Applied Ethics and Sustainability Assignment 1
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Applied Ethics and Sustainability Assignment 1


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Assignment 1 Consequential ethical analysis

Due: April 8, 2018   11.00 PM

Length: 1000 words maximum

Weighting: 20%

You should follow the 'Assignment Planning' activities in the SOC10236 Study Guide and all relevant online discussions concerning this assessment to perform well in this assignment.

You are required to select one of the five topics listed below and clearly define one focused and specific ethical question relevant to your chosen topic which you will analyse in both assignments 1 and 2. 

The five topics are 

  1. Media, advertising or public relations;
  2. Multinational corporations operating in developing countries; 
  3. The taking of human or non-human life;
  4. Artificial intelligence;
  5. Equity, diversity, multiculturalism, immigration (in the workforce or society).

Required tasks:

  1. Select one of the five topics. Clearly and concisely define one specific ethical question relevant to one of the five topics in no more than one short sentence. (1 mark). Note: This is a critical stage of your assignment and it is not easy. If you don't clearly define the ethical problem/question then you cannot perform a focused ethical analysis. It is strongly recommended that you follow the guidelines for forming ethical questions identified in the Topic 1 assessment planning activity and engage in online and class discussions.
  2. Explain why your specific ethical problem is important and in need of analysis? (3 marks)
  3. Identify and fully reference 6 key facts relevant to the analysis of your ethical question. (6 marks)
  4. Identify 2 assumptions which you are required to make to fill gaps in publically available information relevant to your ethical problem. (2 marks)
  5. Analyse the ethical act central to your ethical question using act utilitarianism by forecasting three important positive and three important negative consequences. (6 marks)
  6. Provide an ethical conclusion which compares expected positive with negative consequences including an estimate as to whether net utility will rise or fall. (2 mark)

Assignment 2 Non consequential ethical analysis 

Due: April 29, 2018 11.00 PM

Length: 1000 words maximum

Weighting: 20%

Submission: You must follow the same instructions as for assignment 1. Remember that an assignment which has a Turnitin Originality Report which shows a text match of more than 10% is not considered submitted and will not be accepted.

This assignment is a continuation of Assignment 1 and you must analyse the same ethical question which you defined in Assignment 1.

Restate your ethical question from Assignment 1 on page 1 of Assignment 2. You can modify the precise wording of your ethical question drawing on feedback provided in Assignment 1.

  1.  Identify 3 virtues relevant to the analysis of your specific ethical question. Define each virtue in no more than one sentence. (3 marks)
  2.  Discuss the morality of the act central to your ethical question by comparison with your 3 chosen virtues. (2 marks)
  3.  Apply Kant's categorical imperative by completing the following tasks. You need to support any yes/no answers with relevant discussion.
  4. Define a specific rule which authorises the act central to your ethical question. (2 marks)
  5. Define the general rule which authorises the act central to your ethical question. (1 mark)
  6. Is the general rule inherently self-contradictory? Why or why not? (2 marks)
  7. Does the general rule violate Kant's practical imperative or any of Kant's other absolute moral rules? (2 marks)
  8. Is the general rule contrary to its fundamental purpose? (1 mark)
  9. Is the act ethical according to Kant's ethical system? (2 marks)
  10. Provide an ethical conclusion by comparing your conclusions from the act utilitarian analysis in Assignment 1, your virtue ethics and Kantian analyses in this assignment, and drawing on your own ethical conscience. (5 marks)

Assignment 3 Ethics and sustainability analysis

Due: May 28, 2018   11.00 PM

Length: 2,000 words max.

Weighting: 40%

Submission: You must follow the same instructions as for assignment 1. Remember that an assignment which has a Turnitin Originality Report which shows a text match of more than 10% is not considered submitted and will not be accepted.

Assessment tasks

  1. Select one important sustainability issue of global significance and express this issue in no more than one short sentence (2 marks). Note: you cannot select 'climate change' (or global warming) as your sustainability issue as this is the issue chosen for the demonstration example provided in the online discussion.
  2. Describe the main environmental elements of your chosen global sustainability issue (5 marks).
  3. Describe the critical social elements of this global sustainability issue. (5 marks).
  4. Describe the key economic elements of this global sustainability issue  (5 marks).
  5. Identify two major ethical problems which are strongly connected with your chosen global sustainability issue (2 marks).
  6. Discuss the two ethical problems identified in part 5 drawing on relevant ethical theory (8 marks).
  7. Your chosen global sustainability issue presents both significant threats and opportunities for business. Discuss these major business threats and opportunities. (5 marks).
  8. Your chosen global sustainability issue will contain multiple causes of unsustainability and will cause actions which are considered unethical. You are required to propose an ethical and sustainable solution to the problems which underpin this global sustainability issue. This proposed solution should address causes of unsustainability, as well as financial, technological and behavioural barriers to removing these causes of unsustainability  (8 marks).

Final examination

Exam period: to be advised

Weighting: 20%

The final examination is scheduled for the end of the study period. The exam will be 1.5 hours, consisting of 40 multi-choice questions. The exam will be closed book.

Note: Students are permitted to take a hard copy English translation dictionary into the examination. Electronic translation dictionaries are not permitted.

Given SOC10236 is a first year unit, students who achieve a total mark which is less than that required to pass this unit will be offered one replacement assessment if there is a realistic chance that the student could pass the unit. All offers are made by email to the SCU student email account prior to grades being released. Normally students will have 2 weeks to complete the replacement assessment.


Ethical Question

Is it ethical to stop immigration into Japan?

Importance of the Ethical Problem and the Need for Analysis

The Japanese are a homogenous people known by the terms tanisu minzoku who have established a racially unified nation (Burgess, 2014). They do not appear to be multicultural in terms of their ideology and policies. As of 2016, the total Japanese population is found to have declined for the sixth consecutive year with an increase in the rate of population decline (Suzuki, 2017). The ratio of elderly people in the total population is a considerable amount when compared to other countries in the world and it is increasing. This has reduced the availability of working labour. One of the recommendations by experts in the foreign labour issues is to utilize immigration as a measure to compensate the depopulation (Yamada, 2010).  Immigrants are foreign nationals who are capable of settling in Japan, have a family, able to have a prolonged stay in the country or changed their status to become residents of Japan. However, Japan has adopted a 'no immigration principle' states that Japan does not accept migrants i.e., preventing foreigners from staying in Japan for a long time. Even the term migrants is replaced by words like entrants and foreign workers in the popular discourse. This principle remains unchanged in the county since the institution of the first Nationality Law of 1899, the primary aim of which was to prohibit the influx of unskilled workers and limit the access to Japanese nationality (Burgess, 2014). The failure of immigration reforms till date indicates the persistence of this principle.


Key Facts

  • According to population estimates, as of 2016, around 80% of the total foreign nationals (2,382,822) located in Japan were listed as 'immigrants' out of which 44.7% are permanent residents. Foreign nationals constitute 1.88% of the total population in Japan, which is very low in comparison with other industrialised Western countries. The population indicators in the National Census further revealed that though the population of Japanese nationals decreased by around 0.9% in 15 years between 2000 and 2015, whereas the foreign nationals increased by 33.7% (Murai, 2016).

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