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Ethics questions: 25 ESL conversation questions about ethics

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

  1. If you are charged less than the listed price for a product, do you need to let the seller know?
  2. Is it considered stealing to take a pen from a bank? What about your workplace?
  3. Is it always wrong to steal?
  4. When it is okay to steal, if at all?
  5. Is it always wrong to lie?
  6. When is it okay to lie, if at all?
  7. Would you dive into a river to save a drowning child?
  8. Is it unfair to move to better seats that are not in use at a concert?
  9. What would you do if you found a wallet? Return it or keep it?
  10. Would you risk your own life to save the life of another person?
  11. Talk about an ethical dilemma you have faced—what was it and how did you deal with it?
  12. What makes a person act unethically?
  13. What makes a person act ethically?
  14. If your boss or teacher gives you credit for work that you did not do, is it okay to accept the praise?
  15. Is it acceptable to fantasize about someone that is not your partner?
  16. Are you obligated to loan money to your family?
  17. Are you obligated to loan money to your friends?
  18. Is it okay to read someone else’s diary?
  19. Is it okay to peek at someone else’s phone?
  20. If someone asks you to lie for them, should you do it?
  21. If you see someone stealing from another person, should you say something?
  22. If killing one person would save 10 other people, would you do it?
  23. Is it ever okay to kill someone?
  24. What obligations to children have to their parents?
  25. 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!

Cameron Smith

I'm an English Communication Coach based in Vancouver, Canada. I'm on a mission to help millions of people speak English with confidence. Thanks for visiting this site! If you want longer video content, please follow me on YouTube for fun English lessons and helpful learning resources!

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