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  • Virtuous Behaviors Sanction Later Sins

    By Ashley Welch, Scientific American Anyone who has ever devoured a triple-chocolate brownie after an intense workout knows how tempting it can be to indulge after behaving virtuously. A new study suggests, however, that we often apply this thought process to inappropriate scenarios, giving ourselves...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Jailbreak Rat: Selfless Rodents Spring Their Pals and Share Their Sweets

    By Ferris Jabr, Scientific American An excerpt: The English language is not especially kind to rats. We say we "smell a rat" when something doesn't feel right, refer to stressful competition as the "rat race," and scorn traitors who "rat on" friends. But rats don't...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Future of Moral Machines

    By Colin Allen, New York Times A robot walks into a bar and says, “I’ll have a screwdriver.” A bad joke, indeed. But even less funny if the robot says “Give me what’s in your cash register.” The fictional theme of robots turning against humans is older than the word itself, which first appeared in the...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Human Nature’s Pathologist

    By Carl Zimmer, New York Times Steven Pinker was a 15-year-old anarchist. He didn’t think people needed a police force to keep the peace. Governments caused the very problems they were supposed to solve. Besides, it was 1969, said Dr. Pinker, who is now a 57-year-old psychologist at Harvard. “If you...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Program for Youth Mentoring Through Literature Gains County Support

    By Bill Schmitt, ND Newswire Reading for Life, an innovative literature-based mentoring program that provides an alternative to prosecution for low-risk juvenile offenders, was recently awarded county funding to sustain its operation in St. Joseph County, Ind. With the unanimous approval of the county...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Moral Dilemma: Would You Kill One Person to Save Five?

    From Science Daily Imagine a runaway boxcar heading toward five people who can't escape its path. Now imagine you had the power to reroute the boxcar onto different tracks with only one person along that route. Would you do it? That's the moral dilemma posed by a team of Michigan State University...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Moral Choice or Tug of War?

    The Vexing Mental Tug-of-War Called Morality By Kristin Ohlson, Discover magazine Would you kill a crying baby to save yourself and others from hostile soldiers outside? Neuroscience offers new ways to approach such moral questions, allowing logic to triumph over deep-rooted instinct. You arrive at the...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Virtuous Empathy: Scientific and Humanistic Investigations

    Virtues News: The Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions presents Virtuous Empathy: Scientific and Humanistic Investigations. Indiana University has received a grant from the University of Chicago (sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation) to study "Virtuous Empathy:...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Science of Good and Evil

    By Sam Harris from The Daily Beast. " As I argue in my new book, The Moral Landscape , questions about values—about meaning, morality, and life’s larger purpose—are really questions about the well-being of conscious creatures. Throughout the book I make reference to a hypothetical space that I call...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Experiments in Philosophy

    By Joshua Knobe from The New York Times. "...The study of human nature, whether in Nietzsche or in a contemporary psychology journal, is obviously relevant to certain purely scientific questions, but how could this sort of work ever help us to answer the distinctive questions of philosophy? It may...
     Posted by: agomberg
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