Post on at least three separate days. This week you will have one discussion focused on the challenges of egoism and/or relativism discussed in Chapter 2 of the textbook. Your instructor will be choosing the discussion question and posting it as the first post in the discussion forum. The requirements for the discussion this week include the following:
- You must begin posting by Day 3 (Thursday).
- You must post a minimum of four separate posts on at least three separate days (e.g., Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, or Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, or Thursday, Saturday, and Monday, etc.).
- The total combined word count for all of your posts, counted together, should be at least 600 words, not including references.
- You must answer all the questions in the prompt and show evidence of having read the resources that are required to complete the discussion properly (such as by using quotes, referring to specific points made in the text, etc.).
- In order to satisfy the posting requirements for the week, posts must be made by Day 7 (Monday); posts made after Day 7 are welcome but will not count toward the requirements.
- Be sure to reply to your classmates and instructor. You are encouraged to read posts your instructor makes (even if they are not in response to your own post), and reply to those as a way of examining the ideas in greater depth.
- All postings (including replies to peers) are expected to be thought out, proofread for mechanical, grammatical, and spelling accuracy, and to advance the discussion in an intelligent and meaningful way (i.e., saying something like “I really enjoyed what you had to say” will not count). You are also encouraged to do outside research and quote from that as well.
- For more information, please read the .
This discussion will be assessed on a 10-point scale and is worth 4% of your final grade.
After reading Chapter 2 of the textbook, including the “Ring of Gyges” story from Plato’s Republic, think about what you would do if you found a ring like the one the shepherd in the story found. What is one thing that you are unable or unwilling to do now, but would do if you had that ring? (Note: you are not being asked to describe what you would do if you had any power you wished. The ring in this story gives its wearer a specific power, and you are asked what you would do with that particular power.) The more honest everyone is, the more interesting this discussion will be. No judging, just thinking and discussing!
In the course of the week’s discussion, you will need to do the following (not necessarily in this order):
- Reflect on yourself:What is the reason you would do that? Try to explain as concretely as possible what your reason(s) would be for using the ring in the way you envision. If you think that your use of the ring would be considered unethical by most people, why would you do it anyway?What does that say about the importance of “ethics”?Do you think that your use of the ring would be considered ethical by most people?
- Reflect on society:
Would most people in our society consider what you do to be ethical or unethical? Why do you think this is, exactly?
- Engage with the text: Based on what you said in response to the first two questions, does your response agree or disagree with Glaukon’s claims about ethics? (You will need to discuss your interpretation of Glaukon’s claims in responding to this question.)
- Discuss with your peers: Read the posts of your peers and discuss their response to these questions. Consider, especially, whether or not you agree with their interpretation of Glaukon and what challenges this discussion raises about ethics.
Remember that how you choose to address these questions is up to you; there’s no required procedure (for instance, you don’t have to answer each in a separate post or anything like that). The main thing is to get thinking and talking about these questions, and I look forward to reading your responses.
Thames, B. (2018). How should one live? Introduction to ethics and moral reasoning (3rd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education.