reflect on the ethical aspects of a topic related to biology. You may use the topic you did your research on or any other topic that interests you in the course so far that lends itself to ethical analysis. Your reflection may be from the perspective of the individual, a particular social group or community, or society as a whole. Some questions that come up in such a reflection might focus on:
What are the basic rights and responsibilities as members of society and how do they apply to the situation at hand?
What counts as right or wrong, and why? Who decides?
What is the best way for people to behave toward others as well as oneself? What constitutes a life of human flourishing and well-being?
There are no simple answers to these questions because, among other reasons, our concepts of ethics have been derived from a variety of religious, philosophical, or cultural traditions or milieus and may be very different for different individuals. In this assignment, there is no particular right or wrong answer; the idea here is to simply reflect on some aspect of human endeavor within the biological sciences that has moral relevance and could be subject to ethical analysis. Consider in particular the ideas, concepts, principles, and theories we study in this course,
Please watch the following video, “Ethical Reasoning in Action,” (14.43 minutes):
which lays out eight “key questions” that we might use to evaluate the ethical dimensions of a situation. After reading the brief account of ethics as a branch of philosophy above and viewing the video, write a personal reflection essay of around 500 words (minimum) on a biology-related topic of your choice.
The areas of ethical concern discussed in the video are:
Pick one or more of these areas of ethical concern as a way to begin probing and pondering your selected topic.
First, reflect on why the topic you selected presents an ethical issue, a problem of right or wrong, or relates to a morally questionable circumstance or situation. How might different people or groups see the issue or problem? Why might your topic generate moral controversy? Is there a way to judge between competing or opposing views?