Ethics and Moral Reasoning Assignment | Homework Help Websites

This week, we will consider how utilitarianism applies to a certain situation that happened in Malaysia.

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Please watch this video on utilitarianism and the ethical question we will consider: UtilitarianismLinks to an external site.

This is a real world example of a moral problem that can be answered one way using utilitarian ethical decision making or in other ways using other ethical theories (which we will discuss in the coming weeks).

The ethical controversy surrounds the building of a dam that will provide hydro-electric power for millions of people in the metropolitan areas of Malaysia.  In order to build this dam 10,000 people, who live in the jungle where the dams will be built, will need to be relocated. Then, the lands where their ancestors have lived for hundreds of years will be flooded, in order to create an enormous lake that will supply the hydro-power for the generation of electricity.

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The ethical question is whether the increase in pleasure that will be provided to millions of people in the metropolitan areas by having cheaper and more reliable electricity, outweighs the pain that would be caused to the 10,000 indigenous people who will be forced to relocate to another part of the country and will have to leave their ancestral lands. In addition, there will be a large amount of environmental damage caused to the area that is flooded, by the destruction of the land, the building of the dam and the necessary mechanical components needed to get the electricity to the metropolitan areas.

If there are other issues that are relevant to making a moral decision on this topic, that I have not outlined, please feel free to mention them.  For example, should we consider all of the animals that may die or be pushed out by the building of the dam, or do only people matter in this ethical decision?

This symposium is a chance for you to discuss together the ethical issues and questions that the video raises, your own response to those issues, and whether your opinion on the subject aligns with or does not align with a utilitarian approach.  The aim is not to simply assert your own view or to denigrate other views, but to identify, evaluate, and discuss the moral reasoning involved in addressing whether or not the building of the dam, which will supply low cost electricity for millions of people, is ethically justified when considering the people who will have to lose their home and ancestral lands to build the dam, as well as the environmental damage that will be caused.

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