Because instead of making them sort through the moral and ethical structures in that way, they can use their own reasoning with the assistance of the teacher to understand the principals. They can figure out what is fair and right without ever learning logic, I'd rather have them hone those skills before they are put into anything as formal as logic. Logic is tedious and it would be disinteresting enough for them to completely ignore the survey class.
B.s. Any direction of the conception of what is right and fair must come from the self. If a professor or a teacher were to tell me what is fair or right, they would be implicitly wrong in doing so as these things are personal and subjective. If they were to force feed me it, it would be brainwashing.
Survey classes are often a waste of time. Although I do not buy the argument that it is tedious as any sensible justification of not allowing it to be a core study course; formal logic is, perhaps, a waste of time for the laymen that will never use it. Aristotelian logic and reasoning, on the other hand, is very applicable! One who cannot think clearly and precisely will easily be misled by rhetoric and have trouble seeing through fallacy. Consequently they will be more easy to take advantage of.
I would, however, advocate that they focus more on applications in the class. They should be able to deconstruct political rhetoric and they should read It Can't Happen Here and have some skepticism instilled in them.
Remember, sadly, these days, children don't want to learn most of what school feeds them. It is about selling them something practical, beneficial, and interesting. Fighting the whole "When can I ever use this", the class can promote them to have fun while basic writing papers on things (no tests) that have more effect on the world then any other normal subject.
They should not learn what is fed to them but rather all that they can. It is sad that the needs and desires of the more academically oriented have to be put on hold until graduate school and so much time is wasted by the business that is undergraduate education. It is outrageous that the courses have to be watered down so that everybody can get a job that pays well because businesses want people with skill and thus they raise the bar, only to find that in reality they forced the system to lower it back down through joke classes.
Why should everything be about fun? This is part of the problem! It is far more fulfilling to have gained from the sweat of your brow, studying and reading to gain new insight, than to have something more superficially enjoyable.
I figure they would be ecstatic to have something that interesting, with videos they can watch, and some basic essays they can write arguing against or for different ethical disputes. It would not just prepare them for college thinking, it would prepare them to be the kind of people we want living around us, rational people.
Videos are a waste of time! I saw a flier for a class in which they purport to learn interpersonal skills from numerous silly, unrealistic videos like the Breakfast Club. The class is bullocks.
I do however crave debate in class, but it is a rarely afforded luxury even in philosophy where I should think that it is essential to learning. It seems to me that the most foolish students are the most boisterous, and any instance that can be afforded to cut them down would be welcome with relish. I certainly welcome the challenge of a worthy adversary as well.
I think that the goal here should be to generate deeper thinkers, not quick dimwits who can only spar with superficial facts and figures. We need people who think clearly and can see contradictions, for much injustice is done through sloppy reasoning.
What we really need are people who have some grip on things which are more important than the self, more important than societal norms and material possessions, but, sadly; college isn't really the place for such things to be instilled.