Justice What’s the Right Thing to Do? Assignment 1

A moral dilemma refers to a complex situation where an individual is
faced by apparent mental conflict pitting varied moral imperatives, in
which the obedience of one would result in the transgression of another
(Harding, 2010). In chapter one, a moral dilemma can be seen where the
sellers need to operate under the laws of supply and demand and even
make a kill out of every opportunity, yet they would not want to exploit
a misfortune involving natural calamities.
Moral dilemmas in day-to-day life.
On a trip to school, the busboy forgets to ask for money for my ticket.
I really need could do with the money, yet I am morally obligated to pay
for the ticket.
My friend’s girlfriend leaves his email without login out, upon which
my curiosity takes the best of me and I read a message that pops in. It
turns out that she has been cheating on my friend, in which case I
don’t know whether to tell my friend or confront the girl, who also
happens to be my friend.
While walking my cat and my neighbor’s cat, they both get stuck in a
cage and on walking where the cats are stuck, I realize that my
neighbor’s cat is really struggling unlike mine. However, I can only
manage to save one cat.
Sitting in the balcony of my house, I hear a screeching sound and see my
friend’s car swerve trying to avoid hitting my neighbor’s dog.
Unfortunately, my friend hits and kills the dog instantly, but he drives
on as no one saw him do the act.
Assignment 2
Utilitarianism involves the making of decisions based on considerations
of the costs and weighing them against the benefits. While this may be
the easiest way of making decisions, it ignores the fact that there are
actions that should be morally defensible irrespective of their
consequences. There exists a certain way in which individuals should
treat each other, in which case human beings have certain moral duties,
obligations, as well as inalienable rights.
Assignment 3
As much as rules of free market have been seen as promoting efficiency,
they should not be allowed in the academic field where marks are sold to
the highest bidder. This is especially considering that such market
mechanisms are seen as discriminatory against those individuals that may
not have the financial muscle to afford them (Harding, 2010). On the
same note, such a mechanism does not consider other strengths that an
individual may have in determining what marks to award them (Harding,
Baby M’s case involved a contract for surrogacy where Mr. and Mrs.
Sterns would hire Beth Whitefield to carry Mr. Stern’s birth to term
and give the baby up to the Sterns upon birth for $10000. However, Beth,
upon giving birth to the child declined to give it up leading to
litigation. Judge Harvey R. Sorkow ruled that the baby should remain
with the Sterns as a valid contract had been made, in which case its
sanctity had to be respected. He opined that such contracts did not
amounts to baby selling as it was William Stern’s biological baby, in
which case one cannot buy what he already owns. Moreover, since men are
allowed to sell their sperms, women should also be allowed to sell their
reproductive capacity, in which case the contract did not revolve around
exploitation of women.
The New Jersey Supreme court, however, overruled Sorkow’s ruling but
gave the Sterns custody of the baby stating that it was in the child’s
best interests. The court ruled that surrogacy contracts are not truly
voluntary as the mother is unaware of the bond that will be created upon
carrying the pregnancy.
I find the first ruling more reasonable as Beth was only offering a
service rather than selling a child. In addition, the sanctity of the
contract must be respected especially considering that this was William
Stern’s biological child.
Assignment 4
Compensating for past wrongs- The compensatory argument seeks to remedy
past wrongs using affirmative action, where minorities would be given
preference in an effort to compensate for the injustices to which their
forefathers were subjected (Sandel, 2010). However, this argument has
faced opposition on the basis that the individuals being compensated are
not the ones who suffered the injustices, neither are the individuals
paying for the past wrongs the ones who committed them (Sandel, 2010).
Universities, beyond offering academic experience, allow for the
mingling of individuals from different ethnic, racial, religious and
cultural backgrounds, in which case all of them would learn immensely
from each other. This, therefore, introduces the aspect of affirmative
action where universities would offer equal opportunities without
discriminating against any individual irrespective of his or her
Sandel, M. J. (2010). Justice: What`s the right thing to do?. New York:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Harding, C. G. (2010). Moral dilemmas and ethical reasoning. New
Brunswick [N.J.: Transaction Publishers.

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