Choose an ethical dilemma presented in a work of art (movie, book, video game, etc.), in history, or which you have personally experienced in your own life. Then do the following:
1. Summarize the dilemma so that the important details are apparent. Include the outcome of the dilemma.
2. If the dilemma occurs in a work of art, explain the ethical opinion of the artist in presenting the dilemma and its outcome. If the dilemma is historical, explain how it is typically understood or regarded by the culture in which the dilemma occurs. If the dilemma is personal, explain the thinking of the ethical agent in the process of making the decision (extrapolate if necessary).
3. Choose one of the thinkers or ethical systems we studied in class (Kant, Jesus, Aristotle, Confucius, etc.) and apply their ethic to the dilemma. Explain what that thinker would say about the dilemma and what course of action they would prescribe.
4. Present your current attitude toward the dilemma, the course of action you would take if you faced the same problem, and defend your opinion.
This should take roughly 2-4 paragraphs, and no more than an hour of actual writing. I would honestly prefer that you do the work in one sitting, though I have no way of enforcing this.
This is NOT a formal assignment. Feel free to use the first person (“I”) statements. Cite sources where necessary, but do not feel obliged to use formal citation formats. “Kant says…” or “In The Matrix…” will suffice. I will not be grading on format or presentation – purely on your ability to analyze the situation, apply formal ethical thought, and present your argument.
DO NOT use a dilemma concocted as an example for one of the class readings (i.e., do not use Thomson’s Violinist, Nielsen’s Innocent Fat Man, etc.)
You are encouraged to use whatever resources are at your disposal to complete the assignment – including but not limited to: your book, the Internet, your fellow students, your family, Netflix – whatever.