Jonathan sat staring at his computer screen. The previous two days had been the most disastrous weekend of his entire life. First, his girlfriend broke up with him on Friday and informed him that she was dating his best friend behind his back. Then he got a phone call from his mother informing him that his childhood dog has been hit by a car. And if that wasn’t enough, his car died on the way to work, and since it was his third unexcused absence from work, he was fired. In the midst of all these crises, Jonathan was supposed to be preparing his persuasive speech for his public speaking class. Admittedly, Jonathan had had the two weeks prior to work on the speech, but he had not gotten around to it and thought he could pull it together over the weekend. Now at 1:00 a.m. on Monday morning, he finally got a chance to sit down at his computer to prepare the speech he was giving in nine and a half hours. His topic was prison reform. He searched through a number of websites and finally found one that seemed really relevant. As he read through the first paragraph, he thought to himself, this is exactly what I want to say. After two paragraphs the information just stopped, and the website asked him to pay $29.95 for the rest of the speech. Without even realizing it, Jonathan had found a speech mill website. Jonathan found himself reaching for his wallet thinking, well it says what I want it to say, so why not?
1. If you were a student in Jonathan’s class and he confided in you that he had used a speech mill for his speech, how would you react?
2 If you were Jonathan, what ethical choices could you have made?
3. Is it ever ethical to use a speech written by a speech mill?