Ethics - Summer 2013 (Hawkins)

About this class

Contemporary Moral Issues: The last in the series of three required Humanities courses at Champlain College St-Lambert, Quebec.

Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Alex Milton on June 18, 2013
http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/theres-a-plan-to-bury-nuclear-waste-a-kilometre-away-from-lake-huron

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by KatrinaPallikaris on June 17, 2013
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/acquitted_texas_theft_protecting_x... I found this article very interesting.  In Texas, if someone is stealing from you on your property, you are allowed to kill them in defence.  In 2009, a man hired a prostitute and paid her $150.  After she refused to have intercourse with him and refused to give back the money, he shot her several times.  She passed away a few months later and he was not sent to jail out of reasons of self defense.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Camille Burbidg... on June 17, 2013
http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Quebec+okays+alcohol+casino+gaming+t...

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Guillermo Martinez on June 16, 2013
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/may/14/disabled-people-right-die

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Adriano D 1993 on June 16, 2013
LINK: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/after-months-of-threats-now-north-korea-want...

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by alexandrachartrand on June 16, 2013
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/31/us-france-cigarettes-idUSBRE94...

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by kristinarassi on June 16, 2013
Link: http://geneticsresearch.org/designer-babies-playing-with-genetics.php  Designer Babies - Playing With Genetics

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Issa ph on June 16, 2013
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/06/16/wrd-turkey-istanbul-protests-police-government.html I chose this article because I love politics and I find it is a really interesting subject. We can consider this riot to be a little bit like the riots last spring in the province of Quebec, but in a more extreme way.  Should the turkish government have permitted the sit-in in the Gezi Park?

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Francis Marino on June 16, 2013
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2228020/Lacey-Wildd-L-cup-breasts-Mother-6-wants-biggest-breasts-world.html

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by SafwatChoudhury on June 16, 2013
A very important ethical issue has been brought to my attention regarding the use of an Anthrax vaccine being used on children. The US government has proposed this idea; however there are many individuals who are strongly opposed to this, as it is an "unethical" act. This article almost immediately caught my attention because often times, we as a society do not think for ourselves. For an example, countless number people agree to getting vaccinated without really knowing what is being injected into their blood stream.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Shabana S. on June 16, 2013
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/29/bangladesh-factory-tragedy-sweatshop-economics

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Vanessa Séfriou on June 15, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/13/business/fda-issues-warning-on-workout-booster.html

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Sandrine C on June 14, 2013
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22899289

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Benjamin Carbone on June 13, 2013
Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2013/01/28/quebec-education... I chose the article “Quebec’s higher education minister rejects calls for free tuition”, from CBC News, because student fees on education, in Quebec, is a subject that relates to me as a student. This ethical issue makes us reflect about the value we give to education as a society. This issue also brings use to think about human rights on education.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Christos2695 on June 13, 2013
http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/01/16/sandy-hook-truthers-claim-newtown-school-massacre-a-hoax-to-spur-gun-control-measures/ People in society will never know whether massacres or tragedies that occur in the world are either simply an actual tragedy or a hoax enforced by the government. This is clearly shown in the case of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut on the 14thof December, 2012.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Vanessa Séfriou on June 9, 2013
Blog post #1: Death of twin brothers fuels debate over Belgian euthanasia law http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/05/02/f-euthanasia-belgium-debate-sunday-edition.html

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by KatrinaPallikaris on June 9, 2013
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2337447/A-caffeine-addiction-T...

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by SafwatChoudhury on June 8, 2013
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-20762437

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Jessica.Zilic on June 8, 2013
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/technology/130307/freaked-out-horse-meat-try-vitro-beef-burger

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by alexandrachartrand on June 8, 2013
http://www.ibtimes.com/japan-has-many-problems-obesity-isnt-one-them-1038090

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Student

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6 years 1 month ago

This article interested me in particular because I used to have a few friends who used legitimately use electronic cigarettes as a method to quit smoking. Out of around four of five of my friends I think only one or two actually managed to quit by using the electronic cigarettes.
In regards to the question you raise regarding France, I do not think they should ban these electronic cigarettes because they are not causing any harm. These electronic cigarettes are not causing any harm to the user, nor is it causing any second hand smoke which is created from actual cigarettes. As of now there have been no deaths linked directly to the usage of electronic cigarettes, therefore banning them is quite ridiculous. Electronic cigarettes provide as a good alternative to those who smoke cigarettes on a daily basis.
The article states, “…the electronic alternative will increase the general temptation to smoke, including enticing those who have quit to start again…” I strongly believe that the government of France is viewing this matter in the wrong way. The electronic cigarettes were created to act as a method to help those who intend to STOP smoking, not start.
If you’d like, I urge you to read this article, it will provide you with a little bit more insight towards the usage of electronic cigarettes.
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/smoking-cessation/10-facts-abou...

Reply to: Right to die
6 years 1 month ago

Although, individual choice to die represents collective consequence, since there will always be terminally ill patients that want to die we need to consider their suffering. We need to start listening to them. We should not ignore their pain and hear what they have to say.

Perhaps, the right to death is a good alternative to suffering of terminally ill patients. What kind of life is worth living? Most terminally ill patients are isolated, vulnerable, along with their pain and disability. These individuals think their own life doesn't matter and endured suffering that cannot be release with any medication.

However, there are some terminally ill patients that have access great quality of life and do good things. In these cases the patients although the endure a lot of pain chose to live and have their relatives to help and support them. May be we should promote assistance and help for terminally ill patients so that they could access a greater quality of life which would make their life worth living with the pain? killing someone because of his disability is immoral and decreases the value of our own life.

This link has further information in response to the question: What makes a life worth living? Living in suffering yes but at what price to serve what end?To what point death becomes preferable?
http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v1n1/suicide.html

6 years 1 month ago

Reading this story was quite shocking to me. I have never heard of this story. This story interests me because I have always been interested in court cases, reading about investigations and so on.

In my opinion, this man should not go to jail, but only because the law says he shouldn't. I also believe that Texas should change their law immediately. What this man had did is unacceptable regardless of the reason. No one deserves to die over 150$.

If this occurred anywhere else, I would vote to send this man to jail, because the law is the law, and no one may question it. It certainly is unfair to the girl who had been murdered, although she is to blame for what had happened unfortunately.

I agree when you had said that this man should go to jail. Murder is a unforgivable crime. I also agree when you had said that the prostitute was wrong when she kept his money, but at the same time, I feel like she kind of asked for it by taking his money and not providing the service that he had paid for.

I feel like this article can be related to your issue. Your situation talks about how man is set free after murdering a woman. This article talks about how that defendant believes that his jail sentence of minimum 20 years may be too excessive for beating a woman up with a weapon. I belief that he deserve more than 20 years because he had not a single reason to attack her.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-22206005

6 years 1 month ago

I am interested in this topic because I was in French class at Dawson and the teacher posted a video about global warming. This video explains to the viewers how Global Warming is a hoax. I come from a society and home that values the environment as well, but I haven’t hesitated to judge the video and we well as society.

I believe that global warming is most definitely happening however I believe that, like in the video, it is natural. Humans to be high contributors are also fact as well. I believe that it is used as a government plot to receive plot and even a scientific plot as well to receive funding.

As far as the high rates of CO2 on the island, I believe that, that could be from the underwater volcanoes and the ground level volcanoes as well.

I agree that people should still try to reduce how much they use and reduce waste. However I do believe that society’s “leaders” do use the phenomenon to their advantage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJk22xlSP4c

http://www.nanowerk.com/news2/green/newsid=30573.php

Reply to: Turkish Riot
6 years 1 month ago

I find cases of political unrest and revolution to be extremely interesting subjects, I am actually reading a book about the Russian Revolution for fun, so that is why I chose to read this. I do not believe that they should move their protest, it is a very prominent spot that will get a great deal of attention. As you said, it is the location where a commercial mall is going to be, so the government is going to want that to happen, and happen smoothly. The protesters chose this specific park because of what it means to the government, it helps in making their statement.

In the article, it is said that thousands were forced to disperse with the use of tear gas and water cannons. Even non-protesters, like waiters at restaurants or clerks at hotels, were forced to suffer the consequences of the tear gas, as they were forced to cover themselves. Tear gas was also thrown into the lobby of a hotel. From that, I believe that the police force has gone a bit too far. Yes, I do understand that the crowd needed to be dispersed and that tear gas is a very effect tool at doing just that. But from the description given in the article, it seems like a unnecessary amount of gas was used.

If you want further information about the article, this link that sheds light from a different perspective on this specific riot.
http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/remembering-the-unity-of-taksim-square

Reply to: North Korea VS USA
6 years 1 month ago

Korea has always been a country that I’m very interested in. Whether it’s the North or the South it fascinates me. I love South Korean pop culture and even their general culture; the food, the language, the music, etc… I’ve also always been a “tech-y” kid always wanting the newest technologies and the capital of South Korea, Seoul is somewhat of a futuristic city with one of the fastest internets in the world and all the different technologies developed in the country I’m always so fascinated with the country and any international news that comes out of it.

I personally didn’t believe any of the threats concerning a North Korean attack on the US because I have 2 friends who’ve been living in South Korea for 5 years now and they told me that in the 5 years they’ve been there North Korea often threatens the south of bombing them and “cover the country in a sea of fire” and this year it just happened to catch the attention of the world so everyone was scared they’d get bombed when in reality it was just like any other year where nothing happened. They also told me that South Koreans just carry on their daily lives as if nothing was wrong; none of them seemed to be scared of being bombed by their neighbours. To get back to the question, I think to convince the North of dropping their nuclear programs is to just ignore them to be honest. They act like a young child who tries to get attention, since he doesn’t have it he threatens to hurt or break something. If we just ignored them and stopped giving them attention, maybe they’d realize that their plans to blow up the US are ludicrous and stop saying they’ll blow up everything.

I honestly don’t believe any country should have nuclear weapons because they serve absolutely no purpose in my opinion. A country will have these nuclear weapons to boast to other country of their nuclear power and then never use them. If ever a country were to use its nuclear weapons then it would only breed more hate causing the other country to want revenge and will only create this vicious chain of people wanting to kill each other.

Exactly like I said in my last paragraph, because countries get jealous of who has the most power then other countries develop nuclear weapons and then threaten to blow everyone up to show they’re the strongest. If no one had nuclear weapons then that wouldn’t be a problem. There would probably some other sort of weapon but it could be less dangerous.

This is a 3 part documentary made by VICE that focuses on life inside of North Korea and how the country acts like how I describe it at the beginning of this comment. Constantly trying to prove to the film crew of 5-6 people that their country is “beautiful” and “perfect”.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24R8JObNNQ4

6 years 1 month ago

Once I read the article I felt that there are definitely positives to this process of tinkering with cells. I mean I am blessed to be perfectly healthy with no known disorders but not everyone is as lucky as I am. Some people have no choice but to live with what they have and sometimes it just isn't good enough. I truly understand that and that’s why I agree in very rare cases this process should be approved ONLY to benefit a Childs future ex: removing the possibility of certain diseases.

I believe it is wrong to choose how your baby looks. Having a baby is not playing dress up or playing with lego's. You cannot play god. You may be the source of this baby but you have no right to put it together like it’s a toy. It’s a living being and there are other things deciding what your baby will look like. I believe you technically are choosing what you want your baby to look like when you choose a partner to reproduce with. I do not think there are people out there that have children with people they don’t feel do not have traits they would like to see in their child. I also feel that if you love someone and choose to have a baby with them then your offspring should be perfect to you with no exceptions. Lastly I feel that the only time a baby’s life should be put at risk is to attempt to make its life exponentially better in the future and I personally don’t think giving a baby blue eyes and blond hair will not drastically improve the baby’s life. Who are these parents to say this child wants to live with these physical traits?

I am solely for this process if it helps to benefit the Childs life in the future and I don’t mean it benefits its by “looking attractive” I mean lowers chance of suffering from uncontrollable diseases. If it is done to alter the physical traits of the baby I believe it should be considered criminal. We have couples who are literally ruining themselves over the fact that they cannot produce their own offspring but yet we have people that are not happy with their potential baby that they created and want to modify it. Common this is not a Honda were talking about it’s a living being.

Should this process of altering your future Childs physical appearance be illegal?

Here is an article talking about designer babies and why it works in the USA and not United kingdom:
http://www.law.uh.edu/healthlaw/perspectives/2007/(MM)DesignerBabies.pdf

6 years 1 month ago

Tragedies await to happen when certain controls over weapons of violence are not strictyl kept in check. Only when innocent people get hurt do individuals wish to look at the subject of weapons and violence more seriously. And as we know, changes only come about when people are vulnerable and fear their safety. When someone offers protection against certain mishaps such as the Sandy Hook shooting, only then do people wish to change things in order to protect their children because as we know, when children are involved everything changes. What interests me about this topic is the fact that you tie in key elements in your blog post. You mention how the shooting was a hoax as there are many elements to it that are off. You also mention how people only wish to look at a subject more closely and seriously when people get hurt.

What drew me to your topic also is the fact that you present facts and odd occurrences that ensued the shooting like seen in the video of with Emilie Parker's father. As Christos2695 mentions, Robbie Parker laughed on camera a day after his daughter was apparently shot. Also, the fact that “Adam Lanza, entered the school, went into a number of classes and opened fire with a semi-automatic riffle” and then the authorities stated that a shotgun was used “as his main weapon but it was later on discovered in the trunk of his car”. This seems to render a little suspicion when observed more closely.

I do not believe that it is ethically correct to create hoaxes in order to change the laws on gun control. I believe that the power to change certain laws such as the ones on guns should be left to the citizens to decide. Creating a situation such as the Sandy Hook shooting sounds completely terrible because you are putting innocent children in danger. If this is really a hoax then that is completely against what the government promotes which is safety of their citizens and the protection of the country. Putting innocent children in danger goes against everything that the United States has fought for. It would be a true shame knowing that the government would actually do something like this to push people to change their views on guns.

I do not believe that the government should be allowed to create such scams in order to pass policies and bills after tragic events; however, I do believe that the only way that things get done is when people are in a vulnerable state of mind because they fear for their life and they fear for their safety. Governments feed off of people's vulnerability which allows governments to promote certain laws, policies, and legislations. When using a mishap such as the shooting, the government has an easier time passing their laws because people will agree to anything that seems to protect their safety and the safety of others. However, I do believe that the government should take immediate action whenever there is a huge mishap. In order to prevent more, I believe that it is permissible to use tragic events to enforce policies and bills because it is there to protect the citizens and prevent future mishaps from occurring.

With regards to your argument about the government using the shooting as an excuse to pass a policy on the control of guns, I believe that it is the only way to get things done by means of getting the population to accept or deny certain policies. You need to have a tragedy in order to move citizens to get them to open their eyes and see that innocent people are getting hurt every day; we need to control guns much more strictly in order to prevent mishaps such as the Sandy Hook shooting. It may be a hoax, but it still got people around the world to realize that policies on guns should be more stricter than what it is now.

The link below still covers the same subject regarding the Sandy Hook shooting and the push to change gun laws; however, this article states Obama's push to change the gun control laws have failed. His legislation failed at the Senate and ever since then the debate over control laws has been stalled.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/06/14/gun-control-sandy-hook-sho...

6 years 1 month ago

This blog post caught my attention due to the electronic cigarette, which I personally don’t have any experience with. I believe that yes, France and eventually Canada should ban these types of cigarettes. These cigarettes may be less harmful than regular cigarettes but at the same time they will cause a great influence on non-smokers. If we want to make our world healthier then I believe that we must not only help smokers quit but also eliminate the influence on younger generations.

Yes, electronic cigarettes may be a lot better than the regular ones and might also help smokers find a new alternative but I still believe there are better solutions. Like stated in the original blog post, there are patches and gums that will help you quit smoking. Resorting to something that has the same motion, taste and possible psychological effects is not the same thing as quitting with the standard tools. These electronic cigarettes are much more environmentally friendly than the standard ones. So I would believe that it is more beneficial, to everyone, to smoke electronic cigarettes rather than the regular ones. In France they are trying to ban these cigarettes and I believe they are doing the right thing. By banning electronic cigarettes there is the possibility that the amount of smokers will decrease due to the lack of influence. Though nature’s health is extremely important I believe it is more beneficial to deal with the regular cigarette problem first.

People usually think that electronic cigarettes have less of an effect on the human body, but in this case they are wrong. For example, the electronic cigarette does affect lungs as well. In the link below the article describes the many negative effects of electronic cigarettes on the body.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/249784.php

Reply to: North Korea VS USA
6 years 1 month ago

I think that North Korea is a very interesting country to talk about because they are very different than us and take decisions that can seem very weird to us. The nuclear weapons pose a threat to every country, but North Korea is, I think, the most unpredictable country on Earth.
I think that no nations should be allowed to have nuclear weapons because it would kill too many people if they are used and I believe that you don’t solve a problem by killing everyone. Also, everyone should have the right to security and life and nuclear weapons threaten those fundamental rights. Also, those weapons are deadly to everyone, including children, not only soldiers.
However, because the nuclear weapon exists, I think that it would be impossible to keep countries from getting it because after all, we will always run the risk that another country will secretly make a nuclear weapon. That relates to the prisoners’ dilemma. If none of the countries have nuclear weapons it will be a little harder for them to solve their problems because they will not be able to attack each other as efficiently as it would be with nuclear weapons. However, if only one country gets nuclear weapon, this country would have a big advantage over the others, so no country would run this risk and all countries will get/keep nuclear weapons. So I agree with you when you say that “they must level the playing field to avoid being walked all over”.
I think that another important point in this article is the willingness of North Korea to engage in discussion for peace with the United States and South Korea. After all, they demonize the United States and see them as the major threat to their “utopian” society. Related to this, you can go watch this video which is a satire of North Korean propaganda against the United States.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RlgyQ9EDCQ

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