Responses must have a minimum of 200 words each and must directly quote and properly cite (using MLA format) from the assigned textbook Competing Visions: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy. I expect substantive and scholarly responses which evince an understanding of the complex chapter readings.
Ch. 2: Epicurus
4) According to Epicurus, what incentive or motive do people have to obey the laws and behave justly toward one another? Do you agree with Epicurus on this issue? Why or why not?
Ch. 3: Marcus Aurelius
5) ” Choose not to be harmed—and you won’t feel harmed.
Don’t feel harmed—and you haven’t been.” Explain Marcus Aurelius’ meaning in these lines. Do you agree or disagree, and why?
Ch. 4: St. Augustine
6) According to St. Augustine, is it possible to achieve true happiness by focusing on our body only? Why or why not? Do you agree or disagree, and why?
Ch. 6: Hobbes
3) Compare Christ’s Golden Rule with Hobbes’ Golden Rule. Which do you think is more effective in getting people to obey the laws, and why?
Ch. 7: Hume
5) According to Hume, would justice be necessary in a utopian society? Why or why not? Do you think he is correct, and why?
Ch. 8: J.S. Mill
6) Explain John Stuart Mill’s theory of higher and lower pleasures: Are there any problems inherent in the theory? Overall, does Mill’s idea of higher and lower pleasures make sense to you? Why or why not?
Ch. 10: Sartre:
3) What exactly does Sartre mean when he says that “If God does not exist, then everything is permitted”? Do you agree with him? Why or why not?
Chapter 11: Theodore Dalrymple:
4) According to Dalrymple, what is the fundamental difference between “depression” and “unhappiness”? Are you persuaded by his argument? Why or why not?
5) Throughout his writings, Dalrymple contrasts what we might call the “tragic view” of human life (held by writers like Turgenev, among others) and the “utopian view” (held by writers like Marx and Ibsen). Briefly describe the difference between the two, and explain which of the two you find the more plausible and why.