Ethics in The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
5th March 2007
Note: If you are a student looking at this to help with a paper/essay on the Omelas short story – that is great, we hope something here helps – but be sure to give a reference – and send me an e-mail to let me know if you find the material useful..
Dave W: email@example.com
Last Semester (in RPE101, Philosophical and Ethical Arguing) we used the Ursula Le Guin short story The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas to discuss a number of ethical concerns that we were going over in class. Details of this post are at:
In EZ205 (Ethics and Language), we have covered a number of ethical theories, and I wanted to raise some of the related issues with the class. I would like you to look at the story and consider your response in a number of ways….
- What is the nature of the ethical problem here? How is it linked to the theories we have been looking at in class?
- What would you do – and why?
- In what way do we share the dilemma of the people of Omelas in our current economic and political world?
- Would it be worth the life of one innocent child to free the world from, say, AIDS?
- Is the contrivance of the story useful – do such exmaples help our moral thinking?
- In Le Guin’s description of the city of Omelas (which is striking), what do we learn of her view of what the Good life consists of?
Please use the ‘comments’ feature of the blog to respond to these questions (and make any other comments others that occur while reading or reflecting…)
Other RPE students (and indeed anyone else) are welcome to join in here!
See you in class…