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 -
In Praise of Leisure
- "Imagine a world in which most people worked only 15 hours a week. They would be paid as much as, or even more than, they now are, because the fruits of their labor would be distributed more evenly across society. Leisure would occupy far more of their waking hours than work. It was exactly this prospect that John Maynard Keynes conjured up in a little essay published in 1930 called 'Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren
.' Its thesis was simple. As technological progress made possible an increase in the output of goods per hour worked, people would have to work less and less to satisfy their needs, until in the end they would have to work hardly at all... He thought this condition might be reached in about 100 years — that is, by 2030." (via
) [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Jun 22, 2012 -
In 1989, The Columbia University Seminars on Media and Society (later called the 'Fred Friendly Seminars
') produced a ten-part series entitled Ethics in America
, hosted by Fred W. Friendly [obit]
. The show, which aired on PBS, featured prominent American thinkers of the time -- including psychologists, philosophers, doctors, lawyers, theologians, professors, business leaders, district attorneys, politicians, journalists, and a supreme court justice -- engaged in round-table debate concerning hypothetical ethical dilemmas. It was reprised in 2007 as Ethics in America II. Both incarnations [I
] are viewable for free at Lerner.org
, which describes the original version thus: This series uses the Socratic method to build analytical skills and examine ethical questions. The programs aim to sharpen moral reasoning without favoring a particular position by exploring ethical dilemmas in legal, political, medical, corporate, and military arenas. Panelists include Antonin Scalia, Faye Wattleton, and Peter Jennings. [more inside]
posted by troll
on Sep 7, 2011 -
"Courage is the ennabling virtue for any philosopher,"
says Cornel West
in this clip from The Examined Life
, a film by Astra Taylor
. Peter Singer
talks about the morality of consumption and how we should spend our money, as he did in this NY Times Magazine essay
published two years ago today. Given the internecine violence in the Congo
, for example, Singer's 1971 essay, Famine, Affluence, and Morality
is worth a second (or first) look. The film features several other contemporary philosophers, including Judith Butler
, Kwame Anthony Appiah
, and Slavoj Zizek
. Of course, people looking for a more musical version of philosophy, could forgo the film and just watch this Monty Python bit
posted by cal71
on Dec 17, 2008 -
From the Bookstalls of a Nigerian Market
. Onitsha Market Literature consists of stories, plays, advice and moral discourses published primarily in the 1960s by local presses in the lively market town of Onitsha
[in then-newly-independent Nigeria
]... In the fresh and vigorous genre of Onitsha Market Literature, the commoner wrote pulp fiction and didactic handbooks for those who perused the bookstalls of Onitsha Market, one of Africa’s largest trading centers.
Examples: How To Write And Reply Letters For Marriage, Engagement Letters, Love Letters And How To Know A Girl To Marry
, Learn To Speak 360 Interesting Proverbs And Know Your True Brother
, Struggle For Money [All full-text links are in pdf format, and some are quite large].
With links to additional resources
posted by amyms
on Jun 4, 2008 -
Faith In America
asks a simple question: Is using religious teachings to deny equal rights to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people any less wrong than using religious teaching to discriminate against people of color, against equality for women or against people of different cultures wanting to marry? (check their ad campaign
too--some great ones) Meanwhile, clueless elected officials like Barack Obama
continue to buy into the GOP lies that all people with faith are conservatives/Republicans, and that Democrats are hostile to people with religious beliefs.
posted by amberglow
on Jun 28, 2006 -
Conscientious Objector Policy Act
would allow Michigander doctors and health care providers to refuse treatment on moral, ethical or religious grounds. Yet another OMG MORALZ OMG sort of bill. But wait, what are morals? And does Nicole Kidman
figure into this somehow?
posted by taursir
on Mar 30, 2005 -
An Objective Legal Look (and more) on Schiavo-- As a Florida law blogger, I have created this page to help people understand the legal circumstances surrounding the Terri Schiavo saga. In my view, there continues to be a need for an objective look at the matter. There is an unbelievable amount of misinformation being circulated.
Links to all court decisions, timelines, questions and answers
(some shocking)...you name it. All the info available on this tragic situation.
posted by amberglow
on Mar 19, 2005 -
Moral Politics - A Morality-Based Political Test
- "This test is (or at least tries to be) a different political test. Most tests assess your opinion by questioning your stance on political issues. This test explains why you think what you think by mapping your personal moral system." 16 questions.
posted by blacklite
on Feb 21, 2005 -
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will be launching a morals program
designed to teach high school students about "fundamental values and universal moral precepts." This in response to his observation that high school students did not feel a sense of outrage after September 11. Kennedy warned against trying to rationalize the actions of the terrorists, saying that "an explanation becomes the excuse." Do you think the justice system should be in the business of telling people the correct moral response to these events?
posted by Chanther
on Jan 27, 2002 -
Jerry Springer guest pulls a Jenny Jones.
A guest of the show is suspected of killing his ex-wife, who also appeared on the show earlier this year. I'll admit the Jenny Jones case was worse (getting the guests drunk, etc.), but you know Jerry doesn't really care about his guests when he says things like "The show is television ... this is life and death." What about the guests' lives and how the show affects them Jerry? Is that just television too?
posted by mathowie
on Sep 5, 2000 -