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Virtue ethics applied to cloning, animal experimentation and genetic engineering?!

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    I have no notes whatsoever on how to apply virtue ethics to these three medical topics - pleeeeeasse help! Panicking now! thank you
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    In short - it's very difficult! See here: http://www.rsrevision.com/Alevel/eth...cs/applied.htm
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    Cloning - questions to think about
    would cloning lead to a better, flourished society?
    does human cloning present any benefits at all?
    dishonest use of cloning would lead to no eudaemonia for society

    Aristole applied -

    scientific knowledge - needed to develop understanding but results in wasted embryos/time, and it takes a long time for a scientist to develop skills

    resourcefulness/deliberation - needed in a media interview, one must balance telling the truth and not giving false hope

    phronesis - needed to conduct the actual cloning process, and honing this skill would lead to a flourished society

    judgement - needed to find out why cloning is justifiable/isnt, if theyre doing it for bad reasons e.g fame, then this is bad judgement

    truthfulness - dont boast, but dont make understatements about findings

    Macintyre - Theres a need to have a sense of story, e.g parents had sex then here you are, clones would lack this - this is called narrative coherence, clones would lack a narrative coherence. Would clones feel like they belong to society and are useful?
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    My teacher said today that there is no specific way to apply it. Just take a virtue and relate it. For example a scientist must have the right ambition in ordet to carry out experiments on cloning. A virteous person does virtues things. Then thick about what is virteous. I do not think it is virteous to carry out reproductive cloning
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    i find it pretty alright

    Animal Experimentation and Virtue Ethics:

    Temperance and the Mean

    Is a.e an indulgent or callous act? Some may say it depends on the type of a.e. Non theraputic for instance, the use of animals for the test of cosmestic products may be considered indulgent. Therefore it would be immoral. Even if it is for good reason and the scientist is completely unattached and unfeeling for the animal or process it may encourage a certain callousness which would be unacceptable. Also a disregard for animals could be developed, possibly leading to a disregard of humans?

    Some might argue if AE is being carried out for a good cause with concern for the wellbeing of the animal then it is a temperate act. Especially if all alternatives had been exhausted.

    Courage

    Some may say it is courageous of the scientists to experiement on animals due to some recent violent attacks on colleagues by activists. Therefore, the fact they are willing to carry on with this research is commendable.
    Although you could also say the activists, people who are prepared to speak out against this cruelty and disregard are equally courageous if not more so.One of the main problems of virtue ethics if how you interpret it.

    Justice

    Is AE a justifiable act? Many may say that experimentation on animals is basically favouring human interests over animal's well being, (Singer would say this is speciesist.)
    It could be argued that if it is being done for the benefits of all humans then it is just to humans.
    Could be defended using the 3R's - refinement, reduction and replacement. If all is being done to accomodate these three things regarding AE then it could be seen as just as the intention is to limit suffering and work towards advancement of human life. Although is this what virtue ethics is about? Eudaimona is not necessarily mean the absence of suffering in human life.

    Internal and External Ethics - MacIntyre

    The scientist experimenting would be preforming a practice. This would involve unique skills.
    If the reason for experimentation is for the good of society the it would be consider an internal good and acceptable.
    However if experiments are being carried out for the sake of wealth/fame/honour then these would be external goods and not as worthy.

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Updated: June 4, 2009
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