In Book II of Plato’s Republic, Glaucon proposes that people act justly only because they have entered into a kind of “social contract” in which they agree neither to commit nor to suffer injustice; however, if people could engage in unjust behavior without anyone ever knowing about it and without the risk of every being punished for it, they most certainly would do so. To prove his point, Glaucon tells the story of the Ring of Gyges, a magical object in the form of a ring that allows the wearer to become invisible. Imagine that you had the Ring of Gyges. What would you do? Would you react as an ethical egoist, an altruist, or something in between? In answering this question, explain the difference between egoism and altruism, and say why you would act in the way you have described. What does this ultimately suggest to you about the nature of justice and people’s desire or inclination to do what is just? Do you agree with the view that Plato introduces through the character of Glaucon? Why or why not? Defend your answer using whatever evidence you believe to be relevant. Describe an ethical decision you have made at some time in your life, and try to remember what your reasoning was in coming to a final course of action. Now rate your moral reasoning according to Bentham’s Hedonistic Calculus, and then compare your reasoning in the situation with Mill’s revised Utilitarian thesis. Does your thinking coincide with the tenets of either Bentham’s or Mill’s version of Utilitarianism? Reflect on your own moral decision-making process from the standpoint of Utilitarian ethics (be sure to explain how Mill’s version of Utilitarianism differs from Bentham’s). Do you live your life according to some version of Utilitarianism? Why or why not? *For question #2, the decision I might relate is keeping the kids at home during this outbreak and/or also receiving flu vaccine for the last four years not only thinking about herd immunization. Text book: Rosenstand, Nina. (2018). The Moral of the Story: An Introduction to Ethics (8th ed).Minimum 500 words




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