Critical Thinking

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Post your response to the following: State your stance on the Terri Schiavo case, and identify the moral value judgment that influenced you to choose your stance.

• An example of a stance is, “Terri Schiavo should have been allowed to live, despite her persistent vegetative state.” An example of a moral value judgment is, “No person’s death should be decided by another—people should die naturally.”

• An example of moral relativism could be that American culture accepts many religious standpoints, making it difficult for its citizens to agree on the religious morality of the issue brought to light by Terri Schiavo and her family.

• Moore and Parker (2007) define utilitarianism as the belief that “…if an individual can feel pleasure and pain, then he or she deserves moral consideration” (p. 425). Consider that many proponents of both sides of the Shiavo case thought they had Terri’s best interests in mind—a moral consideration.

• Discuss with your classmates how moral relativism and utilitarianism apply to this issue.

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