Critical Thinking unit 3 Notes

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Unit F503: Ethical Reasoning and Decision-making
Assessment by Specification
Candidates should be able to....
Evaluate a range of source
material and select appropriate
ideas, comments and information
to support their reasoning and
analysis of complex moral and
ethical problems.
Identify and evaluate conflicting
ideas and arguments within a
range of source material.
Explain how ideas and arguments
presented in the source material
may be influenced by a range of
3.3.1 In addition to those common
patterns of reasoning developed in
Units 1 and 2, identify, analyse
and apply hypothetical reasoning.
Demonstrate understanding of the
idea that there may be a range of
different possible responses to
complex moral and ethical
problems, and that there may be
many different criteria that can be
applied in assessing the value and
effectiveness of different solutions
to complex moral and ethical

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Page 2

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Demonstrate understanding of the
nature of a dilemma.
3.3.2 In response to real issues,
construct their own arguments.…read more

Page 3

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Questions 1 and 2 Possible Questions
Suggest and briefly explain two weaknesses in using document 1 as evidence / to
support / to inform ... (6 marks)
2 marks: Clear explanation of a significant and specific weakness.
1 mark: For relevant reference to the documents.
FOREST has a vested interest to oppose the proposed policy, because its purpose is "to
champion the rights of smokers", so it cannot be expected to present a fair or balanced view.…read more

Page 4

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Document 1 begs the question when stating that investigators "cross-check the bank accounts
of benefit thieves". Presumably the checking is to discover whether they are benefit thieves or
· It is unclear from whom benefit thieves are stealing. Document 1 accuses them of stealing
from "law-abiding taxpayers" and "public funds", but Document 2 says they are "taking
money from those who need it most" (which probably means genuine claimants).…read more

Page 5

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The fact that Denise van Outen "blamed" her use of sunbeds for causing pigmentation scars
does not prove that it caused them. Other things could have caused her scars. (Causation)
The teachers who left were not necessarily "the weakest teachers", just ones who opposed
the monitoring. [must relate to the unusually large number]
The claim that the teachers who left were the weakest teachers begs the question.…read more

Page 6

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Suggest and briefly explain one problem in using the evidence in
paragraph X of Document X to support / oppose ...
FOREST has a vested interest to oppose the proposed policy, because its purpose is "to
champion the rights of smokers", so it cannot be expected to present a fair or balanced view.…read more

Page 7

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The evidence in para 2 from "countries where IVF is regularly given to women in their fifties"
is biased, since if medical opinion was against it, presumably it would not be regularly given.
As "Medical Director" of an "independent fertility clinic", the author has a vested interest to
select evidence to oppose the imposition of age limits, in order to maximise the activities and
profit of the organisation for which she works.…read more

Page 8

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Suggest three alternative choices that ... could make. (6 marks)
For each of three answers:
2 marks Clear statement of possible decision.
1 mark Vague statement of possible decision.
Examples of 2-mark answers:
Include smoking as one factor ­ but not a decisive factor ­ in assessing the overall suitability
of potential foster carers.
Prevent smokers from fostering children under the age of 5 but not extend it to older children.…read more

Page 9

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Women over the age limit may succeed in misrepresenting their age by borrowing a birth
certificate from a younger friend or relative.
Unless the limit is imposed internationally, women over the age limit may evade the
restriction by travelling abroad for treatment.
It would be hard to set the age as some women would be in a better condition than others
who are older to have the treatment.…read more

Page 10

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Suggest and briefly explain two ways in which the data in Document X might or
might (not) be useful in deciding ...
For each of two answers:
3 marks: Valid point clearly identified and clearly explained.
Because the survey is based on self-reporting, the numbers of offences may be understated,
based on guilt or fear of prosecution.
Table 2 indicates that the highest number of young people admitting to offences irrespective
of gender occurs in the mid-teens, but offending by boys peaks a little later.…read more


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