Applying Pascal’s Wager to Animal Ethics

Blaise Pascal (1623-62) was a French mathematician, physicist, philosopher, and Catholic theologian. One of his most influential contributions to the philosophy of religion is a philosophical argument known as Pascal’s wager. This idea was published posthumously in Pascal’s Pensées (“Thoughts”).  This post will describe how Pascal’s wager can be usefully applied to animal ethics, namely,…

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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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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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Digital Antinatalism: Is It Wrong to Bring Sentient AI Into Existence?

Digital antinatalism is the philosophical view that it is morally wrong to create sentient artificial intelligence (AI). It is a variant of antinatalism, which promotes the view that we should refrain from procreating for moral reasons. We can consider digital antinatalism to be a selective – or weaker – form of antinatalism since one may…

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