Consider the moral and ethical issues, dilemmas, controversies, and questions raised in this week’s materials. Let us suppose that you were to find a magic ring like the Ring of Gyges. This ring gives you the power to change the morality and ethics of everybody for all time. You can make one thing absolutely acceptable or absolutely forbidden, so that everybody, everywhere, from this day forward and forevermore, would have no choice but to act in this one particular way. You could, for example, declare thievery wrong and nobody would ever steal anything ever again—not even that cheap, red, plastic stapler from the office supply closet—they would be unable even to think of the idea of stealing. You could, for example, declare that from this forward and forevermore, no one could have, own, possess, or hold any more than anyone else and thus eliminate wealth and poverty worldwide forever. You could with a few words strike forever from the hearts and minds of humanity even the bare idea of lying, stealing, cheating, gambling, adultery, alcoholism, addiction of any kind, gluttony, sloth, or any other behavior you think should be absolutely and forever wrong or right. What would you do with the power of that ring? Why? Give at least five reasons to support the change that you would make. After you present your analysis, discuss with your classmates why it is that we are unable to make these changes in our current social and worldwide conditions.
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