- “Building Decision Skills” Lesson 2, There’s Only Ethics
- Ethical Literacy® Outcomes: 2 Applying the Values
- Schools of Integrity Findings: Driver and Connector, Fueling Relationships
- To deepen understanding of ethics in an increasingly technological context
Preparation and Materials
- Optional: Provide copies of pc magazine article: “I Love You Virus Turns Ten” by Larry Seltzer.
- Read up on the I LOVE YOU virus of May, 2000, originating in the Philippines and causing $10 Billion damages worldwide.
- Provide, post or read this quote from the above Seltzer PC magazine article:“[Love Bug author Onel de Guzman of the Philippines was] released when the authorities realized there were no laws in the Philippines against writing malware. De Guzman had been forced to drop out of a University because his thesis, a proposal for commercializing a password-stealing Trojan horse, was rejected by the faculty.”
- Review one definition of ethics: “obedience to the unenforceable”, or more simply put, “self regulation”. Ask students how laws or rules usually come about.
- Tell your students briefly about the Love Bug of 2000.
- Ask your students to form triads and consider the quote from the article provided above and one or more of the following questions:
- Why didn’t Guzman go to jail?
- What do you think the Philippine courts did shortly after, as a result of Guzman’s choices? Teacher’s note: they put a law in place to deal with future hackers.
- Why could the University respond to Guzman’s choices even though the authorities could not? Teacher’s Note: Universities often have more stringent policies and can use more discretion than can court systems.
- Which core ethical values would dissuade Guzman from releasing the virus?
- If Guzman had been face to face with any of the many people who would be impacted by this virus, would it make any difference to his behavior? In other words, does knowing someone and/or being in front of someone change behavior? What examples support your thinking?
- Now invite skits about Guzman and his co conspirator, Reomel Ramones. Criteria for the role-play:
- The two young men are in the planning stages, before launching their virus.
- A third person arrives and helps them to re-consider because:
- The third person has a computer and doesn’t want it ruined
- The third person doesn’t want restrictions about using computers to come about because of Guzman’s virus
- The third person’s parents work at a bank that could be severely hit by the virus.
- The third person knows that Guzman and Ramones are good people who need reminders about the ethical values that should guide our behavior.
If time is short – use two sessions for this work, with the promise of role-plays/fun in the second session.
If you want to test students’ understanding rather than deepen their application/practice, don’t provide the criteria. Simply ask that skits “teach to ethics and core values” … and see what your students do!