Handouts, Assignments, and Links for Values and Ethics

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Pictures of the Ethics-Bowl Team of '07: Mical Azor, Andrew Balloun, Chris Haas, Janelle Hilliard, Barbara Kidimu (Captain), Dushan Pumuna

Pictures of the Ethics-Bowl Team of '08: Ronell Balgobin (Captain), Kiran Dolsingh, Michael Julian, David Smith, Nelio Vargas

Pictures of the Ethics-Bowl Team of '09: Michael Fabula, Oreste Giusti, David Smith (Captain), Michael Wilhelm

Pictures of the Ethics-Bowl Team of '10: Karly Cancelmi, Michael Julian, Michael Kokes

Pictures of the Ethics-Bowl Team of '11: Darryl Jennings, Timothy Putt, and Magdalena Simic

E-Mail: rschlieper@rschlieper.net

Assignments or Handouts for the Conduct of the Class

First Homework Assignment: Basic Terms--Actually, I have not used this assignment for a long time. But I'm leaving it here because when the time is ripe, I might come back to it. Also, it is a good exercise for just about anyone who wants to deepen his or her awareness of ethical arguments all around us. Anyway, don't do the exercise unless I ask you to do it.

Value Judgments and Ethical Approaches--This little exercise may help you determine the difference between value judgments and fact-based statements. This is also an exercise that I have used before but am not using now; nonetheless, you may get some benefit from going through it. For that reason, it's still here.

Lecture Notes: Resource Pages for Some Practical Aspects of the Class

Try this link for a variety of background material in ethics: http://ethics.sandiego.edu 

Ethical Reasoning and Dilemmas--This diagram helps you visualize why conflicts may arise in your own thinking about moral matters as well as in your dialog with others about moral obligations, duties, and wishes.

A Glossary of Ethics--Read and study these carefully. This page also links to a collection of glossaries that a server in Australia provides. Feel free to explore. I think you may find much of this quite helpful.

Ethics in Relation to Other Decisions--Try to visualize the relationship between ethics and other areas of life. This list is incomplete. Whenever we have any contact at all with other people, we have to make ethical judgments.

Moral Requirement, Permission, and Prohibition--What MUST you do, what may you do, and what MUST YOU NOT do? Many of us are conditioned to believe in a binary right-wrong kind of ethics. This diagram shows you how complicated these judgments really can be.

Moral Domains and Subjects--Who belongs into your moral community?  Who is your neighbor? This diagram shows the notion of "moral community" which underlies just about all our ethical assumptions. 

The Twelve Questions, that you should ask yourself to check whether an on-the-job action is morally acceptable. These basic questions come from Business Ethics and are quite useful also for general decision-making.

Basic Parts of Organizations--Take a look at what forces you are likely to find at work at your place of employment. We are not likely to do much of this in class; however, if you take business ethics or management and social responsibility, you may find this conceptualization of forces in business and industry to be quite useful.

Decision-Making in Ethics (from Bernard Gert's Common Morality)--How do we think about moral matters? Dr. Gert offers an excellent flowchart for ethical decision-making. You might find it useful to think about. 

Stages of Moral Development [Kohlberg]--Attempts to classify human beings in terms of their moral development.
Some Basics About Group Morality--This might make useful reading in anticipation of our dialog about Affirmative Action.

A Few Myths About the Brain--This selection of five common myths about the brain show how much people are likely to let an entire system of assumptions begin to grow on foundations of pseudoscience. The original appeared in Scientific American of August 2011.

A word about fair and proper communication.--This link contains a note that someone had written to various administrator at my last place of employment from a fictitious address. I was very deeply saddened by this person's not talking to me about these issues honestly and freely. What was even more disturbing to me is that the note misrepresented quite extensively what I had said in class. In fact, I wondered about whether that person really had been a student of any of my classes.  I also  wonder how a so-called Christian can be so malicious.

Lecture Notes: Resources of Traditional Moral Philosophy

Values Table [Aristotle]--Character, values, habituation, and self-realization. This also contains quotes from Aristotle about habituation and relationships.

Stoic Thought--A list of the contributors to Stoic thought. You probably have heard about someone's "Stoicism." If you want to know what philosophical tradition this represents, take a look at this link.

The Categorical Imperative [Kant]--Rights and responsibilities of members of a rational community. You must understand the Categorical Imperative; this handout gives you a brief version of that philosophical concept.

The Greatest Happiness Principle [Mill]--Consequences of our actions may also help us determine what is and what is not morally acceptable. Consequentialism or Utilitarianism is the moral philosophy of Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and contemporary philosophers such as Peter Singer and others.

The Just-War Tradition--These are moral ideas that date back to Thomas of Aquinas (St. Thomas), with Augustine of Hippo (St. Augustine) having made some comments without a systematic review.    

Determinism--Some problems with the relationship between causality, free will, and moral responsibility. Our scientific view tends to be causal. So, do people make decisions because causes tend to compel them? Or do people make choices? Read about this rather intriguing philosophical problem.

Skeptical Arguments that Challenge Morality--This is a summary of arguments from Russ Shafer-Landau's book "Whatever Happened to Good and Evil?" These are arguments that philosophers might offer to challenge moral thinking.

Stages of Moral Development [Kohlberg]--Attempts to classify human beings in terms of their moral development. 
Some Basics About Group Morality--This might make useful reading in anticipation of our dialog about Affirmative Action.

Class-Room Matters

How Do I Write Good Papers?--These short statements may help you with whatever essays or papers you have to write for the class. Actually, this is a one-page handout, so the reading is not really that immense. Take a look.

How to Approach a Presentation and Its Follow-Up Paper. These are a few hints from traditional rhetoric to help you organize your thoughts effectively.

Statement About Plagiarism at the Council of Writing Program Administrators 

Exercise Cases

Diagnostic Examination: First-Day Exercise: This exercise comes from practical ethics. If you ask several people to solve these ethical problems, you may be surprised how much people are likely to agree even when they come from entirely different backgrounds and beliefs.

The Voles--Case Study in Whistleblowing--'nuff said.

Tuition, ROTC, and DADT--What's Right? What's Wrong? What Should One Do?

Sources for Special Problems and Dilemmas

Comments on Films--I enjoy films and the ethical dimensions that films offer.

Interesting Books and Topics--These are not news items, but they may lead to some interesting insights.

Puzzlers and Dilemmas.--This link will take you to a variety of problems from various ethical and philosophical directions. 

The Story of Stuff: One person's view of what kind of economy we should cultivate and what kind of economy is likely to be lethal. You may want to review this when we get to issues of wealth and the distribution of wealth and resources. You may also use this presentation as a basis for additional research about the socio-economic values our society seems to hold.

Factoids That Might Interest You

Toothless Skull was found to be almost 2 million years old. What does that tell you?  Check it out at Scientific American's site. Well, what it might tell you that people who lose teeth may need help from other people, a moral motivation. So, how old is ethics and morality likely to be?

Whom do we trust? Against whom do harbor prejudices? Take a look at what Gallup found: Well, the link is gone now, but Gallup found that while many US-Americans are beginning to be willing to elect as president a woman, a person from an ethnic minority, or a gay person, only 47 percent of US-Americans are willing to vote for an atheist, even if s/he might be fully qualified otherwise. Is that a problem with religious tolerance?

On the same issue of religious tolerance, review the Dalai Lama's statement about Shugden worshippers: http://www.dalailama.com/page.132.htm. Is the Dalai Lama being intolerant here? Is he being a kind of religious dictator?

Sources That Have to Do with Global Issues in Morality

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Overview)--It's Worth Reading. Sometimes, we forget that we live on a globe that we share with many cultures. As we must learn to live together fairly, we must also seek common views in ethics. Here is one such attempt.

The Economic Bill of Rights by Franklin D. Roosevelt You may find some of these principles to be a startling challenge to capitalistic principles.

The United States Bill of Rights No, I'm not asking you to join the ACLU; this is merely a convenient place to find a copy of our Bill of Rights.

Following Orders in the Military--Why will soldiers be reluctant to follow unlawful orders and what can we do to improve their ethical thinking. Read also about Swedish ethical hero Raoul Wallenberg's resisting an unlawful order, thus saving Jewish lives.

Global Ethics--This is an on-line journal with a collection of ethics cases.

Collection of Links to Professional Ethics

  Medical: The Hippocratic Oath--This oath is still part of the medical profession; take a look. It also contains one of the basics of all ethical reasoning: "Primarily, do no harm."
  Code of Ethics for Information Technologists--Take a look. If any of  these links come up empty, let me know, please.
  Code of Ethics for Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  Links to other ATC web sites
  Soldier's Ethics: Essay by Chaplain David Shurtleff

Student Press Law Center website at www.splc.org. [added by Todd Fortier, a former student]

Statement About Plagiarism at the Council of Writing Program Administrators 

Codes of Ethics for Mechanics

This is only a partial list; countless lists exist on the web if you use the keyword: "mechanics code of conduct" or "mechanics code of ethics."






If you want to compare . . . .


Code for Aviators: http://www.secureav.com/AMCC-Listings-Page.html

Moral Heroes: These Are People Whom I Admire Greatly Although I Know Only Few of Them Personally. [Take a look.]

  Some Examples of Moral Heroes--This collection of outstanding individuals comes from a variety of sources, several from newspapers and some from personal acquaintance.

In memory of an exemplary police officer! and Literature about Krützfeld. This police officer is commemorated in the Neue Synagoge (New Synagogue) memorial in Berlin. 


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