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Online · College of Arts & Sciences · Philosophy

Introduction to Ethics
ETHC-101

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 06/30/2022

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the principles and techniques of rational decision making in morality. It includes a survey of ethical theories, a review of the basic principles of critical reasoning, and applications of both to moral issues.

Requisites

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

Students at Liberty University are exposed to courses that introduce critical thinking about moral issues. While they highly value this aspect of their education, many would benefit from a treatment of ethical issues that is deeper and more systematic. This course proceeds from a very approachable introduction to ethical theories to a guided interactive exploration of practical ethical issues that are not covered in their other General Education courses.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify and describe a range of systematic approaches to ethical decision making including but not limited to Christian approaches to ethical decision making.
  2. Formulate his or her own systematic approach to ethical decision making.
  3. Identify and describe a range of positions and arguments relevant to the moral issues discussed in class and in the assigned reading.
  4. Apply his or her approach to ethical decision making to the moral issues discussed.

General Education Foundational Skill Learning Outcomes (FSLOs): Critical Thinking (CT)

  1. CT 1: Determine the validity and logical consistency of claims and/or positions, using reading comprehension strategies when relevant.
  2. CT 2: Structure an argument or position using credible evidence and valid reasoning.
  3. CT 3: Compare and contrast the biblical worldview with a non-biblical worldview, evaluating the influence of assumptions and contexts on ethics and values.
  4. CT 4: Plan evidence-based courses of action to resolve problems.
  5. CT 5: Relate critical thinking and ethics to participation in God’s redemptive work.

Course Resources

Click on the following link to view the required resource(s) for the term in which you are registered: Liberty University Online Bookstore

Additional Materials for Learning

    1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
    2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    3. Canvas recommended browsers
    4. Microsoft Word
    5. Turabian formatting information: https://www.liberty.edu/academics/casas/academicsuccess/index.cfm?PID=11954

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (3)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. The student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Discussion threads must be 500–600 words in length and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 1 other classmate’s thread. The student should try to respond to a classmate who has not received a reply yet. The reply must be at least 500–600 words in length. (CLO: A, B, C, D; FLSO: CT 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5)

Capstone Essay Assignment

Each student will write a 1800-2000 word paper in current Turabian format that further develops the insights and arguments of the student’s second and third Discussions into a single, carefully articulated work. This paper is not required to utilize any sources outside of those that were used in the class (the two textbooks and the videos), but use of additional resources is permitted and encouraged. At the minimum the paper should utilize the resources from the class. (CLO: B, D; FLSO: CT 2, 3, 4, 5)

Quiz: Ethical Reflection Survey

This assignment is an anonymous survey. It is not timed. It is less intense and is intended to encourage thoughtful introspection for one's life and the course. This is a completion grade, meaning that as long as the student answers each question according to the instructions, he or she will receive full credit for the assignment. (CLO: B, D; FLSO: CT 5)

Quizzes (8)

Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the assigned Modules: Weeks. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice questions, and have a 30-minute time limit. (CLO: A, C; FLSO: CT 1, 5)

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist

10

Discussion Threads (3 at 50 pts ea)

150

Discussion Replies (3 at 50 pts ea)

150

Capstone Essay Assignment

250

Quiz: Ethical Reflection Survey

50

Quizzes (8 at 50 pts ea)

400

Total

1010

Course Policies

Policies

Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussions, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit https://www.liberty.edu/online/online-disability-accommodation-support/. Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A B C D F
900-1010 800-899 700-799 600-699 0-599

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=19155.

Schedule

Course calendar and related activities
When Topic Notes
Course Overview
Student Acknowledgements

Course Requirements Checklist

Module 1: Week 1
Learn

Read: 3 items

Watch: 4 items

Apply

Discussion Thread: Relativism vs Absolutism

Quiz: Relativism, Natural Law, Virtue Ethics

Module 2: Week 2
Learn

Read: 2 items

Watch: 4 items

Apply

Quiz: Consequentialism, Duty Ethics, and Christian Ethics

Discussion Replies: Relativism vs Absolutism

Module 3: Week 3
Learn

Read: 3 items

Watch: 1 item

Apply

Discussion Thread: Compare and Contrast Metaethical Theories

Quiz: Ethics and Sexuality: Marriage and Family

Module 4: Week 4
Learn

Read: 3 items

Watch: 3 items

Apply

Quiz: Ethics and Sexuality: LGBTQ Issues

Discussion Replies: Compare and Contrast Metaethical Theories

Module 5: Week 5
Learn

Read: 2 items

Watch: 1 item

Apply

Discussion Thread: Ethical Application

Quiz: Ethics of Life and Death: Abortion and Euthanasia

Module 6: Week 6
Learn

Read: 3 items

Watch: 2 items

Apply

Quiz: Ethics of Life and Death: War and Capital Punishment

Discussion Replies: Ethical Application

Module 7: Week 7
Learn

Read: 2 items

Watch: 1 item

Apply

Capstone Essay Assignment

Quiz: Ethics of Poverty and Wealth

Module 8: Week 8
Learn

Read: 3 items

Watch: 2 items

Apply

Quiz: Ethical Reflection Survey

Quiz: Ethics and Political Engagement