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Series Focuses on “The Morality of the Death Penalty”

Leonard J. Berkowitz
9/11/2008 —

Penn State York’s “Today’s Ethical Issues” free lecture/discussion series focusing on the critical ethical issues of today us is under way in York.  The program takes place in five locations in York County, with four to six sessions at each location.  A complete listing of times and locations can be found at the end of the story.   All sessions are open to the public.


Leonard J. Berkowitz, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy at Penn State York and an award-winning instructor, continues his highly successful lecture and discussion series focusing on current ethical issues.  Each year “Today’s Ethical Issues” focuses on one major ethical issue. Last year’s issue was war and morality. The focus for this year is the morality of the death penalty.


A faculty member at Penn State York since 1972, Berkowitz earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Duke University and a master’s and doctorate in philosophy from the Johns Hopkins University.  He teaches courses in philosophy at the campus, including critical thinking, symbolic logic, ethics and social issues, and medical and health care ethics. 


The first four sessions at each location will focus on the death penalty, the first on legal issues and the others on the morality of the death penalty. All the major arguments for and against capital punishment will be discussed, including whether murderers deserve to die and whether the death penalty is an especially effective deterrent that helps prevent murders. There will be time for full analysis and discussion of all the major issues.


In the final two sessions, “Today’s Ethical Issues” will cover other important ethical issues.  The additional topics for this year remain to be decided but may include our moral obligation to address world hunger, animal rights, or homosexuality and gay marriage.


Today’s Ethical Issues” is funded by a grant from the Grumbacher Family Foundation.  For more information about the series, please contact Berkowitz at 717-771-4159 or ljb1@psu.edu.



“Today’s Ethical Issues”

Schedule for 2008-09

All sessions are free and open to the public.


Jewish Community Center of York         

2000 Hollywood Drive, York


September 16 (10:30 a.m.)          

October 28 (10:30 a.m.)              

November 11 (10:30 a.m.)                     

February 17 (10:30 a.m.)

March 24 (10:30 a.m.)

April 21 (10:30 a.m.)


Heritage Senior Center

3700 Davidsburg Rd., Dover


January 20 (10 a.m.)                   

February 10 (10 a.m.)                 

March 3 (10 a.m.)

April 7 (10 a.m.)


Martin Library

159 East Market Street, York


October 16 (noon)                       

November 13 (noon)                              

December 11 (noon)                              

February 19 (noon)

March 19 (noon)

April 16 (noon)


White Rose Senior Center

27 S. Broad Street, York


September 11 (10:30 a.m.)          

October 23 (10:30 a.m.)              

December 2 (10:30 a.m.)             

Feb. 12 (10:30 a.m.)

March 26 (10:30 a.m.)

April 23 (10:30 a.m.)



YMCA of York

90 N. Newberry Street, York


October 2 (10 a.m.)                     

November 6 (10 a.m.)                 

December 4 (10 a.m.)                 

February 5 (10 a.m.)

March 5 (10 a.m.)

April 2 (10 a.m.)

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