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Thought Pieces/Values/Ethical Dilemmas

As Dr. Duncan explained to the class, some of the most important issues in the future will rely heavily on ethical decision making.  Many of the questions regarding the future cannot be predicted, but it is important to understand the process of using your personal values to make ethical decisions in both the present and the future. 

Let's start back to square one: What is an ethical dilemma?  As a class we broke down both words to help with our definition.  Ethical implies that something "having to do with ethics or morality; of or conforming to moral standards"  the dilemma comes from "an argument necessitating a choice between equally unfavorable or disagreeable alternatives.  This definition implies that in an ethical dilemma, there is no clear right or wrong answer, but several choices that rely on our own values to make our decision.  Using this definition and acknowledging current or potential ethical dilemmas, the class used our Thought Piece assignments to examine how our values can impact our decisions.
Some Phrases About Ethical Dilemmas:
"On the horns of a dilemma". "Between a rock and a hard place", "Damned if you do, damned if you don't", etc.
Any Other Suggestions for phrases about ethical dilemmas? Leave them in the comments section!

Thought piece number one had the class examine issues of cyberspace and future writing raised in professional essays.  After explaining the dilemma addressed in the essay, we explained the moral and ethical principles the author uses to resolve the particular ethical dilemma that was raised.  The class then used our own values to determine alternate possibilities for addressing the dilemma that may or may not have been different than the author.  What were some of the dilemmas raised by the authors in your first thought piece? Leave it in the comments section!

Our second thought piece helped the class use a culmination of what we learned about ethical dilemmas, values and decision making to examine a major ethical dilemma that technology poses for each students personal or future life.  The next step was to consider our values and evaluate each ethical decision we faced,. along with the results of our decisions.  What were some of the problems addressed in thought piece two?  Head to the comments section!


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 3rd, 2008 05:37 am (UTC)
This was the most difficult concept in the class to wrap my mind around. Deciding between two negatives is an abstract concept that I never encountered. Perhaps I will in the future and hopefully by then I will be a better problem solver.
Dec. 3rd, 2008 10:06 am (UTC)
I enjoyed learning about ethical dilemmas, because not only do they relate to real life, but they provide great ideas for stories! After all, people enjoy reading about other people's problems, and the main characters in stories usually have some sort of ethical dilemma to deal with. Learning about how to formulate these ethical dilemma's will be very helpful in my creative writing process!

Thought Piece 1: It's 2:00 AM and you have a paper due the next day on a book you haven't read. Do you take the bad grade and possibly lower your GPA to below what's required for a merit scholarship (which is how you pay for school), or plagiarize and risk getting expelled if anyone finds out?

Thought Piece 2: The first half of a book you've been wanting to read was leaked on the internet. Do you give into temptation and read it, even though the author requested fans not to read it because it's an incomplete draft, or wait impatiently for nearly a year for the book to be released to the public?
Dec. 3rd, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC)
In thought piece one, I could relate to the ethical dilemma presented in Kevin Kelly's article, "Where Music Will Be Coming From". Music has always been one of my number one interests (check out the cool grateful dead icon I found). When the Internet allowed people to illegally download copyrighted music. I was "stuck between a rock and a hard place". Free music sounds wonderful, but isn't that stealing? On the other hand, CDs are pretty expensive and sometimes I don't even like the all of the songs. Decisions, decisions...
Dec. 3rd, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
In my first and second thought piece, i talked about ethical dilemmas in some capacity. I discussed president Duncan's theory of technology chips that can be implanted in a person's brain making them smarter. This topic, as well as our entire discussion with President Duncan has got me thinking a lot about the future. I used this model in my final paper and drew some dilemmas from a potential gap between the haves and the have-nots in the future.
Dec. 3rd, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
I think were gonna face alot of ethical dilemmas in the future that might test our moral values. These are things that were just gonna have to deal with and put everyhting we've learned throughout our life to deal with the problems
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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