“In the final analysis, the challenge of college, for students and faculty members alike, is empowering individuals to know that the world is far more complex than it first appears, and that they must make interpretive arguments and decisions—judgments that entail real consequences for which they must take responsibility and from which they may not flee by disclaiming expertise.”
Association of American Colleges & Universities
“The Challenge of Connecting Learning”
Moral forum is an annual dialogue and debate program focusing on a values-based controversial issue.
Effective citizenship requires a well-developed capacity for thoughtful moral discourse. Constant exposure to a polarized media, the persistence of stereotypes, and increasingly homogeneous social interactions seriously undermine the potential for developing such discourse during students’ college years. Recent research suggests that the Internet and social media enable young people to confine their communication to those who share precisely their own interests, real-world heterogeneity has given way to more focused virtual homogeneity - resulting in depersonalization, cultural isolation, and the weakening of social ties.
Predictably, many students arrive at college unequipped to appreciate the complexities of moral issues and exhibiting a tendency to trivialize opposing arguments. Even as our students start to acknowledge the inherent complexity of moral interpretations, they often conclude that there is no valid way of evaluating different, sometimes conflicting, moral interpretations.
Striving to deepen students’ understanding of moral/ethical principles and to foster both open-mindedness and conviction, Moral Forum seeks to help students make reasoned judgments and understand multiple perspectives on complex issues.
For more information about Moral Forum, follow the links below:
Goals of Moral Forum
Principal Activities and Program Components
The Process of Moral Forum Debate
Judging Moral Forum
Why Competitive Team Debate?
For more information about the topics and results of current and previous semesters of Moral Forum, see below:
Fall 2009: The Minimum Legal Drinking Age
Fall 2008: Wal-mart
Fall 2007: The DREAM Act
Fall 2006: Legalization of Organ Selling
Spring 2006: Physician-Assisted Suicide