What is an Ethics Bowl?
Differing from long established debate competitions, The Ethics Bowl is a venue that encourages engagement in serious moral discourse. Teams consider and discuss cases drawn from current events, which range from social and political issues (voting rights, death penalty, gun control), to environmental concerns (sustainable growth and development), to professional worries (hiring practices), to issues arising in the college classroom (grade inflation, plagiarism). Teams have at least a couple of months to prepare the cases, though they do not know the actual question associated with the case until they face another team. Teams from colleges and universities across the country compete at the regional level and winners then go to the finals where one team emerges victorious. Emphasis is on reasoning and the ability to engage in moral discourse rather than on persuasion. The scores of three judges who are recruited from both the academy and the professions determine winners. The competition can be fierce and the winning margins tight. Still, the atmosphere is unceasingly civil and collegial.
What Do UALR Ethics Bowl Team Members Think?
“During the Ethics Bowl, I got to learn more about what ethics is and how to discuss ethical issues in a competitive and respectful manner … this club helped me to do better in the classroom. I can honestly say I have really developed a love for philosophy because it allows me to question the world around me and my place in it.”
“I think the most helpful part of the club was learning how to speak up and voice my opinions. I have never been the talkative outgoing personality, but the clubâ€™s environment was so open and welcoming. I began to honestly feel that my thoughts would be appreciated and taken seriously. The club has definitely been beneficial to my ability to articulate myself and get my point across in a manner that did not require yelling. I learned that we were not about having arguments in which someone had to be wrong, but rather a discussion with various points of view.”
“As I look back at my journey with the ethics bowl team, my main takeaway is the confidence I have developed. Before this journey I constantly second-guessed myself and as a result I was never comfortable speaking up in class and in everyday conversations … I can honestly say I am beginning to trust my thoughts and what I have to say. I am a better person because of the constant encouragement and positive push from this group of people.”
Where does the UALR Ethics Bowl Team Compete?
St. Maryâ€™s University in San Antonio, Texas, hosts the Texas Regional Ethics Bowl
The Association for Practical and Professional Ethics hosts the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl. Previous host cities include: Cleveland, Ohio; San Antonio, Texas; and Jacksonville, Florida
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Allison Merrick firstname.lastname@example.org
Ethics Bowl Team President: Bianca Mayo email@example.com