Ethics of Living and Dying

Attached below is a link to the final playlist of videos about Mark Carrikar, The last half of this playlist has been recorded during this current semester with the last video being upload about two weeks ago.

Please watch every video in its entirety (except for the “Dude, is this Heaven” video, feel free to only watch the first 4 mins of that one). I recognize that many of the moments in these videos are not directly about Mark dying, are they likely to be what you remember from these videos two years from now. However, I believe these moments correctly set the theme of Mark’s experience and give us a chance to appreciate the full gravity of his situation.

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About the paper:

Picking paper topics at the college level is not easy, especially in Philosophy. Paper topics are no longer as they were in our high school English and History classes. In philosophy, we are no longer merely asked to express an opinion we hold dear, or asked to “pick a side” in a debate about the things that just so happen to be topical in today’s news feed. Instead, our topics are meant to give us an outlet to honestly explore ideas in a much more novel and less-manufactured way. Topics are picked according to how well a particular question is able to provide this hard, rational outlet for students without being so difficult that reasonable answers become rare. The balancing act is a tough one to walk.

This is especially true during a time where students are forced to sit caged-at-home and learn at a distance. This “balancing act” possibly becomes too difficult when the move to caged-in distance learning drastically individualizes the experience of each student. Coming up with a topic that is uniformly difficult and, at the same time, generally accessible to the minds of the students is tricky.

With this in mind, the prompt is as follows:

Pick a conclusion of you choosing concerning the topic Mark Carrikar and his journey as a dying man, then write a 3 – 4 1/2 page paper arguing for this conclusion. You paper should be size 12 font, double spaced. Also, you will need to have a Formal Analysis of your argument attached to your paper upon submission. You can type them both in the document, just keep in mind that the FA does not count towards your total page count. Papers need to be submitted through canvas messenger no later than Midnight, May 13th.

This paper will be formatted in the same way as our previous two paper:

It will begin with an intro paragraph containing, “In the paper, I will argue…” followed by one sentence explanations of each premise, “To do this, I will first argue…etc.”. The following sections of the paper will be exactly as your intro says they will be and you will finish with a conclusion that says exactly what the intro did, but in the past tense. Refer back to the directions for the first two paper for a full reminder of how to structure papers in this class.

There will be a severe grade reduction for not meeting page requirements. I, again, reserve the right to fail any paper that has more than 2 grammatical errors on a single page (edit carefully).

More on Topics:

When picking a topic, please feel free to use other material from our class in conjunction with the Youtube playlist. There are so many parallels and counter arguments to be made between Mark’s video and Socrates, Tolstoy, Epicurus, and Kubler-Ross. There are numerous ethical issues captured by Mark’s situation, such as “how should I feel towards death”, “is it ever ‘ok’ to ‘stop treatment'”, “Does God really make the suffer of his people meaningful”, “is there meaning in suffering at all”, and so on. There are countless was to challenge yourself and put to use all the big ideas talked about in our class. Whatever you decide argue, make sure its something you consider genuinely worth your time to consider and think about (also, it needs to be a challenging as you can make it, i.e. ARGUE HARD).

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