Ethics in the Real World 82 Brief Essays on Things That

Ethics in the Real World 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter [Reading] ➻ Ethics in the Real World 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter By Peter Singer – Peter Singer is often described as the world’s most influential philosopher He is also one of its most controversial The author of important books such as Animal Liberation Practical Ethics Rethinki Peter Singer is often described the Real MOBI ☆ as the world’s most influential philosopher He is also one of its most controversial The author of important books such as Animal Liberation Practical Ethics Ethics in MOBI :Ê Rethinking Life and Death and The Life You Can Save he helped launch the animal rights and effective altruism movements and contributed to the development of bioethics Now in Ethics in in the Real MOBI ò the Real World Singer shows that he is also a master at dissecting important current events in a few hundred wordsIn this book of brief essays he applies his controversial ways in the Real World 82 Epub / of thinking to issues like climate change extreme poverty animals abortion euthanasia human genetic selection sports doping the sale of kidneys the ethics of high priced art and ways of increasing happiness Singer asks whether chimpanzees are people smoking should be outlawed or consensual sex between adult siblings should be decriminalized and he reiterates his case against the idea that all human life is sacred applying his arguments to some recent cases in the news In addition he explores in an easily accessible form some of the deepest philosophical uestions such as whether in the Real World 82 Epub / anything really matters and what is the value of the pale blue dot that is our planet The collection also includes some personal reflections like Singer’s thoughts on one of his favorite activities surfing and an unusual suggestion for starting a family conversation over a holiday feastProvocative and original these essays will challenge—and possibly change—your beliefs about a wide range of real world ethical uestions.

10 thoughts on “Ethics in the Real World 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter

  1. Kevin Kelsey Kevin Kelsey says:

    Posted at Heradas ReviewA wonderful collection of short essays aimed toward every day people Each designed to introduce some difficult ethical uestions to those that may have never been forced to confront them in their day to day livesThe only failure of this book is in retrospect actually a success it being inherent to the function of what the book set out to achieve; the essays are too brief and as a result often too black and white The author a utilitarian undoubtedly understood that this was unavoidable and chose to sacrifice a complete complex examination of each ethical uandary in favor of reaching those most likely in need of asking these uestions by keeping the essays concise and to the point Easily digestible in a few minutes Demonstrably this could be seen as the ethical choice according to utilitarianism and with it Peter Singer has shown how legitimate his commitment to living an ethical life really isThe essays really are perfect for reading while you're waiting in line at a bank or waiting to meet some friends at a restaurant etc Bite size big uestions about the world and how we fit into both as a species and individually And you can read them whenever you have a spare 3 4 minutes It's fantasticSince finishing this collection I've started following Singer online and reading his essays published fairly freuently on Project Syndicate and various other websites They're all very insightful and bring up all kinds of fun uestions and dilemmas to ponder I think it's good for us to have to think occasionally about things that might make us uncomfortable It helps to free us of our various cages protective barriers ideologies and comfort zones that we've constructed around ourselves over the years It's good to stretch those bonds at least a little so we can test them and see if they're still useful

  2. Tso William Tso William says:

    The book consists of short essays from one of the most eminent philosophers of our age The book title Ethics in the Real World is a little misleading because there are in fact essays on a range of topics from Godless morality to New Year's resolution As each essay is only a few pages and written in clear and understandable prose it gives good introductions on major topics The problem however is that sometimes the essays are so short that it gives no justice to Singer's thought I have read his essay on donation during a philosophy course and know that he is capable of making a nuanced argument Here brevity forces him to make statements that almost sound like mere platitude He says for example that emission of greenhouse is bad and therefore we should stop it or that we should have global governance and less secret diplomacy The real gem is still Singer's views on ethics and morality We see how he consistently applies his utilitarian outlook on ethical issues He disagrees donating to a museum to build a new wing because the same sum can benefit the poor children in third world countries much than the aesthetic experiences derived from a new wing The same also applies in buying high price art because the money used to buy art can save millions of children The other interesting essays are on animal rights Singer does not disagree with meat eating per se He simply disagrees in causing great pain and suffering of the animals incurred as a result of meat eating

  3. Larry Bassett Larry Bassett says:

    I have come to respect Peter singer in recent years because of his contributions to the field of effective altruism doing the most good possible with your financial contributions to charities I decided to read this book because it was by Peter Singer I was somewhat disappointed but I think that was because I felt somewhat overwhelmed by one short op ad piece after another I wasn't especially interested in all of the topics and didn't feel that Peter added a great deal to my thinking about many of them Some of that was because I was familiar already with his thinking And the last chapter that focused on various sports issues held very little interest for me Although it was interesting to learn that Peter who is from Australia returned to surfing at the age of 50 Although the book is relatively recent many of the items go back a number of years and suffer as a result from a lack of current relevance Peter is also evidently not a extremely popular or widely published op ed writer since the majority of items are from one particular source

  4. Liam Bai Liam Bai says:

    A collection of thought provoking essays on ethical issues that should concern every single one of usHow can philosophy and ethics be valuable if they only raise uestions that cannot be definitively answered? This thought always steered me away from philosophy – why are you sitting here thinking about these empty ideas when instead you can use this time to do something useful? I found an answer in this book just like inventing new technologies by thinking about and discussing things that matter we can make this world a better place Too often do we neglect issues extremely important to humanity animal abuse poverty the credibility of charities universal internet access that perhaps don’t concern us directly We acuiesce to the status uo This book thoughtfully challenges some of these ideas and inspired me to view them in different ways The world doesn’t have to be run this way – especially if you think it’s messed up – but it will continue to be if no one uestions itThough categorical Singer’s arguments are by no means abrasive I admire his spirit of open discourse – he is assertive in his stance yet open to disagreement His insightful essay on Harriet McBryde Johnson a fervent and outspoken critic of his views on disability demonstrates his respect and openness Singer’s simple and concise style allows the reader to understand and participate in these discussions without any background in theories of philosophy I found this particularly enjoyable In fact he rarely mentions that he is utilitarian and never expounds complex theories Instead he just states – without pretensions – what he believes to be right and why you should agree with him Indeed discussions of these ever important problems in our society should not be limited to the academic few that are well versed in philosophy or the powerful few that dominate the political scene These discussions should involve every one of us because we ALL share their conseuences It is our duty as citizens to think about these issues carefully and participate in these conversations – only this way can we bring about responsible change and steer humanity in the right direction

  5. Malcolm Everett Malcolm Everett says:

    Australian philosopher and Stanford professor Peter Singer provides bite sized food for thought in this collection of mini essays on various ethical issues which was written with a general audience in mind The essays are organized according to topic covering everything from animal rights and euthanasia to charitable giving and politics As a teenager these types of ethical uestions were ones that I devoured endlessly I lurked on online forums to discover different viewpoints and delighted in writing essays about controversial subjects Now that I am out of school there are fewer opportunities to intentionally explore these ideas It seems that after a certain age we stop uestioning our beliefs and allow them to become immutably concrete Ethics in the Real World was just the remedy I needed to refresh my opinions and perspective It’s obvious that Singer has what many would label as a “liberal” mindset when it comes to most issues He is a pro choice vegan atheist I tend to follow a similar slant so perhaps confirmation bias is part of the reason I enjoyed this book although the moments my beliefs were challenged were the most rewarding Singer often dissects recent news stories as case studies and incorporates scientific evidence in his arguments which definitely makes him persuasiveHere are some of the interesting moral uandaries I encountered Ethics are objective rather than subjective According to Singer a universal truth exists I’m not so sure about that claim myself given that people can make eually convincing arguments about opposite sides of the same topic eg infant euthanasia Ethics have a biological component Singer says “Like other psychological faculties of the mind including language and mathematics we are endowed with a moral faculty that guides our intuitive judgments of right and wrong” This thought has crossed my mind before but never has it been phrased so elouently The presence of innate morality however does not mean that we humans always follow our internal compass; we seem to have an eual propensity for violence and discrimination Morality pills could improve society If morality has a genetic component then we can manipulate negative impulses as we already do with medications for mental illnesses This reminds me that I really need to get around to reading A Clockwork Orange soon Everyone should go vegan I think I’d be a vegan if I didn’t grow up as a picky meat eater Singer’s arguments for veganism and animal rights are utterly convincing ha cow pun but I’ll just have to wait around for the lab created meat revolution before I reduce my animal cruelty and carbon footprint What can I say? Humans are selfish There’s a tradeoff between cheap goods and ethical production This is an unfortunate fact I’ve always been aware of Recently I came across a thread on Reddit about how a woman purportedly found a note from a Chinese slave worker in a purse at Walmart People were heatedly discussing whether or not the consumer was obligated to uncover the source of their purchases and stop shopping at places that didn’t follow certain ethical standards It’s exhausting to try and make sure every component of every product you buy has been ethically produced Most Americans certainly want those who make our goods to be treated well but I doubt many people would want to pay twice as much as a result especially with how that would affect low income populations This is a topic I’d like to research further Extremely premature babies should be euthanized This is one of Singer’s most controversial stances but I’d have to say I agree with the points he makes Singer essentially claims that certain lives are better lost given their low chances of a healthy life but I do not believe that means he would think it ethical for those who are currently disabled to be killed It’s one of the messier subjects and I’m sure he has better addressed it in his longer works It reminds me of the moral dilemma that arose from two deaf parents wanting to have a deaf child—should disability be forced upon any person and does anyone have the right to make that choice one way or the other? Physician assisted suicide is legal in Canada One might expect that physician assisted suicide would increase as a result of its legalization given familial or societal pressures but it was heartening to hear this was not the case in countries where it has been legalized The court case examples Singer provides solidified my support of voluntary euthanasia Should we legalize the organ trade? Singer states that 10% of kidneys used in transplants were purchased on the black market and that Singapore did not increase organ sales by offering a monetary incentive Therefore the concern that monetizing organ donations would lead to an increase in low income individuals donating their organs is unfounded I’d like to read about the facts behind this In Australia cigarettes are sold in generic packaging by law This makes so much sense Fuck you cigarette companies You’re just selling cancer Not that alcohol companies are much better mind you Donating to arts organizations and buying high priced art is unethical Singer makes a convincing argument but I can just imagine how my local arts organizations would rankle at this notion People enjoy donating to local causes because it improves their own community; they are trying to better the small world they live in not the entire globe Sure their money would go farther and make of an impact if it went to curing malaria in Africa but that contains little personal relevance for most people Individuals want to make an impact that is meaningful to themselves and their loved ones and they shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about self oriented altruism Do the rich have an ethical obligation to donate money to the poor? Singer would answer this uestion with a resounding “YES” and he’s very judgmental about how people spend their money We are all put into our current positions as a result of luck but many people maintain or rise in affluence due to hard work Where should we draw the line between what is given and what is earned? The world’s wealthiest individuals donate far than the middle class could ever hope to achieve so why can’t the rich donate money to prevent malaria and also buy a painting as a status symbol if they so please? Australia has compulsory voting I’ve heard this factoid before but I’d forgotten about it As Singer mentions voter turnout and gerrymandering are serious problems in the American political system However I didn’t uite understand Singer’s points about why having a separate executive branch is useless I was also surprised to hear him say that partisan politics are worse in the US than everywhere else; I suppose I thought political divides were just as bad in other countries given the number of global controversies and protests Holocaust denial is a crime in Austria Although I agree with Singer that this law violates freedom of speech I find that I’m swayed by the ethos behind it Holocaust deniers can rot in jail for all I care Should we honor racists? All of the historical details about Woodrow Wilson were fascinating and reminiscent of the ongoing debates about civil war monuments in the Southern US Conservatives have held tight to the Confederate flag which they view as a symbol of Southern pride although it’s probably of a reactionary measure against liberal outrage—it’s all about tribalism and identity politics not a rational assessment of the issue There have been calls all over the US to rename certain schools or buildings that honor historical figures with great accomplishments but whose morals no longer align with those of the present age As Singer says “History is full of deeply flawed people who did great things” The Bottom Line As you can see from my long list of bullet points this book contained a lot of ideas worth dissecting I look forward to reading of Peter Singer’s work

  6. Fatma Fatma says:

    DNF at 68% some of its arguments were engaging and thought provoking especially the ones on medical care but for the most part I didn't really care for these essays A lot of them felt obvious and maybe that's because of the constraints of Singer's format Personally I thought the brevity of the essays robbed them of potential for nuance and made them feel uite underwhelming at times That being said I'm deciding to DNF this because it simply isn't holding my attention right now I'd rather not force myself to keep reading something just for the sake of finishing it

  7. Mehrsa Mehrsa says:

    I agree with Singer that the op ed provides a great medium for scholars to advance their thoughts because it forces them to make their language less complicated and their thoughts succinct Having said that there was no real coherency to this book no connecting tissue from one thought to the other It didn't even seem like there was any order at all to the random essays Having said that each essay was really thought provoking and it was great to have them all in one place and read Singer trying to make sense of some of the biggest issues our society faces

  8. Arnaud Vigouroux Arnaud Vigouroux says:

    Excellent book that raises a lot of important uestions that we are often uncomfortable to ask ourselves

  9. Matthew Kramer Matthew Kramer says:

    Dr Singer is an instructor in bioethics at Princeton which explains his relentlessly liberal viewpoint and thinly veiled contempt for religion conservatives and basically everyone who does not agree with him For an individual who supposedly has spent a lifetime developing the field of Bioethics many of his arguments they are in fact arguments in support of his own opinions not even handed treatments of difficult uestions lack even a pretense of logical progression As a physician who has dealt with many problems of bioethics in the REAL WORLD not an ivory tower I found myself identifying logical contradictions and failures that invalidated many of his opinions even before the full argument had been presented Some of Dr Singer's offensive arguments include in paraphrase that children born with Down syndrome or other disabilities should be put to death that it is OK for doctors to unilaterally decide to kill nursing home residents with Alzheimer's disease and that the US health care system funding should be drastically cut to send aid to other countries even if many persons then die here Even liberals who believe that socialism and complete governmental control over the lives of citizens are appropriate societal aims would find many things here to give them pause Presumably the level of governmental control advocated in these pages would be OK as long as HE were the one in charge In short the book is claptrap and I don't even know why it is on the library shelf

  10. Text Publishing Text Publishing says:

    ‘Peter Singer’s status as a man of principles and towering intellect—a philosopher extraordinaire if you will—is unrivalled in Australia’Sydney Morning Herald ‘Peter Singer is a public intellectual par excellence’Monthly ‘Peter Singer may be the most controversial philosopher alive; he is certainly among the most influential’New Yorker ‘Lucidly conceived and written the brief essays in Ethics in the Real World attest to Singer’s enduring facility for wise clear headed enuiry into some of the most pressing issues we face It is not a manifesto for utilitarianism but a convincing case for philosophy’s continued engagement with ethical uestions that matter in the real world’Australian Book Review ‘I’d recommend Ethics in the Real World for reading at relaxed weekend breakfastsThese pieces are beaut conversation starters about topics of interest to everyone’ANZ LitLovers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *