Paper #3: The sunflower: Letter for simon’s conscience
Due: Saturday, may 25th 11.59PM
Length: 5-6 pages (tight, concise writing)
In The sunflower (1976), Simon Wiesenthal recounts his experience in concentration camps during the Holocaust and a morally challenging moment he had at the bedside of a dying Nazi who asked him for forgiveness for his crimes against the Jewish community. Simon chooses to remain silent, and this decision haunts him. Book one ends with a powerful question: What would you have done? Remain silent, forgive him, or confront him?
As the Harvard professor Michael Sandel says, there is rarely a singular answer to question of morality, but it is critical for people to grapple with these issues. Although the Holocaust happened over 75 years ago, the event must not be forgotten and the discussion must continue as mass murders and genocide unfortunately still happen today. Looking at the world through the lens of ethics allows us to be more thoughtful world citizens who can be better equipped to stand up for what is right in the face of wrongdoing and make informed decisions.
You are tasked with writing a letter in which you grapple with Simon’s question in The Sunflower. You will pick a specific audience to address it to:
· a letter to Simon
· a letter to Karl
· a letter to karl’s mom
· a letter to a former Nazi in hiding
· a letter to a surviving relative of one of the Jewish people in the burning house
· a letter to a survivor of the Rwandan genocide (or other post-wwII genocide)
· Have a unique idea? Run it by me.
· Employ a dialogic approach that acknowledges and/or evaluates opposing viewpoints and aims to find common ground with the addressee of your letter; you must imagine your audience is resistant to your views or at least reluctant to accept them. Use one of the following approaches:
Delayed-Thesis Argument OR Rogerian Argument (see pages 35-45 in the course reader).
Follow the outline on p.38 or 41 for help structuring your essay.
· Apply methods of evaluating ethical arguments. Include discussion of the possible consequences (Bentham/Mills) and relevant principles (Kant) involved in Simon’s moral dilemma (see pages 47-52 in the course reader).
· Include summary, quotes and paraphrases from Book one of The Sunflower.
· Work closely with a minimum of three sources from Book Two of The Sunflower.
· Edit your paper thoroughly and use proper MLA format, including a works cited page.
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