Classical ethical theories of utilitarianism

In this course, you will look at classical ethical theories of utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics. You will also examine different perspectives on ethical issues introduced by relativism, ethical egoism, and emotivism. For this paper, you will apply these theories and perspectives to a current issue, selected from the list of issues below.

Choose one of the ethical issues from the list below to research and write about. It is recommended that you choose a topic you are familiar with or have thought about previously. For example, you might choose an issue that either worries you or enrages you; you might choose one that you have worked on; or you might choose one that relates to recent events in your community.

Possible Issues

  • Corporate contributions to political campaigns
  • Affirmative action
  • The media and its responsibilities
  • Domestic surveillance
  • Whistle blowing in government or in a business
  • Religion in the workplace
  • Pornography
  • Consumer tracking
  • Ethical problems of gambling
  • Progressive taxation rates
  • Immigration
  • Women’s equality

In your paper, you will apply the ethical theories and perspectives to the issue you select. You do not have to use all six, but you should apply at least two ethical theories and at least one ethical perspective in your paper. Make sure you write primarily on ethical topics and concepts; do not get distracted by doing analyses that apply political, economic, religious, or legal perspectives. Describe, compare, and apply the ethical theories and perspectives to the topics. Explain how the theories and perspectives would analyze the issue. What are the ethical issues? Where are there breaches of ethical behavior? How could each theory help people think about what would constitute virtuous or ethical behavior?

The paper must be eight to ten pages in length (excluding title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style. You must use at least five scholarly sources from the Ashford University Library other than the textbook to support your claims. You can also use the Sociology Research Guide located in the Ashford University Library. Cite your sources within the text of your paper and on the reference page. For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar in your online course.

Writing the Final Paper

The Final Paper

  • Must be eight to ten double-spaced pages in length (excluding title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Be sure to double-space your text and use one-inch margins.
  • Must include a title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
  • Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
  • Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
  • Must document all sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  • Must include a separate reference page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.

You must use at least five academic sources in addition to the required text. You can find academic sources in the Ashford University Library. Academic sources include peer-reviewed journal articles, research-based books, theses and dissertations, and research-based government documents.

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