Directions: The following problems ask you to evaluate hypothetical situations and/or concepts related to the reading in this module. While there are no “correct answers” for these problems, you must demonstrate a strong understanding of the concepts and lessons from this module’s reading assignment. Please provide detailed and elaborate responses to the following problems. Your responses should include examples from the reading assignments and should utilize APA guidelines. Responses that fall short of the assigned minimum page length will not earn any points.
1. You are a music major, specializing in oboe performance. Ever since you first heard the oboe, as a small child, you loved the instrument; and as soon as you were old enough for middle school orchestra, you chose the oboe as your instrument. Other kids play soccer; you played oboe. Other kids had favorite rock bands; you had favorite woodwind ensembles. Recent research on the human genome reveals an exciting discovery: a profound love of the oboe is caused by a specific gene; and all – and only – those who have that gene really love the oboe. Apparently one can like the oboe without the gene, but all who really love the oboe have the gene; and all who have the gene are deeply and permanently drawn to the oboe immediately upon hearing that instrument. (Of course, if one lives one’s entire life isolated deep in a rain forest, and never hears the sweet sound of the oboe, then one will have no passion for the oboe; but all who have the very rare oboe gene, and have an opportunity to hear the oboe, are immediately and passionately dedicated to the oboe.) So your passion for the oboe is genetically programmed. Do you act freely when you practice the oboe? Is your oboe-playing an exercise of free will? Your response should be at least one page in length.
2. Suppose that we have two possible prison systems, and you as judge may sentence this convicted bank robber to either: One is Attica, where he will suffer terribly during his eight-year incarceration, and come out unreformed, or maybe worse; the other is Shangri-La, where the robber will enjoy interesting work, learn important skills, live a decent and not unpleasant eight years, and will be very unlikely to return to crime. You may think that actually the opposite would result; put that aside for a moment. In this situation, which would you choose for the sentence you impose on the bank robber? Your response should be at least one page in length.
3. Have you ever been forced to decide between two choices that were equally good or bad? How did you end up making your decision in the end? Was your choice freely made? Why or why not? Your response should be at least one page in length.
4. Suppose that you had to decide a punishment for two people who have committed the exact same crime. One of the defendants had a very good childhood with loving parents, financial stability, etc. The other had a very bad childhood with absent parents, poverty, etc. Would your punishment be the same for both, or different for each? Why? Your response should be at least one page in length.
PART II: Journal
Please describe what aspect of this week’s lesson you found most interesting and why. What effect, if any, did it have on your moral/ethical outlook? Your response should be at least one half of one page in length.