Originally recommended 22nd October 2013
As you might say, the trickle-down theory of designer babies. We should welcome technologies that make for smarter and stronger babies, even if only the rich can afford them; they will get cheaper later; and geniuses are good for all society. “Few of us are as talented as, say, Steve Jobs, James Watt, Edwin Land or Norman Bourlaug, but at the same time, few of us would be better off in a world where they never existed” (2,970 words)
Originally recommended 24th April 2013
“A terrorist should be defined by his advancement of an unjust cause, in addition to his targeting of civilians. A theory of evil must distinguish between opportunistic evil and principled evil. Most criminals are opportunistic: they act in self-interest … We have stronger reasons to fight principled criminals than opportunistic criminals, both because their maxim is evil and because they cannot be easily bribed or persuaded” (907 words)
Originally recommended 16th February 2012
Almost worth it for the ambiguous headline alone. But on to the substantive question. Why do we expect a reasonable person to save the life of a child drowning nearby, but not the life of a child starving in another country?