Former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously said “Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have to do and what is right to do.”
Here’s a list of ethical questions for students in your classroom. Discussing ethics questions can be a lot of fun, because it usually gives rise to passionate, heated, and intense conversations. Enjoy!
List of ethics questions for students
- If you are charged less than the listed price for a product, do you need to let the seller know?
- Is it considered stealing to take a pen from a bank? What about your workplace?
- Is it always wrong to steal?
- When it is okay to steal, if at all?
- Is it always wrong to lie?
- When is it okay to lie, if at all?
- Would you dive into a river to save a drowning child?
- Is it unfair to move to better seats that are not in use at a concert?
- What would you do if you found a wallet? Return it or keep it?
- Would you risk your own life to save the life of another person?
- Talk about an ethical dilemma you have faced—what was it and how did you deal with it?
- What makes a person act unethically?
- What makes a person act ethically?
- If your boss or teacher gives you credit for work that you did not do, is it okay to accept the praise?
- Is it acceptable to fantasize about someone that is not your partner?
- Are you obligated to loan money to your family?
- Are you obligated to loan money to your friends?
- Is it okay to read someone else’s diary?
- Is it okay to peek at someone else’s phone?
- If someone asks you to lie for them, should you do it?
- If you see someone stealing from another person, should you say something?
- If killing one person would save 10 other people, would you do it?
- Is it ever okay to kill someone?
- What obligations to children have to their parents?
- What obligations do parents have to their children?
What are your favorite ESL Discussion Topics and ESL conversation questions to use in the classroom? Let us know in the comments!