What one generation finds ridiculous, the next accepts; and the third shudders when it looks back on what the first did.
If we shrug our shoulders at the avoidable suffering of the weak and the poor, of those who are getting exploited and ripped off, we are not the left.
If 10 percent of the population were to take a consciously ethical outlook on life and act accordingly, the resulting change would be more significant than any change of government,
To say that life is meaningless is to express an attitude, not to state a fact
Extreme poverty is not only a condition of unsatisfied material needs. It is often accompanied by a degrading state of powerlessness.
Hebrew word for “charity” tzedakah, simply means “justice” and as this suggests, for Jews, giving to the poor is no optional extra but an essential part of living a just life.
It is easy for us to criticize the prejudices of our grandfathers, from which our fathers freed themselves. It is more difficult to distance ourselves from our own beliefs so that we can dispassionately search for prejudices among them.
Cheats prosper until there are enough who bear grudges against them to make sure they do not prosper.
Reason is inherently expansionist. It seeks universal application.
It is easy for us to criticize the prejudices of our grandfathers, from which our fathers freed themselves. It is more difficult to search for prejudices among the beliefs and values we hold.
A society that decides its controversial issues by ballots does better than one that uses bullets – which, after all, is no more likely to lead to the right conclusion than voting.
To give preference to the life of a being simply because that being is a member of our species would put us in the same position as racists who give preference to those who are members of their race.
We think of dogs as being more like people than pigs; but pigs are highly intelligent animals and if we kept pigs as pets and reared dogs for food, we would probably reverse our order of preference. Are we turning persons into bacon?
In thinking about ethics, we should not hesitate to question ethical views that are almost universally accepted if we have reasons for thinking that they may not be as securely grounded as they appear to be.
We have examined a number of ethical issues. We have seen that many accepted practices are open to serious objections. What ought we to do about it? This, too, is an ethical issue.
Putting yourself in the place of others…is what thinking ethically is all about.
…moral relativism, a position many find attractive only until they are faced with someone who is doing something really, really wrong.
Their reliance on biblical quotations does not augur well for their for their openness to moral reasoning….
If our life has no meaning other than our own happiness, we are likely to find that when we have obtained what we think we need to be happy, happiness itself still eludes us.
We have to speak up on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves.
The prescription of the equality of human beings is not a description of an alleged actual equality among humans: it is a prescription of how we should treat human beings.
To be a utilitarian means that you judge actions as right or wrong in accordance with whether they have good consequences. So you try to do what will have the best consequences for all of those affected.
In the real world, 90% of the money spent on medical research is focused on conditions that are responsible for just 10% of the deaths and disability caused by diseases globally.
In an ideal world, the amount of money we spend on medical research to prevent or cure a disease would be proportional to its seriousness and the number of people who suffer from it.
Every profession will have its rogues, of course, no matter what oaths are sworn, but many health care professionals have a real commitment to serving the best interests of their clients.
What is faith? If you believe something because you have evidence for it, or rational argument, that is not faith. So faith seems to be believing something despite the absence of evidence or rational argument for it.
Most of the robots being developed for home use are functional in design – Gecko’s homecare robot looks rather like the Star Wars robot R2-D2. Honda and Sony are designing robots that look more like the same movie’s ‘android’ C-3PO.
I don’t think nationalism is alone holding the field it’s in contention with a lot of different things.
If people are prepared to eat locally and seasonally, then they probably do pretty well in terms of environmental impact.
My own view is that being a vegetarian or vegan is not an end in itself, but a means towards reducing both human and animal suffering and leaving a habitable planet to future generations.