Should We Walk Away From Omelas?

Ursula K. Le Guin’s short story The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas (1973) poses an interesting and thorny moral conundrum. In this story, the narrator describes the utopian city of Omelas, whose very utopianism, prosperity, and unspoiled happiness depend on the perpetual misery of a single child, hidden and locked away in a dark,…

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Does Veganism Entail Antinatalism?

Many antinatalists embrace veganism, as they find these lifestyle decisions to be ethically consonant with each other. Yet most ethical vegans are not against having children. Whether one position entails the other depends on the particular ethic at play: If the goal is to prevent and minimise suffering, then does this not entail antinatalism? This…

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Beyond Oneness: Challenging the Dominant Narrative of Mystical Experience

For many of the influential philosophers and psychologists who have studied mystical experiences, the feeling of unity or oneness is an essential feature of these states. Thinkers have described the unitive experience in different ways: as the unification of opposites or the union of oneself with the outside world, the entire universe, ultimate reality, or…

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The Exhausting Complexity of Everyday Moral Choices

In everyday situations, we are faced with moral conundrums: Is this action better than another one? Should I refrain from acting, and does that refrain make me morally implicated in the outcome? Will this action improve, alleviate, worsen, or cause suffering to others or other sentient beings? What is the appropriate or proportionate way to…

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Nietzsche’s Opposition to Pity and Comfort

In much of his writing, Friedrich Nietzsche railed against pity – which he saw as a soul-crushing, enfeebling emotion and ethic – and comfort, which again he thought was the enemy of strength, health, and vitality. Nietzsche’s fierce opposition to Christianity originates from the centrality he believes it places on pity, and how this feeling…

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