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# It has been claimed that an action is morally good only if

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It has been claimed that an action is morally good only if [#permalink]

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03 May 2005, 00:05
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It has been claimed that an action is morally good only if it benefits another person and was performed with that intention; whereas an action that harms another person is morally bad either if such harm was intended or if reasonable forethought would have shown that the action was likely to cause harm.

Which one of the following judgments most closely confirms to the principle cited above?

(A) Pamela wrote a letter attempting to cause trouble between Edward and his friends; this action of Pamelaâ€™s was morally bad, even though the letter, in fact, had an effect directly opposite from the one intended.
(B) In order to secure a promotion, Jeffery devoted his own time to resolving a backlog of medical benefits claims; Jeffreyâ€™s action was morally good since it alone enabled Saraâ€™s claim to be processed in time for her to receive much-needed treatment.
(C) Intending to help her elderly neighbor by clearing his walkway after a snowstorm, Teresa inadvertently left ice on his steps; because of this exposed ice, her neighbor had a bad fall, thus showing that morally good actions can have bad consequences.
(D) Marilees, asked by a homeless man for food, gave the man her own sandwich; however, because the man tried to talk while he was eating the sandwich, it caused him to choke, and thus Marilees unintentionally performed a morally bad action.
(E) Jonathan agreed to watch his three-year-old niece while she played but, becoming engrossed in conversion, did not see her run into the street where she was hit by a bicycle; even though he intended no harm, Jonathanâ€™s action was morally bad.
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Re: CR - Morally Good [#permalink]

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03 May 2005, 00:34
Morally right when right is done AND intended.
Morally wrong when wrong is done AND intended, OR wrong is done and because reasonable thought wasn't applied.

A is wrong - Pamela wanted to do wrong, but no wrong was done.
B is wrong - Right was not done with intention.
C is wrong - Right was intended, Harm was done, but "inadvertantly" - no judgement if reasonable thought would have averted it.
D is wrong - Wrong done, but no wrong intended, or even carelessness.
E is wrong done because of gross carelessness.

Thought C comes close to an answer, E is more striking.
Hence, I'f go with E.
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03 May 2005, 01:09
Action is morally good: benefit another person, and intention was good
Action is morally bad: harm anohter person, or the intention was harmful

Which one of the following judgments most closely confirms to the principle cited above?

(A) Pamela wrote a letter attempting to cause trouble between Edward and his friends; this action of Pamelaâ€™s was morally bad, even though the letter, in fact, had an effect directly opposite from the one intended.
- Out. Here, we only have intent, and did not have the result.

(B) In order to secure a promotion, Jeffery devoted his own time to resolving a backlog of medical benefits claims; Jeffreyâ€™s action was morally good since it alone enabled Saraâ€™s claim to be processed in time for her to receive much-needed treatment.
- Here we have the result, but not the intent (Jeffery did what he did for his own advantage)

(C) Intending to help her elderly neighbor by clearing his walkway after a snowstorm, Teresa inadvertently left ice on his steps; because of this exposed ice, her neighbor had a bad fall, thus showing that morally good actions can have bad consequences.
- Here, we have a morally good action: good intent (help out on own accord) and benefit another person (the elderly would not have to clear the walkway). However, because a harmful event was experienced by the elderly, it shows that morally good actions can have bad consequences.

(D) Marilees, asked by a homeless man for food, gave the man her own sandwich; however, because the man tried to talk while he was eating the sandwich, it caused him to choke, and thus Marilees unintentionally performed a morally bad action.
- No. A morally bad action must have intent. If it's accidental, then there's no intent.

(E) Jonathan agreed to watch his three-year-old niece while she played but, becoming engrossed in conversion, did not see her run into the street where she was hit by a bicycle; even though he intended no harm, Jonathanâ€™s action was morally bad.
- A morally bad action requires both a harmful action and a harmful intent. Here, we only have an action (niece run down by bicycle) but there's not intent on Jonathan's part (he did not plan for his niece to be run down by a bicycle)

I'll take C
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03 May 2005, 02:11
I have an inkling that the answer is either C or E. I chose E. I just do not like the end of C, that states, "morally good actions can have bad consequences." I thought that the focus of the passage was on actions being either morally good or bad, not on consequences.
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03 May 2005, 05:04
E, unquestionably. Jonathan agreed to watch the girl and simply didn`t fulfill his obligation.
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04 May 2005, 02:48
Thanks for the explanation. OA is E.
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04 May 2005, 08:55
Nice and lengthy Question.

I also got (E).
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Re: It has been claimed that an action is morally good only if [#permalink]

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06 Oct 2013, 11:37
A is wrong because Pamela's action, although with ill intention, did not cause actual harm.
B is wrong because in order for an action to be morally good, it has to benefit another person, not one's self.
C is wrong because "morally good actions" must benefit another person, so actions with bad consequences can not be "morally good actions"
D is wrong because the Marilees' action is not ill intended, nor she would foresee the choking
E is the correct answer because Jonathan's action ("engrossed in conversation") 1. Caused harm to the kid. 2. It is a careless decision that reasonable forethought would have shown that it is likely to cause harm.

Re: It has been claimed that an action is morally good only if   [#permalink] 06 Oct 2013, 11:37
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