Our Inconsistent Ethical Instincts
We like to believe that the principled side of the equation is rooted in deep, reasoned conviction. But a growing wealth of research shows that those values often prove to be finicky, inconsistent intuitions, swayed by ethically irrelevant factors. What you say now you might disagree with in five minutes. And such wavering has implications for both public policy and our personal lives. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jun 18, 2013 -
The Delights Of Disgust
I confess I am disgusted by a great many things about people (and about myself, but let's put that aside). I do not believe it is particularly urgent for me to overcome my disgust, even if I recognize that this emotion must remain entirely separate from my thinking about which laws would be most just. I am disgusted by other people's dandruff, facial moles, food stuck in their beards, yet I do not accept that in feeling this way I am judging those people to be subhuman. I take it rather that humanity, while endearing, is also capable of appearing disgusting. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jan 16, 2013 -
Can we have an intelligent non-religion-bashing discussion about this article? ". . . perhaps the most shocking implication of my inquiry into the role religion plays in our lives" : ". . . those who have an unquestioning faith in the correctness of the moral teachings of their religion are a problem: If they haven't conscientiously considered, on their own, whether their pastors or priests or rabbis or imams are worthy of such delegated authority over their lives, then they are taking a personally immoral stand.
Please RTFA before commenting.
posted by spock
on Jan 26, 2006 -
Is Civilization Decaying?
Will technological progress be accompanied by moral progress? Notes on a 1923 debate between J. B. S. Haldane (Daedalus
) and Bertrand Russell (Icarus
As John Brunner pointed out in an article in the New Scientist in 1993, these two books ... inspired two generations of science fiction writers."
posted by painquale
on Jul 10, 2005 -
Examining Bush's stem cell policy, two years later.
Kinsley: Put it all together, and the stem cells that can squeeze through Bush's loopholes are far less promising than they seemed two years ago, while the general promise of embryonic stem cells burns brighter than ever. If you claim to have made an anguished moral decision, and the factual basis for that decision turns out to be faulty, you ought to reconsider or your claim to moral anguish looks phony. But Bush's moral anguish was suspect from the beginning, because the policy it produced makes no sense.
posted by skallas
on Oct 25, 2003 -
is eric rudolph a christian terrorist? via atrios
and who are these christian identity people?: "We declare and will wage total war on the ungodly communist regime in New York and your legaslative bureaucratic lackey's in Washington. It is you who are responsible and preside over the murder of children and issue the policy of ungodly preversion thats destroying our people," - sound familiar?
posted by specialk420
on Jun 2, 2003 -
In an article called "The Sociobiological Conceit"
, Gene Callahan says darwinism is logically flawed and inherently self-contradictory: "if moral ideas are simply an 'illusion' fostered on us by our genes then so are all of our other ideas – including the ideas of sociobiology!".
Callahan, fyi, belongs to the ultra-libertarian circles of the Mises Institute
. Would any of the evolutionists among us care to politely
posted by 111
on Feb 7, 2003 -
Convict Heart Transplant
A 31 year old 2 time felon just got a heart transplant, costing tax payers close to $1 million dollars. With an annual additional cost of $15,000.
Right? Wrong? I'm not so sure.
posted by SuzySmith
on Jan 30, 2002 -