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The Ethics of Having Children: Deontological Arguments

parents and children

This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions.

The having and begetting of children is central to human life. For many, it is a natural and unqualified good. The belief that your life is somehow incomplete or inferior if you do not have children persists in many cultures. Most people never question whether it is ethical to have children. But when you think about it this is pretty odd. A child is a sentient being who is highly dependent on the care of other human beings (typically its biological parents). So if you do have children, you are voluntarily taking on a significant moral responsibility and entrusting into your care a being capable of suffering great moral harms. This is not something to be taken lightly.

Consequently, it seems legitimate to ask the question: is it (morally) right to have children? In other words, is the having and begetting of children morally permissible, impermissible, obligatory or supererogatory?… Read the rest

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There is no evidence that the death penalty acts as a deterrent

Patrick Feller (CC BY 2.0)

Patrick Feller (CC BY 2.0)

Carolyn Hoyle, University of Oxford and Roger Hood, University of Oxford

Australia has executed no-one for half a century. Following the abolition of the death penalty by various states, the federal government abolished capital punishment in 1973.

Nevertheless, Australian citizens – like all of those from abolitionist jurisdictions – face the death penalty when they commit serious crimes in countries that retain it. Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are facing execution in Indonesia following their convictions on drug trafficking charges almost ten years ago. On Saturday, they and seven others were given official notice that they will be killed by firing squad on the prison island of Nusakambangan. Under Indonesian law, the minimum period between receiving notice and execution is 72 hours.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, has insisted all along that he will reject clemency petitions for drug traffickers on death row.… Read the rest

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The Asshole Factory

Surian Soosay (CC BY 2.0)

Surian Soosay (CC BY 2.0)

Umair Haque via Medium:

Our economy doesn’t make stuff anymore. So what does it make?

My good friend Mara has not one but two graduate degrees. From fine, storied universities. Surprise, surprise: the only “job” she was able to find was at a retail store.

Hey—it’s only minimum wage, but at least she’s working, right? And at a major-league, blue-chip company, An American icon; an institution; a name every man, woman, and child in this country knows; an historic company that rings of the American Dream the world over, besides. Surely, if nothing else, it’s a start.

Perhaps you’re right. Maybe it isn’t the start she always dreamed of…but at least it is one. If so…then awaits her at the finish?

What is Mara’s job like? Her sales figures are monitored…by the microsecond. By hidden cameras and mics. They listen to her every word; they capture her every movement; that track and stalk her as if she were an animal; or a prisoner; or both.

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The Latest In Censorship Of Independent Media

In this video Luke Rudkowski talks to Jason Bassler of The Free Thought Project and Nick Bernabe of The Anti Media about the current uphill battle they are facing as independent media. They discussed how previously alternative media had more opportunities to reach the public and how those current avenues are being hindered by the powers that be. They also talked about possible solutions and how you can help.

Via We Are Change

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Armenians Remember First Modern Genocide

Armenians are remembering what they deem the first modern genocide, 100 years ago at the hands of the Turks, reports USA Today. Needless to say, Turkey doesn’t see it quite the same way:

Armenians from around the globe are in Istanbul for Friday’s commemoration of what’s been called the first genocide of modern times, when up to 1.5 million Armenians died in the massacres and deportations that began in 1915.

Armenians marched by Turkish soldiers, 1915.png

Armenians are marched to a nearby prison in Mezireh by armed Turkish soldiers. Kharpert, Armenia, Ottoman Empire, April, 1915

 

A century later, the bitterly contested history is hardly a thing of the past. Turkey continues to insist that the wartime killings were not genocide, while Armenians say Turkey’s denial is an affront to a core part of their national identity.

“There is a question of political recognition of the genocide, but ultimately, it’s about the Armenian story and history being incorporated into the collective memory of the countries where we live,” said Nicolas Tavitian, director of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, who flew in from Brussels for the centennial.

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Hillary Clinton is Not a Feminist

Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)

Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)

Sophie Stephenson writes at CounterPunch:

Hillary Clinton says she’s a feminist, and claimed, astonishingly, while promoting her book “Hard Choices” last year:

“Women and girls … [are] central to our foreign policy,” saying that countries that value the rights of women are “less likely to breed extremism.”

However this statement is completely at odds with her actions as Secretary of State, such as with Libya – of which it has been said was her own project rather than Obama’s – where she put her own vile agenda ahead of the rights of the nation’s women, which were until that point light-years ahead of most other Middle Eastern countries. Since the death of Gaddafi, the rights of Libyan women have been rolled back by decades, with them now having to leave the house covering their heads, if not also their faces. It should be noted that the leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) – Abdelhakim Belhadj – whose group was backed by NATO air strikes and who afterwards had his photograph taken with Washington’s leading warmongers John McCain and Lindsey Graham, is now said to be leading ISIS in Libya.

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Shooting Your Computer Is Just ‘Glorious’

Surely anyone who’s had the misfortune of owning a Windows PC has fantasized about getting rid of the damn thing. Permanently, possibly with some violence. Fulfilling that fantasy for us, a Colorado man was so peeved with his Dell computer that he shot it, eight times, with his 9mm pistol. He told the Los Angeles Times that it was sooooo worth getting a ticket for shooting his gun within city limits:

A Colorado man finally had enough of his troublesome computer Monday and did what pretty much everyone has fantasized about: He shot and killed it.

Photo: Colorado Springs Police Dept.

Photo: Colorado Springs Police Dept.

 

Lucas Hinch, 37, was issued a summons by Colorado Springs police after he shot his 2012 Dell XPS 410 eight times in an alley, police said.

“He was fed up with fighting his computer for the last several months,” according to the police log.

Under most circumstances, it is illegal to fire a gun in Colorado Springs, which is about 60 miles south of Denver.

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