The Prindle Institute for Ethics will award five prizes ($300 each) for the best essays written by high school students on an ethics-related topic. This year’s topic focuses on human rights violations that occur in other countries. Any high school student is encouraged to submit an essay. Read the guidelines below, and submit your paper via the online submission form at the bottom of this page.
Prompt: Does the United States have a moral responsibility to intervene in countries where human rights violations are occurring?
Deadline: February 1, 2016
Eligibility: Anyone currently enrolled in high school in the United States. You do not need to enroll at DePauw to receive the award. This contest is open to any high school student regardless of college choice.
Essay Topic: Does the United States have a moral responsibility to intervene in countries where human rights violations are occurring?
Each essay should thoroughly assess the moral dimensions of both action and inaction by the United States.
If you argue that the United States has no responsibility to intervene, or should not intervene, then your essay should also thoughtfully consider and respond to arguments that someone might have for thinking that the United State does have a responsibility. If you argue that there are circumstances in which the United States does have a responsibility to intervene, then you should present under what conditions you think the U.S. would have a responsibility. You should also thoughtfully consider and respond to arguments that someone may raise if they think that the United States ought to stay out of the affairs of other countries, even if they involve human rights violations.
Word Limit: 500-2000 words
- You should present and critically discuss arguments for your position.
- Don’t merely summarize what others have said, we want you to weigh in with your opinion on the merits of the arguments you discuss.
- Cite your sources (any common citation style is acceptable).
- Remove any identifying information from the paper you submit, including your name, high school name, etc. This ensures that papers will be anonymous.
- Submit your essay using the online submission form below.
- Winners will receive a $300 honorarium and may have their essays published on The Prindle Post.
Resources: It might be useful to read some facts about US humanitarian interventions. We recommend using reputable news sources, such as The New York Times, Al Jazeera, BBC News, The Economist, etc. We have also included some resources below to help you write your essay.
SUBMIT YOUR PAPER USING THIS FORM: