Prompt: Contrast the different beliefs of Aristotle/Virtue Ethics with Jeremy Bentham/Utilitarianism on if we should legalize drugs.
Make sure to proof read and spell check your paper. Use great grammar
-State the issue (legalizing drugs), summarize each thinkers’ arguments, then either take one side or the other, or argue that both are wrong and offer your own novel solution. You may use outside research, but you are not required to, and, if you do use such research, be sure it is minimal and include citations (MLA Format)
-Attached is a power point that will give you an understanding of the basic ideas of each philosophers. Make sure to use most information about legalizing drugs in this paper.
- Write in First person (use “I” and “me).
- Must be 6-7 pages
- Keep to times new roman 12pt font and 1 inch margins for your paper.
- Double space the entire paper. Do not use extra spaces between paragraphs. Tab (indent) each paragraph 5 spaces
- Finally, be sure that your paper is structured in the essay format: this means you MUST have a clear intro paragraph with a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
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Common Legal/Moral Principles 1. The Principle of Harm (to others) – actions that (physically) harm other people should be legally prohibited. E.g. Force, theft, and fraud. 2. The Principle of Paternalism – some actions in which you harm yourself should be legally prohibited. 3. The Principle of Morality – Some actions are so clearly immoral that they should be illegal. 4. The Principle of Offensive – Some actions are so clearly offensive to so many that they should be illegal Policing Harm Paternalism Laws that stop you from harming yourself Harm Principle Laws that stop you from harming others Paternalism Does the law ever have the right to prevent people from harming themselves? • Mentally disabled people? • Mentally Ill people? • What if the harm is quite severe? Can I agree to be a slave? Sell my Organs? • Social security? Should we legalize drugs? • What is a “drug”? • Maybe something like “a substance that one ingests which causes a psychoactive reaction, affecting the brain and body in measurable ways.” • The debate is usually about non-medicinal drugss • Is there a difference between hard and soft drugs? Arguments against legalization 1. Principle of Harm – Drugs make people harm others 2. Principle of Paternalism – Drugs are so harmful to the users, the government must save them from themselves 3. Principle of Morality – Drug use is so immoral it should be illegal What would the Philosophers say? Kant and Deontology? The use of drugs degrade the human person to a severe degree. Morality is about respecting the dignity of persons, the law should be so too. Therefore, non-medicinal Drugs should remain illegal Aristotle and Virtue Ethics The point of morality is to be a person of good character; to possess the virtues of a good person. Drug use shows a lack of restraint, and personal care. It is immoral. Since the law should reinforce morality, non-medicinal drugs should be illegal. Bentham and the Utilitarians It depends on which drug. For each drug we must ask “what causes more harm” the drug or the consequences of making the drug illegal? A hard drug like cocaine might be harmful enough that it should be illegal. I drug like, pot, however does not cause sufficient harm compared to the effects of keeping it illegal. Utilitarian argument that Pot should be legal P1: Pot is not more harmful than alcohol and tobacco (it may be less harmful) P2: It costs the government time, money, and resources to keep it illegal. P3: Gangs are empowered by pot being illegal P4: If pot were legal, the government could save that time, money and resources, P5: If pot were legal, the government could tax it for revenue. P6: If pot were legal, gangs would have less power P7: People enjoy pot _______________________________________________ C: Pot should be legal Mill and the Libertarians The Principle of Liberty requires that ONLY actions which quite clearly harm others can be illegal. For most drugs, this has not been proven beyond doubt. It follows that adults have a right to ingest whatever they like. But is paternalism ever justified? Mill thought it was in one extreme case. He said that the law cannot permit a person to sell themselves into slavery. The point of a just society is to maximize individual freedom, slavery is the opposite of that. Is addiction a form of slavery? What does it mean to be free? At the very least, in order to be free, we have to be able to control our actions. We have to have the power to decide how we will act. Can the addict do this? The Problem of Prescription Drugs Bio-ethics (medical ethics) The Hippocratic Tradition – Paternalism = the medical experiment should decide who is treated, when they are treated, and how they are treated. The Patient’s rights approach – It is up the patient, properly informed by their doctor, to decide if, when, and how they are treated
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Tags: Virtue ethics Aristotle utilitarianism Drug Legalization Jeremy Bentham