Category Archives: ethics

Kristel Clayville, who refuses to donate her organs out of Social Justice, responds to criticism

Kristel Clayville is a visiting assistant professor of religion at Eureka College, a fellow at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago, as well as as an ordained minister in the Disciples of Christ branch of the Christian Church.  Yet with all of those credentials (most especially her status as […]

David Barash urges scientists to make human-chimp hybrids

Well, this is about as bad an idea I can imagine coming from a biologist, and its justification is equally poor.  The idea is to make human/chimp hybrids (“humanzees”), in the hope that their existence will convince people that Homo sapiens is not a separate, created entity, but is part of an evolutionary continuum not […]

The serious stuff: autonomous weapons

by Matthew Cobb Not really the usual WEIT fare, and certainly not what I normally post here, but I feel it is pretty important. This is a 7 minute video, ‘Slaughterbots’, about autonomous weapons and what the future could hold. Watch it and be chilled. The video was made by the Campaign to Stop Killer […]

Opponents of euthanizing newborns write in with strong opinions

Six days ago I wrote a post, based on a New York Times piece, arguing that the parents of newborns who were doomed to die, who had a “hopeless prognosis” involving unbearable suffering, or who would have to live their lives wedded to intensive care and respirators, should have the legal right—with appropriate ethical strictures […]

A new book on CRISPR, gene editing, and their ethical implications

Word on the street is that the book shown below, by Jennifer Doudna and Samuel Sternberg, is very good (it’s out on June 13; click on screenshot to go to Amazon link). You may have heard of Berkeley professor Jennifer Doudna, one of the pioneers in using the new CRISPR technique to genetically edit cells—”genome editing”; […]

Peter Singer’s new books on ethics

Peter Singer’s new book on ethics, a series of short essays about real-world ethical issues, came out September 13 (Princeton University Press), and already it’s Amazon’s #1 release in “Philosophy of Ethics and Morality”. I’ll be reading it for sure, as Singer is one philosopher who has something to say about how real people live […]

Make it better

by Grania A number of people over the years have pointed out that almost anyone can improve upon the Ten Commandments with minimal effort; the original set of ten (or ten-ish) moral laws by which humans were purportedly to live their lives. What appears in Exodus is so old that its ethics are more concerned […]

Apple vs. U.S. government: a big dilemma

Most of you know about this already: the FBI, investigating the December murderers of 14 people in San Bernardino by two Muslim extremists, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, have asked Apple to unlock Farook’s iPhone 5c, which may contain clues about the murders or other terrorists. A federal judge ordered Apple to create the software necessary to […]

Disability activists call for Peter Singer’s resignation

Two days ago I posted a piece about how Princeton philosopher Peter Singer was disinvited from a philosophy conference in Germany because of his views on euthanasia of newborn infants having horrible diseases or deformities (he’s long been in favor of that form of mercy killing). His disinvitation was prompted by a recent interview in a […]

Peter Singer disinvited from philosophy meeting in Germany for views on euthanasia of sick or deformed newborns

I’m not sure where or when Princeton University philosopher Peter Singer first suggested that it may not be unethical to euthanize newborns if they have a terrible deformity or disease, but that view has caused tremendous controversy.  Apparently, almost all people see the moment of birth as some irrevocable line beyond which “assisted dying” is unethical, both because birth […]