22 – Moral Philosophy

Doing the Right Thing

Wikipedia on:
Ethical Egoism
Divine Command Theory
Moral Relativism
Virtue Ethics
Care Ethics

Euthyphro’s Dilemma


Katrina mentioned that she’d read that the impact of child rape is less severe on cultures where this practice is typical. It turns out is was a comment on this LessWrong post and the validity of this statement is not certain.

Kant bites the bullet on not lying to murderers in his typically named essay “On A Supposed Right To Lie From Altruistic Motives“.

SSC somewhat in favor of Deontology – You Kant Dismiss Universalizability

Common Rationalist saying: Consequentialism is Ideal, But Deontology is Safe for Humans

Philosophy gets a lot of side-eye from Rationalists, in large part because of things Like This. But see also LukeProg’s Take

YouTube video where Katrina is arguing with a video gamer about the goodness of the protagonist of The Last Of Us.

Video of a bloody penguin fight over a female.

Planet Money episode on economic policies all economists are fully behind, but which will never be implemented.

Our Voting episode (with Tim!)

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10 Responses to 22 – Moral Philosophy

  1. Jesse says:


    This is what I was referring to. Nick Bostrom wrote it, but it was on Hanson’s site. 🙂

  2. Senjiu says:

    Link to the viral penguin video? I just like the animal videos, since the language of prairie dogs video, Katrina should maybe simply publish her list of awesome animal videos. 😀

  3. PhopeMobilII posted some great and detailed corrections/reactions/defenses to this episode on reddit. You should check it out!


  4. BayesianAdmin says:

    Steven had one important thought that he failed to articulate during this episode. One doesn’t need to subscribe to a single ethical framework and stick to it all the time. Some situations don’t allow for utilitarian thinking and a coldblooded calculation on saving an expensive painting or your infant during a house fire is one of those cases. It’s ok to say that you didn’t conduct yourself as a utilitarian in that circumstance – it doesn’t say anything bad about you, given that you’re a human and it would destroy your life to let your child burn. 

  5. The “not lying about the Jews in the basement” scenario is a very typical counter-point to deontology, and you presented it the way everyone else does, but it misrepresents the pros and cons of deontology, because when the Gestapo knocks on your door, as a deontologist, you are not only bound by the “not lying” rule, but also by the “not let a genocide happen” rule.

    And I believe there is a critical mass (and pretty low at that) of true deontologist in a population that would make any tyrannical goverment impractical or unsustainable. I guess there’s a similarity with precommitment against blackmail.

  6. Pingback: 50 – Approaching Rationality with Kyle Moore | The Bayesian Conspiracy

  7. drtuber says:

    Curley, Edwin 1973, ‘ Spinoza’s Moral Philosophy ’, in Spinoza: A Collection of Critical Essays, ed. Grene, Marjorie ( Notre Dame : University of Notre Dame Press ), 354–76 .

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