Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Ethics Articles

Social Policy

The Internet of Things
The ethical implications of the rise of "The Internet of Things," the "Sensor Revolution," or "The Programmable World"
Owen Tripp
The New Digital Divide
In this brief video, Silicon Valley entrepreneur and innovator Kim Polese addresses the new digital divide--between those who have high-speed wired broadband access to the Internet in their homes, and those who don't.
Kim Polese
The Ethical Dilemma of BYOD
As people increasingly bring their own (mostly mobile) devices into the workplace, and use them for both personal and professional activities, new challenges arise--for the employees as well as their employers. Pat Gelsinger, the CEO of VMware, discusses some of the implications of BYOD for data security and personal privacy.
Pat Gelsiger
The Disconnect: Accountability and Consequences Online
A discussion of the breakdown among responsibility, accountability, and consequences in the online world, as demonstrated by some digital media coverage.
Stephen Luczo
The Vatican's Call for Global Financial Reform (Podcast)
SCU Associate Professor of Law Stephen Diamond examines Pope Benedict?s proposal for global oversight of the economy.
Stephen Diamond
Internet Access Is a Privilege
What would our lives be like if we no longer had access to the Internet? How much good would we lose? How much harm would we be spared? In this brief video, one of Apple's co-founders argues that Internet use is a privilege and considers ways to minimize some of the harms associated with it, while fully appreciating its benefits.
A. C. "Mike" Markkula Jr.
The Need for Accuracy Online
There's a gap between what Internet users expect to receive (i.e. factual and accurate information) and what they too often get instead. Is it the user's responsibility to judge which sources to access on the Web? Do the publishers have a duty to strive to be accurate?
Charles "Chuck" Geschke
Privacy Tradeoffs Online
NetApp's Executive Chairman Dan Warmenhoven discusses the development of GPS-tracking technology and the ethical issues associated with the aggregation of GPS data into large databases.
Dan Warmenhoven
Unavoidable Ethical Dilemmas for Non-Profits
Brief case studies of ethical conflicts in fundraising ethics, fundraising, non-profit
Kirk O. Hanson and Peter Gielniak
SF Bishop Robert McElroy Reflects on Conscience
What is the role of conscience in Catholic moral theology and what role does it play in making political decisions?
Miriam Schulman
Response to Friedman's View on Business
Kirk O. Hanson, Executive Director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University and University Professor of Organizations and Society, shares his observations about the Public's Trust in Business.
Kirk O. Hanson
Changing a Culture of Corruption
Former ombudsman for Hong Kong Andrew So describes anti-corruption efforts.
Miriam Schulman
Rallying Behind Reiman
Reflections on the death penalty from the 2006 Student Ethics Research Conference
Anthony J. Colello
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
Playing Games with Regulation
Is legislation the right approach to sex and violence in video games?
Miriam Schulman
Tookie Williams
An argument against the death penalty
Gerald D. Coleman
What Would a Real Ethics Refresher Course Look Like?
Advice for the Congress and White House about ethical leadership.
Judy Nadler
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
Confirmation Ethics
An argument in favor of a political but fair and transparent confirmation process
Terri Peretti
Immigration: Should the Rules Change?
From the 2005-06 National Ethics Agenda, a look at immigration in an age of terrorism.
Ethics Center Emerging Issues Group
Advise and Consent: What Are the Ethics of Confirmation?
From the 2005-06 National Ethics Agenda, an exploration of the ethical issues in the process of federal judicial appointments.
Ethics Center Emerging Issues Group
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.
Responsibility and the 'War on Terror'
How, ethically, did the United States get to where we are now in the conflict with Islamic terrorists? And where, ethically, do we go from here?
David DeCosse
Bush, Freedom, Responsibility
The rhetorical absence of the word "responsibility" in President Bush's inaugural speech signals a conceptual deficit in the president's ideal of freedom.
David DeCosse
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
Stem Cells, Moral Status, and California Proposition 71
Gerald D. Coleman, SS, professor of moral theology at St. Patrick's Seminary, and Lawrence Nelson, Santa Clara University lecturer in philosophy discussed stem cells, moral status, and California Proposition 71, exploring the controversy over the ethical implications of stem cell research.
Margaret McLean, Gerald D. Coleman, SS, Lawrence
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
Notes on Proposition 71
Notes on California Proposition 71, "The Embryo Cloning and Stem Research Bond Act," offering a moral compass to guide us through these concerns.
Gerald D. Coleman, S.S.
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
Problem of Global Moral Leadership
A lawyer looks at the issues through the lens of comparative constitutional law.
Jiri Toman
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
Shopping for Non-violence
Non-violence is often considered impractical, but using selections from Mahatma Gandhi's "Love Versus War and Dictators," Ms. Bignell presents non-violence as the more desirable path to follow.
Katie Bignell
Supreme Court on Educational Diversity
From my standpoint as a constitutional law professor, a particularly interesting strand of the Grutter majority opinion is the reliance upon the First Amendment to uphold the right of public universities to value student body racial diversity.
Margaret M. Russell
Who are the insurgents?
If the Iraqis are the insurgents, how come we're the ones shooting up their country and trying to get them to adopt our kind of government?
Rob Elder
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
Addressing Disparities in Income and Wealth
A look at the mixed and complex picture of the state of economic inequality in the world today.
William Sundstrom
Ethical Political Leadership: Speaking Hard Truths
Some part of the responsibility for the unwillingness to speak the hard truths must rest with the public who are woefully mistrustful and uninformed about how government works.
Judy Nadler
Improving Public Dialogue: Media and Citizen Responsibilities
What is news and what is it that an intelligent public should care to hear about?
Jerry Ceppos
Allocating and Stewarding Water Resources
The issues surrounding water-its availability, price, use, quality, and ownership-are affecting local governments and citizens on a regular basis.
Judy Nadler
Unavoidable Ethical Dilemmas of Newly-Elected Local Officials
As part of the Center's commitment to government ethics, Senior Fellow Judy Nadler convened 13 mayors and council members for Santa Clara and San Mateo counties to share the top ethical dilemmas confronting every person who comes into local elected office.
Judy Nadler
Alice Hayes and Affordable Housing
A new city councilmember must weigh the community's need for affordable housing with the desire to preserve open space.
Judy Nadler
Business as Usual
A retired city engineer goes back to work for the city as an independent contractor. When he bids for a job, a councilmember raises questions.
Judy Nadler
Case of the Big Box Retailer
A revenue shortfall causes a city council to consider the tax benefits from a big-box retailer versus the potential harm to established small businesses.
Judy Nadler
The Mayor and the Manager
A case exploring the proper relationship between city councilmembers and city staff.
Judy Nadler
Old Friends and Conflicts of Interest
How do relationships with "old friends" change when someone is elected to public office?
Judy Nadler
Sex in the City
Is an elected official's personal life legitimately "private"?
Judy Nadler
The decision to pursue and publish the Megan's Law story
What accountability was the newspaper willing to accept if the named sex offenders lost their jobs-or worse-as a result of publishing their names?
David Yarnold and Susan Goldberg
The decision to give Armand Tiano's victims a voice
Should a newspaper print the names of victims of a sex offender at their request?
David Yarnold and Susan Goldberg
The decision to stop printing the name and photo of the 9-year-old kidnapping victim
In a child abduction case, should a newspaper assume that the child is being sexually assaulted and not use a name or photograph?
David Yarnold and Susan Goldberg
Report not unethical, but still lacking
A look at journalistic ethics.
Rob Elder
Right of Way
As the California coastline changes because of the ocean's continual pounding, the question is asked who has access to the fluctuating landscape?
Rob Elder
Status of Title IX: Gender, Justice, and Sports
Athletic directors from Santa Clara University and Stanford University discuss the ethical dimensions of Title IX.
Ethics at Noon
Ethical Implications of California's Recall Election
A panel discussion with SCU professors of political science.
Ethics at Noon
Defining the Institution's Values: Four questions to guide discussions of gift acceptance
Gift acceptance policies for universities.
Kirk O. Hanson
A Case for Truth
A public relations professional is asked to counsel the local Roman Catholic Archdiocese on how to respond to the sex abuse crisis.
Kirk O. Hanson
So few words, so many consequences
Did the ends justify the means in using the possibility that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction as a pretext for the war in Iraq?
Rob Elder
Ethics of Ethical Advising: Confessions of an Ethical Advisor
Member of Geron Corp.'s ethics adivsory board discusses the delights and dilemmas of her role.
Karen Lebacqz
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
Can Dictators Be Forgiven?: Political Change in Facing the Past
A panel on transitional justice.
Jane Curry and Robert Meister
Maybe They Should Sing
American Idol votes signal greater openness to diversity
Miriam Schulman
Totaling Up; It Was an Unjust War
Application of just war principles to the war in Iraq.
David DeCosse
Lost in the 'Logic of War'
War to remove Saddam Hussein from power without the approval of the United Nations is deemed an unjustified, disproportionate, and reckless response to Saddam's violations of justice.
David DeCosse
Budget Crunch Ethics
A California State Assembly member discusses the ethical choices legislators face during a budget crisis.
Joe Simitian
Freud, Einstein, and Upaya: Contemporary Reflections on the Question
Using the Buddhist concept of Upaya to look at Einstein and Freud's dialogue, "Is there any way of delivering humankind from the menace of war?"
Diane Jonte-Pace
State's accounting tricks cheat future taxpayers
The responsibility of one generation is shifted to the next by accounting gimmicks.
William K. Black
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
Where are the questions about war and ethics?
An analysis of the decision to go to war with Iraq.
Rob Elder
Can You Hear Me Now? Marketing a War With Iraq
Should war be sold like toothpaste?
Miriam Schulman
Who will blow the whistle if surveillance oversteps?
How does an open society deal with the probability of future terrorist attacks without compromising the privacy and civil liberties of its own citizens?
Rob Elder
Welfare and Marriage
Investment in women pays off directly in terms of lowered fertility and healthier children.
June Carbone
Ethical Choice? There are SUVs and then there are huge SUVs
Gas-guzzling cars and environmental ethics.
Rob Elder
Does Old Age Make Suicide Ethical?
Ethical considerations regarding suicide for the terminally ill.
Rob Elder
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
Ethics and Technology in the Wake of September 11th
Co-chair of the President's Council of Advisors in Science and Technology discusses issues raised by the terrorist attacks.
E. Floyd Kvamme
National Ethics Agenda
The Ethics Agenda was developed by the Emerging Issues Program of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. Through this program, the Center provides timely analysis and opinion on ethical issues in the news.
Elder, Hanson, Schulman, McLean, Perry, Carbone
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
The Case of the Sikh Temple
Plans for a 94,000 square foot structure raise questions about the zoning of a house of worship.
Mark Ralkowski
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
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
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
Ethical and Legal Concerns About Capital Punishment in the U. S.
Transcript of a radio interview on captial punishment.
Ellen Kreitzberg
Killing in the Name of God: The Problem of Holy War
A look at war in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions.
David Perry
The Case of Maria Elena
What are the ethical questions involved when a person finds out that an undocumented immigrant is working in their home?
Thomas Shanks
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
Just War Theory Calls for Restraint: Stop the Starvation, Win the War
An application of just war principles to the war in Iraq.
Rob Elder
Difficult Decisions: Ethical Issues for the American Media in Times of National Crisis
How media managers should exercise freedom of the press in war time.
Rob Elder
Free Speech and Decorum: Some Thoughts on How We Talk About Terrorism
Is free speech the only principle to consider in covering the terrorist attacks?
Miriam Schulman
Ethics in International Economics: The WTO, NAFTA, the IMF, and the World Bank
Transcript of a radio interview.
Michael Kevane
The Case of Wu
What are the ethical questions involved when asked to help out an illegal immigrant in desperate need of help?
Thomas Shanks
Ethical Issues in Counterterrorism Warfare
Applying just war theory to the war against terrorism.
Martin Cook
We Must Stand Up for the Innocent while Demanding Justice
A reflection on the internment of the Japanese in World War II and its implications for the treatment of other foreign nationals in war time.
James Purcell
Osama bin Laden and the Duty to Forgive
Christian ethics requires that we learn to love our enemies through spiritual practices.
William Spohn
Repugnant Philosophy: Ethics, Espionage, and Covert Action
Substantive ethical analysis of intelligence operations
David Perry
Henry's Publick House
What are the ethical questions involved when the media broadcasts hostile situations live?
Thomas Shanks
Beyond Professional Codes
Professors in law, philosophy, and communication discuss media ethics, legal ethics, and the common good.
The Cyber City Network
An online network for city services raises questions about access and whether the provision of services electronically will increase disparities between rich and poor.
Thomas Shanks