Tag: ethics

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I don’t write my own posts here anywhere near as often as I should, but recently I’ve been plunged into something of an ethical dilemma and would be interested in hearing feedback from Ricochet members. If nothing else, consider this a brief distraction from the incessant political discussions here while we await the arrival of […]

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Highly classified Hillary Clinton emails that the intelligence community and State Department recently deemed too damaging to national security to release contain “operational intelligence”—and their presence on the unsecure, personal email system jeopardized “sources, methods and lives,” a US government official who has reviewed the documents told Fox News. This is about the 22 Top […]

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Alexander Nazaryan, a staff writer at Newsweek, posted this tweet Wednesday: He’s since taken it down and apologized to Cruz’ supporters. But he’s refused to apologize to Republican Party Presidential candidate and Senator Ted Cruz (R, TX), having already “identified” him: Preview Open

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Progressives have often been ridiculed on Ricochet for emphasizing feelings over actions, intentions over results. What good is a hashtag against terrorism or colored ribbons against a disease? Be serious!  But must we always be serious about serious problems? If sympathetic expressions are cheap and easily dismissed, why are emotionally detached jokes not dismissed with […]

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Unsustainability Is a Progressive Delusion

 

shutterstock_175767308China’s oppressive one-child policy has at long last been repealed. Sadly, it was replaced with an only slightly less oppressive two-child policy. Hopes that China’s leaders have finally realized the blatantly evil nature of such decrees are, of course, wishful thinking. The demographic disaster that such bureaucratic meddling has caused was the motivating factor for the policy change.

Likewise, hopes that the American intelligentsia might pass such a basic test in recognizing good and evil are nothing but a pipe dream. Sarah Conly, Professor of Philosophy at Bowdoin College, has provided us with a prime example in the Boston Globe, replete with references to every liberal’s favorite buzzword “unsustainable.”

The change is being applauded around the world, but it raises the question: Is this really a good thing?

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It’s one of the baser traits of humanity that we sometimes oppose something we don’t like for the same reasons we appeal to in defense of something we do like.  A good example of this illogic is a Catholic politician who says both: “I’m pro-life, but I don’t want to impose my religious views on others; we […]

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In traditional American ethics, a person is accountable even for accidents.  If you bump into someone while walking, you are expected to make a quick apology (“Sorry!” or perhaps “Excuse me!”). If you fail to meet a deadline or to attend a meeting due to circumstances beyond your control, you are expected to take responsibilty. […]

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Related to the Snowden dilemma, there is the question of news media profiting off illegally obtained information. Perhaps Snowden’s case is a poor example. So here’s another:  Michelle Duggar said her family trusted the police department [which illegally leaked juvenile records]: “Our children poured out their hearts. They shared everything. And then to have their […]

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Take Two Rationalizations and Call Me in the Morning

 

shutterstock_143440684An essay titled “Abortion: Caught between an oath and beliefs” was published on KevinMD.com, an online medical forum. The author is anonymous medical student that believes that he/she is in some sort of wrestling match with the ethics of performing abortions. This isn’t what the essay is really about. This essay is really a rationalization for performing abortions and reducing ethical concerns for performing abortions as subjective rather than objective concerns for the physician.

Abortion is a sensitive topic that often can spark emotionally-driven arguments. Whether abortion is right or wrong will not be directly discussed, as this article is only meant to create a healthy dialogue about how health care providers can be caught between the Hippocratic Oath and one’s personal beliefs.

Abortion also sparks reasoned debate. The questions for the medical profession concerning the abortion procedure should be: is this an elective procedure? Aren’t there two lives involved, not just the patient requesting the abortion, but the child’s life as well? What is the therapeutic value of the abortion, or is pregnancy a disease? What does the abortion cure?

Why I Vote Republican

 

I am not arguing that all of you should vote Republican.  I am (1) giving an explanation of why I do, and (2) asking those who don’t why they don’t.

The Explanation: I could put it this way: on life, marriage, religious liberty, the meaning of the Constitution, rule of law, separation of powers, the national debt, health insurance, and economic growth I do not trust the Republicans to be correct; but on these things I do trust the Democrats to be wrong. As such, I vote for the least bad option in the generals, and I vote for the best option in the primaries.

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The article, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, says newborn babies are not “actual persons” and do not have a “moral right to life”. The academics also argue that parents should be able to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born. The journal’s editor, Prof Julian Savulescu, […]

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Lying To Ourselves: Who’s Being Dishonest Here?

 

PUB1250Two long-time U.S. Army officers, now retired, have written a paper for the Strategic Studies Institute at the Army War College titled Lying to Ourselves: Dishonesty in the Army Profession.

In it, Professors Leonard Wong and Stephen J. Gerras lament that the Officer Corps of the Army has become “ethically numb” and that there is “rampant duplicity” in a “deleterious culture.”

Sounds bad, doesn’t it? After all, we like to think of our military as being the most conservative of all large government institutions and therefore run to a higher standard. Each of the Service Academies stress ethics at their core: “Duty. Honor. Country.”, “Courage. Honor. Commitment.”, ” Integrity. Service. Excellence.”

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I just found out that the timeless, usually booze-fueled, sometimes pot-fueled, philosophical debate over the question “what is the difference between ‘morality’ and ‘ethics’ has a very, very simple answer: The word “morality” has a Latin root, while the word “ethics” has a Greek root. Over time, “morality” came to be associated with religion because […]

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Why There Is No Objective Solution to the Abortion Debate

 

Yesterday, member Howard Slugh made an extensive and thorough attempt to show that the point of where a human life begins is not controversial. I agree with this assessment. The creation of a zygote is a Schelling Point for the beginning of an individual human life that is more satisfying than any other. Though I also agree with him that this is not what the abortion debate is about, I think there’s something else going on that I think is worth deconstruction.

In order to be convincing, an argument must appeal to our innate ethical intuition. Another way to say this is: the argument that most successfully appeals to our common sense will win. To wit, the reason arguments require evidence to be convincing is because evidence appeals to our common sense.

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That is not a rhetorical question. There are indeed things we value more than life itself.  That is why soldiers risk death in war, rather than surrender to conquerors and live under oppression That is why police officers patrol the streets, rather than surrender to criminals and live in abuse. That is why civilians risk death every […]

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I’ve got quite a few big, heavy, hardcover books that I haven’t gotten around to reading because, being big and heavy, they aren’t terribly portable. Would I be a terrible, unethical, piratey sort of person if I downloaded via bittorrent the epub versions of these books for consumption on my ereader? Preview Open

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The Ethics of Artificial Reproductive Technologies

 

Hand-in-glove with recent debates about marriage should be debates about artificial reproductive technologies, or ARTs. These have been largely unregulated in the US, resulting in a wild west of anonymous sperm donation, surrogacy, three party reproduction (egg, sperm and surrogate all from different people) and hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos awaiting….something.

Most Western countries regulate this industry. Though I’m generally against excessive regulation, I think we — as a nation — need to do the soul-searching and caution that the ART industry is seems so uninterested in doing for itself. In most Western countries, anonymous sperm donation is illegal, as is surrogacy. Many regulate the number of embryos that can be transferred per cycle, resulting in far fewer multiple births. These regulations arise from a great many legitimate ethical concerns. Most nations — and some U.S. states, to some degree — but not in America as a whole.

How Do You Think about Animal Rights?

 

Browsing Twitter yesterday — what, like you spent the whole weekend building low-income housing and going to the gym? — I stumbled across an interesting exchange being curated by NR’s Kevin Williamson on the topic of animal rights. His take: that the whole idea of animal cruelty is awash in confusion.

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As Jonah Goldberg noted recently, President Barack Obama likes to hold forth on the arc of history as his reason for doing little concrete in the face of today’s crises.  As Goldberg put it, two of [Obama’s] favorite rhetorical themes: 1) the idea that in the end the good guys win simply because they are […]

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