Considering The Value of Life
The central question in this series is:
How should society determine the value of human life?
After an initial reflection on this theme, we will consider a series of "texts" (not all appear in written form). As you consider each texts, return regularly and ask, what messages or insights does this text offer on the way life can or should be valued?
The culminating assignment of this series is an essay in which you present your opinion in relation to the texts that we have studied. Along the way, following your reading of several of the texts in this series, you will practice and develop the critical skill of writing an academic summary, which we call a rhetorical précis.
Texts and follow-up assignments
Hamlet's "To Be or Not to Be" soliloquy
Class notes here: "To Be or Not To Be" analysis
Assignment: Post your follow-up reflection on the class blog.
Excerpt from Lance Armstrong's It's Not About the Bike
Reading: Class handout.
Assignment: Write a rhetorical precis for this excerpt from Armstrong's book.
Amanda Ripley article, "What is a Life Worth?"
Class notes here.
Assignment: Write a rhetorical precis for Ripley's article.
"What makes a life worth living?" This is the question posed by Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi when he began his research into the factors that seemed to make some people more resilient and more happy than others. You can view his TED talk here.
Human Life Value Calculator
Read and interact with the "Human Life Value Calculator".
After interacting with the calculator tool, write a two-paragraph reflection that addresses the following:
"Zero" a short film about the Value of Life