Students from St. Ursula Academy, Riverdale High School and Coldwater High School competed in the second annual Ohio High School Ethics Bowl hosted by the Department of Philosophy at the University of Findlay on Jan. 28, 2017. St. Ursula Academy won first place and Coldwater High School placed second.
During the competition, each team was presented with a series of wide-ranging ethical dilemmas in which they analyzed and organized a response. Responses were judged by the quality of the team’s reasoning and how well they organized their response.
“The students were very articulate, intelligent, respectful and courteous,” said Matthew Stolick, Ph.D., professor of philosophy and chair of the Religious Studies and Philosophy Department. “They did will in responding to very controversial cases.”
Although the Ethics Bowl is a competition, participants were encouraged to arrive at the best answer together through informed, civil dialogue. The teams responded to questions such as, “Is the state morally required to help vulnerable citizens through public education, public health care, or entitlement programs?” and “Is there a morally relevant difference between hiring someone to write a wedding toast and hiring someone to write a paper for a class?”
“They did very well arguing government responsibility for health care,” said Stolick. “They also did well to distinguish paying someone to help write a wedding toast for a best friend and buying a pre-written paper for a class. The former was seen as more acceptable than the latter.”
St. Ursula Academy’s winning team coached by Joanne Elsbrock included: Kate Bachman, Morgan Bibler, Grace Curtis, Emilie Kilfoil, Therese Kondash and Elizabeth Uhl.