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1st discussion question:


Commutative Justice and Embryo "Adoption"


In Chapter 4 of the textbook, the author examines commutative justice as arising from contractual relationships – a specific contract among particular parties or a broader social contract on which a community or nation is based. He also discusses how the interpretation or enforceability of a specific contract may be influenced by the principles and values that are part of the broader social contract.

At the end of 2012, more than 600,000 frozen embryos are being maintained in cryopreservation storage facilities in the United States. Some of them are the subject of agreements in which one party transfers one or more embryos to another party for implantation. Such agreements may be called "Embryo Adoption Agreements," although there is controversy over the use of the term adoption since the legal status of an embryo is different from that of a living child. In recent years, there have been a number of legal disputes arising from these agreements. Cynthia Marietta describes one of these disputes, McLaughlin v. Lambert, in her article, Frozen embryo litigation spotlights pressing questions: What is the legal status of an embryo and can it be adopted?

First, carefully read this article. Then, in your initial post, analyze the issues of commutative justice in this case, and apply the principles discussed by both Marietta and the textbook (see Section 4.4). Be sure to consider whether values that are part of the broader social contract (e.g., the U.S. Constitution) may influence how the specific contract between the two couples in this case should be interpreted justly. Consider this case from both sides of the dispute as well as from the perspective of society’s interest in the status of frozen embryos.

Your initial post should be at least 300 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. 

2nd discussion question:


Commutative Justice and the National Debt


In Chapter 4 of the text, the author examines commutative justice across the generations (see Section 4.5). This idea arises from the writings of British political thinker Edmund Burke (1790):

“Society is indeed a contract… a partnership in all art, a particular in every virtue, and in all perfection. As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born…” (Reflections on the French Revolution, para. 165)

Burke’s idea of a social contract between generations is often cited in contemporary debates about the spiraling nation debt of the United States. What do young and old citizens living today owe, as a matter of commutative justice, to generations of citizens who are not yet born? Is it just for today’s citizens to demand policies (e.g., low taxes and high levels of government service) that create huge debts for future generations to pay?

Your initial post must analyze the commutative justice issues of the national debt. How can there be a social contract between citizens living today and future, unborn citizens? What are its terms with respect to the national debt? How is the perspective of many living citizens on this contract likely to differ from the perspective of future, unborn citizens? What should we do now to fulfill our obligations under this contract? How should this contract be enforced?

To help you successfully complete this discussion, review the following required resources:
a.Debt, deficits, and demographics: Why we can afford the social contract
b.Viewpoint: Why the young should welcome austerity
c.A nation in debt: How can we pay the bills?

Your initial post should be at least 300 words in length. Support your claims with examples from at least two of the required resources for this discussion, and properly cite any references

    • Posted: 7 years ago
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    • Ashford 5: - Week 4 - Discussion 1

      Commutative Justice and Embryo "Adoption"

      In Chapter 4 of the textbook, the author examines commutative justice as …