Sometimes it may be quicker to simply post some thoughts to this part of my web-site and let those enrolled in my Ethical Reasoning course at the UofA this spring, pick up my thinking or the changes to the course right here.
Here now is the revised version of the Course Guide for Days 4 & 5 (i.e. Thursday & Friday, Week 1):
Day 4 & 5: Conscience in Conflict
Where does conscience fit within our ethical reasoning?
(Following the viewing of an edited video of A Man For All Seasons, the participants will break into small groups on Day 4 to attempt to apply the lecture to the analysis of the various stages/levels of ethical reasoning in the story. The Groups will be determined by the colour of their duo-tang covers and placement of the E-sinc logo: all the Reds with the logo on the outside are in one group; all the reds with the logo on the inside are in another group; likewise for each of the duo-tangs. As the Groups will not re-assemble as a full class in Day 4, each Group will decide where they want to meet.)
Small Group Discussions (try to reach a consensus, but minority opinions are permissable):
• Why do you think More took the approach he did? Describe your thoughts about the validity of his actions?
• Are you sympathetic to More? Was he following his conscience, or just being an ego-maniac?
• Consider Cromwell from the perspective of simply being a good administrator when he convinced Rich to lie in court, thus making sure the King’s wish to get rid of More was accomplished: does this make his thinking acceptable? Describe your feelings about his actions?
• If you were guarding a person who was being unjustly convicted, would you even consider helping him to escape? Why do you take this position?
• Taking the story from medieval times to the twenty-first (21st) century, consider whether the average person is really able to follow her/his conscience most of the time? To what extent Is it even worthwhile trying to do this?
• What Stage(s) to you think More predominately reasons at? Cromwell? Duke of Norfolk (his friend on the Inquisition Panel)? Elizabeth (daughter)? Alice (his wife)?
Whole Class Presentations (on Day 5):
• At the outset to Day 5, each Group will re-assemble in ED 377, sit together and review their notes so that they are ready to present (and articulate/defend) their perspectives on each question
• Each Group will be asked, in random order, their thoughts on each bullet.