Moral Heroes in an Immoral World

Course Code Offering Department(s) Units & Hours
GCVM1047 REL (3,2,1)
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What is the course about?

Women and men who have championed visions of a better life, enduring personal threats and social opposition to realize their goals, are moral heroes. On the basis of this understanding, students will first be introduced to some of the most influential moral heroines and heroes of the last 200 years. These will include Nobel Peace Prize winners such as Aung San Syu Kyi and Mother Theresa as well as others who have endured the controversies inherent in moral leadership and become highly regarded paragons of particular societies, including those such as William Wilberforce, Mohandes Gandhi, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn and Chuck Colson. Our concern will be to identify the values which prompted these people to challenge the status quo, explaining the power of these values in the light of virtue ethics, deontology, and the specific religious and/or philosophical traditions these heroes represent (including Burmese Buddhism, Roman Catholic and Protestant Christianity, and popular Hindu traditions).

By means of the stories and controversies surrounding their lives, which regularly involve specific religious and philosophical traditions informing their moral visions, these persons’ lives and works will be studied, critically evaluated and morally assessed. From this same basis of critically assessed knowledge, ethical insights will be identified and studied in order to understand the nature and motivations of moral heroes and heroines. In addition, more personal lessons will be collated from the studies of these heroic persons’ lives and works, relying on relevant principles particularly drawn from virtue ethics.

What do the students say about this course?

I found it insightful to learn morality from fictional characters.

Full Text
Year 4 student from COMM


Notes for all GE courses

  • You can take a maximum of 6 additional units of GE courses from any categories as electives.