Paper 1

titian abraham isaac

Everyone without exception believes his own native customs, and the religion he was brought up in, to be the best.
– Herodotus


Divine Command Theory: The Binding of Isaac

The Plot

Read the following passage from Genesis.

Genesis 22:1-14. Bible Gateway.


Titian, 1542-44
Abraham and Isaac 

The Question

If God had commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, rather than provide the ram described in the text, would that action have been morally right? Use what you know about Divine Command theory to respond. Be sure to illustrate a thorough knowledge of Divine Command theory in your essay, as that will be a significant part of your grade.


Natural Law: Survival through Any Means Necessary

The Plot

Five experienced cave explorers become trapped during a seismic event. They have found no way of escape. Because each of them has told a family member where they would be exploring, they are certain that a rescue team will eventually come. However, days have gone by and the party has exhausted their supply of food and water and is now feeling the effects of dehydration and starvation. One in particular is showing signs of severe dehydration including confusion, rapid breathing, and pain


The Question

Using what you know about the Theory of Natural Law, should the explorers kill and eat the weakest member of their party so that the others have a greater chance of staying alive till a rescue comes? Be sure to illustrate a thorough knowledge of Natural Law in your essay, as that will be a significant part of your grade.


Social Contract Theory: The Student

The Plot

You are a teacher at a local high school. A star athlete you have known since she was a freshman is now in one of your senior classes. She is a well–behaved student who attends every class, always does her homework, and has sought out tutoring for the complex subject you teach. However, she still struggles with the material in the course. You are preparing your grades and realize she has fallen below a C for this six weeks. If she has a D on her Report Card, the coach will put her on probation and suspend her from the team until the next report card shows improvement. Because you have recently written a letter of recommendation for a scholarship for this student, you know she has been raised by a single parent and is relying on the possibility of athletic scholarships to attend college.

The Question

Using what you know about Social Contract Theory, should you raise the student's grade to a C? Be sure to illustrate a thorough knowledge of Social Contract Theory in your essay, as that will be a significant part of your grade.