Physician-assisted suicide, abortion, child autonomy and employee rights are just some of the topics discussed at a typical UNC Ethics Bowl meeting.
Led by professor Jan Boxill, director of the Parr Center for Ethics, the UNC Ethics Bowl team has been studiously preparing for the upcoming Mid-Atlantic Regional Ethics Bowl competition this weekend.
The competition will include 16 different universities and will be held at Clemson University Saturday.
Boxill teaches an ethics class, and some students in the class participate on the team.
At some ethics bowl meetings, a team will present a topic, the opposing team will respond and a discussion will ensue.
Boxill said she hopes the team serves as an environment for students to discuss and tackle difficult moral issues.
“Our goal is to promote civil discourse on real-life issues. One of them last year was, ‘Should we allow undocumented immigrants to be in the public schools?’ These are things that are really discussed,” she said.
Boxill emphasized the diversity of the team and the opportunity it presents for the students involved.
“What we found was that it’s a unique experience for students to apply material from all of their courses — in particular the ethics classes and philosophy classes, but others as well. So whether it’s sociology or anthropology, whatever, it gives them an opportunity to work through real-life scenarios.”