Saturday, November 30, 2013

The sorry state of moral philosophy

I listened to two recent podcasts on moral philosophy, book on Partiality by Simon Keller andPeter Singer on Being a Utilitarian in the Real World. These tried to explain the theories of our great geniuses of the subject.

A 5yo child could make more sense. A central dilemma is why someone would prefer to save the life of a spouse or relative, over some complete stranger. The philosophers adamantly argue that there can be no rational basis for such a preference.

These philosophers are all atheists (or Jewish atheists), and they ridicule any religious view.

Singer argues that it is an objective truth that no person is any better than any other. He is entitled to his bizarre animal rights opinions, but when he denies that contrary views exist, he is an idiot. When he gives public speeches, protesters compare him to the German Nazis.

The reasons for preferring to save your friends are: Your friends have greater value to you. You have implicit mutual support agreements with your friends. You would rather not watch horrible things happen to your friends. You are loyal to your friends. It is not clear that civilization could even exist without some sort of in-group loyalty.

Our leading medical ethicists seem to have been corrupted by these idiot moral philosophers. This is front page news in my California beach town:
Elizabeth Bonilla was given the gift of time, so she is sending something back to mark the hours.

The 14-year-old Watsonville girl is still recovering from a cancer diagnosis that came a day after 12th birthday. But she recently spoke for the first time with the stranger that probably saved her life, a 50-year-old San Antonio woman named Hope, and is painting a clock to send as an expression of gratitude. ...

The donor program does not allow donors and patients to connect for at least a year after the procedure, partly to make sure it goes well.
No, this is crazy. Donors should be paid, and allowed the satisfaction of seeing the benefit of the donation. Then a lot more people would be willing to donate. The program seems designed to appeal to someone with the stunted morals of Singer.

Update: When Congress funded billions for the Human Genome Project, it required that 5% be spent on the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) program. As far as I know, no good case from any of that 5%.

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