Automatic birth control?

Ruth Marcus cites a “thought experiment” put forward in a new book:

Imagine that all women in the United States, upon becoming sexually active, were automatically fitted with an intrauterine device or other form of long-acting birth control. [Read more...]

Bonhoeffer on abortion

Matthew Schmitz quotes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Ethics, emphasizing how the theologian is forcefully pro-life, while also speaking pastorally about those who commit this sin.

[Read more...]

“Evil” is back

In our postmodern times, morality is supposed to be relative.  To speak of “good” and “evil” is to be absolutist and retrograde.  But now the atrocities of the Islamic State/ISIS have people recognizing evil once again. [Read more...]

“Stop treating abortion like a moral issue”!

Pro-abortion folks typically go on about how abortion is a “difficult decision” that is only taken reluctantly.  But now a pro-choicer is waxing indignant about pro-choicers who do that.  She says that if women talk that way, it makes it sound as if abortion is a moral issue. [Read more...]

Louisiana court challenges seal of confession

We blogged about how Anglicans in Australia are doing away with the absolute “seal of confession”–that is, the pastor’s pledge of total confidentiality when they hear penitents confess their sins.  Now an American court is trying to do the same thing, forcing a Roman Catholic priest to testify about what he heard in the confessional from an accused child abuser. [UDATE:  In the very interesting discussion that is waging, Jeremiah pointed out that I got this wrong,  that it wasn't the confession of the abuser but that of the abused child that is at issue.] [Read more...]

Putting “ethical governors” on killer robots

Drone warfare makes some people squirm for the ethical issues it raises, but right now drones are still controlled by human beings.  The upcoming technology, though, would make them autonomous, allowing them to make their own “decisions” about whether or not to kill.  To meet the moral objections in giving machines the option to kill human beings, some techies are proposing tacking on separate software they are calling  “ethical governors” that could automatically run the decisions through international law protocols before going lethal.

What do you think about this?  Can there be “artificial morality’” just as there is “artificial intelligence”?  (After the jump, a defense of killer robots that goes into these issues.) [Read more...]


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