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BPYG-171: Applied Ethics

BPYG-171: Applied Ethics

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for BPYG-171 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Applied Ethics, you have come to the right place. BPYG-171 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in BAG courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BPYG-171/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BPYG-171

Assignment Name: Applied Ethics

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


1. Give Answer of all five questions.

2. All five questions carry equal marks

3. Answer to question no. 1 and 2 should be in about 400 words each.


1. Write a note on, 10+10= 20


A) ‘is-ought’ gap.

Ans) The normative statements are claims about what is good, right, bad, and what should be done, in contrast to the descriptive statements, which are assertions about the physical world of senses, which consists of space, things, time, causation, and rules controlling it. With the use of our five senses—listening, touching, looking, smelling, and tasting—descriptive claims can be verified by observation.


The fact that normative statements include value judgments, recommendations, and demands makes it clear that the truth criteria that applies to factual claims does not apply to normative statements. The "is-ought gap" refers to the fact that an "ought" cannot be derived from a "is." It explains that without an established normative statement serving as the premise, normative assertions cannot be inferred from any set of facts.


B) Top-down model of justification in applied ethics.

Ans) These models adapt the existing rules to the brand-new specific events and situations that are right in front of us. This model supports the process by which almost everyone learns to think morally: it works by applying a broad rule or principle to a situation that fits the rule. These models "apply" the rule in a deductive manner.


They adopt the subsequent deductive structure:

  1. Every action in description A is required.

  2. Act B fits within description A, so it does.

  3. Act B is required.


This model/approach assumes that a single principle may be applied to determine whether a particular behaviour is right or incorrect. Giving current moral laws moral priority has a number of issues. A lot of the time, it is necessary to make the moral standards themselves more precise before applying them. Prior to bringing a specific instance under a general concept, this should be done. To give rules, theories, and principles weight, we should look at prior precedents. The key normative ethics theories have already been covered above; Utilitarianism holds that a deed is morally right if it maximises overall goodness, Kantian ethics accepts that a deed is morally right if it upholds the principles of reason and respect for persons, and virtue theory adheres to what a morally ideal virtuous person would do in a morally troubling circumstance.


Furthermore, for a variety of reasons, these hypotheses might not hold consistently. Every situation is different from every other, hence there are no universal rules that can be applied with certainty in any given context. As a result, applying moral standards to a specific event or scenario may produce conflicting results. For instance, if we examine utilitarian justification, we will see that frequently, even though the majority of people are mistaken about what constitutes their happiness, certain actions may be necessary to be morally justifiable. In the Top-Down approach, there is a chance of infinite regress during the reasoning process in addition to it being challenging to demonstrate that particular standards are self-justifying. The pluralistic type of ethical theories, which include various moral principles along the lines of the three already described, is another variation on the top-down paradigm.


2. What is assisted reproductive technique? Write a note on the ethical implications of assisted reproductive technique.

Ans).The term "Assisted Reproduction" refers to a number of reproductive methods used "for producing a child other than through sexual activity between a woman and a man." While some methods "involve simply a couple, others may involve singles or unmarried couples and utilise body goods or third parties' services," The term "deliberate alteration of the process and materials of human reproduction outside of sexual intercourse" can be used to describe assisted reproduction.


"Artificial insemination by husband," "conventional" IVF, and the associated technologies of gamete intrafallopian transfer and zygote intrafallopian transfer, as well as intracytoplasmic sperm injection and preimplantation genetic diagnosis, are techniques involving only a heterosexual pair. In addition to these, methods geared for singles, unmarried couples, or same-sex couples also include "donor insemination," IVF, and PGD utilising donor eggs or sperm, as well as various forms of contract pregnancy or "surrogacy." It should be emphasised that these are not the only accessible methods because they provide numerous permutations and combinations. Additionally, as biological sciences continue to improve, newer methods are becoming available, including cloning, creating eggs from the material of many individuals, using artificial gametes and wombs, etc.


For people and couples who are unable to conceive on their own, these treatments have proven a huge help. However, each of these approaches has its own particular ethical and legal difficulties. There is a pressing need for control whenever there is a demand for social acceptance.   The most fundamental moral questions raised by these behaviours include whether it is morally acceptable to trade and commodify one's body, as well as the issues of bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom.


Additionally, while it is true that these methods have helped infertile people and same-sex couples, there is now a chance of discovering major genetic defects in the kid, allowing potential parents to make an informed choice. However, these possibilities for pre-natal selection and genetic screening have opened a back door for the practises of sex selection (which could result in selective abortions) and some types of "eugenics," in which one can choose whatever "favourable" or "desirable" traits the kid must have. There are extensive ethical and legal discussions about the morality and legality of these limited possibilities.


Even though the means and methods by which reproductive freedom and choice can be exercised are positively expanded by assisted reproductive techniques, especially for those who sincerely want to raise children, there are serious accessibility and availability issues that have a negative impact on the actualization of that freedom and choice. The fact that these procedures are only authorised in a small number of nations is of primary importance in this situation. Another drawback is that these methods are prohibitively expensive, making them difficult for the general public to use. Finally, not all countries have legalised homosexuality, and single parenting is not universally regarded as ethically or socially acceptable.


3. Answer any two of the following questions in about 250 words each. 2*10= 20


a) Write a note on the tempered use of moral theories in the domain of technology.

Ans) Even if we do not prioritise such weighing above all other moral concerns, we can still utilise it to make significant distinctions from utilitarian theory for how to conduct weighing, such as: Should just tangible implications of our choices be weighed, or should intangible effects like rights violations also be considered? Should the person in question or unbiased observers choose the weights? Should all people's interests be considered, or just those of those who are very concerned? Similarly, virtue ethics systematises the daily ideal of strengthening one's moral character and acting as one's best self would, while contract theory does the same for the everyday idea of abiding by agreements and promises.


We have a lot of use for their more rigorous forms that have been established in moral theories, even if we do not prioritise one of these cognitive patterns over all the others. In the process of looking for a reflective balance, moral theories are given an even greater significance. A reflective equilibrium is, generally speaking, a state of mind that has been sufficiently thought through so that further contemplation will not result in any changes in viewpoints. It can be characterised as a stable state or a coherence-achieved state.

The focus in ethics, the field in which the idea of a reflective equilibrium has had the greatest impact, is on the connection between our moral assessments of specific circumstances and our more general moral positions as articulated in moral theories. According to proponents of a reflective equilibrium, rather than favouring one over the other, our specific and general judgments should be changed to fit one another. John Rawls invented the phrase "reflective equilibrium" and used this approach to craft his theory of social justice. Following debates, distinctions between a number of reflective equilibria variations have been made, most significantly between narrow and wide reflective equilibria.


b) What are the main arguments given by Tom Regan to defend Animal rights? Explain.

Ans) The argument is a deontological one, as opposed to consequentialist. If an individual possesses a moral right to not be used as a means to an end, that right ought to be not sacrificed, even if the consequences of doing so are considered appealing. Regan challenges Kant's assertion that moral patient hood is predicated on rationality by observing, following Jeremy Bentham, that this theory would not allow for irrational humans to possess moral status, and proposes the possession of a subjectivity instead.


Regan argues that normally mental mammals over a year old satisfy the conditions, including most human beings, with the possible exception of those in persistent vegetative states, as do several species of birds, and possibly fish. In addition, Regan rejects the idea of denying animals rights by social contract theory, as he makes the argument that young children are also "unable to sign contracts", but are afforded rights anyway.


Furthermore, he makes the argument that if he were to approach animal rights through human social contract, when somebody kicks one's dog, it is only morally wrong because it upsets the person, and not because a wrong has been done towards the dog, which he does not find sensible. Regan argues that rights are not always absolute as there are times when to respect someone's right not to be harmed, another's right not to be harmed must be overridden. e states that when faced with overriding the rights of many innocent beings versus the rights of few innocent beings—when each individual involved would be equally harmed—we should override the rights of the few. He also states when individuals involved are not harmed in a comparable way given a certain course of action, we should mitigate the situation of those who would be worse-off.


Thus, if the harm of a few innocent beings is greater than the harm to many innocent beings, the right action is to override the rights of the many. As this relates to animal rights, Regan asserts the harm in the death of an animal is not tantamount to the harm in the death of a normal, healthy human.

4. Answer any four of the following questions in about 150 words each. 4*5= 20


a) What are the arguments given by Immanuel Kant to oppose the idea of suicide?

Ans) Suicide "is under no circumstances permitted," according to Kant. The suicidal person "sinks lower than the beasts." We "retreat from him in awe." Nothing more horrible could possibly exist. We consider suicide to be carrion. Additionally, if a man attempts suicide and lives, he has effectively "discarded his humanity" and we are free to treat him similarly to how we would treat a horse or a dog when using them for entertainment.


Kant contends that since man is God's property, he does not have the right to decide how to live his own life. But Kant also has a number of purely secular justifications, two of which are worth talking about. The first of them claims that by treating himself like nothing more than a thing, the suicide debases and degrades his humanity:


“Man can only dispose of things; beasts are things in this sense; but man is not a thing, not a beast. If he disposes of himself, he treats his value as that of a beast. He who so behaves, who has no respect for human behaviour, makes a thing of himself.”


Kant’s other argument is based on the undeniable fact that if a person commits suicide he can no longer perform any moral acts. “It cannot be moral,” in Kant’s words, “to root out the existence of morality in the world.” The suicide “robs himself of his person. This is contrary to the highest duty we have towards ourselves, for it annuls the conditions of all other duties.”


b) How reproductive rights can be manifested?

Ans) Reproductive rights become manifest in and through primarily two, interrelated dimensions. Firstly, they may appear as justified moral norms and codes of moral conduct that have come to be supported by strong reasoning and rational deliberation with respect to certain matters of concern and value. In this respect these rights specify what courses of actions and choices are deemed morally right and permissible; or wrong and non-permissible. They inform us about the extent and scope of “what ought to be done” and of “what ought not to be done”. Secondly these rights also exist as legal rights which are usually codified in the form of the civil or constitutional rights sanctioned by specific nation states.


This legislative aspect ensures that any violation of reproductive rights (once codified) is not merely recognized as morally condemnable, but also that it is treated as a violation of certain laws and therefore a matter of both of immorality and injustice. For instance, to say that having access to contraception, or safe and legal abortion facilities is part of one’s basic reproductive rights, implies that acts of restraint or discrimination with regard to the availability of such means is gravely wrong and unjust. It becomes the responsibility of the state to provide measures for protecting individuals against such injustices by building policies that are inclusive, non-discriminatory, and within easy access.


c) What is surrogacy? What are the arguments given against surrogacy?

Ans) Surrogacy is an arrangement, often supported by a legal agreement, whereby a woman agrees to delivery/labour for another person or people, who will become the child's parent(s) after birth. People may seek a surrogacy arrangement when pregnancy is medically impossible, when pregnancy risks are dangerous for the intended mother, or when a single man or a male couple wish to have a child.


In surrogacy arrangements, monetary compensation may or may not be involved. Receiving money for the arrangement is known as commercial surrogacy. The legality and cost of surrogacy varies widely between jurisdictions, sometimes resulting in problematic international or interstate surrogacy arrangements. Couples seeking a surrogacy arrangement in a country where it is banned sometimes travel to a jurisdiction that permits it. In some countries, surrogacy is legal only if money does not exchange hands.


There are a number of justifications offered for surrogate motherhood that refute every justification for it. They contend that the legal agreements governing surrogacy do not do harm to the kid, the surrogate's family, or the labour market. The legalisation of surrogacy would necessitate taking into account a fair point of view, which would depend on forming a cogent viewpoint. A balanced perspective should reject both the supporters' and the critics' respective biases in order to establish a balanced viewpoint.


d) Explain briefly the arguments against euthanasia.

Ans) Some non-religious arguments against euthanasia include:

  1. Euthanasia would weaken society's respect for the value and importance of human life.

  2. Proper palliative care is available which reduces or removes the need for people to be in pain

  3. It would lead to worse care for the terminally ill

  4. It would put too much power in the hands of doctors, and damage the trust between patient and doctor.

  5. Some people may feel pressured to request euthanasia by family, friends or doctors, when it isn't what they really want.

  6. It would undermine the commitment of doctors and nurses to save lives.

  7. It would discourage the search for new cures and treatments for the terminally ill

  8. Some people unexpectedly recover.

  9. Some people may change their mind about euthanasia and be unable to tell anyone.

  10. Voluntary euthanasia could be the first step on a slippery slope that leads to involuntary euthanasia, where those who are undesirable or seen as a problem could be killed.


5. Write short notes on any five of the following in about 100 words each. 5*4= 20


a) Informed consent

Ans) The idea of informed consent is a key component of the doctor-patient interaction. Before beginning treatment or any surgical operation, a patient's consent is obtained in a formal manner. Each patient has the right to be informed about and involved in every step of the healing process. Given this, informed consent is a value-driven concept that centres on the idea of the patient's autonomy.


Every patient has the right to full disclosure of their condition, diagnosis, prognosis, alternative treatments, and any associated dangers. The doctor has a responsibility to fully explain the patient's situation and the course of therapy that is being planned for them. The post-operative prognosis and the quality of life following the procedure must be honestly explained to the patient by the doctor. Additionally, it is advised that the doctor be able to properly communicate with the patient, avoiding the use of medical jargon as much as possible. The patient must be able to understand the communication if it is in basic language.


b) Choice problem

Ans) The theory choice problem is the first of them. There are numerous moral theories in existence, and despite centuries of debate, moral philosophers have not been able to determine which is correct. To put it frankly, moral philosophers frequently concur that one of the moral theories in existence is the one and only, true theory. They disagree on which theory is correct, though. Because there is much debate over the best moral theory, "applying moral theory" can appear arbitrary to practical ethicists. Contrast this with practical mathematics and physics, which both rely on extensively verified hypotheses that are not seriously questioned.


c) Applied Ethics

Ans) It can be helpful to contrast it with other applied fields. A mathematical theory is employed in applied mathematics to address a problem that is not directly related to pure mathematics. The method of applying the idea does not considerably alter or expand upon it. Similar to this, applied ethics is a discipline—or group of disciplines—that employs moral theory as a tool to address ethical issues in a variety of real-world contexts. In fact, several moral philosophers have advanced that strategy.


Applied ethics is "the application of an ethical theory to some specific moral problem or set of difficulties," according to Bernard Gert. Peter Singer, who supports using utilitarian moral theory to establish what is right and wrong in bioethics and other fields of applied ethics, is the most well-known supporter of this perspective. However, the majority of researchers in the many branches of applied ethics, including technological ethics, don't appear to agree. The notion that domain-specific ethics should be the application of an ethical theory has at least three significant flaws.


d) Data breach

Ans) A data breach is a security violation, in which sensitive, protected or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen or used by an individual unauthorized to do so. Other terms are unintentional information disclosure, data leak, information leakage and data spill. Incidents range from concerted attacks by individuals who hack for personal gain or malice (black hats), organized crime, political activists or national governments, to poorly configured system security or careless disposal of used computer equipment or data storage media. Leaked information can range from matters compromising national security, to information on actions which a government or official considers embarrassing and wants to conceal. A deliberate data breach by a person privy to the information, typically for political purposes, is more often described as a "leak".


e) Human rights

Ans) Human rights are moral principles or norms for certain standards of human behaviour and are regularly protected in municipal and international law. They are commonly understood as inalienable, fundamental rights "to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being" and which are "inherent in all human beings", regardless of their age, ethnic origin, location, language, religion, ethnicity, or any other status. They are applicable everywhere and at every time in the sense of being universal, and they are egalitarian in the sense of being the same for everyone. They are regarded as requiring empathy and the rule of law and imposing an obligation on persons to respect the human rights of others, and it is generally considered that they should not be taken away except as a result of due process based on specific circumstances.

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