Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Ethics Articles

All Articles

Brief Case for the Moral Permissibility of Stem Cell Research
The central questions regarding the ethics of stem cell research are 2 in number: One, do embryos have any moral status, entities that deserve moral respect and are owed some duty? Two, if embryos have some moral status, what kind, or degree, of respect are they entitled to and what particular duties are they owed by moral agents?
Lawrence J. Nelson
Affirmative Action or Negative Action
A different way to frame the debate over race-based preference.
Miriam Schulman
Immigration: Is Exclusion Just?
Ethics and illegal immigration.
Manuel Velasquez
Is Exclusion Just: Martin Cook Replies
A reply to Manuel Velasquez's article on illegal immigration.
Martin Cook
Evolution of Human Rights Norms and Machinery
Bertrand G. Ramcharan, former United Nations High Commissioner, offers his perspectives on the evolution of human rights norms and machinery.
Bertrand G. Ramcharan
To Boldly Go: Ethical Perspectives on Space Exploration
A stewardship approach to the expansion of human presence into the solar system.
Margaret R. McLean
Government Spending Is a Better Measure of our Generosity
The Center's executive director argues that government must be the primary means by which we demonstrate our commitment to social justice. From Explore magazine.
Kirk O. Hanson
Is Tolerance Enough: Catholic Universities and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Issues
Comments from an Ethics at Noon presentation.
Michael J. Meyer, Michael Zampelli, S.J.
Equal Justice Under Law
These remarks examine how the legal principle of 'equal justice under law' is widely violated in America. The United States holds the most lawyers, but its legal system is among the least adequate when it comes to equal legal assistance.
Deborah Rhode
Diversity and Candor: How Should We Talk About Our Differences
Peter H. Schuck delivered these remarks in line with his book "Diversity in America: Keeping Government at a Safe Distance."
Peter H. Schuck
Action on Behalf of Justice: Student Activism and the Promotion of Justice at Santa Clara University
The following report is a presentation of findings based on qualitative and quantitative research seeking to document the individual and collective experiences of student activists at this University in light of SCU's Jesuit commitment to the "Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice."
Ellen Ritchie
Case Study in Social Capital Theory in El Salvador
Using the widely accepted social capital theory, Sonia Mungal suggests reasons why in El Salvador high levels of participation in community activities are not correlated with similarly high levels of voting.
Sonia Mungal
Role of Religion in Global Ethical Leadership
Religious leaders can serve as primary ethical brokers for their societies; that is, individuals, groups of individuals, organizations, or coalitions of organizations which are recognized by the majority of a society to be articulating the primary ethical concerns of that society.
Eric Hanson
Difficulties of Being a Moral Leader in an Unjust World
A real moral leader will hold us to an agenda that demands ridding the world of all important injustices, particularly those from which we benefit.
Jim Sterba
Politics, the Supreme Court, and Affirmative Action
The decision in Grutter v. Bollinger that it was constitutionally permissible for public colleges and universities to consider race in student admissions was transparently political, in the sense that the outcome was grounded more in the political choices of the justices and the surrounding political context than in any objective legal principles.
Brad Joondeph
Cleaning Up the Oceans: A Global Ethical Challenge
The chair of the Pew Oceans Commission comments on the ethical issues involved in the health of oceans.
Leon Panetta
Totaling Up; It Was an Unjust War
Application of just war principles to the war in Iraq.
David DeCosse
What do we mean when we talk about ethics?
Application of the Center's "Framework for Ethical Decision Making" to current events.
Miriam Schulman
Nation of Cheaters
A look at the rise in cheating in America.
Kirk O. Hanson
Moral Quandaries of a Government Whistleblower
A first-person account of whistleblowing in regard to financial regulation agenices.
William K. Black
Welfare and Marriage
Investment in women pays off directly in terms of lowered fertility and healthier children.
June Carbone
How Leaders Should Handle Incidents of Sexual Abuse
Guidelines for bishops, university presidents, CEOs and leaders of organizations.
Kirk O. Hanson
Ethics of Disaster Relief
Application of the Center's "Framework for Ethical Decision Making" to the distribution of charitable contributions to the victims of 9/11.
Bharath Krishnamurthy
Taking Responsibility for E-Waste
Environmental damage from computer and other electronic waste.
Chad Raphael
Racial Profiling in an Age of Terrorism
Chief Deputy Attorney General of California Peter Siggins discusses the ethical and legal aspects of profiling in the context of national security concerns.
Peter Siggins
Awareness Is Not Enough: Gender in the HIV/AIDS Pandemic in Africa
The role of gender inequality in the spread of AIDs in Africa.
Charlotte Vallaeys
Best Interests of the Child
How do we determine what is best for children in custody disputes?
leanor Willemsen and Michael Willemson
Why Should We Care About Racial Inequlity Per Se ?
Is a color-blind approach to racial issues the best route to equality?
Glenn Loury
Who Owns the Moon?
The shift in focus from exploration of the lunar surface to exploitation of lunar resources raises new ethical challenges for us. Who will profit from these resources, or, as some have phrased it, "Who owns the moon?"
Margaret McLean
Income Gap
An examination of growing income inequalities between rich and poor in the United States.
By William A. Sundstrom
American Myth of Divorce
A review of Barbara Dafoe Whitehead's The Divorce Culture, the article looks at the impact of divorce on children and the ethical ramifications of attitudes toward divorce.
review by William C. Spohn
When Rights and Cultures Collide
The case of a woman seeking refuge in the United States from her tribe's ritual of female genital mutilation raises the question: Are human rights universal?
Karen Musalo
Welfare of the Community
A pro/con look at welfare as a remedy for poverty.
Joseph Westfall
Tie That Binds
Fidelity to childrennot to spousesmay be a new way of approaching family policy.
June Carbone
Demonizing Our Opponents
Vilification of opponents degrades public discourse and threatens democracy.
Christopher B. Kulp
May the Best Man or Woman Win
Establishing fair criteria for college admission.
Miriam Schulman
Higher Authority
Conflicts between ethics and law are explored in the context of illegal immigration.
Karen Musalo
Merger Mania in the Media: Can We Still Get All the News We Need?
A discussion of the ethical implications of media consolidation.
John H. McManus
Killing in the Name of God: The Problem of Holy War
A look at war in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions.
David Perry
Privacy vs. Security
The Center's Framework for Ethical Decision making is applied to privacy vs. security concerns in the wake of the terrorist attacks.
Bharath Krishnamurthy
Ethical Issues in Counterterrorism Warfare
Applying just war theory to the war against terrorism.
Martin Cook
Repugnant Philosophy: Ethics, Espionage, and Covert Action
Substantive ethical analysis of intelligence operations
David Perry
Beyond Professional Codes
Professors in law, philosophy, and communication discuss media ethics, legal ethics, and the common good.