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Critical Thinking and Application, Reaction Paper Example

Pages: 7

Words: 2039

Reaction Paper

Please feel free to take the following and fill the answers in so you do not have to worry about formatting the CTAP correctly. The section below is numbered for you.

Identification

Find at least five ethical issues in the case.  Be sure to distinguish the central ethical issue from the others and give reasons why you believe that issue is the main problem.

  1. Is it right to breed dogs in puppy mills?
  2. Is it right to charge exorbitant amounts of money for these dogs to interested buyers?
  3. Is it right to rear these dogs in breeding facilities with deplorable conditions where neglect is likely?
  4. Is it right to apply the same standards of Proposition B to other forms of agriculture?
  5. Is it right to allow inhumane treatment of dogs to continue for the sake of a regular income?

The popular use of puppy mills and their treatment of dogs is the central ethical issue to be resolved because this type of behavior is inexcusable. Dogs deserve a respectable level of treatment and should not be required to breed incessantly so that breeders will make money for their own purposes.

Research

Find at least three appropriate sources and summarize their relevance to the central ethical issue.

  1. Source ASPCA (2012). Puppy Mills.

This article is relevant because it provides further evidence that puppy mills are an unacceptable practice for all dogs. In many cases, these dogs are not purebred, yet new owners might pay hundreds of dollars or more for a dog that is not what was expected (ASPCA, 2012).  This practice is common, thereby providing pet stores with these dogs at a high cost, even though in many cases, the dogs are not worth the prices that are charged, and their treatment is often sub-par (ASPCA, 2012).

(3-5 sentence summary as to why this article is relevant to the main moral issue in the case)

  1. Source Peta.org (2012): Puppy mills demonstrate that greed far outweighs the moral integrity of breeders and their treatment of dogs. When selected female puppies can no longer breed, it is likely that they will be killed so that other puppies will be bred (Peta.org, 2012). These puppy mills offer unsanitary environments for puppies to reside, and then sell dogs through brokers to pet stores nationwide (Peta.org, 2012). Each of these examples demonstrates that puppy mills are an inhumane means of dog breeding that should not be tolerated.

(3-5 sentence summary as to why this article is relevant to the main moral issue in the case)

  1. Source IDA (2012): Puppy mills are left in deplorable conditions of filth and without sufficient space to conduct their normal activities (IDA, 2012). These dogs are not left to roam free, but rather, must remain in cages for the majority of their lives, wreaking havoc on their quality of life (IDA, 2012). These conditions are unacceptable and should be eliminated as best as possible.

(3-5 sentence summary as to why this article is relevant to the main moral issue in the case)

Analysis

This section involves a comparison of stakeholders and options.

Stakeholders Options
  Option #1 Option #2 Option #3 Option #4  
Stakeholder #1:

Pet Stores

A pet store’s reputation suffers when using a puppy mill to obtain animals A pet store is acting ethically irresponsible when puppy mills are used A pet store does not always know the entire story behind where their puppies come from A pet store often seeks out puppy mills to obtain the most attractive breeds without thought of the consequences  
Stakeholder #2:

Pet consumers

Pet consumers might not know where puppies were bred Pet consumers should ask questions regarding where these dogs originated Pet consumers should consider that treatment of these bred dogs was likely poor and unethical Pet consumers should determine if the dog is actually the breed that was promised  
Stakeholder #3:

Puppy mill operators

Operators tend to forget all logic when big money is an option Operators do not care what happens to these puppies while under their care Operators do not always recognize what is at stake with puppy mill operations Operators take huge legal risks in continuing these operations  

This chart is a model of how you could complete this section.  Be advised, however, that your instructor may require more than four options and three stakeholders.  You should ask your teacher for more specific details.

Application

  1. Consequential Ethical Theory

1a.  Choose Act or Rule Utilitarianism and write one “good” paragraph (7-9 sentences) explaining the key components of the theory you chose. Make sure to include key terms, concepts, and ideas central to the theory.

Utilitarianism represents a series of concepts which support doing the right thing at all costs (Utilitarianism.com). This requires a greater understanding of the different elements which convey personal choice and ethical principles to perform good deeds and to make positive choices (Utilitarianism.com). Individuals must utilize their inherent ethical principles and values towards the greater good, and must demonstrate their commitment to excellence in these areas (Utilitarianism.com). Under these conditions, actions must demonstrate ethical decision-making in action, and should recognize the value of these decisions in improving a given situation (Utilitarianism.com). Therefore, these actions must demonstrate a capacity to achieve goodness as best as possible (Utilitarianism.com).

1b. Using  the theory you chose in part 1a apply the key terms, concepts and ideas to Augustine’s case. You will need to come to a well-supported, clear decision for Augustine based on the theory you chose above. This area should also be a minimum of 7-9 sentences.

From a utilitarian perspective, puppy mills do not contribute to the greater good of the dog population. These animals face considerable challenges in their young lives, and they do not possess the same options as other dogs. Therefore, operators of these mills do not provide the greatest possible good for these dogs or their prospective customers. It is important to recognize these limitations because they go against the grain of all utilitarian principles. These efforts are unacceptable and should not be tolerated in the context of utilitarian behaviors. Furthermore, puppy mills do not provide any real contribution to society as a whole; rather, they deter from the ability to provide dogs with an acceptable quality of life.

  1. Non-Consequential Ethical Theory

2a.  Choose Virtue Ethics, Natural Law, Natural Rights, Kantianism (Deontology), or Contractarianism.  Write one “good” paragraph explaining the key components of the theory you chose. Make sure to include key terms, concepts, and ideas central to the theory.

Virtue ethics demonstrates a capacity to exercise virtue and inherent values when making decisions (Hursthouse, 2012). Under these conditions, it is difficult to overcome poor decision-making and its results. The concept of practical wisdom is worthy of mention because it supports the ability to provide individuals with the best possible opportunity to experience a positive result (Hursthouse, 2012). Therefore, virtue ethics represents characteristics that are favorable for individuals (Hursthouse, 2012). These elements contribute to the overall ability of individuals to make positive decisions that will favorably impact others (Hursthouse, 2012).

2b. Using the theory you chose in part 2a apply the key terms, concepts and ideas to Augustine’s case. You will need to come to a well-supported, clear decision for Augustine based on the theory you chose above. This area should also be a minimum of 7-9 sentences.

In terms of puppy mills, virtue ethics does not apply. Puppy mills do not provide an opportunity to experience the greater good for the dog population. Rather, these conditions demonstrate that operators do not necessarily support the ethical treatment of dogs under these conditions. In addition, it is important to demonstrate that operators act in their own best interests rather than those of dogs and prospective owners. These elements are important because they support the elimination of puppy mills and what they stand for throughout society. It is important to recognize that puppy mill operators do not demonstrate any real sense of virtue when conducting this practice, as they resort to activities that are detrimental to dogs and do not provide value to society in any way.

Decision Making

Choose the wisest, most ethical option and justify your decision.  This is NOT an opinion. Using your research, analysis of the options and stakeholders and your applications of the ethical theories, laws and rules, select and defend the morally right (or most ethical) resolution to the central ethical issue. Using facts and relevant evidence from your research and analysis, thoroughly explain why you decided this is the best solution.

This section should be the culmination of your work in preceding sections and must be at least one “good” paragraph in length.

The most reasonable and effective moral solution to this problem is to eliminate puppy mills and to require all breeders to demonstrate evidence of their ability to care for and treat dogs with respect and dignity. This process requires dog breeders to undergo routine inspections and evaluations to determine if their practices are ethically responsible, and if not, they will face shut down until these standards are brought up to the desired level. When these practices are achieved, monitoring provides a greater sense of value to breeding, and also demonstrates some degree of legitimacy for this practice. Furthermore, exercising a utilitarian perspective provides a greater sense of value and ethical decision making. It is expected that this approach will also support the demand for the ethical treatment of all dogs under these circumstances.

Evaluation

Identify arguments against, or objections to, your decision from Part V and defend against them.

  1. List a possible argument against your decision in Part V – Now what would your counterargument (or response) be? Your counterargument should be 3-5 sentences.

One might argue that this practice is legitimate and provides consumers with the opportunity to purchase pure bred dogs at their discretion. However, it is important to note that these practices are not always safe for dogs, and confinement in this manner is against ethical principles. Dogs must be provided with a safe haven and should not be treated in an inhumane manner.

  1. List a possible argument against your decision in Part V – Now what would your counterargument (or response) be? Your counterargument should be 3-5 sentences.

One might argue that pure bred dogs are not easy to produce, and therefore, breeders must take the steps that are necessary to achieve the desired characteristics. However, this should not come at the expense of the dogs themselves and basic ethical principles. These efforts typically lack respect for the lives of these dogs and their wellbeing.

  1. List a possible argument against your decision in Part V – Now what would your counterargument (or response) be? Your counterargument should be 3-5 sentences.

One might argue that pure bred dogs are a big business, and that they contribute to the overall success of the pet industry. However, these actions take away from the ethical nature of pet care, and do not support legitimate activities in any way. They also support greed and selfishness at the expense of living animals.

Reflection

Explain what you learned from this particular assignment and the critical thinking process.  How could you improve your problem-solving process or your thinking; e.g., focusing on different factors, relying on personal assumptions, utilizing different values/principles, etc. You should not write about what you learned about the scenario itself, just what you have learned from the critical thinking process, and so forth.  This section should also be one good paragraph.

This assignment provided a number of real insights regarding puppy mills and their treatment of animals. The deplorable and unsanitary conditions in which these animals reside is unacceptable and inexcusable under all circumstances. It is important to recognize that these animals might not actually be the desired breed, and that their upbringing is cruel and unethical. This practice wreaks havoc on the minds and hearts of dog lovers nationwide, and demonstrates that greed far outweighs ethics for many persons. From a philosophical perspective, this exercise was useful because it provided a greater understanding of the concerns regarding puppy mills and was enlightening for these reasons. Puppy mills should be eliminated at all costs to protect the integrity of the dog population.

References

ASPCA (2012). Puppy mills. Retrieved from www.google.com/urlsa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CHYQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aspca.org%2FPUPPYMILLS&ei=StlmT6jKB4aqiALg6pSjDw&usg=AFQjCNGz50BoNz8Vuq6OM20oJTTFP3L6lQ&sig2=Q8xDwM6dv2JELSZl2Xbvmw

Hursthouse, R. (2012). Virtue ethics. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-virtue/ IDA (2012). The real cost of that adorable puppy in the window. Retrieved from      http://www.idausa.org/campaigns/puppymills/index.html

Peta.org (2012). Puppy mills: dogs abused for the pet trade. Retrieved from http://www.peta.org/issues/companion-animals/puppy-mills-dogs-abused-for-the-pet-trade.aspx

Utilitarianism.com. Utilitarianism. Retrieved from http://www.utilitarianism.com/utilitarianism.html

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