Animals Feel What’s Right and Wrong, Too

It’s time to take moral emotion in animals seriously. BY JAMES HUTTON Amy’s job is pretty repetitive, but normally she doesn’t mind doing what she’s asked. Today, however, she’s working alongside Sidney. Amy can’t help noticing that Sidney is receiving a small reward every time he completes a task, while she gets nothing. After a few rounds of this treatment, Amy has had enough. She refuses to go on performing her tasks, disengaging completely. Amy’s behavior probably makes a certain kind of sense to you. Here’s what I expect you’re thinking: Amy must feel like she’s being treated unfairly (and … Continue reading Animals Feel What’s Right and Wrong, Too

Is violence always wrong? A hands-on ethics lesson from Will Smith slapping Chris Rock

The attitude we take to Will Smith’s slap will mirror our attitudes to violence, masculinity, and protecting others more generally. KEY TAKEAWAYS At the 2022 Oscars, actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock for an offensive joke the latter made about his wife.  The issue raises interesting questions about whether it is ever permissible to slap another human for offending a loved one.  Our attitudes to Will Smith’s slap also mirror our attitudes to violence, masculinity, and protecting others more generally.  by Jonny Thomson At the 2022 Oscars, the comedian Chris Rock made a joke about Will Smith’s wife. Rock … Continue reading Is violence always wrong? A hands-on ethics lesson from Will Smith slapping Chris Rock

Inside ambiguity

We are suspended between the inescapable facts of our lives and what we do to contest them, nowhere more than in prison Andy West is a senior specialist with the Philosophy Foundation and philosopher in residence at HMP Pentonville, London. His writing has been published in The Guardian, The Times Education Supplement and The Millions, among others. He is the author of The Life Inside: A Memoir of Prison, Family and Philosophy (2022). My uncle Frank used to be locked up in one of the prisons where I teach philosophy. A couple of years ago, I asked him which cell he was in because I … Continue reading Inside ambiguity

Tattoos and trousers

Let your imagination take flight to the hunting, riding, adventurous lives of Scythia’s warrior women, the real Amazons Christine Lehnen is director and founder of the Novel Writing Workshop at the University of Bonn in Germany, and a researcher at the University of Manchester in England. She is a regular contributor on history, archaeology, literature, feminism and culture on DW.com and the founder of the public research magazine 42. She writes fiction under the pen names C E Bernard and C K Williams. The year is 700 BCE, the place is the Black Sea. You find yourself in land east of ancient Greece. To your … Continue reading Tattoos and trousers

THE AGE OF INTOLERANCE: CANCEL CULTURE’S WAR ON FREE SPEECH

John W. Whitehead, Rutherford Waking Times “Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners.”—George Carlin Cancel culture—political correctness amped up on steroids, the self-righteousness of a narcissistic age, and a mass-marketed pseudo-morality that is little more than fascism disguised as tolerance—has shifted us into an Age of Intolerance, policed by techno-censors, social media bullies, and government watchdogs. Everything is now fair game for censorship if it can be construed as hateful, hurtful, bigoted or offensive provided that it runs counter to the established viewpoint. In this way, the most controversial issues of our day—race, religion, sex, sexuality, politics, science, health, government … Continue reading THE AGE OF INTOLERANCE: CANCEL CULTURE’S WAR ON FREE SPEECH

He Did Right by Animals. And Didn’t Take Bull from Anyone.

Bernard Rollin was a pioneer in animal rights. He left us with this scalding interview. BY BRANDON KEIM Well into the 1980s, doctors would perform open-heart surgery on infants without giving them pain-relieving drugs. This is hard to believe: By the standards of contemporary medicine, not to mention common sense, the practice is akin to torture. Yet then-conventional wisdom held that babies did not feel pain, at least not in any meaningful way. Their brains and nervous systems were considered undeveloped. And regardless of what they felt, they wouldn’t remember it. One can read about this in Science and Ethics, … Continue reading He Did Right by Animals. And Didn’t Take Bull from Anyone.

THE AGE OF FEAR: A GRADUATION MESSAGE FOR TERRIFYING TIMES

by John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead, Guests Waking Times “Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”—Hermann Goering, Nazi leader With all that is crashing down upon us, from government-manipulated crises to the blowback arising from a society that has repeatedly prized technological expedience and mass-marketed values over self-ownership and individual sovereignty, those coming of age … Continue reading THE AGE OF FEAR: A GRADUATION MESSAGE FOR TERRIFYING TIMES

The patriot paradox

Globalism is out. Nationalism is in. Progressives who think they can jump aboard are dangerously naive by Jeremy Adelman is the Henry Charles Lea professor of history and director of the Global History Lab at Princeton University. His latest books are Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O Hirschman (2013) and the co-authored Worlds Together, Worlds Apart (4th ed, 2014). Edited by Sam Haselby It’s hard to remember that, a generation ago, pundits, bankers and scholars formed a loud chorus declaring the nation obsolete. Flows of capital, ideas and goods ushered in a global age with new metaphors and a new narrative of globalisation, movement … Continue reading The patriot paradox

Should customers be able to repair their devices? This federal agency says yes.

Tech lobbyists say letting people fix their own stuff is too dangerous. The Federal Trade Commission isn’t buying it. by Maddie Stone For the past several years, as state legislators across the country have held hearings to consider “right-to-repair” bills that would make it easier for consumers to fix their electronic devices, lobbyists representing manufacturers have shown up to repeat the same arguments over and over: Letting people fix their own stuff is too dangerous. It creates cybersecurity risks. It infringes on intellectual property. It won’t help reduce electronic waste. But while it remains to be seen whether these arguments will win over any of … Continue reading Should customers be able to repair their devices? This federal agency says yes.

When the Line Between Life and Death Is ‘a Little Bit Fuzzy’

Every state recognizes brain death. But rules vary, and the true line separating life from death is ambiguous as ever. BY LOLA BUTCHER UNTIL SEPT. 17, 2020, Sharon Frederick was an ostensibly healthy 63-year-old woman who spent her days caring for her disabled sister and going to church. That evening, she was praying the rosary over the telephone with a friend when she began slurring her words. By the time an ambulance delivered her to St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica, New York, Frederick was comatose after suffering a massive stroke. Four days later, a physician declared her to be brain dead, … Continue reading When the Line Between Life and Death Is ‘a Little Bit Fuzzy’