Experiences in which students demonstrate awareness of competing factors that inform the resolution of ethical dilemmas
Social ethics addresses concerns related to the common good, encompassing issues such as fairness, justice, opportunity, poverty, and the rights of the individual. Responses to the question "What is the best way to live together?" are informed by personal, cultural, religious, and professional values. This panoply of influences sparks divergent opinions regarding what is right, just, or moral. Varying views about the most ethical way to promote what is best for humanity further complicates matters. For instance, many are persuaded that a good end justifies a less than satisfactory process or means. Some may consider advocating for social change a more responsible route than feeding the hungry today. Students who follow this compass point will negotiate the complex maze of human conscience to discern what they perceive to be right, while heightening their understanding of why others may disagree.
Examples of projects that exemplify social ethics:
• Attending the National Conference on Ethics in America at West Point;
• Volunteering for a political campaign and analyzing the ethicality of conduct;
• Organizing an observance of World AIDS Day that teaches how to ensure the health of oneself and others;
• Traveling to a developing country, and subsequently raising money to meet basic human needs;
• Planning an event for Earth Day that examines human responsibility toward the natural world or future generations.