7 May
2010

Some Reading for the Weekend

We occasionally link to articles on our website we think might be of interest to our readers. The three most recent ones are:

  1. Morality, Rationality, and Natural Law — Robert P. George
    This article seeks to identify the rational basis of our moral norms, such as prohibiting murder, rape, torture, etc. To this end, it is important to realise there are things ‘worth doing or pursuing for their own sake’ and that ‘make sense to act to promote or realize…even when we expect no further benefit from doing so’. Because these actions are more than instrumental, and we perceive their intrinsic value, ‘they are themselves constitutive aspects of our…fulfilment as human persons’. They appeal to our understanding and constitute our practical reason in guiding the many choices humans must make. This stands in stark contrast to utilitarianism which seeks to guide action based on the ‘proportion of benefit to harm overall’ and tries to reduce human goods to ‘some common factor of value’. This reductionism is very misguided, argues the author. If we ‘believe that ethical thinking proceeds from a concern for human well-being and fulfillment’ we should espouse the ‘first principle of moral judgment…choose those options, and only those options, that are compatible with the human good considered integrally’.
  2. Science Warriors’ Ego Trip — Carlin Romano
    In the current debate about science, what belongs in its realm, and what it can actually support it is important to distinguish between ‘philosophers of science’ and ‘science warriors’. The latter need to re-address their ways of approaching their subject and pursue science and philosophy in a more professional manner instead of pure mockery, argues the author.
  3. Attention Whole Foods Shoppers — Robert Paarlberg
    The author argues that, ‘[i]f we are going to get serious about solving global hunger, we need to de-romanticize our view of pre-industrial food and farming. And that means learning to appreciate the modern, science-intensive, and highly capitalized agricultural system we’ve developed in the West. Without it, our food would be more expensive and less safe. In other words, a lot like the hunger-plagued rest of the world’.

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