Ethics SO 206

The Socratic Method:

Rather than making assertions (the other person may not be listening to), one asks questions about the other party's assertions or points. This leads to more discussion and will lead the other party to new conclusions more effectively than you making assertions because they will arrive there on their own accord/volition. Don't push... Pull. 

The Death of Socrates (French: La Mort de Socrate) by Jacques-Louis David (1787)

Hello, class. My name is RAZ… Welcome to SO 206 Ethics in Social Science Research. 

There will be lots of questions with few answers. 
How do you feel about that?

Why are you taking this course?
What do you hope to get out of it?    
What do you think the purpose of this course is? 
What are we trying to accomplish? (Aside from satisfying a prerequisite…) 

Your grade will be based partially on your ability to deconstruct an issue/argument! 

We may bring up topics that are emotionally provoking and eliciting. You are expected to be patient, respectful, and -a rule we forget from grade school- wait for your turn to speak. 

My ultimate goal, if you learn nothing else from this course… Question everything! 

Alright! Let us begin.

We should always start by defining our terms… 
What is/are ethics?

  • Moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior
  • Synonyms: moral code, moral, values, principles, ideals standards of behavior 
  • The 'correct'/'right' code conduct in a particular situation (in a set of parameters)
  • A branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. (

Give me some examples. 

    "Don’t kill."     
            Because you are infringing on my bubble of life. 

Should you never ever kill? Are there no circumstances where killing would be allowed?

    "Don’t steal."
            Because that’s mine. 

What about stealing from the rich who exploited the poor?

    "Don’t rape." 
            Because I’m not attracted to you, and rape is rude.

No exceptions to that one. That is my vagina, not yours. Keep out. 

When do ethical questions come up? During peace or conflict?
What are ethical questions? Are they the same as moral questions?
How are ethics defined? Situational, case by case?
Who defined ethics? Are they rewritten?
Does everyone agree on what is ethical?
Where does ethical behavior come from?
What about being ethical is beneficial?
Who decides when someone has breached ethical boundaries?
Are there repercussions? 
Who implements those repercussions?
Is there a clear and solid consensus on what is and is not ethical? (A hint... No.) 

Alright, class. That is enough for today. We will continue our lessons on Thursday.
Continue to think. Continue to question. 

"So questioning is always best?"

I don't know, is it?