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Concluding Thoughts
Two Predominant Ethical
• Utilitarian (Consequentialist)
• Duties/Rights (Deontological)
Clarification of Ethical
Standards for:
Determining right choice in cases
illustrating ethical dilemmas in public
Determining right policy in cases
illustrating moral controversies over
public policy
Exploration of Applied Ethics in
Process of Policy Making
Problem of Dirty Hands
Truth and evasions
Personal responsibility in government
Ethical use of violence
Exploration of Applied Ethics in
Defining of
Public Interest/Public Good
Is it Necessary to Reason
Morally to Make Public Policy
The “Liberal” Political Theory case for
government neutrality – permit individuals to
pursue their own choices
Neutrality and Surrogate Motherhood
Neutrality and Same Sex
Many people hold deep-seated religious,
moral, and ethical convictions that
marriage should be limited to the union of
one man and one woman, an that
homosexual conduct is immoral
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Neutrality and Same Sex
Many hold equally strong religious, moral,
and ethical convictions that same sex
couples are entitled to be married and that
homosexual persons should be treated no
differently than their heterosexual
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Neutrality and Same Sex
Let churches and of other religious
institutions offer marriage ceremonies. Let
department stores and casinos get into the
act if they want to. Le couples celebrate
their union in any way they choose and
consider themselves married whenever
they want.
Michael Kinsley
Neutrality and Same Sex
And if three people want to get married, or
if one person wants to marry himself or
herself and someone wants to conduct a
ceremony for them and declare them
married, let them. If you or your
government are not implicated, what do
you care?
Michael Kinsley
Neutrality and Same Sex
In a real sense, there are three partners in
every civil marriage: two willing spouses
and an approving state. Civil marriage is
at once a deeply personal commitment
and a highly public celebration of the
ideals of mutuality, companionship,
intimacy, fidelity, and family.
Neutrality and Same Sex
Not procreation, but the exclusive and
permanent commitment of the partners to
one another is the essential point and
purpose of marriage.
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Is it Possible to Reason
– Not one rule, but a process of interactive
reasoning between ethical criteria and
particular cases
– The process of Socratic Dialogue
– Why continue argument if it raises questions
that are ultimately impossible to resolve?
– Because we live some answer to these
questions in our public and personal lives.