Ethics Bowl Team Qualifies For National Competition Again

December 7, 2018

The Seattle University Ethics Bowl team has qualified for the national Ethics Bowl competition for the second year in a row. On Nov. 10, the SU team took second place in the Northwest Regional competition of the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl to qualify for a trip to Baltimore next March.

Seattle U’s team is comprised of eight students. The regional meet involved 11 schools from Oregon and Washington.

Ethics bowls, sponsored by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, engages teams of students to respond to urgent and provocative issues of the day through the lenses of ethical theories.  This year’s cases at the regional competition included topics such as the use of DNA data uploaded to genealogy websites to identify crime suspects; news outlets that disable their comments sections; voting rights for felons; claims of transracial identity; and algorithms governing self-driving cars.

“I’m proud of what our team has accomplished the past couple of years,” says Ben Howe, PhD, the team coach who teaches philosophy at the Matteo Ricci Institute. “Our diverse group of students has bridged their political differences to become cohesive.”

Paulette Kidder, PhD, director of Matteo Ricci Institute who also served as a judge at the regional competition, says “It's impossible to do well at Ethics Bowl without doing extensive research into the complexities of the cases or without working to understand the reasons why someone might disagree with your analysis of a problem. In those respects, Ethics Bowl promotes the kind of deep thought and mutual understanding that we need for the health of our democracy.”