Topic: Philosophy/Ethics

You are looking at all articles with the topic "Philosophy/Ethics". We found 16 matches.

Hint: To view all topics, click here. Too see the most popular topics, click here instead.

Arne Næss: Recommendations for Public Debate

Biography Philosophy Biography/science and academia Philosophy/Philosophers Norway Philosophy/Ethics

Arne Dekke Eide Næss ( AR-nə NESS; Norwegian: [ˈnɛsː]; 27 January 1912 – 12 January 2009) was a Norwegian philosopher who coined the term "deep ecology" and was an important intellectual and inspirational figure within the environmental movement of the late twentieth century. Næss cited Rachel Carson's 1962 book Silent Spring as being a key influence in his vision of deep ecology. Næss combined his ecological vision with Gandhian nonviolence and on several occasions participated in direct action.

Næss averred that while western environmental groups of the early post-war period had raised public awareness of the environmental issues of the time, they had largely failed to have insight into and address what he argued were the underlying cultural and philosophical background to these problems. Naess believed that the environmental crisis of the twentieth century had arisen due to certain unspoken philosophical presuppositions and attitudes within modern western developed societies which remained unacknowledged.

He thereby distinguished between what he called deep and shallow ecological thinking. In contrast to the prevailing utilitarian pragmatism of western businesses and governments, he advocated that a true understanding of nature would give rise to a point of view that appreciates the value of biological diversity, understanding that each living thing is dependent on the existence of other creatures in the complex web of interrelationships that is the natural world.

Discussed on

Great Ape Personhood

Philosophy Philosophy/Ethics Primates Animal rights

Great ape personhood is a movement to extend personhood and some legal protections to the non-human members of the Hominidae or great ape family: chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans.

Advocates include primatologists Jane Goodall and Dawn Prince-Hughes, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, philosophers Paola Cavalieri and Peter Singer, and legal scholar Steven Wise.

Discussed on

The Hedonic Treadmill

Philosophy Philosophy/Ethics

The hedonic treadmill, also known as hedonic adaptation, is the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes. According to this theory, as a person makes more money, expectations and desires rise in tandem, which results in no permanent gain in happiness. Brickman and Donald T. Campbell coined the term in their essay "Hedonic Relativism and Planning the Good Society" (1971). The concept dates back centuries, to such writers as St. Augustine, cited in Robert Burton's 1621 Anatomy of Melancholy: "A true saying it is, Desire hath no rest, is infinite in itself, endless, and as one calls it, a perpetual rack, or horse-mill."

The hedonic (or happiness) set point has gained interest throughout the field of positive psychology where it has been developed and revised further. Given that hedonic adaptation generally demonstrates that a person's long-term happiness is not significantly affected by otherwise impacting events, positive psychology has concerned itself with the discovery of things that can lead to lasting changes in happiness levels.

Discussed on

HeLa, the oldest and most commonly used human cell line

Viruses Biology Philosophy Philosophy/Contemporary philosophy History of Science Molecular and Cell Biology Philosophy/Ethics Genetics Evolutionary biology Science Policy Molecular Biology/Molecular and Cell Biology

HeLa (; also Hela or hela) is an immortal cell line used in scientific research. It is the oldest and most commonly used human cell line. The line was derived from cervical cancer cells taken on February 8, 1951 from Henrietta Lacks, a patient who died of cancer on October 4, 1951. The cell line was found to be remarkably durable and prolific, which gives rise to its extensive use in scientific research.

The cells from Lacks's cancerous cervical tumor were taken without her knowledge or consent, which was common practice at the time. Cell biologist George Otto Gey found that they could be kept alive, and developed a cell line. Previously, cells cultured from other human cells would only survive for a few days. Scientists would spend more time trying to keep the cells alive than performing actual research on them. Cells from Lacks' tumor behaved differently. As was custom for Gey's lab assistant, she labeled the culture 'HeLa', the first two letters of the patient's first and last name; this became the name of the cell line.

These were the first human cells grown in a lab that were naturally "immortal", meaning that they do not die after a set number of cell divisions (i.e. cellular senescence). These cells could be used for conducting a multitude of medical experiments—if the cells died, they could simply be discarded and the experiment attempted again on fresh cells from the culture. This represented an enormous boon to medical and biological research, as previously stocks of living cells were limited and took significant effort to culture.

The stable growth of HeLa enabled a researcher at the University of Minnesota hospital to successfully grow polio virus, enabling the development of a vaccine, and by 1952, Jonas Salk developed a vaccine for polio using these cells. To test Salk's new vaccine, the cells were put into mass production in the first-ever cell production factory.

In 1953, HeLa cells were the first human cells successfully cloned and demand for the HeLa cells quickly grew in the nascent biomedical industry. Since the cells' first mass replications, they have been used by scientists in various types of investigations including disease research, gene mapping, effects of toxic substances on organisms, and radiation on humans. Additionally, HeLa cells have been used to test human sensitivity to tape, glue, cosmetics, and many other products.

Scientists have grown an estimated 50 million metric tons of HeLa cells, and there are almost 11,000 patents involving these cells.

The HeLa cell lines are also notorious for invading other cell cultures in laboratory settings. Some have estimated that HeLa cells have contaminated 10–20% of all cell lines currently in use.

Discussed on

Holodomor

Human rights Soviet Union Crime Death Philosophy Discrimination Philosophy/Ethics Soviet Union/history of Russia Soviet Union/Russia Ukraine Ethnic groups

The Holodomor (Ukrainian: Голодомо́р; Голодомо́р в Украї́ні; derived from морити голодом, "to kill by starvation") was a man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 that killed millions of Ukrainians. It is also known as the Terror-Famine and Famine-Genocide in Ukraine, and sometimes referred to as the Great Famine or the Ukrainian Genocide of 1932–33. It was part of the wider Soviet famine of 1932–33, which affected the major grain-producing areas of the country. During the Holodomor, millions of inhabitants of Ukraine, the majority of whom were ethnic Ukrainians, died of starvation in a peacetime catastrophe unprecedented in the history of Ukraine. Since 2006, the Holodomor has been recognized by Ukraine and 15 other countries as a genocide of the Ukrainian people carried out by the Soviet government.

Early estimates of the death toll by scholars and government officials varied greatly. According to higher estimates, up to 12 million ethnic Ukrainians were said to have perished as a result of the famine. A U.N. joint statement signed by 25 countries in 2003 declared that 7–10 million perished. Research has since narrowed the estimates to between 3.3 and 7.5 million. According to the findings of the Court of Appeal of Kiev in 2010, the demographic losses due to the famine amounted to 10 million, with 3.9 million direct famine deaths, and a further 6.1 million birth deficits.

The term Holodomor emphasises the famine's man-made and intentional aspects, such as rejection of outside aid, confiscation of all household foodstuffs, and restriction of population movement. Whether the Holodomor was genocide is still the subject of academic debate, as are the causes of the famine and intentionality of the deaths. Some scholars believe that the famine was planned by Joseph Stalin to eliminate a Ukrainian independence movement. The loss of life has been compared to that of the Holocaust. However, some historians dispute its characterization as a genocide.

Today Is International Day of Happiness

International relations Philosophy Psychology Philosophy/Ethics Holidays International relations/United Nations

The International Day of Happiness is celebrated worldwide every year on 20 March, and was originally conceptualized and founded in 2006 by Jayme Illien, CEO of the United Nations New World Order project, to advance happiness as a fundamental human right for all human beings, and happytalism, as new economic system, theory, and philosophy, which achieves the United Nations global goals, and the happiness, well-being, and freedom of all life on earth.

The next international day of happiness is March 20, 2021.

The 2020 International Day of Happiness campaign theme is ‘Happiness For All, Together'”. To celebrate, UNIDOHappiness, the UN secretariat for the International Day Of Happiness, is calling on all 7.8 billion people and all 206 nations and territories, to take the "Ten Steps to Global Happiness" challenge and call to action. The ten steps to global happiness are "ten easy steps any individual, organization, or country, can take on the international day of happiness, and throughout happiness week, to celebrate the international day of happiness, while also advancing the happiness, wellbeing, and freedom of all life on earth by 2050, when the United Nations forecasts global population to reach 10 billion". The first step is “Tell Everyone", which is designed "spread the word" to increase global awareness about the very existence of the international day of happiness, and the UN's unanimous recognition of happiness as a human right, as well as happiness as an approach to sustainable economic and human development.

The 2006 origin and inspiration for creating the international day of happiness initially came from founder Jayme Illien's belief that the happiness, wellbeing, and freedom of all life on earth is the ultimate purpose of every human being, nation, and society. Illien developed his vision for global happiness as humanity's ultimate purpose, through a life spent on the frontlines saving orphaned and abandoned children fleeing war, genocide, and extreme poverty, and theorizing about solutions to the human condition, and the great challenges facing humankind, after he himself was abandoned as an orphan, and rescued from a roadside in India in 1980, by missionaries of Mother Teresa, who first named him Adam, and sent him to live in America.

In 2006, Illien first presented the new economic theory, "happytalism", as a new economic system for the 21st century and beyond, to replace old world economic systems (from 5th to 20th century) such as capitalism, communism, socialism, mercantilism, colonialism, feudalism, racism, and sexism, among others - all created more than 150-1000 years ago. In 2006, Illien successfully demonstrated to prominent economists, academics, political scientists, philosophers, presidents, prime ministers, and heads of state, all in a position to advance happytalism as a solution to the great challenges facing humankind, that the new economic theory was the solution to the world's most pressing and greatest human development challenges and opportunities. However, despite Illien's successful proof of happytalism as a new economic system to replace capitalism and other old world, archaic, obsolete economic systems and models, this eminent multidisciplinary group of experts rejected the idea, and refused to further evaluate or consider the new economic theory due to what Illien, and co founder, Ndaba Mandela, believed were "old world and obsolete tyranny of the status quo, entrenched racist and sexist bias, mindset, incompetence, failed intelligence and intellectual vitality, and an archaic, potentially criminal world view that is a gross violation of global ethical norms, and implicit fiduciary responsibility to all humanity, incapable of seeing and doing what is right and necessary to advance humanity forward".

In 2008, in response to the rejection of Illien's concept of "happytalism" as a new economic theory, and convinced of happytalism as the solution to humanity's great challenges and opportunities in the 21st century and beyond, Illien launched the United Nations New World Order project with co founder Ndaba Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, who led the revolution and movement that ended apartheid, and "gave birth to a new nation, a new political party, and a new era of democratic governance in South Africa, and the African Continent.". The United Nations New World Order Project launched in 2008 envisioned, among several UN based policy initiatives, the creation of a United Nations sanctioned "international day of happiness", as a global day of awareness that commemorates and recognizes happiness as a human right, and a fundamental, universal human goal, and calls for a new happiness centric human development paradigm which achieves the happiness, wellbeing, and freedom of all life on earth.

Illien drew inspiration for the idea of establishing the international day of happiness from the founders of the United States of America, and authors of the US Declaration of Independence, as well as, the founders of the United Nations, and UN Day, and the authors of the United Nations Charter. Illien believed that an "international day of happiness", established with, and recognized by, a new UN resolution, with the support of all 193 UN member countries, would provide the essential, unique, and broad-based, wide-ranging democratic support, international credibility, and worldwide legal legitimacy, for a new global day of happiness for humanity, which in turn, would enable future generations to eventually, objectively consider the concept of happytalism as a new economic system to solve to the great challenges facing humanity, thereby placing the fate and future of happytalism directly in the hands of the people and future generations.

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted UN resolution 66 281: International Day of Happiness with the unanimous consensus of all 193 Member States, and the support of then UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon, declaring March 20 as the international day of happiness. Illien chose 20 March for its significance as the March equinox, a universal phenomenon felt simultaneously by all of humankind.

In 2012, the United Nations also hosted the first high level meeting on Happiness and Well-being: Defining A New Economic Paradigm, at which UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon declared:

Later in 2012, then UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon stated in his closing remarks to the 66th session of the UN General Assembly:

On January 22, 2013, then UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon stated in an address to the UN General Assembly:


On March 20, 2013, the first ever international day of happiness was celebrated with the launch of UNIDOHappiness, and the "Ten Steps to Global Happiness" campaign theme, which has since become an annual tradition.

Every 20 March since 2013, the International Day of Happiness is celebrated in 193 UN Member states, 2 observer states, and 11 territories.

On the 3rd ever international day of happiness, UN Secretary Ban Ki moon said,

Discussed on

Master–Slave Morality

Philosophy Philosophy/Contemporary philosophy Philosophy/Ethics

Master–slave morality (German: Herren- und Sklavenmoral) is a central theme of Friedrich Nietzsche's works, particularly in the first essay of his book, On the Genealogy of Morality. Nietzsche argued that there were two fundamental types of morality: "master morality" and "slave morality". Master morality values pride and power, while slave morality values kindness, empathy, and sympathy. Master morality judges actions as good or bad (e.g. the classical virtues of the noble man versus the vices of the rabble), unlike slave morality, which judges by a scale of good or evil intentions (e. g. Christian virtues and vices, Kantian deontology).

For Nietzsche, a morality is inseparable from the culture which values it, meaning that each culture's language, codes, practices, narratives, and institutions are informed by the struggle between these two moral structures.

Discussed on

Paradox of hedonism: Pursuing happiness leads to misery

Philosophy Philosophy/Logic Philosophy/Ethics

The paradox of hedonism, also called the pleasure paradox, refers to the practical difficulties encountered in the pursuit of pleasure. For the hedonist, constant pleasure-seeking may not yield the most actual pleasure or happiness in the long run—or even in the short run, when consciously pursuing pleasure interferes with experiencing it.

The utilitarian philosopher Henry Sidgwick was first to note in The Methods of Ethics that the paradox of hedonism is that pleasure cannot be acquired directly. Variations on this theme appear in the realms of ethics, philosophy, psychology, and economics.

Tetrapharmakos - Epicurus's remedy for leading the happiest possible life.

Philosophy Philosophy/Ancient philosophy Philosophy/Ethics

The Tetrapharmakos (τετραφάρμακος) "four-part remedy" is a summary of the first four of the Κύριαι Δόξαι (Kuriai Doxai, the forty Epicurean Principal Doctrines given by Diogenes Laërtius in his Life of Epicurus) in Epicureanism, a recipe for leading the happiest possible life. They are recommendations to avoid anxiety or existential dread.

The "tetrapharmakos" was originally a compound of four drugs (wax, tallow, pitch and resin); the word has been used metaphorically by Roman-era Epicureans. to refer to the four remedies for healing the soul.

Trolley problem

Philosophy Philosophy/Contemporary philosophy Philosophy/Ethics

The trolley problem is a thought experiment in ethics. It is generally considered to represent a classic clash between two schools of moral thought, utilitarianism and deontological ethics. The general form of the problem is this:

There is a runaway trolley barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice that there is one person on the side track. You have two options:

  1. Do nothing and allow the trolley to kill the five people on the main track.
  2. Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.

Which is the more ethical option? Or, more simply: What is the right thing to do?

Philippa Foot introduced this modern form of the problem in 1967. Judith Thomson, Frances Kamm, and Peter Unger have also analysed the dilemma extensively.

Earlier forms of the problem predated Foot's publication. Frank Chapman Sharp included a version in a moral questionnaire given to undergraduates at the University of Wisconsin in 1905. In this variation, the railway's switchman controlled the switch, and the lone individual to be sacrificed (or not) was the switchman's child. The German legal scholar Hans Welzel discussed a similar problem in 1951. In his commentary on the Talmud, published long before his death in 1953, Avrohom Yeshaya Karelitz discussed the similar question of whether it is ethical to deflect a projectile from a larger crowd toward a smaller one.

Beginning in 2001, the trolley problem and its variants have been used extensively in empirical research on moral psychology. Trolley problems have also been a topic of popular books. The problem arises in discussing the ethics of autonomous vehicle design, which may require programming to choose whom or what to strike when a collision appears to be unavoidable.

Discussed on