one of them sir, that is an awful big burden for the taxpayers to carry. Mr. Beebe, this burden increases each time another offender is sent to death row in our state. I believe by enforcing capital punishment and executing a few of these prisoners each year, we not only lighten the burden on the taxpayer’s shoulder’s, we also give peace of mind to victims and victim’s families who have suffered inequities by the crimes of these criminals by giving them the assurance these criminals can never harm anyone again.
In conclusion, this course has taught me so many things I never knew before and much more than I ever imagined I would ever learn coming into a course like this. I had some very strong views and perceptions I had over certain situations in society changed thanks to this course. I also had some ethical beliefs I had prior coming into this class that were reassured and strengthened by all I have learned in this course. What I learned and accomplished in this course I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and allow it to help shape and change me in my thinking and general views and perceptions over situations that may come about or exist in life. This course will help me to be a more open minded individual, and help me to understand others ethical beliefs as well; even when they may be different from mine.