Property fundamentally marks how we as individuals are related both to other individuals and to society at large. In its strongest form, property absolutely excludes others from possessing, using, or in any way controlling what we own. However, others have insisted that basic human necessity (e.g. hunger) may overrule the power of individual property.
"Not encyclopedic, but thought-provoking"
For much of history, philosophers and religious thinkers have believed there are absolute differences between humans and all other living things. Usually, only humans have been thought capable and deserving of moral standing (either as moral agents, who are capable of acting morally, or as moral patients, who are owed moral duties).
"Very well done"
There are three main ethical theories of family. Natural Law says that our human nature is to unite in marriage with a person of the opposite sex for the purpose of having and rearing children. Rights-based theories say that individuals may form any association they wish as long as it is based on consent. Utilitarian theories allow expanded definitions of the family as long as this will produce the greatest good for the greatest number.
"Poses more questions..."
We all know that murder, lying, and stealing are wrong. Many of us have also made up our minds on controversial topics like abortion or capital punishment. Yet we continue to have disagreements about such topics as we struggle to find what is the "right" answer to moral problems. Religious beliefs may provide answers for some, but not everyone is religious.
In any social arrangement, especially in a nation as large and diverse as the United States, the many differences among people are all too obvious. We have different capacities and resources, and we live with vastly different circumstances and outcomes. Within such splendid diversity, where shall we find a basis for unity? And what can equality possibly mean? Racism has a long and well-known history in the United States, and there have been many struggles to overcome its legacy.
Civility, which comes to us from the Latin word for citizen, includes not only the notions of courtesy and politeness, but also such matters as social relationships and proper conduct in human relationships. For some, civility is the essential glue that holds society together, and it involves such important issues as friendship, altruism, responsibility, dignity, and justice.
Most people think it's wrong to lie, but sometimes telling the truth seems more hurtful than lying. Secrecy protects the truth and maintains our privacy, but it also can be a way of covering up lies. In an age of instant communication and information glut, what are the limits of privacy? Do public figures forfeit their privacy? Are some people, such as doctors, lawyers, and clergy, more obligated to keep secrets than others?
Love and sex provide two of the primary motives of human life; the need for intimate human contact and to propagate our species. Sex is a powerful, sometimes irrational urge or instinct, but as rational creatures our human understandings and expectations of love transcend mere sexuality.
Punishment is a harm or deprivation, imposed by a legitimate authority, based on a legitimate conviction of wrongdoing. In assessing guilt, considerations of intention, action, and results are all relevant.