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,…

View Post

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…

View Post

The Ethical Justification for ‘Overreacting’ to the COVID-19 Outbreak

The COVID-19 pandemic is an interesting ethical problem, given the outbreak’s susceptibility to worsen or improve based on individual decision-making. Clearly, government advice and country-wide lockdowns are intended to minimise harm and make it easier for health systems to save the lives of the vulnerable, but in many countries – like the UK, where I…

View Post