Let us analyze the ethical aspects of human genetic engineering from a utilitarian view point. The practical implications of utilitarianism can best be conveyed in the context of recent advances in biotechnology. Now that the human genome has been decoded, the ramifications of a utilitarian ethic go far beyond socioeconomic and legislative reform. In a period of post-genomic medical progress, they extend to the influence of the pleasure-pain axis itself. By unscrambling the molecular substrates of emotion, biotechnology allied to nano-medicine permits the magnitude, value, duration and allocation of happiness and misery in the world to be controlled eventually at will. More controversially, the dilemmas of traditional casuistry will lose their relevance (Utilitarian Bioethics). This is because our imminent mastery of the reward centers ensures that everyone can be heritably better specimens – a utopian-sounding prediction that currently still strikes most of us as comically . . . Read More
The concept behind simple utilitarian thinking is that the good society is one that promotes human well-being and happiness and that right actions are those that maximize that total happiness of all persons affected by the action. This is the “principle of utility.” It means that in any situation one should identify all of the consequences of that action for human happiness, weigh the total impact of each option on happiness, and select the option that best satisfies the principle of utility. What one expects to find in a principle is something that points out some external consideration as a means of warranting and guiding the internal sentiments of approbation and disapprobation; this expectation is fulfilled by a proposition which hold up each of those sentiments as a ground and standard itself (Clark and Elliott 273). So the concept of utilitarianism is a suitable tool for making moral decisions.
Furthermore, the utilitarian view can be applied either to all . . . Read More
The supporters of Proportional Representation for General Elections claim that it is fairer to ethnic, religious and racial minorities compared to other systems. This is generally true. Studies conducted on continental European democracies support this view. Another advantage of this system is that it gives incentives for runners-up in elections, who traditionally ended up at the wrong end of a zero-sum game. In this regard it provides a fairer playing field compared to Majority and Plurality systems of elections. Several factors contribute towards making Proportional Representation a better alternative when electoral competition takes place under majority rule than when it does under plurality. Firstly, the voter is empowered to vote strategically, which is not always possible in other alternative systems. It is supported by the fact that,
“In top-two majority runoff elections with three or more candidates, voters always face incentives to vote . . . Read More
The uniqueness of the British political system is its association with the Crown, on whose behalf most powers are exercised. It is notable that unlike others entities the Crown is not subject to legal regulation due to the sense of dignity it evokes. Also, the prerogatives of the crown include the “power to conduct foreign relations, to conclude treaties that are binding in international law, and prerogatives of mercy and pardon (Shell 1994, p.301). This is in addition to the Crown’s extensive residual common law powers and its status as a legal personality. The latter privilege allows it to acquire and dispose of land, etc., the way ordinary individuals can. In contrast to this, the powers of local authorities are very much subject to statutes and regulations. In this sense, the executive powers of the local government is limited and constrained when compared with the powers of the Crown.
“The power to order and reorganize the civil service derives either . . . Read More
Human communication is remarkably universal, in spite of the apparent differences that exist between languages and cultures. This essay deals with the various modes of communication, verbal or nonverbal and elicits their differences across distinct sociolinguistic environments. Having stated that, it goes on to prove how minor and insignificant such differences actually are. The scholarly work of linguists like Noam Chomsky and Benjamin Lee Whorf are made use of to substantiate the claims.
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis claims that people’s interpretation of the world around them is restricted by the scope their language would provide. This is partially true in that an individual’s world view is limited to the extent the vocabulary would permit. For example, some tribal cultures use languages that are a little different to the languages of the civilized world. When asked to label various colors, some primitive people approximated all presented shades into a few categories. . . . Read More
The evolution of Vietnamese culture over the last 4 millennia had facilitated adoption of the concept of nation-state. The notion of a sovereign nation with its own identity had taken shape through these years. Hence, Vietnamese history is “the history of the constitution of the nation, with its clearly delineated territory, its own language, its specific culture, which needed to be protected against all external aggressions” (Nguyen 123). Although such traits do not lead to Communism as the form of government, it nevertheless leaves the field open for scientific political ideas to be applied. And Communism is one such ideology.
Although invaded and occupied through the major part of its recent history, the Vietnamese managed to retain an identity that is uniquely theirs. The common threads that made this possible were the internal and foreign wars, coping with hostile natural elements, etc. During the onset of the 20th century, the country was much exploited and war . . . Read More
The civil war and the ascendancy of the Republican party to power had influenced and shaped Oregon’s political future. In 1865, Slavery was prohibited by the Thirteenth Amendment. And in 1866, the Fourteenth Amendment gave citizenship to all people born on American soil. Between 1872 and 1908 both the Republican party and the Democratic party won senate contests alternatively. However, the presidential elections were won exclusively by the former. This Republican occupation of the White House shaped Oregon’s political culture for decades to come (Robbins).
Industrial Revolution was another event that affected the course of Oregon’s history. The mode of locomotion in the early 19th century was largely by foot. In the middle of the century horse wagons were very much in use. The Industrial Revolution changed all that. The Revolution had had its contribution to Oregon’s history towards the last decades of the 19th century as Railroads were its product. The trails . . . Read More
The mortuary practices during the Neolithic period in Britain (4000-2500 BC), provides evidence for the underlying complex sociology. Not only do they signify the role of the dead, but also throw light on other aspects of this age. The following are some of them.
The arrival of the Beaker Folk
The most significant cultural shift in the Neolithic period is associated with the change in burial practice from communal to single tombs. This sudden change could only be explained by the arrival in Britain of new people, who are now referred as “Beaker Folk”. They brought from the Mediterranean a new religion and gradually incorporated it into the existing western European culture. Further evidence for this migration is provided by the remarkably different pots that are found in Neolithic monuments. This large-scale change in . . . Read More
At its peak, the British Empire covered one-fifth of the globe and ruled 400 million subjects belonging to various religious and ethnic groups. It acted as the “centre of the world” for trade, communications, migrations and naval-military power. In other words, it had become the Empire on which “the sun never set”. 1 The foundation for such exploits was laid in the early modern period, especially late 16th and 17th centuries. The dynamics within the Empire continually evolved throughout the early modern period. It was also subject to external pressures, such as foreign rivals, wars, revolts and economic change. This essay explores the forces and interests that . . . Read More
“Secularism implies plurality of cultural choices. Secularism is not about the absence of faith: indeed it is about assertion of faith – faith in freedom and people, not dogmas. A space where one can pause and acknowledge the other, the one who is different, the alien, the non-believer; where one can negotiate the public sphere without the need to foreground or privilege one’s own mode of worship” (Menon 2004).
This is how secularism is defined, but how does it manifest in the contemporary industrial society?
The Socio-Political Framework
It is the governments of nations that wield the greatest influence on how secularism, as accommodated in the constitution, is supported, suppressed or misinterpreted. Let’s . . . Read More