In the Ancient Greek world (the world of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, often regarded as the birthplace of philosophy) a “symposium” was a banquet held after a meal, an “after party” of sorts that usually included drinking, dancing, recitals and engaging conversations on the topics of the day.
For our purposes in this course, the Symposium discussions will not involve dancing, recitals or a banquet, but they will provide food for thought on current ethical issues and direct application of the ethical theory discussed in each of these weeks.
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It is almost impossible these days to turn on the news or log onto social media without encountering a controversy that cries out for ethical discussion. For these Symposium discussions, your instructor will choose a topic of current ethical interest and a resource associated with it for you to read or watch. Your task is to consider how the ethical theory of the week might be used to examine, understand or evaluate the issue.
This week, you will consider how deontology applies to a controversy, dilemma, event, or scenario selected by your instructor. It is a chance for you to discuss together the ethical issues and questions that it raises, your own response to those, and whether that aligns with or does not align with a deontological approach. The aim is not to simply assert your own view or to denigrate other views, but to identify, evaluate, and discuss the moral reasoning involved in addressing the chosen issue.
Your posts should remain focused on the ethical considerations, and at some point in your contribution you must specifically address the way someone with a deontological view would approach this issue by explaining and evaluating that approach.
If you have a position, you should strive to provide reasons in defense of that position.
This week I would like you to reflect on Discrimination vs. Religious Freedom. It’s a news article.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/02/19/pediatrician-refuses-to-treat-baby-with-lesbian-parents-and-theres-nothing-illegal-about-it/?noredirect=on (Links to an external site.)
In posting your initial contribution, identify:
1. the main ethical questions and considerations,
2. evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the reasons for different positions one might hold,
3. apply the theories we have examined thus far to support or criticize the topic discussed.
In your response post to your fellow student, try to articulate an opposing position on the ethical issue and consider how someone who held that opposing position might do so because he or she holds different virtues or values.