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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.

Ask an Ethicist: Is it ethical to use robots to kill in a war?

by Rob Peeler Feb 24, 2017
Alan R. Wagner The advent of autonomous (self-controlled) robots presents important new questions for those who study robotics and ethics. Most people who study these topics believe that recent advances in autonomous robots and artificial intelligence will fundamentally change warfare. Autonomous robots, because they are not physiologically limited, can operate without sleep or food, perceive things that people do not, and move in ways that humans cannot. These abilities result in military advantages. Some scholars passionately argue that the use of robots to kill in war is unethical and others suggest that using robots in warfare may actually be more ethical than not using robots. So, is it ethical to use robots to kill during a war?

Ask an Ethicist: Making amends for lying on a resume

by Rob Peeler Feb 09, 2017
Brenda Fabian headshot Getting a great job right out of school can be challenging. Sometimes you may be tempted to embellish a bit on your resume or alter some of your professional or educational experience. Lying on your resume not only affects you, but your colleagues, supervisors, and those who didn’t get the job you landed. Lying on your resume also puts your company’s reputation at risk. So what happens when someone who lied on their resume wants to go back and set things right? This week’s column discusses just that.

Ask an Ethicist: Does posting photos of my kids on social media violate their privacy?

by Rob Peeler Jan 26, 2017
Daniel Susser Social media has become an integral part of many of our lives. We open Facebook and Instagram when we wake up in the morning, and we check them one last time before we go to sleep. These services are important to us, because they connect us with others. But what happens when parents post photos of their children? Does it violate their privacy?

Rock affiliate faculty member to serve as a visiting scholar for NEH Summer Institute

by Rob Peeler Jan 24, 2017
Sarah Clark Miller 2017 headshot Sarah Clark Miller, associate professor of philosophy and women's, gender, and sexuality studies, and Rock affiliate faculty member, will serve as a visiting scholar for “Diverse Philosophical Approaches to Sexual Violence,” a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute to be held at Elon University June 18-30, 2017.

Call for Panelists for the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting

by Rob Peeler Jan 19, 2017
This panel seeks to carve out new pathways into the subject of children, youth and media. Abstracts are sought that critically interpret how Middle Eastern, North African, and Persian/Arabian Gulf children and youth use, play with, produce, interpret and/or are influenced by media in conflict zones. Abstracts should come from or be framed from the “voice”, or perspective of children and youth and connect how their respective media uses and practices impinge on the development of their culture, constructions of civic and national identity, intergroup attitudes, political opinions, and/or peace and conflict related practices and behaviors. To that effect, papers might examine the media uses and associated daily lives -- past and/or present -- of among others, Algerian, Iranian, Iraqi, Israeli, Lebanese, Libyan, Palestinian, Syrian, Tuareg, Yemini or Yezedi girls and boys. Papers that explore these areas as they relate to the lives of those among them who have been (forcibly-) migrated, are borderlands children, have been born due to the uses of rape as a weapon of war, and/or whom, through them, have become child mothers, are particularly encouraged.

Ask an Ethicist: Is it ethical to accept an internship offer from networking only?

by Rob Peeler Jan 16, 2017
Susan Knell Networking can sometimes help land an internship. But sometimes we may feel guilty because we don’t feel that we deserve the internship because of other factors, such as lower grades. Would it be unethical for you to accept an internship based on networking alone?

Rock Ethics Institute, Leonhard Center discusses ethics-across-the-curriculum program at national conference

by Rob Peeler Jan 16, 2017
Pictured: Eduardo Mendieta, Jeff Catchmark, Denver Tang, and Tom Litzinger The workshop, “Overcoming Challenges to Infusing Ethics into the Development of Engineers,” was held from January 10 – 12, 2017 at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, DC. Eduardo Mendieta, associate director of the Rock Ethics Institute, Jeffrey M. Catchmark, professor of agricultural and biological engineering and a Rock Ethics Institute faculty fellow, and Tom Litzinger, director of the Leonhard Center and professor of mechanical engineering, shared their ongoing development of an ethics-across-the-curriculum program for the undergraduate biological engineering major at Penn State. This project also seeks to create a model for implementing ethics-related curriculum changes that can be emulated in other engineering departments.

Eduardo Mendieta receives the Frantz Fanon Outstanding Achievements Award

by Rob Peeler Jan 12, 2017
Eduardo Mendieta headshot Eduardo Mendieta, associate director of the Rock Ethics Institute and professor of philosophy, has been honored by the Caribbean Philosophical Association with the Frantz Fanon Outstanding Achievements Award. This award is for a young senior scholar or public intellectual of high repute and global impact whose contributions to areas of thought and institutional development are in the spirit of Frantz Fanon’s revolutionary humanism.

Rock affiliate faculty member Gabeba Baderoon name "Artist of the Month"

by Rob Peeler Jan 10, 2017
Gabeba Baderoon headshot “I like writing in my journals with a pen. The act of writing and the physical contact with pen and paper gives me inspiration,” says Gabeba Baderoon, a South African poet from the city of Cape Town who joined the departments of Women’s Studies and African and African American studies at Penn State as an assistant professor in July 2008. “I never thought I would be a poet until I came to Penn State in 1999.”