Thinking Critically about Ethical Issues - Assignment Example

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The author of the following assignment entitled 'Thinking Critically about Ethical Issues ' gives detailed information about the majority which believed in the systematic murdering of female babies. Therefore, the systematic murdering of female babies was good…
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Thinking Critically about Ethical Issues
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The majority have supported religious wars. Therefore, supporting religious wars was good, because other religions are false.
The majority have supported child labor. Therefore, child labor is an accepted practice.
The majority have supported child prostitution. Therefore, child prostitution is acceptable.
The majority of Germans turned a blind eye to Hitler’s death camps. Therefore, Hitler’s death camps were good, because the Jews were the main cause of Germany’s problems.
The majority believed the torture of the mentally ill. Therefore, the torture of the mentally ill is an acceptable method to cure them.
The majority believed that interracial marriage should be banned. Therefore, interracial marriage should be banned, because races should not mix.
Thus, majorities are known to have supported outrageous ideas at different times.
Therefore, majorities can err.

Argument: A majority of Americans in the 1940s viewed African Americans as lazy. Therefore, African Americans are lazy.
Does the majority view determine what is ethical and what is not?
In the 1940s cartoon, Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat, African Americans are depicted as lazy and inept. This appealed to an argument of the majority view that African Americans were indeed lazy, since the cartoon reinforced that false stereotype. Therefore, the majority cannot determine what is ethical and what is not, since the notion that African Americans are lazy is not based on anything other stereotypical viewpoints. Also, the cartoon depicted African Americans with exaggerated features: unusually large lips and ape-like appearances. This view of African Americans being sub-human was once a majority view held by many Americans. Not only was this view unethical but it was also an insidious insight into the mind of many Americans during the 1940s. Therefore, the majority is in no place to determine what is ethical and what is not.

Argument: Many Americans believed that blacks and whites should live separately. Thus, blacks and whites should live separately.
Our feelings, desires, and preferences reliable ethical guides?
Feelings and personal desires are not ethical guidelines, because preferences are not always ethical in nature. A person or a town may decide that blacks are inferior to whites and any non-white person should live in separate quarters. However, true ethical practices reveal that the concept of separation is an unethical practice and only favors those who are imposing the segregation. Because the masses are susceptible to ignorance and propaganda, they may believe in unethical and insidious perspectives. Ethical guidelines must be rooted in something other than the views, preferences, and desires of individuals (Ruggiero, 2008). Read More
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