Nothing is more difficult today than deciding what to do about abortion, gay marriage, economic injustice, war, torture, global warming, euthanasia, capital punishment, and a host of other controversies, particularly in a world in which people of varying religious, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds commonly live side by side. Can we draw on the wisdom of the past to address these contemporary ethical dilemmas? Can we see more clearly how we should consider what is right and wrong, and good and bad, and then work through these divisive problems toward decisions that make sense to us?
While challenging moral relativism, Doing Ethics in a Diverse World uses a pluralist approach that draws on religious as well as secular positions and on Eastern as well as Western traditions. The book's approach reasons by analogy from the rule of law, including international human rights law, as a means to constructing ethical presumptions about duty, character, relationships, and rights. These presumptions are weighed against the predicted consequences of acting on them, which either confirm the presumptions or support alternative actions.
Contents * I. Learning from Experience * 1. Our Challenge: Doing Ethics in a Pluralistic Society * 2. Reasoning Together: Making Sense of Our Experience * 3. Rule of Law: The Ethics of Justice * II. Creating an Ethical Presumption * 4. Duty: Doing What Is Right * 5. Character: Being a Good Person * 6. Relationships: Caring and Letting Go * 7. Human Rights: Autonomy and Human Dignity * III. Overcoming an Ethical Presumption * 8. Possible Consequences: Utilitarian and Cost/Benefit Arguments * 9. Making Decisions: HIV/AIDS * IV. Applying the Approach * 10. Public Morality: Seeking the Common Good * 11. Health Care: Life and Death * 12. Sex: Consent plus What? * 13. War on Terrorism: Justice and Freedom * 14. Economic Justice: Fair and Caring? * 15. Our Natural World: Living Ecologically