Religious ethics are commonly dismissed by philosophical writers as unworthy of consideration, because they rely on divine authority, and are thus non-rational. In this article, I challenge the idea, by comparative examination of the underlying notions of what makes ethical theories function, as well as the structure of ethical theories.
By understanding the notion of human equality along a single axis (i.e. human rights), we have failed to appreciate the importance of properly identifying and accounting for functional differences. This has, among other things, led to an important problem posed by elements of the politically correct speech and
What does it mean to engage in rebellion against a state? What are the ethical and practical implications of rebellion? Under what conditions is rebellion an option? Given our frequent training and arming of foreign rebels, it behooves us to have a functional understanding of these questions.
Having previously sketched out my perspective on the phenomenon of school shootings, this article delves into the proposed solutions by the generally two sides of the gun-control debate. It points out the problems with the many of the solutions proposed thus far, and makes a tentative proposal on a meaningful solution.
The way we think about school shootings (and mass shootings in general) may be flawed; and a flawed diagnosis results in the wrong treatment. In this intellectual sketch, I offer a different take on the diagnosis.
Even in this age of “unique” individuals, the problems noted back as far as 1500 BC (or earlier) continue to plague us as a society. Blind following necessitates the surrender of reason, and thus negates our humanity, as we try to fit into our surroundings.
Telling the truth is not only a matter of good manners, it is also the key to making communication and civilization possible. By understanding the role of truth-telling in communication, the problems of lying are revealed to be far deeper than they come across at first blush.
Actions have consequences. Military actions have very big, wide-ranging, and long-lasting consequences. However, military actions are ultimately within our control. Who we vote for, what we vote for, what we support and what we condemn, are all elements that directly shape our ideas of the military and its use. Understanding these issues is a necessary part of functional democratic participation, as well as an ethical engagement with the world.
The recent trend of “excommunicating” people from various groups, as a rejection of their behaviors, is a bad option for several reasons. Yes, the idea that ISIS members are Muslim sounds abhorrent to Muslims, and the idea that Myanmar’s genocidal government sounds abhorrent to Buddhists. But the attempt to simply call them non-Muslim or non-Buddhists creates far more problems than it solves.
As Deep Mind prepares to retire AlphaGo from professional play, a mere 14 months after its release, the implications for militarized AI are staggering. Following up on “The Military Implications of AlphaGo,” the present analysis explores how the progress of AlphaGo, as well as development of commercial drones and changes in international relations, over the past 14 months, is likely to reshape the role militarized AI.