Sustaining Dover-Ethics

In the case-study, “Sustaining Dover,” City Council member John Yeoman must soon vote on whether to permit Walmart to build a Supercenter on Dover’s eastern edge. As noted in the commentary, “Sustaining Dover” involves a host of environmental, economic, and social issues. As such, it’s an appropriate casestudy for us as a class to consider, since environmental concerns rarely emerge in a vacuum but usually involve a contest between development/other financial pressures and environmental protection. For the purposes of this paper assignment, assume that John Yeoman is a committed Christian and seeks to cast his vote in accordance with Christian ethics (n.b., there is a reference to John having dinner with his pastor, thus providing some textual support for the view that John is seeking spiritual guidance on how to “do the right thing”). Additionally, for the purposes of this paper, put aside the role-specific obligations that John has to represent the stated interests of his constituents and the larger question of whether civil servants should be voting in accordance with their private religious convictions. Simply use John Yeoman as a stand-in for YOU—a student of Christian ethics who is being asked to decide, from the perspective of Christian ethics and in the space of a 4-5 page paper, whether to vote to allow Walmart to build a SuperCenter. Again, while the case-study involves a host of considerations, make sure you focus on the environmental ones (e.g., wildlife habitat, the effect of building a Walmart Supercenter on the flood plains, concern for river contamination by road wastes, the designation of Appannoose as “protected water area”), though not at the exclusion of the others (potential for economic growth, potential economic gains for some and losses for others, increased ability for low-income persons to buy inexpensive goods, the identity of Dover, etc.). Remember that you are being asked to write an analytical paper, not a research one. If you have comprehended the assigned readings for the course, you will not have to do any additional research in order for you to do well on this paper, though might find some of the recommended readings helpful. You MUST, however, draw upon at least two of the other three required readings assigned for the week (i.e., De La Torre, Ruether, Rourke) in your paper.

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