The Big Ethical Questions

2017 Ypsilanti Slam Questions

1. Should you allow a robot to make a moral decision for you, that is, decide on your behalf?

2. Prostitution is generally regarded as an unethical practice and harmful. It is illegal in many places. Should there ever be exceptions? At least one ethicist has argued in favor of such an exception, suggesting that for people with disabilities who find it difficult to have a sexual partner, paying for sex is morally permissible. What do you think?

2017 Ypsilanti Big Ethical Question Slam


You're invited to The 2017 Ypsilanti Big Ethical Question Slam.

Join us as we listen, laugh, applaud, agree and disagree with teams of locals willing to share and present their best answers to some of the most compelling and confounding ethical issues of our time. We hope you'll be there for the 2nd annual Ypsilanti Big Ethical Question Slam. Bring your friends too.  

So, what exactly is a Big Ethical Question Slam?

The 2017 Ann Arbor Big Ethical Question Slam


 We will continue the Ann Arbor Big Ethical Question Slam in March, 2018. 



2011 Slam Questions

1. Are work bonuses, for any job, whether the bonuses are large or small, really fair? 

2. Should a public official solicit charitable contributions from businesses under her supervision? 

3. If a colleague comes to work durnk, should you cover for him? 

4. During finals week at colleges, should the use of stimulants, such as Adderall, be banned? 

5. Should entertainment celebrities be banned from engaging in political diplomacy with foreign countries?

2012 Slam Questions

1. Are zoos unethical? 

2. Should flu shots be mandatory? 

3. Are public charter school admission lotteries unfair?

4. Is happiness the highest good? 

5. Should college athletes with no financial need receive scholarships? 

6. If a college names a building after a former CEO who is convicted of a serious felony and goes to prison, should the building be renamed? 

7. Can our feelings be our sole guide to morality? 

8. What are the ethical questions involved when a company is the only supplier of a high risk life-saving product? 

2013 Slam Questions

1. A friend of my father has dementia and lives in a home with others who have the same affliction. His wife visits him. He has a romantic relationship with another woman who lives in the home. Is it right for the staff to prevent them from seeing each other if the wife is upset about the relationship?

2. In an organization, is there good reason to think that diversity of gender and race will result in tolerance and fairness for diversity of thought? 

3. At what point does it become an “ethical issue” when robots take human jobs? 

2014 Slam Questions

1. What are the central ethical issues involved with driverless cars?

2. Several U.S. universities are establishing campuses in countries where academic freedom is nonexistent or highly restricted. What are the ethical dilemmas this poses for all of the institutions involved?

3. What is ethically wrong with paying college athletes?   

4.  Is it permissible for an animal shelter to sell animals for research?

2015 Slam Questions

1. In a meeting last month, my boss took credit for an idea of mine. This has happened to me once before—when a co-worker took credit for an idea that the company enacted. How should I handle the ethical issues posed by credit-stealing by a manager and a co-worker?

2. Every day for about a year now, I have been giving a homeless man a few dollars on my way to work. Does my own action create a moral duty for me to continue to give? That is, do the man’s expectations of me impose a duty? 

Submit a Question for the 2016 Ypsilanti Ethics Slam

Without Your Questions

...there would be no Slam at all. We rely on the public to tell us which big ethical questions we should be discussing. For the most part, the questions arrive via email at You can also submit your questions below. Or you can tweet your questions to us @a2ethics using the hashtag #slamquestions.

Team Entry and Registration Form for the Ypsilanti Ethics Slam

Team Registration Form

To enter a team into the 2017 Ypsilanti Ethics Slam, please download and complete this entry form and send it along with a $35 registration fee to the address below. You may also complete the form online, and send a check to the address below or pay with Paypal after submitting the form. 

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