February 10th, 2011
Intro to Legal Studies
Chapter 1- Question One
The Kitty Genovese story is a tragic one and is a controversial topic when ethics come into play. Though she screamed for help repeatedly while being stabbed the observers from the surrounding apartments did very little to assist the young woman. One observer in specific did shout “Leave the girl alone” and that deterred the assailant for a brief moment but whether or not he acted ethically is something of a different matter. According to Duty-Base Ethics which by definition states “the doctrine that actions are morally correct if they comply with existing obligations owed another and ourselves,” one could deduct that this observer did not act ethically because he did not serve the duty to Kitty Genovese to save her life as if roles were reversed it would be Kitty Genovese’s ethical duty to ensure the observer’s life was saved. This duty that Kitty Genovese did not receive is the very basic fundamental meaning of one’s life and how we each owe it to one another to try to preserve a fellow human beings life. This can also be translated at the Golden Rule which urges us to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us” which is the basis to Immanuel Kant’s ethical reasoning. If the observer had taken the Golden Rule into mind while deciding how to act while this innocent young woman is pleading for help the result could have been a story of heroism instead of tragedy. In order for the Golden Rule to be successful in influencing our ethical behaviors one must place themselves in the situation they are witnessing, contemplate how one would feel in that person’s shoes and struggle and suffering. Obviously this observer was not moved by the Golden Rule and thus did not act ethically according to the Kantian ethical approach.
Chapter 2- Question One
First off, I believe that it is necessary to be informed about the persons or prospective persons that will have...
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