Philosophy 2320                                                           MORALITY QUIZ                                                              8/2011 

T F (1) Right and wrong are determined solely by God. If some action is wrong, it is wrong because and only because God has forbidden it.

T F (2) Morality depends upon God in the sense that if there were no God, nothing would be right or wrong--everything would be permitted.

T F (3) Ethics depends upon religion in the sense that if there were no God, we humans would have no reason to do what is right.

T F (4) Ethics depends upon religion in the sense that if there were no God, we would have no way of knowing what is right and wrong.

T F (5) People ought to do only those actions in their self-interest. If an action is not in your self-interest, you shouldn't do it.

T F (6) People always act from one single motive: the desire for (their own) pleasure.

T F (7) There is no conflict between morality and self-interest. If I always act in my long-term self-interest, then I will be doing what is morally right.

T F (8) If some statement cannot be proven to be either true or false, then it is neither true nor false.

T F (9) Since moral beliefs cannot be proven to be true or false, they are just a matter of personal opinion and no one can say that another person's moral beliefs are wrong or false.

T F (10) Moral beliefs are not true or false: they are nothing more than expressions of a person's feelings.

T F (11) If I say that abortion is wrong, all I am doing is expressing the fact that I disapprove of abortion.

T F (12) If Bill says that abortion is sometimes right or justified, and Betsy says that it is never right, Bill and Betsy are disagreeing with each other; they cannot both be right.

T F (13) There are no universally valid moral principles, i.e., principles which apply to all persons at all times.

T F (14) All of my moral beliefs are necessarily true (i.e., cannot be false).

T F (15) It is always wrong to torture someone just for the fun of it.

T F (16) One should be tolerant of the moral beliefs of others.

T F (17) If everyone in a society thinks that it is wrong to do X, then it is wrong in that society to
do X.

T F (18) What is right and wrong is relative to society. The very same action can be right in one society and wrong in another, even when performed in otherwise identical circumstances.

T F (19) The best way to decide what is morally right and wrong is to see what most people in your society think is right and wrong.

T F (20) If X is morally wrong, then it should be illegal.

T F (21) If X is and ought to be illegal, then X must be morally wrong.

T F (22) As long as I am (willing to be) rational and reasonable, I will have sufficient motivation or
reason to be moral, because there is no conflict between being moral and being rational.

T F (23) There is no difference between an action's being thought wrong and its actually being wrong.

T F (24) There are no actions which are always wrong (i.e.,wrong in every situation).

T F (25) Sometimes people are motivated to do an action just because it is the morally right thing
to do.

T F (26) If it is wrong for one person to do some action X in a given situation, then it is wrong for anyone to do X in a similar situation unless there are significant differences between the two people.

T F (27) It is wrong to torture non-human animals.

T F (28) One should never treat persons merely as a means, i.e., as if they were merely instruments which are useful for your personal goals.

T F (29) If I see a baby drowning in the fountain by University Avenue, and if I can easily and safely rescue it, then I ought to rescue it; to let it drown would be wrong.

T F (30) Some actions are wrong no matter how good the consequences of performing them might be.

T F (31) If an action is offensive or disgusting to the majority in a society, then it should be made illegal.

T F (32) There is no doubt in my mind that the Nazi genocide of the Jews in World War II was morally wrong.

T F (33) Whether an action is selfish depends entirely on whether I think it is selfish. If I think it is not selfish, then it is not selfish.

T F (34) Whether an action is vicious depends entirely upon what most people in that society think is vicious. If most people in that society do not think it is vicious then it is not vicious.

T F (35) It is always wrong to treat others in ways in which you would not wish to be treated; always treat others as you would wish to be treated.

T F (36) Homosexuality is morally wrong.

T F (37) Discrimination against homosexuals in, e.g., housing, employment, is morally permissible.

T F (38) Each individual should be free to pursue his own happiness as long as he does not infringe the liberty of his fellow subjects to pursue their own ends.

T F (39) One should act externally in such a way that the free use of your will can be compatible with the freedom of everyone else according to a universal law.

T F (40) One should always treat other persons as ends in themselves; that is, one should never treat people as if they were nothing but means (instruments or tools to be used however we wish).

T F (41) I acknowledge no limits on how I should act except my own self-interest.

T F (42) Each individual has the moral right to pursue her own happiness as she sees fit, provided that she does not fraudulently or violently interfere with the liberty of others to pursue their own happiness.

T F (43) It is always wrong to make moral judgments about other people and/or their behavior.

T F (44) Employers should be legally free to refuse to hire someone simply because that person is of the wrong race, sex, or sexual orientation.

T F (45) There is nothing morally wrong with employers refusing to hire someone simply because that person is of a particular race or sex or sexual orientation.

T F (46) Nothing is morally right or wrong. All this talk about morality is just nonsense.

T F (47) It is not important whether I am able to give reasons for my moral beliefs.

T F (48) It is not possible for anyone to have good reasons for his or her moral beliefs (because morality is not based on reason).

T F (49) A morally good person is one who does what is right simply because it is right, without hope of any reward (or fear of punishment), and so people who act morally only because they are trying to avoid divine punishment are not morally good.

T F (50) Suppose that you are driving a trolley when the brakes fail; if you do nothing, the trolley will continue on its path and kill five people working on the track at the bottom of the hill. But if you turn the trolley onto a side track where only one person is working, only that worker will be killed. You are morally permitted to turn the trolley so as to avoid killing the five workers, even though the one worker will be killed. Call this the Trolley Driver Case.

T F (51) You and five friends are exploring a cave when it starts to rain. Unfortunately, the first person who starts to climb out becomes stuck and cannot be budged. Fortunately, you brought a stick of dynamite. If you blow him up, the rest of you can escape before the cave floods. If you, all of you--including the stuck person--will drown. It is morally permissible to dynamite your friend in order to save the other five of you. Call this the Cave Case I.

T F (52) Same as above except if you do nothing, the five of you will drown but the stuck friend will live because his head is above the water line. It is morally permissible to dynamite him. Call this Cave II.

T F (53) You are exploring a distant jungle when you stumble upon a village in which 20 people are lined up against a wall and a man in a uniform is about to shoot all of them. You ask what is going on; the uniformed man says that there has been a lot of crime in the village that the police have been unable to stop. So he is going to execute these 20 people to try to scare everyone into behaving properly. But he says that if you will shoot just one of the people--and you can choose which one--then he will let the other 19 go free. It is morally permissible for you to shoot one of those people so as to save the other 19. Call this the VILLAGE CASE.

T F (54) You are a surgeon who has five patients each of whom needs a vital organ transplant but none is available and so they will all soon die. But if you `harvest' the vital organs of another patient--let's say he just has a broken leg--then you can save the five other patients, though the patient you `harvest' will of course die. It is morally permissible to kill the one patient to save the other five. Call this Transplant.

T F (55) Suppose that you are driving a trolley when the brakes fail; if you do nothing, the trolley will continue on its path and kill five people working on the track at the bottom of the hill. But if you turn the trolley onto a side track where only one person is working, only that worker will be killed. But that worker happens to own the trolley: it is his property. You are morally permitted to turn the trolley so as to avoid
killing the five workers, even though the one worker will be killed by his own trolley. Call this the Owned-trolley Case.

T F (56) Suppose that you are just watching a trolley when its brakes fail; if you do nothing, the trolley will continue on its path and kill five people working on the track at the bottom of the hill. But if you turn a switch, the trolley will go onto a side track where only one person is working and only that worker will be killed. You are morally permitted to throw the switch so as to turn the trolley so as to avoid killing the five workers, even though the one worker will be killed. Call this the Bystander Case.

T F (57) Suppose that you are just watching the trolley when its brakes fail; if you do nothing, the trolley will continue on its path and kill five people working on the track at the bottom of the hill. But if you wiggle an old bridge as the trolley passes under it, a stranger (Jumbo) standing on the bridge will fall off and land on the tracks, thereby stopping the trolley before it runs over and kills the five workers. It is morally permissible to wiggle the bridge. Call this the Wiggle-the-Bridge Case.

T F (58) Suppose that you are just watching the trolley when its brakes fail; if you do nothing, the trolley will continue on its path and kill five people working on the track at the bottom of the hill. But if you throw a grenade in front of the trolley, that will start a rockslide which will stop the trolley before it reaches the five workers, but the rockslide will kill some other (single) person. It is morally permissible to throw the grenade, starting the rockslide, so as to save the five, even though one other person is killed. Call this the Rockslide Case.

T F (59) You are a doctor working in a hospital. If you turn on a certain machine, it will produce a gas that saves the lives of five patients who will otherwise die. But the gas will seep into the next room and kill one patient. It is morally permissible to produce the gas in that circumstance. Call this the Gas Case.

T F (60) Remember the story of the Dutch boy who puts his finger in the leaky dike and holds back the flood waters. Now suppose the Dutch boy gets hungry and decides to remove his finger. He is guilty of killing everyone who dies when the floodwaters sweep through the village. Call this Dutch Boy.

T F (61) You are the President of the United States; a bomb is headed toward New York City. But you are able to deflect it toward Green Bay where far fewer people would be killed. It is morally permissible to deflect the bomb so as to reduce the number of casualties.

T F (62) You are the President of the United States; a bomb is headed toward New York City. But if you explode a bomb over Gary, that will deflect the first bomb into outer space, where it will explode harmlessly. But doing this will cause many deaths in Gary (from the bomb you cause to be exploded so as to deflect the enemy bomb). It is morally permissible to detonate the second bomb so as to deflect the enemy bomb, even though the second bomb will kill many people (though less than the enemy bomb would have killed).

T F (63) This is just like #57 except that if you wiggle the bridge, it will break. The debris will fall onto the track and stop the trolley, but Jumbo will fall to his death in a steep ravine (instead of being run over by the trolley, thereby stopping it). It is morally permissible to Wiggle-the-Bridge II.

T F (64) Same as #63 except that Jumbo won’t die; he’ll just break a leg (which will heal soon enough). It is morally permissible to wiggle the bridge. Call this Wiggle-the-Bridge III.

T F (65) You are paddling your canoe in the lake when you hear three people shouting that they are drowning and cannot swim. Two are close to each other; the third is off by himself. You jump in the water and start pulling the two toward the shore. The third guy paddles over and grabs you. You are not strong enough to save all three. You are morally permitted to push the third guy away (so he is left to drown; there is no one else who can save him) so that you can continue to rescue the two. Call this Aborted Rescue.

T F (66) Suppose that it is possible to rescue five people who are in imminent danger of drowning only if
we race our jeep down to the beach quickly. But our path is blocked by a person lying in the middle of the road, unable to move. It is morally permissible to run over (and probably) kill this person in order to save the five people from drowning. Call this the Jeep case.

T F (67) Let’s go back to #50 (TROLLEY). The facts are the same, but this time the track loops around. If you turn left and run over the single worker, that will stop the trolley and the five will live. But if the worker jumps off the track, the trolley will loop around and kill the five. You are morally permitted to turn the trolley so as to avoid killing the five workers, even though the one worker will be killed. Call this Loop Variant.

T F (68) Same as #67 except that you are now the BYSTANDER, who knows the track loops around and that the five will be killed if the single worker jumps off the track after you turn the trolley (and they will be killed if you don’t throw the switch, but the single worker will live). You are morally permitted to turn the trolley so as to avoid killing the five workers, even though the one worker will be killed. Call this the Bystander Loop Variant.

T F (69) Let’s go back to #50 (TROLLEY). You can either turn left and run over Joe and his lovely wife Jo, or you can do nothing and allow the trolley to kill the five, or you can turn right and run into a brick wall (killing yourself and no one else-–the trolley is empty). Call this Brick Wall. It would be morally wrong not to turn toward the brick wall.

T F (70) Let’s go back to #53 (VILLAGE). You refuse to shoot any of the twenty people, so the uniformed man says: OK, just point out which person I should shoot; I’ll shoot that person and let the other 19 go free. It is morally permissible to pick out one person to be killed (by someone else) in order to save the other 19. Call this Village II.

T F (71) In Vertical Limit it was morally permissible for Peter (the son) to cut Dad loose (so he falls to his death) in order to increase the chances that he and his sister will live. True or false.

T F (72) In Conjoined Twins, two newborns are conjoined, but one has a weak heart and cannot survive on her own. But both will eventually die if they are not separated. It is morally permissible to separate them (surgically), even though doing so involves killing the weaker twin (she will die immediately if she has to depend solely on her own heart) so that the stronger one can live. If they had not be separated, then both will almost surely die. It is morally permissible to separate them.

T F (73) I am just as much responsible for the bad consequences of my inactions (e.g., for harm I could prevent but choose not to) as I am for the bad consequences of my actions (e.g., for the harm I actually do cause). Call this the doctrine of Negative Responsibility. True or false?

T F (74) It should be possible for two people of the same sex to get married (by a judge).

T F (75) Torture is never justified, no matter what, no matter the consequences of not torturing.

T F (76) Waterboarding is torture.

T F (77) Extreme sleep deprivation (say, for a week) is torture.

T F (78) When the Allies fire-bombed Dresden (and killed tens of thousands of civilians) in 1942, that was terrorism.

T F (79) Dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII was terrorism.

T F (80) It is always immoral intentionally to kill noncombatants (e.g., civilians) in war.

T F (81) The bombing in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh was terrorism.

T F (82) When the Animal Liberation Front breaks into the labs of researches who do experiments on cats, dogs, or monkeys, and destroy property (and liberate the animals), that is terrorism.

T F (83) Terrorism is always wrong, no matter what, no matter the consequences.

T F (84) Having a hose inserted in one’s mouth and one’s stomach filled with water–-that’s torture.

T F (85) Torture should be legal only if a judge issues a ‘torture warrant’ upon being presented with the relevant facts.

T F (86) Whether or not torture is ever morally justified, it should always be illegal.

T F (87) It would have been morally permissible to torture someone to prevent the tragedy of 9/11.

T F (88) Suppose a terrorist has hidden an atomic bomb on Manhattan Island which will detonate at noon on July 4 unless… (here follow the usual demands for money and release of his friends from jail). Suppose also that the terrorist is caught at 10 a.m. of the fateful day, but--preferring death to failure--won't disclose where the bomb is. What do we do? If we follow due process--wait for his lawyer, arraign him--millions of people will die. If the only way to save those lives is to subject the terrorist to the most excruciating possible pain, then it is morally permissible to do so. Call this Ticking Time Bomb (TTB).

T F (89) Being forced to stand (e.g., with your arms extended outwards) for 10 hours a day is torture. (You are told that if you do not remain standing, you will be electrocuted.)

T F (90) You are standing in a meadow, innocently minding your own business, and a truck suddenly heads toward you. You try to sidestep the truck, but it turns as you turn. Now you can see the driver: he is a man you know has long hated you. What to do? You cannot outrun the truck. Fortunately, this is not pure nightmare: you just happen to have an antitank gun with you, and can blow up the truck. Of course, if you do this you will kill the driver, but that does not matter: it is morally permissible for you to blow up the truck, driver and all, in defense of your life. Call this Villainous Aggressor.

T F (91) This case is the same as before except the driver is entirely without fault for what he is doing. How can that be, given that he is chasing you around the meadow in a truck, trying to run you down? Well, let's suppose some villain had just injected him with a drug that made him go temporarily crazy. It is not his fault that he is going to kill you if you do not blow up the truck, he is not villainously aggressing against you; but he is aggressing against you, and he will in fact kill you if you do not blow up the truck. It is morally permissible for you to blow up the truck–-true or false? Call this Innocent Aggressor.

T F (92) In “Queen v. Dudley and Stephens,” it was morally permissible for the other sailors to kill Parker the cabin boy and eat him so as to save their own lives. Or at least to give themselves a better chance of surviving until they were rescued. (This case is discussed in Episode Two of the Michael Sandel “Justice” video. You can also read a short description at: http://wings.buffalo.edu/law/bclc/web/dudley.htm. For that and other cases, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R_v_Dudley_and_Stephens

T F (93) A villain has started a trolley down a track toward you. You cannot stop the trolley, but you can deflect it. Unfortunately, the only path onto which you can deflect it will take it onto a bystander who cannot get off the path in time. Call this Deflected Trolley.

T F (94) In this case you cannot deflect the trolley at all, you can only fire your antitank gun at it. But there is a bystander standing next to the trolley track, and if you fire your antitank gun, you will blow up the bystander along with the trolley. It is morally permissible to do this. Call this Trolley-Preemption.

T F (95) Mock executions (pretending to execute someone who believes you are not pretending) are torture.

T F (96) Trolley Driver II: Suppose that you are just watching a trolley when its brakes fail; if you do nothing, the trolley will continue on its path and kill five people working on the track at the bottom of the hill. But if you turn a switch, the trolley will go onto a side track where only one person is working and only that worker will be killed. If you throw the switch so as to turn the trolley so as to avoid killing the five workers, the one worker will be killed. The one worker is morally permitted to kill you to prevent you from throwing the switch.

T F (97) Wiggle the Bridge II: Just like the original case, but you have decided to wiggle the bridge and knock Jumbo onto the track so the trolley will grind to a stop and the five other workers will be saved. But Jumbo sees you trying to break the handrail and shoots you so that he won’t fall onto the track and be killed. It is morally permissible for Jumbo to kill you in self-defense.

T F (98) Jeep II: Suppose that it is possible to rescue five people who are in imminent danger of drowning only if we race our jeep down to the beach quickly. But our path is blocked by a person lying in the middle of the road, unable to move. If you run over (and probably) kill this person, you can reach the beach in time and save the five people from drowning. It is morally permissible for that guy to use his RPG to blow up the jeep (and kill all of us) in order to save his life.

T F (99) Innocent Threat I : You are sitting on a bench when you realize that a man is falling toward you from the balcony six stories above you. This falling man was pushed by a villainous aggressor, so he constitutes a threat without doing anything. If you don’t move, Falling Man will land on you; he will live and you will die. But if you move out of the way and he lands on the ground, he will be killed. It is morally permissible for you to move out of the way.

T F (100) Bank Robbery: During a robbery, the bank guard tries to get a gun in order to neutralize an armed bank robber. Realizing that this was the guard’s intention, the thief shoots the guard and kills him. Initially, the robber had no murderous intentions. His killing was purely defensive: had he not killed the guard, the guard would have killed him. It was morally permissible for the robber to shoot the guard in self-defense.

T F (101) Trolley Driver III: You have decided to let the trolley continue down the track and kill the five workers. One of them sees the trolley approaching, pulls out a bazooka and blows up the trolley (and you). He was morally permitted to do that.

T F (102) Bystander II: A runaway trolley is careering down the mainline track. If it continues along this track, it will crash into the station, killing hundreds of people. It can be diverted onto a side track on which stands an innocent person, the victim. You stand on the bridge just above the side track. And you have access to the switch that can divert the trolley. You do so. The trolley is now on the side track, so you already saved the hundreds. It is too late for the innocent bystander to run away. Yet, he can defend himself by shooting you. For, as a result of the shooting, you will fall on the side track and stop the trolley before it hits him. In other words, it is too late for the victim to run away but not to save his life. It is morally permissible for him to shoot you.

T F (103) A villain has started a trolley down a track toward you. You cannot stop the trolley, but you can deflect it. Unfortunately, the only path onto which you can deflect it will take it onto a bystander who cannot get off the path in time. It is morally permissible for you to deflect the trolley and kill the bystander.

T F (104) Innocent Threat II: Same as Innocent Threat I, except that you have a ray gun and you can vaporize Falling Man before he lands on you (and kills you). Wanting to live, you are about to vaporize Falling Man when he realizes what you are going to do, so he pulls out his ray gun and kills you first. He then lands on your dead body and lives. It is morally permissible for Falling Man to kill you to keep you from killing him.

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