Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Just by Considering These Dilemmas, You're Doing Better Than the Ethics Bowl Experts

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Just by Considering These Dilemmas, You're Doing Better Than the Ethics Bowl Experts

Article excerpt

Byline: THOMAS LAKE

We realize that people should think long and deep about eminent domain, mascots in feather headdresses and the right of luckless white rabbits to hook our toddlers on sugar-drenched grain pellets. These are important ethical issues, and a horde of collegians will converge on Jacksonville this week to dissect them for your viewing pleasure.

But the case studies for this year's Ethics Bowl read like verbal barbiturates: They are about as funny as a bridge collapse, and one even includes the word foci.

So we set out to lighten things up. We cooked up some case studies of our own to test the gumption of our local ethics teams, Flagler College in St. Augustine and the University of Florida in Gainesville. Then we hit a roadblock. Florida ethics coach Gerry Horton told us his team was simply too good to trifle with a team such as Flagler's.

"I admit that this sounds very, very arrogant," he said, "and I'm sorry it does."

But Horton may have had a point. Neither of the two people listed as Flagler's team advisers responded to our e-mails. When we called the college, no one we spoke with had ever heard of the Ethics Bowl. In desperation, we e-mailed three ethicists from the University of Washington -- last year's national champions -- but that also proved fruitless.

So forget those college kids. We know you're smarter, anyway. Read the following three ethical dilemmas and tell us through e-mail (thomas.lake@jacksonville.com) what you would do. Include your name, age and city or neighborhood. We'll print the best answers in a future edition.

1. Rex, bassist for an up-and-coming screamo band, has a Goth girlfriend named Araminta. He also shares an apartment in Riverside with Crash, his best buddy from high school. One night Rex comes home early from a scrubbed gig in Five Points and finds Crash and Araminta holding congress on the kitchen table. Imagine you're Rex. Discuss the ethical implications of goring the pair of them with the point of your mohawk. Can you resolve this problem without resorting to follicular battery?

2. It's January 2007, and the Jaguars are hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship game. …

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