UK Shuts Down Independent Midwives

A new low for harmful government over-regulation: The UK has just regulated independent midwives out of business (at least for the time being).  The Nursing and Midwifery Council decided
A new low for harmful government over-regulation: The UK has just regulated independent midwives out of business (at least for the time being).  The Nursing and Midwifery Council decided [More]

Pets and Slavery

In 'The Case Against Pets', Rutgers law professors Francione and Charlton argue that "domestication and pet ownership [...] violate the fundamental rights of animals."  This is, I
In 'The Case Against Pets', Rutgers law professors Francione and Charlton argue that "domestication and pet ownership [...] violate the fundamental rights of animals."  This is, I [More]

How bad?

Compare five seriously bad things:(1) Unjust discrimination along the lines of racism, sexism, etc., in Western countries.(2) War and terrorism(3) Global poverty(4) Animal suffering (from factory
Compare five seriously bad things:(1) Unjust discrimination along the lines of racism, sexism, etc., in Western countries.(2) War and terrorism(3) Global poverty(4) Animal suffering (from factory [More]

Opposite Day: "Charity begins at home" edition

It's been almost a decade since my evil twin Ricardo last posted on this blog. I invite him back today to share a horribly misguided speech that he recently gave as part of a debate in St Andrews
It's been almost a decade since my evil twin Ricardo last posted on this blog. I invite him back today to share a horribly misguided speech that he recently gave as part of a debate in St Andrews [More]

Lichtenberg on Effective Altruism

Judith Lichtenberg has a pretty misguided -- and often misleading -- hit piece on the Effective Altruism movement, which concludes:The effective altruists have shown that, without undue burdens,
Judith Lichtenberg has a pretty misguided -- and often misleading -- hit piece on the Effective Altruism movement, which concludes:The effective altruists have shown that, without undue burdens, [More]

Thinking Realistically about Policy Outcomes

If we want to know whether a certain policy or legal change would be a good idea, we should presumably consider the expected consequences.  Very roughly speaking (abstracting away from
If we want to know whether a certain policy or legal change would be a good idea, we should presumably consider the expected consequences.  Very roughly speaking (abstracting away from [More]

WaPo forum on Effective Altruism

The Washington Post is discussing Effective Altruism.  There are two critical contributions, neither of which I find very compelling:(1) William Schambra claims that most
The Washington Post is discussing Effective Altruism.  There are two critical contributions, neither of which I find very compelling:(1) William Schambra claims that most [More]

On Furrow's Defense of Eating Meat

Dwight Furrow at 3QD has written up a defense of eating meat (ht: Phil Percs) that strikes me as pretty badly confused.He begins by complaining that "Singer's arguments are based on utilitarian
Dwight Furrow at 3QD has written up a defense of eating meat (ht: Phil Percs) that strikes me as pretty badly confused.He begins by complaining that "Singer's arguments are based on utilitarian [More]

Beyond lip service: betting for beliefs, donating for values

"Talk is cheap."  So we're told to "put our money where our mouth is," to ensure intellectual integrity.  On the (esp. econ) blogs I read, this principle is most commonly applied to
"Talk is cheap."  So we're told to "put our money where our mouth is," to ensure intellectual integrity.  On the (esp. econ) blogs I read, this principle is most commonly applied to [More]

Procreative Externalities (and bad moral advice) revisited

There's an interesting podcast with ethicist Travis Rieder (ht: Daily Nous) discussing the ethics of having kids in light of climate change.  Rieder suggests that it's morally problematic
There's an interesting podcast with ethicist Travis Rieder (ht: Daily Nous) discussing the ethics of having kids in light of climate change.  Rieder suggests that it's morally problematic [More]