“The poorest he that is in England has a life to live as the greatest he” (Thomas Rainsborough, spokesman for the Levellers at the Putnam Debates)
Monday, 22 November 2021
Moral Status Should Not Depend On Social Status
Sunday, 10 October 2021
If We Could All Be Good For Just One Day….It Wouldn’t Make Much Difference
Monday, 23 August 2021
The Political Economy of Tourism
I think some of this resentment is entirely misplaced, and other parts are misdirected. The central problem is a failure to recognise that tourism is an export industry. Your country exports things like cars or T-shirts or coffee beans to people in other countries in exchange for tokens (dollars, Euros, etc) that you can use to buy things they make. Tourism is where you sell foreigners things that can't be moved around the world; things that they have to come to your country to consume, like views of your beautiful coastline, authentic cuisine, and the famous paintings in your museums. The fact that cars and T-shirts tend to get made inside large ugly buildings on the outside of town while tourism exports are produced in the prettiest parts of the centre is irrelevant. The things that tourists buy are still exports.
Thursday, 19 August 2021
If our governments won’t help refugees, they should let us sponsor them ourselves
Guest post by Brecht Weerheijm
As of 2020, over 80 million people are on the run from war and persecution. Of this group, over 26 million are refugees looking for a safe haven outside of their home country. Most of these are from countries torn by civil war or governed by authoritarians, to whom human lives seem not to matter. The burden of caring for these million falls squarely upon the shoulders of developing nations; 86% of all refugees are hosted by developing countries, with the UN’s 46 least-developed countries taking in more than a quarter of all refugees. Millions are living in inhumane conditions in refugee camps across the globe, in nations that lack resources to take proper care of these refugees. Even if there are means to stay alive in these camps, there is often no access to public services or a path to citizenship. Refugees are neither politically represented nor provided with education, and this status is often inherited by their children and grandchildren.
Wednesday, 18 August 2021
The Moral Case for Guest Worker Programmes
Saturday, 10 July 2021
Privacy Is The Right To Be Mysterious. Democracy Depends On It
Monday, 14 June 2021
Vaccination Need Not Be Compulsory To Be Universal
Monday, 31 May 2021
Don't Pity the People of the Future
Sunday, 11 April 2021
Effective Altruism Is Not Effective
Effective altruism is based on a very simple idea: we should do the most good we can. Obeying the usual rules about not stealing, cheating, hurting, and killing is not enough, or at least not enough for those of us who have the good fortune to live in material comfort, who can feed, house, and clothe ourselves and our families and still have money or time to spare. Living a minimally acceptable ethical life involves using a substantial part of our spare resources to make the world a better place. Living a fully ethical life involves doing the most good we can. (Peter Singer)
Friday, 26 March 2021
Why Are Moral Philosophers So Bad At Global Justice?
Wednesday, 10 March 2021
The Abject Intellectual Failure of Libertarianism
Monday, 18 January 2021
Ideas Are Too Exciting; Arguments Are Too Hard
Thursday, 14 January 2021
How Is It No One's Job To Defend Democracy?
Why did it take until now for a critical mass of key players to take a stand against Trump's assault on democracy? Why wasn't it already enough when he pointedly declined to promise to accept the results of the election if he lost, during the 2016 presidential debates?
Saturday, 9 January 2021
Politics Would Be Less Crazy If Voting Were Compulsory
Before politicians can do anything else, they must win election by getting more votes than their opponents. This is supposed to ensure that only those politicians whose ideas and values are most agreeable to the most people have the chance to rule. One might naively suppose that democratic competitions would therefore focus on clearly communicating those ideas and values so that the voters can tell which candidate they most prefer. In practise that is not what happens. This is because voters must choose not only which politician they prefer but also whether to formally register that preference by voting. The politicians' challenge is that while forming a political opinion is effectively free, voting is a mildly inconvenient task that it is entirely rational for most people not to bother with.