Standards of Living and Resource Allocation

Two giant steaming pots of soup are in the foreground, with a counter and a man standing in the left corner in the background.

When I solicit prompts for blogs here at Moral Guillotines, I get interesting and sometimes heartbreaking stories of individuals who want to do the right thing, but are unsure of what it is, or if it is enough, for instance, this: "One of my flatmates volunteers at a local men’s shelter and we’ve been puzzling… Continue reading Standards of Living and Resource Allocation

On the Permissibility of Violence

In general, we think that violence is a bad thing. We think that we should not wage wars, we should not injure people, and we should not say mean-spirited things. This is because all these things are acts of violence on various scales, and because acts of violence cause harm to others, and sometimes, also… Continue reading On the Permissibility of Violence

Beyond Judgement

For many, the idea of morality or moral philosophy is used as a carrot and a stick, a means with which to reward people who do good with praise, and to punish people who do badly with criticism. We often will conflate actions with persons, equating people who do bad things with people who are… Continue reading Beyond Judgement

On Millennial Burnout, Habits, and the Virtues to which we hold Ourselves

In 2019, I pledged, along with a small group of writers on Twitter, to do 20 push-ups a day this year, such that by the time 2019 has ended I will have done 7300 push-ups. It is a commitment I am holding myself to because I want to improve my physicality, and it is something… Continue reading On Millennial Burnout, Habits, and the Virtues to which we hold Ourselves

Better than we Are

Aristotle was the first (known) philosopher to posit that we can become better people. He thought we could do this by modifying our actions in such a way that acting morally became an unconscious habit, and that we could know what morality was by watching paragons of virtue and imitating them. Now, the interesting things (for today's… Continue reading Better than we Are

Living in a Simulation

Last week I talked about some of the interesting ways our paradigms ethical and otherwise, might need to shift given innovations in technology. The Worry But I've had some people ask me, what if there is no paradigm shift? What if we already live in a simulation? For me, this question feels old & stale.… Continue reading Living in a Simulation

On Teaching Morality

What were your first lessons in morality? Perhaps it was your mother scolding you against hitting a sibling. Perhaps it was a teacher in kindergarten, entreating you to share your toys. It is likely, that you do not even remember your first lesson in morality. It is even more likely that whatever lesson you did… Continue reading On Teaching Morality

Sexthical Theories

Okay, you got me. I am a human being who is generally aware of trends, news cycles, and hawt topics of the day. However, I am also a sex-positive woman, and an ethicist and so today I'm gonna throw my #metoo hat into the ring and we are going to talk about sex and ethics.… Continue reading Sexthical Theories

What is a Moral Guillotine?

Welcome back! After a tumultuous December filled with volcanoes, turtles, family, and festivities, it's time to get back to the important things in life- the examination of philosophical ideas. (JK, the other things are important too, after all, I don't really believe that philosophical questions come from the vacuum of the mind). So, without further… Continue reading What is a Moral Guillotine?