Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Big Bag of Ethics: Soylent Green, Mandela, and Aid

Terrible ideas in ethics: run the country like a business, Soylent Green edition. “If you’re trying to look at America from a balance-sheet perspective the problem is very clear … it’s the existence of old people. … The optimal economic growth policy isn’t to slash Social Security and Medicare benefits, it’s to euthanize 70 year-olds and harvest their organs for auctions.”

Much better thoughts on ethics about Mandela’s transformation into the Mandela we (think we) know today: “It was not because he was removed from others, removed from evil, removed from the weaknesses of a frail humanity, that he prevailed. It was by plunging into what was negative in himself and the aching world around him that he was able to develop “whatever is good,” as he puts it in his book. How to do this? One word keeps cropping up, over and over: integrity.”

Beyond a desire to save the world:
Someone very smart once said to me that “the reasons why you stay married are usually different from the reasons why you got married.” And very much like marriage, humanitarian work is one of those things that has good days and not so good days.”
On the ethics of pop stars associating with autocrats.

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