Filed in Latest News by on August 26, 2013

During Term 2, three Studies of Religion students from Guilford Young College in Hobart (Madison Radford, Kate Johnson and Eleanor Lyall) attended a conference led by British ethicist, Dr Peter Vardy.

Dr Vardy presented the history of ethics, starting from Plato and Aristotle and ending with the views of current Australian ethicist Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University. One session was devoted to the ethics of war, concentrating on the United States’ use of drones, which are unmanned craft that pinpoint targets for eradication. In addition, Dr Vardy showed how every day, we make decisions, which with more regard to ethics, could improve the lot of those less well off than we are. For instance, he pointed out the fees that the parents of each student from an independent school pay for one year is enough to educate 400 students in a developing country. He asked students to think about the type of phone they have and whether next time, they would consider buying one that does the essentials and donating the rest of what they would pay for the latest model to an organisation such as Oxfam. Furthermore, he spoke about modern society and how the current trend for girls to delay having children until education, travel and making their way in a profession have occurred, is leading to a greater need for human reproductive technology, some of which has the potential to raise ethical issues. He certainly made the students think about their choice of action in their personal lives and in being ethical global citizens. At the end of the day, each student received a copy of Dr Vardy’s book, Ethics Matters.

Kate, Madi and Eleanor said they enjoyed the way Dr Vardy included interactive components into his lecture.

This allowed us to express our views and hear the opinions of others. This meant we were able to hear a range of ideas on the topic of whether the assassination of political figures, such as Hitler or Osama Bin Laden is justifiable and develop our own understanding. We enjoyed the experience and thought that Dr Vardy made it an interesting and valuable introduction to ethics for a young audience.”

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