Applied ethics writing exercise

Module 3: Applied Ethics Writing Exercise
In this assignment, you will practice applying a moral theory to an issue of high moral importance. This assignment will prepare you for the essay you need to complete in Module 4, which will require that you apply the relevant theories to a particular case and use your analysis to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Topic: Should there be a border wall?

Recently there has been much debate about the necessity of a border wall between the United States and Mexico. What would utilitarianism tell us about the ethicality of a border wall between the United States and Mexico?

I. Materials

For the purpose of this assignment you must consider the following readings along with the material in your course text. Do not utilize external sources. You will not be given credit for citing external sources and incorporating them will detract from your grade.

1. Driscoll, Sally and Cheryl Bourassa. “Border Walls: An Overview.” Points of View: Border Walls, 31 Mar. 2017, p. 1.

2. Issitt, Micah and Tom Warhol. “Counterpoint: Border Walls Are Ineffective and Damaging to Native Ecosystems.” Points of View: Border Walls, 31 Mar. 2017, p. 3.

3. Rich, Alex K. and Heather Newton. “Point: A Wall Is the Best Way to Protect the U.S. Border.” Points of View: Border Walls, 31 Mar. 2017, p. 2.

II. Analysis

Failure to format your submission correctly (with the below Section 1, and Section 3 headings) may include a 5 point deduction in your grade:

Section 1: General Overview of Utilitarianism (your submission should include this heading)

Explain how we evaluate the moral status of actions according to classical utilitarianism, distinguishing it briefly from other versions of consequentialism including (a) ethical egoism and (b) rule utilitarianism. Please provide examples.

Section 2: Bentham or Mill? (your submission should include this heading)

Identify the version of classical utilitarianism you will consider (Benthem or Mill) and summarize the key components of the theory.

Section 3: Application of Bentham or Mill (your submission should include this heading)

Identify how Benthem or Mill would assess the claim that there should be a border wall between the US and Mexico.

III. Formatting

For this assignment, you do not need to write an introduction or a conclusion; however, you need to cite all sources as you would in a standard philosophical essay using MLA formatting and citation guidelines. MLA Tool Kit

Also, to be totally clear, your assignment must be organized in accordance in the above structure (i.e., with appropriate headings and with the appropriate content under said headings). Failure to do so may include a 5 point deduction.

Your goal is to provide a rich description of the theory under review and a clear account of how it applies to the case at hand. Label each section of your assignment according to (1-3) above.

You should have 2-3 paragraphs of content for each section. Your submission should be between 800-1000 words, with a minimum of 750 words.

See the Schedule and Course Rubrics in the Syllabus Module for due dates and grading information.


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