List of Possible Questions for 2018 – Ethics

March 27, 2018
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Possible Exam Questions H573/2 GCE Ethics

Natural Law

  1. “Natural Law does not present a helpful method for making moral decisions”. Discuss
  2. “Moral decisions should be based on duty, not purpose”. Assess with reference to the theory of Natural Law.
  3. “Human beings are born with the tendency to pursue morally good ends”. Evaluate in the light of teleological aspects of Natural Law.
  4. “Explain and justify the doctrine of double effect with reference to an ethical dilemma of your choice concerning euthanasia”.
  5. Critically assess the view that natural law is the best approach to issues surrounding sexual ethics. 


  1. “Kantian ethics is helpful in providing practical guidelines for making moral decisions in every context”. Discuss
  2. Evaluate to what extent duty can be the sole basis for a moral action.
  3. “Kantian ethics is too abstract to be useful in practical ethical decision-making’. Discuss
  4. “In neglecting the role of emotions in favour of pure reason, Kantian ethics fails to give a realistic account for our human nature”. Discuss


  1. Evaluate the view that utilitarianism does not provide a helpful way of solving moral dilemmas.
  2. To what extent, if any, is Utilitarianism a useful theory for approaching moral decisions in life? (Patrick King)
  3. Utilitarianism provides a helpful method of moral decision making. Discuss Already marked
  4. “The application of the greatest happiness principle in specific situations is not a sufficient guide to the good action”. Discuss
  5. “Pleasure is not quantifiable”. Discuss
  6. To what extent does utilitarian ethics provide a useful guide to issues surrounding business ethics?

Situation Ethics

  1. “Situation ethics is too demanding as a system of ethical decision-making”. Discuss
  2. “Goodness is only defined by asking – how is agape best served”. Discuss
  3. “Agape is not so much a religious idea as an equivalent to saying ‘I want the best for you’”. Discuss
  4. Evaluate the extent to which situation ethics is individualistic and subjective.

Applied – Euthanasia  (Natural Law and Situation Ethics)

20.  Natural Law is superior to situation ethics in its treatment of issues surrounding euthanasia”. Discuss

21. Natural law succeeds because it takes human nature seriously. Discuss

22. “Autonomy as an ideal is unrealistic. No-one is perfectly autonomous”. Discuss with reference to the ethical issue of euthanasia.

23. “Sanctity of human life is the core principle of medical ethics”. Discuss

24. “There is no moral difference between actively ending a life by euthanasia and omitting to treat the patient”. Discuss

Applied – Business Ethics (Kant and Utilitarianism)

  1. “Kantian ethic of duty is superior to the utilitarian ethic of happiness in dealing with difficult business decisions”. Discuss
  2. Critically discuss the view that businesses have a moral duty to put their customers first.
  3. “Corporate social responsibility is ethical window-dressing to cover their greed”. Discuss
  4. Evaluate the view that capitalism will always exploit human beings in the pursuit of profit.
  5. “Globalisation widens the exploitation of human beings by reducing the need for ethically valid regulation of business behaviour”. Discuss


  1. “The meaning of the word ‘good’ is the defining question in the 
study of ethics”. Discuss
  2. Critically consider whether ethical terms such as good, bad, right and wrong have an objective factual basis that makes them true or false.
  3. “Ethical statements are merely an expression of an emotion”. Discuss
  4. Evaluate the view that ethical statements are meaningless. 
  5. “People know what’s right or wrong by a common sense intuition”. Discuss
  6. Critically contrast the views of intuitionists and emotivists on the origin and meaning of ethical statements.


  1. Critically evaluate the theories of conscience of Aquinas and Freud.
  2. “Conscience is given by God, not formed by childhood experience”. Critically evaluate this view with reference to Freud and Aquinas.
  3. “Conscience is a product of culture, environment, genetic predisposition and education” . Discuss
  4. “Conscience is another word for irrational feelings of guilt”. Discuss
  5. “Freud’s theory of conscience has no scientific basis. It is merely hypothesis”. Discuss
  6. ’Guilt feelings are induced by social relationships as a method of control”. Discuss
  7. Is Conscience linked to or separate from reason and the unconscious mind?

Sexual Behaviour

  1. “In terms of sexual ethical decisions, all you need to do is apply your conscience”. Discuss
  2. “Religion is irrelevant in deciding issues surrounding sexual behaviour”. Discuss
  3. Critically evaluate the view that the ethics of sexual behaviour should be entirely private and personal.
  4. “Because sexual conduct affects others, it should be subject to legislation”. Discuss
  5. “Normative theories are useful in what they might say about sexual ethics”. Discuss




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