Suderman: Singer Right About Rationing, Wrong About Who Should Do It

Suderman contra Singer: Governments that determine treatments using the QALY assign a dollar value to a year of perfect health (in Britain, it’s about $50,000 a year) and then generally reject treatments that don’t provide enough value. This means, among other things, that expensive treatments for older individuals are less likely to be funded. From [Read More...]

Epistemic Luck?

James Garvey has some thoughts about an astute observation from Pascal: ‘Chance gives rise to thoughts, and chance removes them; no art can keep or acquire them.’ I tripped over that from Pascal after breakfast and had to think about it all morning.  There’s a lot written about moral luck — a philosophical industry owed [Read More...]

Judge This: Is A 555lb 14 Year Old A Child Abuse Victim?

A really interesting legal and ethical debate, I lean towards no. Authorities in South Carolina say that what went wrong was Gray’s care and feeding of her son, Alexander Draper. Gray, 49, of Travelers Rest, S.C., was arrested in June and charged with criminal neglect. “There’s a strong likelihood that this kid is going to [Read More...]

Pilot program to require religion or ethics classes in Russia

MSNBC Reports: The proposal is part of a Kremlin effort to teach young Russians morals in the wake of a turbulent period of uncertainty following the collapse of the officially atheist Soviet Union. Medvedev said preteen students at about 12,000 schools in 18 Russian regions would take the classes. They will be offered the choice [Read More...]

What Makes Humans Unique?

This is a fascinating, illuminating, and myth-debunking lecture from neurologist Robert Sapolsky.  He goes through a number of features of our nature, shows how they are shared with other animals and how we take these features to another level.  And in the end it’s paradoxical and inspirational. It’s long but worth the time. Thanks to [Read More...]

Jimmy Carter Breaks With Southern Baptists Over Views Of Women

Good for President Carter: After more than 60 years together, Jimmy Carter has announced himself at odds with the Southern Baptist Church — and he’s decided it’s time they go their separate ways. Via Feministing, the former president called the decision “unavoidable” after church leaders prohibited women from being ordained and insisted women be “subservient [Read More...]

How Can You Join A Conversation If You Won’t Dialogue?

Business ethicist Chris MacDonald is opting to skip the Pope’s new encylcical despite its high profile attempts to discuss the ethics of how business is done.  The reason? my main reason not to bother with the Pope’s new essay — with all due respect to my friends among the several hundred million Catholics in the [Read More...]

“Wedding” Young Girls So They Can Be Executed

This story out of Iran is nightmarish and devastating to read: He said he had been a highly regarded member of the force, and had so “impressed my superiors” that, at 18, “I was given the ‘honor’ to temporarily marry young girls before they were sentenced to death.” In the Islamic Republic it is illegal [Read More...]

Is Cohabitation A Bad Way To Trial Run Marriage?

This research suggests so: Those couples who had lived together before making a commitment to marriage (e.g., before getting engaged) reported significantly lower quality marriages and a greater potential for divorce than those who didn’t live together at all, or those who lived together only after getting engaged.The researchers’ findings remained significant even when they [Read More...]


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