CUA Fundamentals of Ethics Discussion Please respond to 3 threads ( As if you directly talk to them)Comments: In addition to posting your own questions and

CUA Fundamentals of Ethics Discussion Please respond to 3 threads ( As if you directly talk to them)Comments:
In addition to posting your own questions and offering tentative
answers, you must respond to at least three postings by classmates. The
goal is to have a sustained, asynchronous conversation that develops
your reasoning skills and improves your comprehension of the positions
and arguments you are studying. Grading Rubric for Discussion Board
Highest Possible Score: 5/5
Approximate correlations: 5 = A; 4 = B; 3 = C; 2 = D; 1 = F
1) Sources: comprehension and effective engagement
3 pts.
3: Comments demonstrate excellent comprehension of assigned sources
and engage them effectively.
2: Comments demonstrate moderate, but not excellent, comprehension
of assigned sources and engage them somewhat effectively.
1: Comments demonstrate only minimal comprehension and/or
engagement with assigned sources.
0: Comments demonstrate no comprehension or engagement with
assigned sources.
2) Originality
2 pts.
2: Student’s comments present theses, arguments, and objections that
are not readily derivable from the assigned readings.
1: Theses, arguments, and objections presented are partially derivable
from the assigned readings.
0: Theses, arguments, and objections presented are entirely derivable
from the assigned readings.
Thread 1: Rachel Sorkenn
FE page 220
Do animals have rights? Do weak and vulnerable human beings? If so, can
contractarianism account for this?
“Contractariasnism does not require you to do whatever the existing laws and social customs tell
you to do.” (Shafer-Landau, page 214) This can account for if animals and vulnerable humans
have rights because they can share their feelings and rights in a different way. For example, an
old person who cant talk can simply write on a white board or text what they want or how they
want to live. A dog has rights but cant communicate those rights but they should be treated like
human beings.
Plants for instance don’t have a contractual agreement because we use them and take care of
them without their consent. This also applies to animals and vulnerable humans. For them, we
would be giving up their freedom without getting anything in return from them.
Thread 2: Ty Levy
How does Hobbes defend the claim that it is never rational to behave unjustly? Do you find his
arguments convincing?
Hobbes defends his claim that it is never rational to behave unjustly by claiming that “the risks of
doing wrong things always outweigh the potential benefits.” I don’t find this to be a convincing
argument because, in our current world, there are many cases where the risks of being penalized
for a crime are low and the rewards are great. For some people in extenuating circumstances, it is
rational to behave unjustly. However, Hobbes may be able to defend the claim:
“It is always rational to be a just person — the sort of person who values fairness, approves of just
policies, tries to live an upright life, and becomes upset when learning of injustice.”
Following this claim Hobbes could then declare:
“For just people, it is always rational to be just.”
This argument would be more defensible and provides a rational explanation for why people act
unjustly sometimes and why it doesn’t usually pay off.
– Shafer-Landau, R. (2020). The Social Contract Tradition: Problems and Prospects. In The
Fundamentals of Ethics (p. 211). New York: Oxford University Press.
Thread 3: Zoe Telenick
According to Kant, what is the source of human rights? What does his account imply about the
rights of animals and disabled humans? Do you find his views on this subject plausible? (FE
Kant believed that the source of human rights was our rationality and autonomy. He thought that
humanity’s ability to engage in complex reasoning and our capability to be our own selflegislator was the two traits necessary to live a meaningful life. Without these two things Kant
figured our lives would be fit for only an insect. Having human rights protect us from horrible
treatment that would violate our autonomy and rationality and provides each of us with the
minimum respect we are owed because we are humans with these traits.
However, this is a flawed view on the source of human rights because it excludes animals,
disabled humans and infants. Kant is stating that rationality and autonomy are what makes an
individual deserving of human rights. This implies that providing rights to beings that are unable
to make decisions for themselves is not a moral duty. In fact, according to Kant’s theory it is
completely okay to take away fundamental rights from animals or the disabled, because they do
not have the same level of autonomy or rationality as others.
I disagree with Kant’s view in this case. Let’s take the case of animal rights. Kant believed it did
not matter how animals were treated unless a person wanted that animal to be treated well. I
disagree with that view. Even if animals are not able to reach the same level of autonomy as
human beings, they still have a right to live peaceful lives. This is because they have some
autonomy. Animals can choose which direction they walk in, where they choose to sleep and
some species still raise their families and travel in communities. While they are driven by
instinct, they can still exercise a certain amount of choice and will. This makes them deserving of
a certain amount of respect.

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