Blue - Ethics (Fall 2012) - Flacks, Hawkins

About this class

Students enrolled in Ethics for Science Students will post on ethical issues emerging in the news.

Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by robertkerr on October 16, 2012
In his book “God's Law” published earlier this year, Republican candidate for the Arizona state of representatives Charlie Fuqua calls for the use of the death penalty on rebellious children. In the book, Fuqua acknowledges that parents do undeniably have a love for their children, but means could be implemented in order to allow rebellious children to be put on death row. While this is only a theory, and will most likely never be institutionalized, I do believe that this is an ethical issue worth discussing. I believe that it is immoral that any child was to be killed for any reason.

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6 years 11 months ago

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7 years 4 days ago

Amazing arguments and ideas! I agree that many of the online courses have some limitations such as technical glitches that may occasionaly occur, and that there are many benefits of online MOOCs such as a large base of thousands of students that enables faster response for any question posted in the forums, and the lectures tend to be short and precise (in 15 minute blocks) which helps to avoid mental exhaustion. Considering many MOOC students are highly qualified professionals with Masters and PhD Degrees, the community forums form a reliable resource for help with most course topics. Although not many statistical analysis reports were released yet, you can try the following website reference if you ever need some MOOC demographics statistical data ( Tucker Balch, )

Overall, I think this is a great topic, and you have a lot of strong arguments present. It is great to know that there are more people from the Montreal area following the news stories on the future improvements for the educational system! Good luck with the assignment!

Another resource for MOOC demographics that was recently released can be found at the following link:

7 years 3 months ago

Nice job on the topic, since we know how antibiotics and genetically-modified organisms are more and more of an issue with today's food diet that we are involved with. What interests me most about your argument is how you clearly explained every symptom and consequences that antibiotics have on humans once consumed from animals, in other words,the bioaccumulation process. I personally relate a lot to your point of view, since as a clean person, I have always been aware of purchasing "real" meat at the grocery stores, knowing that "real" meat costs way more than regular antibiotic-treated meat which is cheap because there are no complications on raising a genetically-modified livestock being immune to almost all antigenes, thus capable to live in compressed environments with any kind of diet available. As I said, in Montreal, Quebec, it is a complicated issue where grocery stores have mostly meat coming from GMOs and barely any "real" meat. So, we have to be very careful on grocery shopping, knowing that Canada also has its own livestock of GMOs. I believe that the only part that needs improvement would be the end of your blog where you finish by setting your argument. I think that if you also mentioned the effect of antibiotics on the evolution of the organisms and a more deep understanding of bioaccumulation, your blog would have been perfect. Here’s a link that might help your research in bioaccumulation that I have used before : <>.

Good job Meaghan and have a nice evening!

Ardalan Jamshidi

7 years 3 months ago

Hello Jackie O.,

First of all, I really liked your blog post since gun control is something that preoccupies me.  Furthermore, it is even more interesting to read about an American opinion since Canadians (especially Quebecers) and Americans do not have the same point of view when it comes to gun control.  I liked the fact that you brought out the Second Amendment (1791), which states:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” 

(Huffington Post).

Personally, I think that the Second Amendment of the United-States is outdated.  Times have changed since the 18thcentury, and therefore, I think that it is ridiculous to keep this amendment in the American Constitution.  Do you think that it is normal that the United-States is the only country in the occidental world that is so loose regarding gun control?  I think that your country should change its gun regulation policies.  What do you think?  I suggest you read the following sources in order to get an idea of how guns are controlled in Europe.  As you have mentioned, the National Rifle Association (NRA), is trying to bring out some new laws favoring gun use.  I think that this is unacceptable for the NRA to have such an important role in American lobbying because it cannot be impartial to the issue of gun control.

Recently, the Canadian government, as a result of Bill C-19, has changed the policies in regards to gun control; the main change being that the long-gun registry was destroyed, and that it is now not necessary to register non-restricted guns.  This new law re-opened the debate on national gun control since the Quebec government was strongly against it for the reason that gun control is related to crime rates.  In fact, a stronger gun control reduces crime rates; whereas, a looser gun control increases crime rates (Blais, Gagne, and Linteau).


Europe Gun Control:

Second Amendment:

Blais, Étienne, Marie-Pier Gagné, and Isabelle Linteau. "L'effet Des Lois En Matière De Contrôle Des Armes À Feu Sur Les Homicides Au Canada, 1974-2004." Canadian Journal Of Criminology & Criminal Justice 53.1 (2011): 27-61. Academic Search Premier. Web. 15 Oct. 2012.

7 years 3 months ago

Dear Kaitlyn,

First, I hope you are recovering from your cancer and hope you are supported by all your peers. I strongly agree with you opinion stating that it is essential to create supportive groups in order to support the ones fighting a cancer disease. Passing thru this disease is mentally challenging and support is always needed. A family member of mine was diagnosed with cancer and died; it made me realize how difficult it is to deal with the disease. Cancer has been a growing disease in our society causing several deaths. Unfortunately, in Canada, accoring to the Candian Cancer Society,  around 186,400 cases of cancer and 75,700 cancer deaths happened in 2012 and 47,600 of them are diagnosed in Quebec causing 20000 deaths.  The research you presented in your blog amazes me and is very supportive of your opinion. I didn’t truly believe that these supportive organizations can improve someone mentally and help them recover, but the research fully convinced me. Fortunately, in Montreal, we have the Cedars Cancer Institute, where people can offer donations and help to fight cancer.  There is also the Canadian Cancer society which offers support the Canadians with cancer by providing tips to have healthy lifestyle. However, I believe you can include a case study where a patient may explain how these supportive organisations helped him in fighting his cancer; you can look at this link To add, there is also a Cancer Fight Club where cancer patient share their thoughts and get support from other patients. It is a good way to encourage people not to give up since they are not alone.  

 "Cancer Statistics:Canadian Cancer Statistics Publication." Candian Cancer Society. N.p., 2012. Web. 6 Dec.2012.

7 years 3 months ago

              Hey there, “Rebecca W”! I think that the issue you’ve picked up in this blog post is quite an interesting one, since it relates a broad issue to the more specific domain of psychology (which is also broad, but quite less than the issue of social-networking sites, where the entire world is involved).  I believe, like you, that social-networking sites bring people and even countries together. Indeed, people are able to communicate, exchange relevant information and “and many more things”, as I cite you. However, it also seems interesting that depressive symptoms are associated with an increase in negative interactions on social-networking sites. The reason why I say this is because I, myself, have taken a few Psychology courses; hence I know what causes depression, if looking at the issue in a scientific point of view. In the first article linked in this comment, you’ll be able to read about the cause of depression as related to Psychological Science.

             Nevertheless, we have never actually taken the time to look at the different implications of Psychological concepts, upon contemporary issues such as the one proposed in your post. So, I’m suggesting that you actually look at how depression caused by social-networking sites might relate with what Science has to say on depression. Finally, I would like to tell you what we, in Montreal, see social-networking sites as. Since the issue, as I stated earlier, is universal and implies almost all the world (based on news’ and how social-networking sites are gaining recognition), it would be obvious that people in Montreal see social-networking sites as you do: a place where one can talk, exchange information, etc. However, depression linked to social sites also seems to be present in events happening here, in Montreal. One case of this is linked below, and explains how a young girl committed suicide because she was being bullied by other people. She, hence, got in a state of depression.


First link:

Second Link:

7 years 3 months ago

I really enjoyed reading your post. The topic is very interesting and I thought that the statistics were eye opening. Bottled water is a subject that is definitely worth discussing nowadays because the environment worsens every single second. Your project deserves to be executed and your idea should, in fact, be spread worldwide. I was not aware that a huge amount of oil was required to produce plastic bottles. Also, I thought that at least 50 percent of the plastic bottles were recycled. I was shocked to read that, in 2005, only 12 percent were recycled. In Montreal, even though reusable bottles are gaining popularity, more often than not people drink bottled water. However, in our college, the student association gives aluminum bottles just like you suggested. In addition, there are several recycling bin so that bottled water can at least be recycled. Finally, you should look into the health problems that plastic bottles can generate. For instance, some estrogenic compounds were found in the plastic used to produce water bottles. Excess sodium, the leaching of toxins and benzene contamination are all potential dangers for our health. I believe that some of the facts and statistics related to health problems can make your argument even more convincing. As you mentioned, bottled water needs to go!

7 years 3 months ago

You raise a very interesting point on today's NFL. I'm myself a football player and i love watch the NFL on my sunday's. You're right that some games the referee are completly taking the game over but that's a problem that every professional league faces. espicially the NBA. Usually, the reffing in the NFL is not that bad. However, you forgot to mention in your examples that all of them happened during the referee lockout. This explain why there was so many blown calls until September 24th. Also, it is important to say that referee in the NFL is probably the thoughest job in the professional sport. Indeed, the game is so important in America that sometimes we forget that they are men and they will make mistake. That's why you got booth review in order for them to have a second look at the plays. The same situation is often reproduced in Montreal. Indeed, since hockey is the most popular sport in the city, referee are often critisize in Canadiens's game. Another interesting point on this topic is how refs seem to overprotect offensive players. Defensive players are often flag for getting to close of the QB or shoving a little bit the receivers. To me, it is bigger issues because it will eventually force them to play less aggressivly and that will ruined the sport. For your research, you can take a look at NFL's casebook and rules book. I give you the link below.

Reply to: College Worthy
7 years 3 months ago

Final Commenting Assignment

Hi Alina, I thought that your blog post on the dilemma that one goes through when deciding whether to go to college or not is very interesting.  I never thought that going to University was such a big deal in the States.  Here in Quebec, one major advantages that we have is the CEGEP system.  In fact, CEGEP stands for “Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel” and it is a type of general or professional college, of shorter duration, open for all graduating high school students.  This concept is especially beneficial to the people in the position of indecision.  High school students can choose between two paths, whether going into a technical program, or like me, in a pre-university program.  In the former program, the student gets a specialized 3 year education on the speciality he/she wants to work in, and after those 3 years, this person can join the workforce.  If another student wishes to go to college, then the 2-years pre-university program is the best option.  I am grateful to live in Quebec, specifically in Montreal where the.... is amongst the highest in North America.  So far, I am really enjoying my CEGEP experience, and I think it is a good transition between high school and University. On one side it forces the student to be responsible, and on the other side it allows the students to wait a bit before making an important decision, that has many implications like

For another perspective on higher education, I suggest that you go and read some about the CEGEP system of Quebec! It is one of a kind and could maybe be the right schooling system for the future generations.

Here`s a couple of links:

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