Atkins Center for Ethics 2019-2020 Essay Contest

    The goal of the Atkins Center for Ethics at Carlow University is to develop students as ethical leaders and to promote civil discourse on moral and social issues facing our country and the world today.

    Each year, the Center promotes an essay contest for juniors and seniors in high school to spark their moral imagination. This year, the topic revolves around "Social Conformity: How Far Should We Go to Improve Society?"

    Imagine a pill or therapy capable of rewiring a person’s brain to make them more empathetic, decrease aggression, and improve their capacity for moral reasoning. Such a scenario may not be that far away. Technologies to read and manipulate thought patterns are growing. Elon Musk’s Neuralink project is attempting to establish direct communication between our brains and computers. Also, Kernel, a company in California, has invested $100 million to develop intelligence-boosting brain implants.

    Eliminating abnormal thought patterns and promoting social conformity by technological or pharmacological means could make the world a better, safer place. Why not embrace the opportunity to improve society? Or, do people have an inalienable right to be their flawed or aberrant selves?

    Essays must be 800-1200 words in length, not including citations and bibliography, and must be submitted through the form below. The deadline is February 15, 2020.

    Registration is no longer available because the registration deadline has passed.

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