Post Tagged with: "ethics"

What If This Is A Computer Simulation?

What If This Is A Computer Simulation?

April 14, 2021 at 12:49 pm

There’s a wonderful pair of linked episodes in Star Trek: The Next Generation which, together, raise some deep and interesting philosophical questions with deep ethical implications. Both episodes take place within the confined space of the holodeck (a place in which the computer simulations are so real that crew membersRead...

The Case of the Designer Baby

The Case of the Designer Baby

November 11, 2020 at 10:19 am

I have recently been working on a bioethics textbook. Bioethics is a discipline largely driven by case studies – short narratives intended to make the ethical issues under discussion clear, real and urgent. Consequently, many bioethics textbooks include case studies. I want to do something different in this month’s column,Read More

In the Next Generation episode "Darmok," Picard became stranded on a planet with a Tamarian captain named Dathon, whose species only spoke in metaphors, and attempted to learn his language. "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra" was the crux of their communication. (Source: CBS)

The Ethicist: Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra

June 20, 2018 at 12:06 pm

As I write this column, I am struggling to make ethical sense of current events. How can politicians like Donald Trump shamelessly tell lie after lie, and still have a significant number of people willing to support them? How can men who make or act in sensitive and enlightened filmsRead...

Source: 2045 Initiative

The Ethicist: Should I Become Immortal?

April 11, 2018 at 11:54 am

In the last two columns, I have been exploring Cartesian dualism and some of its consequences. This month, I want to consider an intriguing technological development that may emerge out of the marriage of Cartesian thinking and advances in computer technology. This is the claim made by some so-called “immortalists”Read More

Emoticons by Freepik

The Ethicist: Why a Feeling Is Not an Argument

January 10, 2018 at 12:46 pm

Last month, I asked readers to consider the case of carnivorous Cleo, and her beloved feline friend, Hector, who ended up as her supper. I concluded by asking why it seems so wrong to eat Hector, especially if we are willing to eat other kinds of meat? This month, IRead More

Friendship. (Photo by Rufino, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Ethicist: Ally, Role Model, Indifferent or Dementor?

October 11, 2017 at 11:49 am

I recently attended an ethics conference which addressed the question of how healthcare organizations and other social institutions should respond to cultural, religious, and sexual diversity in their patients, students and staff. One of the speakers was particularly interesting for me, because her talk was focused on ways in whichRead More

Nick, learning to ride a bike. (Photo by By Nick Richards from London, UK  [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

The Ethicist: Just Like Riding a Bike?

September 20, 2017 at 12:06 pm

It often feels hard to do the right thing, easy to do the wrong one. But what if there were a way in which we could learn to be ethical in just the same way that we learn other practical skills, like driving and reading? Happily, there may be. InRead More

Journalism 101: First, Minimize Harm

Journalism 101: First, Minimize Harm

August 30, 2017 at 12:06 pm

I can’t stop thinking about that photo that appeared on the front page of the print edition of last Friday’s Cape Breton Post. It showed a young man standing outside the guardrail on the Sydney-Whitney Pier overpass, head in hands, under the watchful eye of a Cape Breton Regional PoliceRead More

Source: Youtube

The Ethicist: Would You Kill the Fat Man?

May 31, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Over the last few columns, I have been making the case that ethics is as much a work of the imagination as it is of the intellect — we need to be able to imagine what a better world might look like before we can identify ways that might allowRead More

The Ethicist: Detectives, Spies, Zombies & Ethics

The Ethicist: Detectives, Spies, Zombies & Ethics

March 1, 2017 at 12:50 pm

The world we find ourselves in today is often difficult, sometimes frightening and frequently disturbing. It’s hard to watch the evening news and then sleep well at night or even follow our Facebook newsfeeds without realizing that our friends have sharply divergent and incompatible political views which mirror the disagreementsRead More