MercatorNet: promoting human dignity


Mr Spock, the comic utilitarian

Michael Cook | 06 March 2015 | FEATURES |  
tags: Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Peter Singer, Star Trek, utilitarianism
Why is there something faintly ridiculous in the logic of thinkers like Bentham, Mill and Peter Singer?

The terrifying utilitarianism behind Guantanamo torture

Peter Finn | 28 January 2015 | FEATURES |  
tags: Guantanamo Bay, utilitarianism
After a six-year legal battle, a detainee has given his side of the story of his arrest, rendition and interrogation. It's horrific.

Where are the true utilitarians who have not bent the knee to Baal?

Michael Cook | 24 November 2014 | FEATURES |  
tags: bioethics, Julian Savulescu, Peter Singer, utilitarianism
An Oxford philosopher wants a more positive image for an austere philosophy.

What if software could suffer?

Michael Cook | 03 June 2014 | FEATURES |  
tags: artificial intelligence, Jeremy Bentham, Peter Singer, utilitarianism
A thought experiment proves that the reasoning for animal rights is on the wrong track.

Let human bodies stay priceless

Margaret Somerville | 19 March 2013 | FEATURES |  
tags: bioethics, commodification, market economy, utilitarianism
Turning organs into commercially-traded commodities will subtly alter our relationships.

What money can’t buy

Michael Cook | 26 February 2013 | FEATURES |  
tags: book reviews, commodification, market economy, utilitarianism
What is the proper role of money and markets in a democratic society? How can we protect the priceless goods in moral and civic life from being bought and sold?

Harvard Munch: when liberty becomes bondage

Michael Cook | 10 January 2013 | FEATURES |  
tags: bestiality, Harvard, John Stuart Mill, sado-masochism, torture, utilitarianism
One hundred and fifty years after J S Mill's famous book on Utilitarianism, the heirs of his philosophy are embracing nihilism.

Is it better never to have been born?

Michael Cook | 08 May 2012 | FEATURES |  
tags: bioethics, children, utilitarianism
The joys of bringing a child into the world are not persuasive for some contemporary philosophers.

Even more weirdness

Michael Cook | 20 March 2012 | FEATURES |  
tags: bioethics, utilitarianism
All all bioethicists crazy? Or only the utilitarians?

Daleks are utilitarians, but are utilitarians Daleks?

Richard Umbers | 06 October 2011 | FEATURES |  
tags: Doctor Who, utilitarianism
Psychology researchers may have discovered a disturbing angle to utilitarian reasoning.

“Ethically impossible”

Michael Cook | 22 September 2011 | FEATURES |  
tags: Guatemala, utilitarianism
Are there any lessons for the future in the scandalous story of American syphilis research in Guatemala?

Birthday blue

Michael Cook | 05 July 2011 | FEATURES |  
tags: assisted suicide, Australia, euthanasia, human dignity, utilitarianism
Are supporters of legalised euthanasia willing to listen to reason? Maybe not.

If the “greater good” trumps human rights…

Marcus Roberts | 28 March 2011 | FAMILY EDGE |  
tags: human rights, utilitarianism
Before I started writing this blog, the topic of demography usually came before my consciousness (through the media, in conversations etc) in the following form: The world has a problem in that its population is growing too quickly. The world’s resources are inadequate to support this huge population. Unless something is done, there will be a major crisis – there will be food shortages and many people will die of starvation. This could also lead to wars over food resources. The answer therefore, is to “do something”. What though? Implement a Chinese-style one child policy? Encourage, sterilisation, contraception and abortion? Tax people according to the number of children they have? Encourage euthanasia of the old and sick?

Same old, same old

Michael Cook | 10 February 2011 | FEATURES |  
tags: ethics, Peter Singer, utilitarianism
The ageing rock star of ethics, Peter Singer, is still playing the same taboo-smashing tunes.

Reaping the whirlwind

Zac Alstin | 10 September 2010 | FEATURES |  
tags: terrorism, utilitarianism, World War II
Seventy years ago this week Nazi planes began a campaign of bombing civilian targets in London. Can we honestly say, “never again”?

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