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Everyday Ethics

Everyday Ethics

Learn how ethics is part of our everyday lives by reading articles and stories that show ethical dilemmas are everywhere.

Nigel Dower on Philosophical Ethics and Sustainability

by SKeira Jul 22, 2015
The first to be presented at the recent Sustainability Ethics Conference at Penn State University Park, Dower's paper provided a clear outline of the key concepts and questions that are at work in discussions of sustainability. The paper began by situating the role of the philosopher as one who 1) analyzes concepts, 2) identifies ethical issues and any underlying theories that might already be in use regarding these issues, 3) offers normative arguments for preferring some theories over others, and 4) considers implications of the application of those theories. His paper followed suit by raising questions about concepts like "sustainability" and "development."

Christian Becker on Sustainability Ethics

by SKeira Jul 22, 2015
In Environmental Ethics studies, scholars always talk about the importance of sustainable practices (in agriculture, energy, etc.), but what do they mean by sustainability? Christian Becker's talk in the recent Sustainability Ethics Conference at Penn State University Park focused on the ethical and philosophical meaning of the term 'sustainability'. Becker argues that sustainability has an inherently ethical dimension which is complex and requires a new approach to sustainability ethics that can address this complexity. The term 'sustainability' should be considered within the context of harmony between our contemporary fellow human beings, future generations, and nature. The term implies a certain type of continuance, orientation, and set of relations that lead us to pose the following philosophical question: What type of system do we want to maintain?

Robin Attfield on the Moral Consequences of Environmental Crisis

by SKeira Jul 22, 2015
In his contribution to the Panel Discussion on Global Ethics, Dr. Attfield offered an analysis of how the environmental crisis has presented us with new moral consequences and implications for our moral thinking. The environmental crisis includes everything from climate change, to global warming, to the degradation of natural resources and environments. It has reached the level of a crisis thanks to its global extent, the fact that is stems from the accumulation of countless big and more trivial actions, and that it affects natural systems as well as current and future people and members of others species.In light of this environmental crisis, Attfield acknowledges that this means that more than happiness is at stake. We need a deeper value theory that extends beyond pleasure/happiness and pain/suffering. As part of the moral consequences, the environmental crisis also requires that we expand the range of those who bear moral standing to non-human creatures and future generations.

David Macauley on the Sustainable Practice of Walking

by SKeira Jul 22, 2015
How can we begin to tackle the difficult and pressing problems raised by the discipline of Sustainability Ethics, which focuses on the moral issues resulting from the fact that we live in a threefold relation with contemporary others, future generations, and nature? Might the answer be as simple as putting one foot in front of the other?

Universities And The Need To Address Global Climate Change Across Disciplines and Programs

by SKeira Apr 15, 2015
I have been living in Alaska the past few years, and in contrast to assumptions about faith in technology, some Inuit people tell me their foundations for government and education are based on traditional sets of relationships by which they have lived. Their fundamental belief is that the connections that individuals feel for each other and to their environment determine personal character and value to the community. Without using the word "sustainability," for Inuits this belief is the definition of "sustainability." Sustainability is a core value of Inuit life. Instead of having to be incorporated or infused into policies and programs, culturally embedded concepts of sustainability form a natural foundation from which all policies and practices are derived. This is an inversion of the usual approach to trying to incorporate sustainability in policies, laws, and practices of the Western world (IALEI 2009).

Ethical Issues Entailed By Economic Arguments Against Climate Change Policies.

by SKeira Dec 05, 2017
Ethical issues are everywhere. Perhaps the greatest ethical issue of the time arrives as a problem that has the power to change the planet. Climate Change is a grave issue that is facing the world today. This can be seen from evidence stated by the UNFCCC.

On State Patty's Day: Beyond Headaches and Infamy

by SKeira Jul 22, 2015
Given that it's St. Patrick's Day, I thought today might be a good time for some reflection on the similarly named day of celebration that occurred in State College just before Spring Break. As that day approached, I became aware of various efforts that were afoot to provide alternative outlets for student energies--outlets that were designed to be more helpful for the larger community and more reflective of what we want to identify as the real character of Penn State. I was impressed by the way the PSU-IPL articulated the message behind their 'Positively Green' alternative, and by the way Sara Kizer articulated the reasons leading to the Council of Lion Hearts' 'State Service Day'.

Where the Rhetoric Hits the Road

by SKeira Jul 22, 2015
Like many of you, I've been following discussions of Gov. Corbett's proposed budget cuts fairly closely over the last week. My focus has been on trying to understand the line of reasoning that leads us from a claim around which there is general consensus ('Pennsylvania is in financial trouble') to a claim that is highly controversial ('The proper response to this trouble involves cutting the appropriation to Penn State by roughly 52%'). I am well aware that in admitting that, despite the effort I have put in, I still haven't grasped the connection between these claims, I run the risk of coming off as politically and economically naive. That's a risk I am willing to take, however, because I think the obstacles I have encountered in my attempts might deserve a bit more attention than they are currently getting.

What We Can Learn From a Kosher Slaughterhouse

by SKeira Jul 22, 2015
Now, I know next to nothing about Judaism or even what the word kosher means. Some cursory research on the internet led me to Judaism 101: Kashrut: Jewish Dietary Laws. There I learned that kosher in fact does NOT mean a rabbi blesses food, but in fact IS a set of rules about what foods should and should not be eaten as well as how these foods should be kept and prepared. After reading through the site and seeing the lists and rules explained, I thought I would at least be prepared enough to go to Popper's talk and sort of understand it on an elementary level. Honestly, though, I was a little worried it would all be over my head

We are...

by SKeira Jul 22, 2015