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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
  • 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
  • Nice Guys Finish First

    By David Brooks, The New York Times The story of evolution, we have been told, is the story of the survival of the fittest. The strong eat the weak. The creatures that adapt to the environment pass on their selfish genes. Those that do not become extinct. In this telling, we humans are like all other...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Morality: Created By Evolution or Religion?

    ABC News By Dan Harris, Wonbo Woo, and Jessica Hopper An excerpt: Let a bunch of chimpanzees into a yard filled with watermelons and while a few of them may horde the fruit at first, eventually they will share. If not, their whole social system will be disrupted. "If things get totally out of whack...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Morality: Beyond Intuition

    By Peter Singer, in New Scientist The Enlightenment philosopher David Hume pointed out long ago that no combination of statements about what "is" the case could ever allow one to deduce what "ought" to be. After all, in deductive arguments, the truth of the conclusion is already contained...
     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
  • Laurie Santos: A Monkey Economy as Irrational as Ours

    By Laurie Santos from TED Talks Science of Virtues Scholar Laurie Santos looks for the roots of human irrationality by watching the way our primate relatives make decisions. A clever series of experiments in "monkeynomics" shows that some of the silly choices we make, monkeys make too. See...
     Posted by: agomberg
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