Justice and Fairness

Justice and Fairness



  1. Read:

Justice and Fairness (https://www.scu.edu/ethics/ethics-resources/ethical-decision-making/justice-and-fairness/)
Developed by Manuel Velasquez, Claire Andre, Thomas Shanks, S.J., and Michael J. Meyer. Retrieved 7.21.2015


  1. According to the article, why do we talk about justice and fairness? (Note, a relatively short answer to this question is adequate, but it must be a key consideration brought up in the article.)
  2. The article states: “Whenever individuals are treated unequally on the basis of characteristics that are arbitrary or irrelevant, their fundamental human dignity is violated.”
    1. What are arbitrary and irrelevant characteristics?
    2. What does it mean to treat people unequally?
    3. Does this imply that there are cases where people may justly be treated unequally without violating their dignity?
    4. Where have you experienced or witnessed such a violation of human dignity?
  3. Self-Driving Cars

Judge the Scenarios:

At the website below, you will be judging what self-driving cars should do in a number of different scenarios. Click on link  below before you decide so that you get details about the scenarios that aren’t obvious from the images themselves. Once you’re done going through each situation, you will get feedback about how your answers compare to how other people have answered.





The videos bring up various factors we need to take into account when programming cars to make decisions about causing or allowing people to be harmed. Picking one or two dilemmas brought up in either or both videos, discuss:

  1. what you think would be a just (or fair) ‘decision’ for a self-driving car to make in the dilemma(s)
  2. why considerations of justice might not be enough to determine what a self-driving car should do in the dilemma(s)
  3. what other ethical considerations might be helpful in determining what a self-driving car should do in the dilemma(s)

For each of the above, be sure to justify the stance that you take. Note, you should be thinking of what ‘decision’ the cars should be programmed to make in the dilemma(s).


*** Be sure to address, explicitly, each of the things you’re asked to do in the paragraph above.***

Word Range: 250-350 words




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