Sunday, May 8, 2016

Don't Get Into the Lifeboat

New Yorker cartoon by Edward Steed
Beware of “lifeboat ethics.” You’ll hear the argument made that the authorities ought to be able to torture people because someday someone may know the location of a ticking H-bomb. But comic-book scenarios aren’t useful guides to public policy, and some practices — such as torture, child labor and slavery — are so inherently evil that they destroy the very societies that attempt to “benefit” from them.
We’re not in the Donner Party, so put away your recipe book, the fava beans and the Chianti.

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