Hot Button Issues in Ethics

Debates about such issues as abortion and climate change are emotionally charged and divisive.  Moral convictions about such issues as the extent of our duties towards the less fortunate and our treatment of non-human animals can raise hackles.  Public and private discussion of such issues tends to collapse into mere shouting and name calling.  We shall attempt to do better in this course, exploring such "hot button" issues of the basis of philosophical essays, journalistic reports, films, and works of fiction.  One aim will be to increase our knowledge of relevant facts.  Another will be to understand the arguments of those on different sides.  Most importantly, however, we shall strive to engage in dialogue of a sort that has a chance to be productive