1. I would describe my approach to morality generally as nonconsequentalist. Nonconsequentalist moral theories suggest that the rightness of an action depends primarily or completely, on the nature of the action itself. The example you gave in class about being up for a promotion along with another coworker and lying about that coworker so you were the one promoted follows this theory. Lying about that person was for you to achieve your own personal goal. There were consequences to your actions; you may have gotten the promotion however, if anyone were to ever find out, I wonder what would happen to you. You would lose your credibility etc. Another example would be if a politician were to feed starving children just to gain votes one may see that that is not a selfless act. The act of feeding children is wonderful however, his actions are deceitful.
2. “The word person as used in the Constitution “does not include the unborn” however the definition of a person is defined as “an entity with full moral rights”. Our physical appearance is what makes us human, our ability for abstract reason etc. As for the conceptual differences between a person and a human however, there are few if any.
This distinction between the two is important for the philosophical debate on abortion because what constitutes a human or person, and when and does this person or human have rights. We are not regarded as a person until the very moment we are born and actually present. After that moment we are given a date and time of birth, a social security number and a name. A fetus has potential to become a person can entitle that fetus to rights or it is not a person until born. A heart beat might be another solution to the distinction between a human or a person. The solution I find most persuasive is the heartbeat. Although unable to survive alone there is potential. They are a living entity and have a right to life as any other living being. Even if the distinction between a person and a human were resolved, it would not end the abortion debate. It might create more of a fine line for murder but moral theories come into play as well. Act-utilitarianism, how is this going to affect other people? Virtue ethics, ones rationality of a good characteristic differs from another one may call it murder one may consider their ability to provide for the unborn person etc. A definition clarification would not clear up the morality of act of abortion or the debate about it.
3. Yes, there is a relevant moral difference between active and passive euthanasia. It is morally permissible to passively euthanize for there was not necessarily any forward action taken to kill someone. You may be allowing someone an attempt at life without supporting measures.
4. With regard to retributive justice, capital punishment is always permissible. A person should be