It seems like we live in a world with little concern for what is good and right and just. We read about people suffering, about hatred and hostility, about discrimination and inequities. In response, we throw up our hands and say: “What can we do? This is the way it is and the way it has always been. Might as well join the crowd!”
In this course we will examine broad ethical issues: why should we be concerned with doing what is good and becoming a good person, and what might the good mean and entail? To address these issues, we will focus on foundational questions: What is ethics? Is it possible to acquire moral expertise? Are all moral judgments equivalent, or simply matters of opinion? What are examples of contemporary moral dilemmas, and can reflection upon ethical theories resolve these? How does identity influence moral decision-making?
The course concludes by analyzing wider-reaching ethical issues of what constitutes justice and the possibility of constructing a global ethics taking into consideration the perspectives of moral absolutism, relativism and pluralism and the problems and solutions these may pose for such a construction.