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In the Ancient Greek world (the world of Socrates, Plato, and  Aristotle, often regarded as the birthplace of philosophy) a “symposium”  was a banquet held after a meal, an “after party” of sorts that usually  included drinking, dancing, recitals and engaging conversations on the  topics of the day.

For our purposes in this course, the Symposium discussions will not  involve dancing, recitals or a banquet, but they will provide food for  thought on current ethical issues and direct application of the ethical  theory discussed in each of these weeks.

It is almost impossible these days to turn on the news or log onto  social media without encountering a controversy that cries out for  ethical discussion. For these Symposium discussions, your instructor  will choose a topic of current ethical interest and a resource  associated with it for you to read or watch. Your task is to consider  how the ethical theory of the week might be used to examine, understand  or evaluate the issue.

This week, you will consider how deontology applies to a controversy,  dilemma, event, or scenario selected by your instructor. It is a chance  for you to discuss together the ethical issues and questions that it  raises, your own response to those, and whether that aligns with or does  not align with a deontological approach. The aim is not to simply  assert your own view or to denigrate other views, but to identify,  evaluate, and discuss the moral reasoning involved in addressing the  chosen issue.

Your posts should remain focused on the ethical considerations, and  at some point in your contribution you must specifically address the way  someone with a deontological view would approach this issue by  explaining and evaluating that approach.

If you have a position, you should strive to provide reasons in defense of that position.

When responding to peers, you should strive to first understand the  reasons they are offering before challenging or critiquing those  reasons. One good way of doing this is by summarizing their argument  before offering a critique or evaluation.

 

o ensure that your initial post starts its own unique thread, do not  reply to this post. Instead, please click the “Reply” link above this  post.

Please read the description above and/or watch the video explaining  the symposium and its requirements. If you are still unsure about how to  proceed with the discussion, please contact your instructor.

This week, we will consider how deontology applies to immigration.

Please familiarize yourself with the basic immigration laws in the  United States. What are the duties of someone wanting to come into the  this country? What are the duties of the United States regarding illegal  immigration? Should these laws be changed based upon the categorical  imperative? Why/why not?

Your approach to this symposium discussion can be a bit more  open-ended than the main discussion, remembering that our main goal is  to work together to identify the main ethical questions and  considerations, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the reasons for  different positions one might hold, and come to a better understanding  of deontological theory.

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