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 crime and violence, 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.” In our own lives, we cheat and lie and hurt others on a daily basis. We say: “What else could we do? Good people come in last. It’s a dog eat dog world. You gotta do what you gotta do.”
In this course we will examine whether or not we should be concerned with doing what is right or good or just. What role, if any, should ethics play in our lives? Focusing on contemporary case studies we will address this question and explore underlying issues concerning social responsibility, human nature, decision-making strategies, virtue and vice, and the relation between theory and practice.