After reading and watching all the material assigned this week, write a brief letter to an elected official representing or serving your target community. Your letter will be addressed to a real, current elected official (a town or city council, mayor, local or state representative, governor, etc.). However, this letter is meant to be a class assignment – you are not asked to send the letter. Find elected officials here. Your letter has two purposes: to make the elected official aware of the issue you are highlighting and to educate them on why it is important (or not important) for them to act by describing two important concepts in the study of ethics related to applying moral judgments. Your letter should do the following: 1. Address your letter to a current elected official of your current town, city, county or region. 2. Name the community and summarize an issue you see in the community. 3. Include the source(s) you used to help identify this issue. 4. Close by asking your elected official to take action (or not to take action, if that is your position) to help resolve, improve, or mitigate this issue. Do this by educating the elected official on what you have recently learned about the concepts of universalism and cultural relativism when considering ethical questions (tip: don’t google ‘Universalism’ – you will likely get the wrong usage of the word. Use the textbook – start at Chapter 3 p.32). You may copy the following lines, filling in the blanks, or you may put them into your own words, demonstrating that you understand the definitions: When considering whether or not there are any globally shared moral values, universalists believe [fill in the blank]. Cultural relativists believe [fill in the blank]. Based on my current understanding of global ethics, at this time I side with the [UNIVERSALISTS] or [RELATIVISTS] (you pick which one). I think this view on whether or not all people have at least some some shared values makes the most sense because: [fill in the blank]. For this reason, it makes sense to me that [insert your issue] is an issue [you should all be concerned with addressing] OR [we may not all be concerned with solving]. (When sharing views with elected officials, sometimes we tell them what we want them to do – other times we tell them what we DON’T want them to do – both positions are valid) Your letter should include a works cited section at the end. Cite the textbook, which you will use as a reference to help you define universalism and relativism. Also cite any articles you reference to highlight your issue. A strong letter will be 400 – 600 words.
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