a. The ISSUE: In order for any work of art—for example, a film, a novel, a poem, or a song—to have merit, it must be understandable to most people.
Instruction : Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position
My answer: No I don't agree. But I do agree if one master piece wants to survive for centuries, it must be understandable to those who have the power to protect it and passing it on.
So, let's define "Art". Take film for example, which film could qualified as art? Those Oscars? In my opinion, if a film can touch the sole of one person, and make this particular individual to do things he never did before, to think concepts he never dreamed of, that film can qualified as art. It's kinda like the debate between a deontologist and a virtue ethicist, and I'm the virtue ethicist. I do believe whether or not a film is a piece of art should be judged by those who really understand it and can tell the intention of the film maker and the outcome he was expecting.
Besides all that, I am an utilitarianism, and I do want to encourage artists to make their art more understandable to survive time, and can be finally appreciated by more and more people coming alone the way. So if I'm been put in a position to make a speech to a group of potential artists, I'm gonna say the same thing. But if I'm a judge to decide one piece from another, I'll recuse myself if I can't understand what it's about.
b. The ISSUE: Scientists and other researchers should focus their research on areas that are likely to benefit the greatest number of people.
Instruction : Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
My answer: No I don't agree. But I do agree if the certain "Scientists and other researchers" in question are all utilitarianism.
We should not do anything to force people do things they don't like against their own will (this rule only apply when the people we're going to force are grow-ups, not in any danger that they don't aware of, and have never consent us to use force on them, etc.) It's kinda like DNR(Do not resuscitate) wishes we must respect, we also need to respect scientists doing research that we don't understand how the outcome will benefit people. (Any new technology can be used in both ways: to hurt people or help people. So it's not the researcher's job to guarantee the outcome will benefit anyone.)
Besides all that, if I'm giving a speech in a room full of scientists and researchers, I'm gonna say the same thing. But if I'm a judge to decide one's research should get budget or not, I'll recuse myself if I can't understand what they were doing.