Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Moral Issues

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  • Edition: 11th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-05-11
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Dushkin
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This Eleventh Edition of TAKING SIDES: SOCIAL ISSUES presents current controversial issues in a debate-style format designed to stimulate student interest and develop critical thinking skills. Each issue is thoughtfully framed with an issue summary, an issue introduction, and a postscript. An instructor's manual with testing material is available for each volume. USING TAKING SIDES IN THE CLASSROOM is also an excellent instructor resource with practical suggestions on incorporating this effective approach in the classroom. Each TAKING SIDES reader features an annotated listing of selected World Wide Web sites and is supported by our student website, www.mhcls.com/online.

Table of Contents

Preliminary Contents Unit 1 fundamental Issues in Morality 45804 Issue 1. Is Moral Relativism Correct? YES: 39723 Gilbert Harman, from "Moral Relativism," in Gilbert Harman and Judith Jarvis Thomson, eds., Moral Relativism and Moral Objectivity (Blackwell, 1996) NO: 45805 Lois Pojman, from "The Case Against Moral Relativism," in Louis P. Pojman and Lewis Vaughn, eds., The Moral Life: An Introductory Reader in Ethics and Literature (Oxford University Press, 2007) Philosopher Gilbert Harman argues that relativism is true for moralitymuch as Einstein proved it was true for motion. Just as motion always presupposes some framework in which it occurs (and something can be in motion relative to one person but not to another), morality too always presupposes some framework. Louis Pojman carefully distinguishes what he calls the diversity thesisthat moral rules differ from society to societyfrom ethical relativism. The diversity thesis is a straightforward description of what are acknowledged differences in the moral beliefs and practices of various human groups. But he argues that moral relativism does not follow from this diversity. 34393 Issue 2. Does Morality Need Religion? YES: 24193 C. Stephen Layman, from The Shape of the Good: Christian Reflections on the Foundations of Ethics , (University of Notre Dame Press, 1991) NO: 24194 John Arthur, from "Religion, Morality, and Conscience," in John Arthur, ed., Morality and Moral Controversies , 4th ed. (Prentice Hall, 1996) Philosopher C. Stephen Layman argues that morality makes the most sense from a theistic perspective and that a purely secular perspective is insufficient. The secular perspective, Layman asserts, does not adequately deal with secret violations, and it does not allow for the possibility of fulfillment of people's deepest needs in an afterlife. Philosopher John Arthur counters that morality is logically independent of religion, although there are historical connections. Religion, he believes, is not necessary for moral guidance or moral answers; morality is social. 45806 Issue 3. Is Ayn Rand's Ethical Egoism Correct? YES: 45807 Ayn Rand, from Atlas Shrugged (The Penguin Group, 1992) NO: 45809 Lois Pojman, from "Egoism and Altruism: A Critique of Ayn Rand," in Louis P. Pojman and Lewis Vaughn, eds., The Moral Life: An Introductory Reader in Ethics and Literature 3d ed. (Oxford University Press, 2007) Ayn Rand argues against the idea that morality is something that is for the good of others , and thus something that requires self-sacrifice. Here, in her novel Atlas Shrugged , she has the leading character speak in favor of moral egoismthe idea that one should look after oneself and one's own happiness. Louis Pojman argues that Rand has confused the concept of selfishness with that of self-interest . Since she thinks of selfishness as a virtue, this leads her to devalue altruism, or acting for others, as a vice. His own account aims to establish some middle ground between complete altruism and complete egoism. Unit 2 Gender, Sex, and Reproduction 34395 Issue 4. Is Abortion Immoral? YES: 24200 Don Marquis, from "Why Abortion Is Immoral," Journal of Philosophy (April 1989) NO: 24201 Ja

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