English 12 H—Moral Reasoning, Trolleys, and Cannibals

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WATCH THIS VIDEO:  http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_sandel_what_s_the_right_thing_to_do.html

Hello, seniors.  You are assigned to watch this 55-minute video before class on Friday, April 26.  It is a lecture by Michael Sandel, popular Harvard professor of political philosophy.  As you watch, you’ll find a number of good places where you can pause as necessary.  I suggest keeping your notebook handy to write down your personal reactions and key ideas. 
Respond to these three questions in writing for Friday, April 26:

1) Would you take the sidetrack in the first scenario Sandel poses?  Why or why not?  How about the scenario with the “very fat man”?
2) What should the doctor in the hospital do? (first scenario)
3) Were Dudley and Stephens right to kill Richard Parker?

Supplemental Resources
Michigan State University’s psychology department created a head-mounted virtual-reality device to survey people about the “trolley problem.”  Read this great, short article about the experiment:  http://healthland.time.com/2011/12/05/would-you-kill-one-person-to-save-five-new-research-on-a-classic-debate/

Detailed info ab0ut The Queen v. Dudley and Stephens: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R_v_Dudley_and_Stephens#Cultural_impact

A discussion guide by Professor Sandel for the video:
Advanced: http://www.justiceharvard.org/resources/819-2/
Beginner: http://www.justiceharvard.org/resources/episode-1-discussion-guide-beginner/

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