If The U.S. Continues To Creep Toward World War 3, Eventually It Is Going To Happen

After a bit of a lull for the past couple of months, the march toward war appears to be accelerating once again. On Monday the U.S. military shot down yet another Syrian aircraft, and it appears that President Trump’s patience with North Korea’s nuclear program may have run out. Unlike our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the situations in Syria and North Korea both have the potential of sparking a much wider conflict. If we end up in a war with Syria, it is very likely that we will ultimately be fighting the Russians and the Iranians as well. On the other side of the globe, a war with North Korea could also potentially draw in China. This happened in the first Korean War, and it could easily happen again. It is understandable that the Trump administration wants to be tough with both Syria and North Korea, but we need to be extremely careful about the use of military force because one wrong move could potentially spark World War 3

For the last couple of months, the Trump administration has been relying on China to put pressure on North Korea to end their nuclear weapons program. But now it appears that Trump has given up on that. On Monday, he posted the following message on his Twitter account

While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!

That certainly sounds quite ominous.

Is he saying that he has completely given up on a diplomatic solution?

And this tweet comes at a time when it is being reported that it looks like North Korea may be preparing for a new underground nuclear test. If North Korea goes through with another nuclear test, it is unclear at this point how the Trump administration will respond. The following comes from CNN

The officials said it is not yet clear if the activity indicates a sixth nuclear test is imminent, but noted there is concern that North Korea could set off a test during Wednesday’s visit to Washington by top Chinese diplomats and military officials.

US officials have known that the site is ready to conduct an underground test for some time.

Two senior US officials with direct knowledge also told CNN that military options for North Korea have recently been updated, and will be presented to President Donald Trump for a decision to act if there is a nuclear test.

A military strike on North Korea would likely be completely disastrous. The North Koreans reportedly have quite a few nukes, and even if we somehow located and destroyed every single one of them before they could launch any, the North Koreans would still be able to respond with their vast stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. For much more on why a direct strike on North Korea would not end well, please see my previous articles here and here.

Meanwhile, we continue to get closer to war over in Syria as well. On Monday, yet another Syrian aircraft was shot down by the U.S. military

A US F-15E fighter jet shot down a pro-Syrian regime drone near At Tanf, Syria, on Monday, two US officials told CNN, the third downing of a pro-regime aircraft this month.

The US-led international coalition later confirmed the incident in a statement, saying the armed drone was downed “after it displayed hostile intent and advanced on Coalition forces” that “were manning an established combat outpost to the northeast of At Tanf where they are training and advising partner ground forces in the fight against ISIS.”

If we continue to shoot down Syrian aircraft, eventually there is going to be a response. And once a conflict erupts, we could easily find ourselves engaged with the Russian military.

At this point there is absolutely no reason for us to be in Syria. ISIS forces are on their last legs, and we could easily let Russia and Iran finish them off.

By sticking around in Syria, we are playing a very dangerous game. According to Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, if we allow things to continue to escalate we could easily find ourselves involved in a full-blown regional war…

According to Fox News, this is the second time the US has shot down an Iranian drone in less than a month. It also marks the fifth time since late May the U.S. military has bombed pro-Syrian forces in southern Syria.

Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy described the attack as “a dangerous escalation” of tensions between the US and the main backers of the Syrian regime, Russia and Iran.

Murphy told CNN that if the US doesn’t stop the attacks, the situation could escalate into an armed conflict between the two sides, who both claim to be fighting ISIS.

We haven’t seen things this tense between the United States and Russia since the height of the Cold War. Anti-Russian hysteria in Washington is completely out of control, and the Russians are certainly not helping things either. For example, according to Fox News a Russian Su-27 came “within 5 feet” of an American recon plane over the Baltic Sea on Monday…

more…

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/if-the-u-s-continues-to-creep-toward-world-war-3-eventually-it-is-going-to-happen

WIKK WEB GURU

ANONYMOUS CLAIMS NASA IS ABOUT TO DISCLOSE THE DISCOVERY OF ALIEN LIFE

by Terence Newton, Staff Writer Waking Times 

At some point in time, whether now, or a thousand years from now, disclosure of what the government knows about extraterrestrial life will have to happen. A secret this big simply cannot be kept, especially as the space program becomes privatized and more people have access to the heavens and to the data we’ve collected in the past. In many ways, we’ve been experiencing disclosure lite, as information slowly creeps out from many sources.

Billionaire Robert Bigelow, a space industry pioneer and NASA partner, recently publicly stated that aliens are real and are already active on planet earth. Around the world, people are witnessing and video-recording unusual craft, UFO’s, in the skies, many of them strikingly similar in unique locations. Heads of State and military personnel have made dozens of statements on the reality of UFO and ET activity here on earth, but the public at large simply won’t believe any of this until the government itself makes a legitimate disclosure.

READ: NASA OPENLY ADMITS ALIEN LIFE EXISTS: GET READY FOR DISCLOSURE

A video just released by the global hacker collective Anonymous, claims that NASA has essentially done just that after NASA’s recent announcement that many planets very similar to earth have been found in our own galaxy. Anonymous claims that an associate administrator of NASA and accompanying comments are akin to disclosure, and that a more public briefing is forthcoming.

“Anonymous’ claim is based on a number of recent NASA discoveries coupled with comments made by one of the agency’s spokesmen during a congressional hearing titled ‘Advances in the Search for Life,’ in April.

 

Professor Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, told the hearing that NASA’s recent advances, such as the discovery of hydrogen in Saturn’s moon Enceladus and the Hubble team’s promising results from the oceans of Jupiter’s moon, Europa, are promising signs that we’re closer than ever to discovering evidence of alien life.

 

Taking into account all of the different activities and missions that are specifically searching for evidence of alien life, we are on the verge of making one of the most profound, unprecedented, discoveries in history,” said Zurbuchen during the hearing of the committee on American Science, Space and Technology.” [RT]

See the Anonymous message for yourself, here:

Final Thoughts

In the age of disinformation, propaganda and top-down control, we have long foreseen the likelihood that disclosure will be a propagandized phony announcement, staged as a false flag to give we earthlings yet another reason to demand more authority from government. If NASA should truly disclose the discovery of life on other planets, the announcement would have to be scrutinized as another plot to manipulate human beings, as NASA is itself an organization highly suspect for the role it plays in enabling the deep state as an arm of the military industrial complex.

Furthermore, as this revelation comes from Anonymous, even more suspicion is warranted, for we have seen how the new world order has attempted to hijack this organization, and as mainstream media outlets report on this story as having been released by anonews, it is important to remember that this organization is merely a blog and a facebook page created to generate web traffic and personal income by seizing on a well recognized brand. In other words, the messengers here are highly suspect but the message in this case is curious considering that so many bits of disclosure have been happening recently.

About the Author
Terence Newton is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com, interested primarily with issues related to science, the human mind, and human consciousness.
This article (Anonymous Claims NASA is About to Disclose the Discovery of Alien Life) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Terence Newton and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement. 

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/06/25/anonymous-claims-nasa-disclose-discovery-alien-life/

WIKK WEB GURU

The future is emotional

Resultado de imagem para Photo by Thomas Peters/Reuters

image edited by Web Investigator

Human jobs in the future will be the ones that require emotional labour: currently undervalued and underpaid but invaluable

by Livia Gershon is a freelance reporter who writes about the intersection of economics, politics and everyday life. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Weekly and The Progressive, among others. She lives in New Hampshire.

Early last year, the World Economic Forum issued a paper warning that technological change is on the verge of upending the global economy. To fill the sophisticated jobs of tomorrow, the authors argued, the ‘reskilling and upskilling of today’s workers will be critical’. Around the same time, the then president Barack Obama announced a ‘computer science for all’ programme for elementary and high schools in the United States. ‘[W]e have to make sure all our kids are equipped for the jobs of the future, which means not just being able to work with computers but developing the analytical and coding skills to power our innovation economy,’ he said.

But the truth is, only a tiny percentage of people in the post-industrial world will ever end up working in software engineering, biotechnology or advanced manufacturing. Just as the behemoth machines of the industrial revolution made physical strength less necessary for humans, the information revolution frees us to complement, rather than compete with, the technical competence of computers. Many of the most important jobs of the future will require soft skills, not advanced algebra.

Back in 1983, the sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild coined the term ‘emotional labour’ to describe the processes involved in managing the emotional demands of work. She explored the techniques that flight attendants used to maintain the friendly demeanours their airline demanded in the face of abusive customers: taking deep breaths, silently reminding themselves to stay cool, or building empathy for the nasty passenger. ‘I try to remember that if he’s drinking too much, he’s probably really scared of flying,’ one attendant explained. ‘I think to myself: “He’s like a little child.”’

Today, the rapid shrinking of the industrial sector means that most of us have jobs requiring emotional skills, whether working directly with customers or collaborating with our corporate ‘team’ on a project. In 2015, the education economist David Deming at Harvard University found that almost all jobs growth in the United States between 1980 and 2012 was in work requiring relatively high degrees of social skills, while Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at the jobs site CareerBuilder, told Bloomberg BNA in January that corporate hiring this year would prize these skills to a greater degree than in previous economic recoveries. ‘Soft skills,’ she said, ‘can make the difference between a standout employee and one who just gets by.’

Across the economy, technology is edging human workers into more emotional territory. In retail, Amazon and its imitators are rapidly devouring the market for routine purchases, but to the extent that bricks-and-mortar shops survive, it is because some people prefer chatting with a clerk to clicking buttons. Already, arguments for preserving rural post offices focus less on their services – handled mostly online – than on their value as centres for community social life.

Historically, we’ve ignored the central role of emotional labour to the detriment of workers and the people they serve. Police officers, for example, spend 80 per cent of their time on ‘service-related functions’, according to George T Patterson, a social work scholar in New York who consults with police departments. Every day, officers arrive at families’ doorsteps to mediate disputes and respond to mental-health crises. Yet training at US police departments focuses almost exclusively on weapons use, defence tactics and criminal law. Predictably, there are regular reports of people calling the police for help with a confused family member who’s wandering in traffic, only to see their loved one shot down in front of them.

In the sphere of medicine, one of the toughest moments of a physician’s job is sitting with a patient, surveying how a diagnosis will alter the landscape of that patient’s life. That is work no technology can match – unlike surgery, where autonomous robots are learning to perform with superhuman precision. With AI now being developed as a diagnostic tool, doctors have begun thinking about how to complement these automated skills. As a strategic report for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) put it in 2013: ‘The NHS could employ hundreds of thousands of staff with the right technological skills, but without the compassion to care, then we will have failed to meet the needs of patients.’

A growing real-world demand for workers with empathy and a talent for making other people feel at ease requires a serious shift in perspective. It means moving away from our singular focus on academic performance as the road to success. It means giving more respect, and better pay, to workers too often generically dismissed as ‘unskilled labour’. And, it means valuing skills more often found among working-class women than highly educated men…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/the-key-to-jobs-in-the-future-is-not-college-but-compassion

WIKK WEB GURU

WHAT THE FUCK ?

A Replacement Of Population Is Taking Place In Europe

by Tyler Durden

Authored by Giulio Meotti via The Gatestone Institute,

  • People-smugglers bring the migrants to the NGOs’ ships, which then reach Italian seaports. Another legal enquiry has been opened about the mafia’s economic interests in managing the migrants after their arrival.
  • One cannot compare the migrants to the Jews fleeing Nazism. Pope Francis, for example, recently compared the migrants’ centers to Nazi “concentration camps”. Where are the gas chambers, medical “experiments,” crematoria, slave labor, forced marches and firing squads? These comparisons are spread by the media for a precise reason: shutting down the debate.
  • By 2065, it is expected that 14.4 million migrants will arrive. Added to the more than five million immigrants currently in Italy, 37% of the population is expected to be foreigners: more than one out of every three inhabitants.

First, it was the Hungarian route. Then it was the Balkan route. Now Italy is the epicenter of this demographic earthquake, and it has become Europe’s soft underbelly as hundreds of thousands of migrants arrive.

With nearly 10,000 arrivals in one recent three-day period, the number of migrants in 2017 exceeded 60,000 — 48% more than the same period last year, when they were 40,000. Over Easter weekend a record 8,000 migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean and brought to Italy. And that is just the tip of the iceberg: during the summer, the number of arrivals from Libya will only increase.


A wooden boat carrying migrants waits to be escorted to the Topaz Responder vessel, as members of the Migrant Offshore Aid Station make a rescue at sea on November 21, 2016 in Pozzollo, Italy. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A replacement of population is under way in Italy. But if you open the mainstream newspapers, you barely find these figures. No television station has dedicated any time to what is happening. No criticism is allowed. The invasion is considered a done deal.

In 2016, 176,554 migrants landed in Italy — an eight-fold increase since 2014. In 2015, there were 103,792. In 2014, there were 66,066. In 2013, there were just 22,118. In the last four years, 427,000 migrants reached Italy. In only the first five months of this year, 2017, Italy received 10% of the total number of migrants of the last four years.

There are days when the Italian navy and coast guard rescue 1,700 migrants in 24 hours. The country is exhausted. There are Italian villages where one-tenth of the population is already made up of new migrants. We are talking about small towns of 220 residents and 40 migrants.

One of the major aspects of this demographic revolution is that it is taking place in a country which is dramatically aging. According with a new report from the Italian Office of Statistics, Italy’s population will fall to 53.7 million in half a century — a loss of seven million people. Italy, which has one of the world’s lowest fertility rates, will lose between 600,000 to 800,000 citizens every year. Immigrants will number more than 14 million, about one-fourth of the total population. But in the most pessimistic scenario, the Italian population could drop to 46 million, a loss of 14 million people.

In 2050, a third of Italy’s population will be made up of foreigners, according to a UN report,Replacement Migration: Is It a Solution to Decline and Aging Populations“, which designs a cultural melting-pot that could explode in cultural and social tensions. The level of arrivals will fall from 300,000 to 270,000 individuals per year by 2065; during the same period, it is expected that 14.4 million people will arrive. Added to the more than five million immigrants currently in Italy, 37% of the population is expected to be foreigners: more than one out of every three inhabitants.

In addition, the humanitarian-aid system has been hit by new scandals. “The investigative hypothesis to be verified is that subjects linked to ISIS act as logistical support to migration flows”, was a warning just delivered in front of the Schengen Committee, to the Italian anti-mafia and counterterrorism prosecutor, Franco Roberti. There are now judges investigating the connection between the migrants’ smugglers in North Africa and the Italian NGOs rescuing them in the Mediterranean. People-smugglers bring the migrants to the NGOs’ ships, which then reach Italian seaports. Another legal enquiry has been opened about the mafia’s economic interests in managing the migrants after their arrival.

Only 2.65 percent of those migrants who arrived in Italy were granted asylum as genuine refugees, according to the United Nations. The other people are apparently not fleeing wars and genocide. Yet, despite all this evidence, one cannot compare the migrants to the Jews fleeing Nazism. Pope Francis, for example, recently compared the migrants’ centers to Nazi “concentration camps“. One wonders where are the gas chambers, medical “experiments,” crematoria, slave labor, forced marches and firing squads. Italian newspapers are now running articles about the “Mediterranean Holocaust“, comparing the migrants dead by trying to reach the southern of Italy to the Jews gassed in Auschwitz. Another journalist, Gad Lerner, to support the migrants, described their condition with the same word coined by the Nazis against the Jews: untermensch, inferior human beings. These comparisons are spread by the media for a precise reason: shutting down the debate…

more…

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-14/replacement-population-taking-place-europe

WIKK WEB GURU

 

This Psychologist Is Using A.I. to Predict Who Will Attempt Suicide

According to Joe Franklin, computers are far better than people when it comes to guessing who’s at risk

by Diane Shipley

The U.S suicide rate is at a 30-year high. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2014 (the last year for which figures are available), 42,773 Americans took their own lives, most of them men.

It’s a crisis, one mental health professionals have historically been ill-equipped to handle. Last year, Joseph Franklin (then a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard, now an assistant professor of clinical psychology at Florida State University) looked at 365 studies on suicide over the past 50 years and found that someone flipping a coin had the same chance of correctly predicting whether a patient would die by suicide as an experienced psychiatrist — 50/50.

If humans are so mediocre when it comes to gauging suicidal intentions, could machines be better? Signs point to yes. IBM’s Watson supercomputer diagnosed a rare cancer doctors missed, while in England, the National Health Service is trying out Google’s DeepMind artificial intelligence for everything from diagnosing eye illnesses to finding out how best to target radiotherapy.

The link between A.I and mental health is less hyped, but Franklin and his team have developed algorithms that can predict whether someone will die by suicide with over 80 percent accuracy. He hopes they may soon become standard, in the form of software that every clinician has access to — and thus help save lives.

What made you want to study suicide prediction?
When I got into suicide research, I wanted to look at everything and see where we were. My hope was that would provide me and my colleagues with some more specific direction on what we knew and could build on. And what we found was quite surprising. We figured out that people have been doing this research where we’ve been very bad at predicting suicidal thoughts and behaviors and we really haven’t improved across 50 years.

Are there common misconceptions about suicide risk?
A lot of people believe that only someone who is showing clear signs of depression is likely to have this happen. I’m not saying depression has nothing to do with it, but it’s not synonymous with that. We can conservatively say 96 percent of people who’ve had severe depression aren’t going to die by suicide.

Most of our theories which say this one thing causes suicide or this combination of three or four things causes suicide — it looks like none of those are going to be adequate. They may all be partially correct but maybe only account for 5 percent of what happens. Our theories have to take into account the fact that hundreds if not thousands of things contribute to suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

More men take their lives than women, but more women attempt suicide. Are there any theories why?
One thing people point to now is something called suicide capability, which is basically a fearlessness about death and an ability to enact death, and one assumption is that men, particularly older men, may be more capable of engaging with these behaviors. But evidence on that right now is not conclusive.

Are traditional risk assessments getting some things right?
Talking to people, not making it this taboo subject, I think that’s great. The problem is we haven’t given them much to go on. Our implicit goal has often been to do research so we can tell clinicians what the most important factors are, and what we’re finding is that we’re just not very accurate.

What we’re going to have to do is this artificial intelligence approach so that all clinicians are able to have something that automatically delivers a very accurate score of where this person is in terms of risk. I think we should be trying to develop that instead of, you know, “these are the five questions to ask.”

How does artificial intelligence predict who is most at risk?
We took thousands of people in this medical database and pored through their records, labeled the ones who had clearly attempted suicide on a particular date and ones that could not to be determined to have attempted suicide, and we then let a machine-learning program run its course. We then applied it to a new set of data to make sure that it worked. The machine has now learned, at least within this particular database of millions of people, what the optimal algorithm seems to be for separating people who are and are not going to attempt suicide…

more…

https://melmagazine.com/this-psychologist-is-using-a-i-to-predict-who-will-attempt-suicide-696cd24bbc15

WIKK WEB GURU

 

The Crisis of the Multiverse

Freivogel_BR-3NEVER ENOUGH TIME: Synchronizing clocks is impossible to do in an infinite universe, which in turn undercuts the ability of physics to make predictions.Matteo Ianeselli / Wikimedia Commons

In an infinite multiverse, physics loses its ability to make predictions.

Physicists have always hoped that once we understood the fundamental laws of physics, they would make unambiguous predictions for physical quantities. We imagined that the underlying physical laws would explain why the mass of the Higgs particle must be 125 gigaelectron-volts, as was recently discovered, and not any other value, and also make predictions for new particles that are yet to be discovered. For example, we would like to predict what kind of particles make up the dark matter.

These hopes now appear to have been hopelessly naïve. Our most promising fundamental theory, string theory, does not make unique predictions. It seems to contain a vast landscape of solutions, or “vacua,” each with its own values of the observable physical constants. The vacua are all physically realized within an enormous eternally inflating multiverse.

Our problems arise because the multiverse is an infinite expanse of space and time.

Has the theory lost its mooring to observation? If the multiverse is large and diverse enough to contain some regions where dark matter is made out of light particles and other regions where dark matter is made out of heavy particles, how could we possibly predict which one we should see in our own region? And indeed many people have criticized the multiverse concept on just these grounds. If a theory makes no predictions, it ceases to be physics.

But an important issue tends to go unnoticed in debates over the multiverse. Cosmology has always faced a problem of making predictions. The reason is that all our theories in physics are dynamical: The fundamental physical laws describe what will happen, given what already is. So, whenever we make a prediction in physics, we need to specify what the initial conditions are. How do we do that for the entire universe? What sets the initial initial conditions? This is science’s version of the old philosophical question of First Cause.

The multiverse offers an answer. It is not the enemy of prediction, but its friend.

The main idea is to make probabilistic predictions. By calculating what happens frequently and what happens rarely in the multiverse, we can make statistical predictions for what we will observe. This is not a new situation in physics. We understand an ordinary box of gas in the same way. Although we cannot possibly keep track of the motion of all the individual molecules, we can make extremely precise predictions for how the gas as a whole will behave. Our job is to develop a similar statistical understanding of events in the multiverse.

This understanding could take one of three forms. First, the multiverse, though very large, might be able to explore only a finite number of different states, just like an ordinary box of gas. In this case we know how to make predictions, because after a while the multiverse forgets about the unknown initial conditions. Second, perhaps the multiverse is able to explore an infinite number of different states, in which case it never forgets its initial conditions, and we cannot make predictions unless we know what those conditions are. Finally, the multiverse might explore an infinite number of different states, but the exponential expansion of space effectively erases the initial conditions.

In many ways, the first option is the most agreeable to physicists, because it extends our well-established statistical techniques. Unfortunately, the predictions we arrive at disagree violently with observations. The second option is very troubling, because our existing laws are incapable of providing the requisite initial conditions. It is the third possibility that holds the most promise for yielding sensible predictions.

But this program has encountered severe conceptual obstacles. At root, our problems arise because the multiverse is an infinite expanse of space and time. These infinities lead to paradoxes and puzzles wherever we turn. We will need a revolution in our understanding of physics in order to make sense of the multiverse…

more…

http://nautil.us/issue/49/the-absurd/the-crisis-of-the-multiverse

WIKK WEB GURU

Which lives matter most?

Resultado de imagem para Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post/Getty

Jessica Thalia Cruz Menezes, who is eight months pregnant, at home in Recife, Brazil, 13 March 2016. The Zika virus has been rampant in the Recife region. Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post/Getty

The Zika virus raises questions about our ethical obligations towards people who might or might not exist in the future

by Dominic Wilkinson is director of medical ethics at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. He is the author of Death or Disability? The ‘Carmentis Machine and Decision-making for Critically Ill Children (2013). He lives in Oxford.

by Keyur Doolabh is an undergraduate studying a Bachelor of Medicine and a Diploma of Philosophy at Monash University in Australia, and a visiting student at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics in Oxford.

Published in association with
Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics
an Aeon Partner

Imagine that a 14-year-old girl, Kate, decides that she wants to become pregnant. Kate’s parents are generally broadminded, and are supportive of her long-term relationship with a boy of the same age. They are aware that Kate is sexually active, like 5 per cent of 14-year-old girls in the United States and 9 per cent in the United Kingdom. They have provided her with access to birth control and advice about using it. However, they are horrified by their daughter’s decision to have a child, and they try to persuade her to change her mind. Nevertheless, Kate decides not to use birth control; she becomes pregnant, and gives birth to her child, Annabel.

Many people might think that Kate’s choice was morally wrong. Setting aside views about teenage sexual behaviour, they might argue that this was a bad decision for Kate – it will limit her access to education and employment. But let’s imagine that Kate wasn’t academically inclined, and was going to drop out of school anyway. Beyond those concerns, people might worry about the child Annabel. Surely Kate should have waited until she was older, to give her child a better start to life? Hasn’t she harmed her child by becoming pregnant now?

This issue is more complicated than it first seems. If Kate had delayed her pregnancy until, say, age 20, her child would have been conceived from a different egg and sperm. Because of this, Kate would have a genetically different child, and Annabel would not have existed.

Kate could defend her actions: ‘I haven’t harmed my child. If I hadn’t conceived when I did, Annabel would never have been born.’ With this in mind, it might seem that Kate did not harm Annabel. After all, Annabel couldn’t blame her mother for having her so early: as long as Annabel has a life that she judges worth living, she should be grateful to her mother for becoming pregnant at age 14. Though many might still have the feeling that Kate did wrong by her child, it is hard to pinpoint a reason why the girl’s choice was wrong.

The puzzle of how to think about such cases is called ‘the non-identity problem’. The late philosopher Derek Parfit of the University of Oxford described and explored this problem in his influential book Reasons and Persons (1984). The ethical issue at the heart of the non-identity problem is about the reasons behind our actions. If doing something will harm someone – if it will make them worse off than they would otherwise have been – then we clearly have a reason not to do it. Parfit called these kinds of reasons ‘person-affecting’ – they affect specific people for better or for worse. Most of our morality and our laws centre around just these sorts of person-affecting reasons.

However, the non-identity problem arises when we face decisions that change which people will exist. In those cases, person-affecting reasons do not help us. In our case with the 14-year-old Kate, delaying her pregnancy would change who would exist in the future. It wouldn’t benefit any particular child; there is no person-affecting reason for Kate to delay her pregnancy.

In such cases as Kate’s, perhaps there is a different type of moral reason that could apply. Parfit suggested that actions can be morally worse impersonally if they cause people to exist who have worse lives than other people who could have existed. On this basis, Kate’s decision might be impersonally wrong, because the child who is born now has worse prospects than the child who could have been born later.

This example might seem far-fetched, but Parfit pointed out the very significant implications of the non-identity problem for energy policy and the environment. He imagined two policies about the use of resources. One policy, which he called ‘Depletion’, would lead to the unchecked use and eventual depletion of our natural resources. In the short term, people would be generally better off, but in several generations’ time it would lead to people on Earth living much lower-quality lives. The alternative policy, ‘Conservation’, would conserve natural resources. In the short term, people’s quality of life would not be as good, but in the long term, overall, it would be much better. However, Parfit pointed out that these different policies would affect the timing of conception and the identity of people in several generations’ time, since they would potentially have a major impact on the whole of society and the way in which people lived their lives. The people who live in a future ‘depleted’ world would be completely different from the population who would live in the ‘conserved’ world.

Figure 1: Comparing the two policies, Conservation and Depletion, in Parfit’s application of the non-identity problem to the use of natural resources

Parfit’s point that the world populations under the two policies will eventually be completely different seems reasonable. But many would still believe that choosing Depletion is wrong. Person-affecting reasons can’t explain this intuition; the policies won’t be better or worse for specific people. Our response to such cases suggests that we should also be concerned about impersonal reasons, reasons that don’t relate to specific, identifiable people…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/should-we-take-ethical-account-of-people-who-do-not-yet-exist

WIKK WEB GURU