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How Ought I/We to Live? (Research Paper Sample)


The paper discusses the urgent need to address two major threats to human survival: nuclear weapons and unchecked climate change. The author highlights the failure of world leaders to adequately address these threats, emphasizing the responsibility that each individual has in shaping the future and ensuring long-term survival. The analysis begins by examining Palmer's moral problem of deterrence in relation to nuclear weapons. The paper argues that the prevailing strategic doctrine of deterrence is fundamentally flawed and morally abhorrent. The contradiction lies in the belief that deploying nuclear weapons is both possible and desirable, despite the immense destruction and loss of life they would cause. The paper advocates for alternative conflict resolution strategies based on diplomacy, dialogue, and promoting peace, ultimately calling for disarmament and the elimination of nuclear weapons.
The second perspective explored is De Beauvoir's inquiry into ambiguity and freedom. According to De Beauvoir, human existence is characterized by ambiguity, and individuals have the ethical responsibility to transcend external constraints and actively engage in shaping their future. This aligns with Chomsky's call for individual agency and collective responsibility in addressing global challenges. The paper also delves into Campbell's discussion on animal welfare and environmental ethics. Campbell emphasizes the interconnectedness of ecological systems and the well-being of sentient beings, arguing for sustainable practices and responsible stewardship of the natural world. The industrialization of animal agriculture and the exploitation of animals are seen as significant ethical concerns, calling for a shift towards plant-based diets and the protection of animal welfare.
Overall, the paper concludes that living ethically requires critical examination of our beliefs and actions, as well as the recognition of our interconnectedness with others and the environment. By incorporating moral considerations into decision-making processes, promoting sustainable practices, and advocating for the well-being of all sentient beings, individuals can contribute to building a just, compassionate, and sustainable world that enhances the chances of long-term survival.


How Ought I/We to Live?
How Ought I/We to Live?
Chomsky recalls a statement by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in January 2015, in which they explained the looming catastrophe by citing nuclear weapons and unchecked climate change as the two main threats to survival. The call criticized world leaders for failing to do their most crucial task — guaranteeing and preserving the vitality and health of human civilization — by not acting quickly enough or on a sufficient scale to protect citizens from the impending catastrophe. There always exists a danger of instant destruction due to nuclear weapons. While global warming poses a serious long-term threat, it is not instantaneous but can quickly escalate. The longer intervention is delayed, the worse the disaster will be. Chomsky (2016) concludes, "Prospects for decent long-term survival are not high unless there is a significant change of course. A large share of the responsibility is in our hands — the opportunities as well" (238). Chomsky's statements highlight the need for each of us to shape our shared future and ensure our long-term survival. By analyzing Palmer's moral problem of deterrence regarding nuclear weapons, De Beauvoir's inquiry into ambiguity and freedom, and Campbell's discussion on animal welfare and environmental ethics, this analysis will connect Chomsky's perspective to the question of how I/we ought to live. By bringing together different views, we can better understand the moral imperatives that should direct our efforts to better the world.
The realization that the prevailing strategic doctrine surrounding nuclear weapons poses serious ethical issues is reflected in Chomsky's suggestion for a change of course. Only when they can be applied universally with no contradictions can an action be considered ethically right. The application of this principle 

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