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Entries Tagged as 'Moral Philosophy'

I Want My Death Panels!

August 19th, 2009 · 17 Comments

I don’t have particularly strong views either way about health care reform, but it’s depressing that the one part of the Obama plan that seemed like an obviously, unambiguously good idea has become a casualty of the requirement that all political disagreement be cast as a war between good and evil. There are not a […]

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Tags: Markets · Moral Philosophy

Health Care, Vegetarians, and Contextual Rights

August 4th, 2009 · 24 Comments

Via Doug Bandow, Theodore Dalrymple makes an argument against a right to health care—though it applies to positive or welfare rights more generally—that I used to find persuasive, and now find less so: Where does the right to health care come from? Did it exist in, say, 250 B.C., or in A.D. 1750? If it […]

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Tags: Libertarian Theory · Moral Philosophy

I Think What?

July 29th, 2009 · 27 Comments

Look, I don’t expect Mark Krikorian to champion the moral worth of non-human animals—hell, getting him to evince some concern for non-Caucasians would be a miracle—but this is unusually silly: Just so you know, I think we do eat too much meat, and salt, sugar, and fat, because our species evolved to crave these once […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy

Life, Death, and “Choice”

June 16th, 2009 · 12 Comments

Everywhere in politics, but in discussions of healthcare in particular, there is a powerful bipartisan impulse to insist that tradeoffs are illusory—infinite ponies can now be yours! Progressives are too eager to believe that national health care will make it possible to expand coverage while reducing costs—reducing deficits, even!—apparently because all those costs are in […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy

In Praise of Free Riding?

June 16th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Via the magic of an alert for inbound links, I find an artblogger riffing on a recent post here who, oddly enough, brings up that old game theory classic the Snowdrift Game: The situation of the Snowdrift game involves two drivers who are trapped on opposite sides of a snowdrift. Each has the option of […]

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Tags: Economics · Moral Philosophy

Exceptions, Rules, and Abortion

June 10th, 2009 · 12 Comments

I’m generally a lot closer to Hilzoy than Ross Douthat on abortion questions—and in particular, agree with a fair amount of her dissection of his recent column on the subject. But on one point, I think they both get it wrong. Ross wrote: The argument for unregulated abortion rests on the idea that where there […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy

Will Saletan’s Moderation

June 1st, 2009 · 23 Comments

On the whole, I find William Saletan a sharp analyst and an engaging writer.  This column, however, is really profoundly revolting. Your first clue that something might be awry comes with the kicker headline: “Is it wrong to murder an abortionist?” Sane people do not regard that as an open question—or, for that matter, a […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Moral Philosophy · Privacy and Surveillance

Sour Grapes

May 13th, 2009 · 12 Comments

I wanted to pull up a thought from the end of the Vegan Envy post below, because it strikes me that it’s of somewhat wider application.  As everyone presumably knows, the expression “sour grapes” comes from the old Aesop fable about a fox who, after struggling and failing to reach some tasty-looking grapes, scoffs that […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy

Vegan Envy

May 11th, 2009 · 32 Comments

Max Fisher apparently shares my own occasional pangs of conscience about not being vegan. I’m a vegetarian of some 17 years now, but realized long ago that what really follows from my own commitments is that I should be fine with eating (most) fish but cut the dairy out of my diet—or at the very […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy

Empathic Justice

May 6th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Ryan Sager picks an unfortunate example to make a valid point about the idea of “empathy” as a qualification for a seat on the Supreme Court: Now, I’m not necessarily arguing that it’s right [in the famous Trolley Problem] to push the fat man — or for the government to “push the fat man.” But […]

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Tags: Law · Moral Philosophy · Science