Fall 2008: Wal-mart

Resolution:

The continued growth and success of Wal-Mart has led to a more just society   for American citizens.

Fall 2008 Course

The Moral Forum course (University Honors 101) was offered for the fourth consecutive year in Fall 2008.  Fifty-seven students were enrolled in five sections of the class and participated in the tournament.  Our guest lecturers included:

  • Dr. Jim Otteson, Professor of Philosophy and Economics, Yeshiva University.  Dr. Otteson’s lecture covered the fundamentals of moral philosophy from the ancient thinkers to Kantian ethics.
  • Dr. Mark Nelson, Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs.  Dr. Nelson spoke on the art and mechanics of public speaking.
  • Dr. Chase Wrenn, Associate Professor, Philosophy.  Dr. Wrenn lectured on the elements of successful moral argumentation.

We also hosted two speakers whose respective viewpoints represented the opposing sides of the resolution:

  • Mr. Gary Hill, Vice President and Chief Officer of the Global Ethics Office of Wal-Mart, Inc.  Mr. Hill presided over a spirited discussion over the ramifications of Wal-Mart’s domestic employee health insurance coverage and its policies regulating manufacturing overseas.
  • Mr. Al Norman, author of The Case Against Wal-Mart and founder of Sprawl-Busters.com.  Mr. Norman, the most cited anti-Wal-Mart activist in the nation, presented an argument against Wal-Mart with statistics specific to Alabama.

View the Moral Forum 2008 Syllabus for more course details.

Fourth Annual Moral Forum Tournament

In front of a Morgan Auditorium audience of more than 400, a total of $13,000 in Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility scholarships were distributed on the final night.  Senior William Bloom and sophomore Walt Johnson argued against the resolution, and the winning team, juniors Alex Flachsbart and David Lindsay argued in support.  Steven Scoggan, Angel King, Amelia Haas, and Merrit Cowden were recognized for their achievements as quarter-finalists.