Moral Arguments (moral + argument)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Grace, Doubt, and Evil: The Constructive Task Of Reformation Theology

DIALOG, Issue 4 2002
Ted Peters
The Lutheran vocation is to be a friend of grace; and since the 16th century Lutheran systematic theology has built upon a foundation of grace. Two apparent barriers to grace need addressing. First, doubt in the form of agnosticism and atheism provides a metaphysical argument against God's existence. Second, evil and suffering provide a moral argument against God's existence. From a Lutheran point of view the question of God's graciousness takes precedence over God's existence. [source]

Law and the demoralisation of medicine

LEGAL STUDIES, Issue 2 2006
Jonathan Montgomery
In his Dimbleby Lecture in December 2002, the Archbishop of Canterbury examined the effect of the emergence of the market state on the legitimacy of government activity in areas of morality. He suggested that, while this is becoming limited, the continuing need to provide a moral context for social life provided an opportunity for religious communities to play a crucial role. This paper suggests that the increasing significance of market concepts in healthcare law poses a similar challenge to the moral basis of medical practice, threatening to drive moral argument outside the scope of the discipline, with the consequent effect of undermining the values that drive good healthcare. Thus, the de-moralisation of medicine is also demoralising for those within the health professions. To counteract this tendency, a strong sense of a common moral community needs to be maintained amongst those engaged with the discipline of healthcare law. This paper also examines the role of law in this area. Traditionally, legal scholars have attacked the reluctance of legislators and the judiciary to wrestle from the grip of doctors the authority to determine ethical issues. The dominant view has been that this was a failure to recognise the fact that society has a stake in these matters and that legal non-intervention was an abdication of responsibility that undermines the rule of law. However, the integration of medical and moral decision making into a collaborative enterprise can also be seen as a more effective defence against the forces of demoralisation than the separation that the orthodox approach implies. If this is correct, then a key task for healthcare lawyers, as yet undeveloped, is to consider how to establish a legitimate common moral community, and what role the law might have to play in that process. [source]


BIOETHICS, Issue 3 2008
ABSTRACT Observers who note the increasing popularity of bioethics discussions often complain that the social sciences are poorly represented in discussions about things like abortion and stem-cell research. Critics say that bioethicists should be incorporating the methods and findings of social scientists, and should move towards making the discipline more empirically oriented. This way, critics argue, bioethics will remain relevant, and truly reflect the needs of actual people. Such recommendations ignore the diversity of viewpoints in bioethics, however. Bioethics can gain much from the methods and findings from ethnographies and similar research. But it is misleading to suggest that bioethicists are unaware of this potential benefit. Not only that, bioethicists are justified in having doubts about the utility of the social science approach in some cases. This is not because there is some inherent superiority in non-empirical approaches to moral argument. Rather, the doubts concern the nature of the facts that the sciences would provide. Perhaps the larger point is that disagreements about the relationship between facts and normative arguments should be seen as part of the normal inquiry in bioethics, not evidence that reform is needed. [source]


ABSTRACT In recent years there has been intense debate regarding the level of medical care provided to ,standard care' control groups in clinical trials in developing countries, particularly when the research sponsors come from wealthier countries. The debate revolves around the issue of how to define a standard of medical care in a country in which many people are not receiving the best methods of medical care available in other settings. In this paper, we argue that additional dimensions of the standard of care have been hitherto neglected, namely, the structure and efficiency of the national health system. The health system affects locally available medical care in two important ways: first, the system may be structured to provide different levels of care at different sites with referral mechanisms to direct patients to the appropriate level of care. Second, inefficiencies in this system may influence what care is available in a particular locale. As a result of these two factors locally available care cannot be equated with a national ,standard'. A reasonable approach is to define the national standard of care as the level of care that ought to be delivered under conditions of appropriate and efficient referral in a national system. This standard is the minimum level of care that ought to be provided to a control group. There may be additional moral arguments for higher levels of care in some circumstances. This health system analysis may be helpful to researchers and ethics committees in designing and reviewing research involving standard care control groups in developing country research. [source]

Justice Excused: The Deployment of Law in Everyday Political Encounters

LAW & SOCIETY REVIEW, Issue 2 2006
George I. Lovell
This paper examines the use of legal claims by government officials and citizens in everyday political encounters involving civil rights. Data come from 580 letters sent to the federal government between 1939 and 1941, and from the replies sent by the newly formed Civil Rights Section of the Justice Department. In almost every case, the department refused to intervene and explained its refusal by making legal claims about federal jurisdiction. These legal claims masked the department's discretionary choices and thus helped depoliticize the encounters. Surprisingly, however, a substantial number of letter writers challenged the government's legal claims by deploying their own legal and moral arguments. The willingness of these citizens to challenge official legal pronouncements cautions against making broad generalizations about the capacity of ordinary people to respond effectively when government officials deploy legal rhetoric. [source]

The personal is political, the professional is not: Conscientious objection to obtaining/providing/acting on genetic information,

Joel Frader
Abstract Conscientious objection (CO) to genetic testing raises serious questions about what it means to be a health-care professional (HCP). Most of the discussion about CO has focused on the logic of moral arguments for and against aspects of CO and has ignored the social context in which CO occurs. Invoking CO to deny services to patients violates both the professional's duty to respect the patient's autonomy and also the community standards that determine legitimate treatment options. The HCP exercising the right of CO may make it impossible for the patient to exercise constitutionally guaranteed rights to self-determination around reproduction. This creates a decision-making imbalance between the HCP and the patient that amounts to an abuse of professional power. To prevent such abuses, professionals who wish to refrain from participating have an obligation to warn prospective patients of their objections prior to establishing a professional,patient relationship or, if a relationship already exists, to arrange for alternative care expeditiously. 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Is the Death of Inheritance Tax Inevitable?

Lessons from America
In 2001, George Bush repealed estate tax in America. This was a shock to many in the US as inherited privilege had never been popular in a country where individuals were supposed to secure the American Dream through their own efforts. The tax had existed for over a century and only 2 per cent of the richest Americans paid it. But the repeal lobby managed to build an unlikely and broad alliance against the ,Death Tax' (as they managed to rename it). The key to their campaign was a moral case against the tax, illustrated with a few well-chosen narratives. The opposition fought back, ineffectively, with pragmatic arguments and statistics. This paper will apply lessons from America to the UK politics of taxation. It will focus on the role of lobby groups and the power of moral arguments and narrative evidence over more pragmatic arguments and ,scientific' forms of evidence. [source]