Using data from a randomized field experiment within a Deliberative Poll, we examine deliberation’s effects on both policy attitudes and the extent to which ordinal rankings of policy options approach single-peakedness (a help in avoiding cyclical majorities). The issues were airport expansion and revenue-sharing in New Haven, Connecticut and its surrounding towns. Half the participants deliberated revenue-sharing, then the airport, the other half the reverse. This split-half design enables us to distinguish the effects of the formal on-site deliberations from those (...) of other aspects of the Deliberative Polling treatment. We find that the formal on-site deliberations accounted for much of the Deliberative Polling effect on one issue, though not the other—thus both confirming deliberation’s capacity to shape attitudes and preferences and raising the question of how its effects may depend on the kind of issue being deliberated. We suggest that deliberation’s effects are larger for less salient issues. (shrink)
Companies do have ethical responsibility and are not protected by limited liability from the consequences of their actions. A company's record and the preception of its ethics affect its reputation and ensure long term success or failure.The financial community has a history of placing moral considerations above legal or opportunistic expedients. But we are often exposed to moral dangers and the dangers of contamination are increasing. Deregulation and the technological revolution are sharpening ethical conflicts.
This article offers a new interpretation of Bonhoeffer's Christian peace ethic, a more penetrating description of what is usually called his `pacifism'. This peace ethic does not rest on a principle of non-violence — Bonhoeffer rejects an ethic of principles — but is rooted in his distinctive reading of Scripture, especially the Sermon on the Mount, and his understanding of Christ, discipleship, the gospel and the church. Consequently he does not abandon his peace ethic to participate in the anti-Hitler conspiracy (...) and attempted tyrannicide. Theological analysis and historical information both support this conclusion. (shrink)
Moberly’s article is based on the premise that the translation of Bonhoeffer’s Ethics in the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works is a critical edition. This article discusses the nature of translation, why this premise is indefensible, and points out many problematic judgments that flow from it and related assumptions. While recognising that errors occur in translations, the response affirms the scholarly value of the translation.
Early last year, the GenEthics Consortium (GEC) of the Washington Metropolitan Area convened at George Washington University to consider a complex case about genetic testing for Alzheimer disease (AD). The GEC consists of scientists, bioethicists, lawyers, genetic counselors, and consumers from a variety of institutions and affiliations. Four of the 8 co-authors of this paper delivered presentations on the case. Supplemented by additional ethical and legal observations, these presentations form the basis for the following discussion.
Advance refusals of life-sustaining treatment involve three potentially conflicting interests: those of the patient; those of the doctor; and those of the law. The state's interest in protecting life can clash with the patient's right to self determination which, in turn, can conflict with the doctor's desire to act in the patient's best interests. Against this background, we present the case of a patient who was treated (arguably) contrary to his advance refusal but in accordance with English law.
It can be shown that considerable common ground exists between indigenous or traditional theories of contagious disease in Africa, and modern medicine, whether human or veterinary. Yet this is not recognized because of the generally low regard in which the medically trained – whether African or expatriate – hold African traditional medicine. This attitude seems to result from the assumption that African health beliefs are based on witchcraft and related “supernatural” thinking. I argue that this may not be so in (...) the important domain of diseases biomedically classified as contagious; such diseases tend to be understood naturalistically. An accurate understanding of how Africans traditionally interpret contagious diseases of humans and livestock is the foundation for the design and implementation of more effective health programs. (shrink)
In this paper we describe the objectives of teaching medical ethics to undergraduates and the teaching methods used. We describe a workshop used in the University of Liverpool Department of Psychiatry, designed to enhance ethical sensitivity in psychiatry. The workshop reviews significant historical and current errors in the ethical practice of psychiatry and doctors' defence mechanisms against accepting responsibility for deficiencies in ethical practice. The workshop explores the student doctors' own group ethos in response to ethical dilemmas, and demonstrates how (...) the individual contributes to and is responsible for the group ethos through participation and also through nonparticipation. The student feedback about the workshop is reviewed. The Toronto Ethical Sensitivity Instrument was used to assess whether or not the workshop altered sensitivity. Compared to a control group the attenders' sensitivity was significantly increased (on Student's t-test p equals or is less than 0.002). (shrink)
Attitude change is a critical component of health behavior change, but has rarely been studied longitudinally following extensive exposures to persuasive materials such as full-length movies, books, or plays. We examined changes in attitudes related to food production and consumption in college students who had read Michael Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma as part of a University-wide reading project. Composite attitudes towards organic foods, local produce, meat, and the quality of the American food supply, as well as opposition to government (...) subsidies, distrust in corporations, and commitment to the environmental movement were significantly and substantially impacted, in comparison to students who had not read the book. Much of the attitude change disappeared after one year; however, over the course of twelve months self-reported opposition to government subsidies and belief that the quality of the food supply is declining remained elevated in readers of the book, compared to non-readers. Findings have implications for our understanding of the nature of changes in attitudes to food and eating in response to extensive exposure to coherent and engaging messages targeting health behaviors. (shrink)
Within a given culture – whether industrialized or more tradition oriented – essentially the same fundamental medical theories, practices, and pharmacopoeia tend to be applied to human and non-human sickness and patients. In modern industrialized societies, however, healthcare services are sharply divided between human and veterinary medicine. There is likewise a sharp division between practitioners in these two health sectors: medical doctors and veterinarians. Yet in non-Western, traditional or indigenous medical systems, the same practitioners often treat both humans and animals. (...) There is a growing body of literature that attests to the efficacy of traditional health practices and herbal medicines for the prevention and treatment of both human and livestock ailments.The authors argue for an intersectoral approach to human and veterinary health services in poor countries, especially those targeted to rural people with LIMITED access to modern health services. Extension of conventional medical and veterinary services is particularly difficult and costly in Third World countries where the necessary infrastructure (roads, clinics, labs, cold chains, etc.) is poorly developed and where much of the populace and their livestock reside in remote, rural areas, or where people may be nomadic or transhumant. Consideration should therefore be given to the joint delivery of human and livestock healthcare and related services, as well as to linking informal, ethnoveterinary practices and practitioners with more formalized systems of veterinary AND medical practice. Several advantages of such an approach are identified and explored. (shrink)
Evolutionary discussions regarding the relationship between social status and fertility in the contemporary U.S. typically claim that the relationship is either negative or absent entirely. The published data on recent generations of Americans upon which such statements rest, however, are solid with respect to women but sparse and equivocal for men. In the current study, we investigate education and income in relation to age at first child, childlessness, and number of children for men and women in two samples—one of the (...) general American population and one of graduates of an elite American university. We find that increased education is strongly associated with delayed childbearing in both sexes and is also moderately associated with decreased completed or near-completed fertility. Women in the general population with higher adult income have fewer children, but this relationship does not hold within all educational groups, including our sample with elite educations. Higher-income men, however, do not have fewer children in the general population and in fact have lower childlessness rates. Further, higher income in men is positively associated with fertility among our sample with elite educations as well as within the general population among those with college educations. Such findings undermine simple statements on the relationship between status and fertility. (shrink)
For nearly a generation, Derek Parfit's arguments in his 1984 book Reasons and Persons have shaped debates about our moral responsibilities to future people. Struggling to accommodate Parfit's insights, philosophers and bioethicists have minimized or accentuated obligations to the future in ways that defy ordinary moral intuitions. In this issue, Robert Sparrow develops the troubling implications of the views of two leading theorists whose work favoring human genetic enhancement is influenced by Parfit. Sparrow believes they return us to the (...) horrors of early twentieth-century eugenics. But the real problem may be a purely theoretical one: the unfortunate influence of Parfit.This is no place to review all of .. (shrink)
have recently provided a compelling demonstration of enhanced attentional control under post-hypnotic suggestion. Using the classic color-word interference paradigm, in which the task is to ignore a word and to name the color in which it is printed (e.g., RED in green, say ''green''), they gave a post-hypnotic instruction to participants that they would be unable to read. This eliminated Stroop interference in high suggestibility participants but did not alter interference in low suggestibility participants. replicated this pattern and (...) further demonstrated that it is not due to a visual strategy (such as blurring or looking at a different location). As a historical footnote, we describe a ''case study'' from 18 years ago in which we observed the same result using a hypnotic instruction to a single highly suggestible individual that he could not read. The elimination of Stroop interference has important implications for both the study of attention and the study of hypnosis. (shrink)
In District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court is anticipated to finally decide whether the Second Amendment is an individual or a collective right. This article is not about the textual and historical arguments on the basis of which the Court is likely to make its decision. My topic is more fundamental. Assuming that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, what purpose does it serve? What are the possible reasons that private arms possession is sufficiently valuable to deserve (...) constitutional protection? Because it was insufficiently sensitive to the variety of justifications available, the majority in Parker v. District of Columbia (the D.C. Circuit case appealed in Heller) failed to identify the purposes of the Second Amendment. The passing comments it made were compatible with a large number of very different justifications. Second Amendment advocates have also been surprisingly muddled on the issue. This confusion has gone unnoticed because no one has, until now, offered a philosophically rigorous account of the justifications available and the important distinctions between them. Clarity about the value of private arms possession is essential for determining the scope of the Second Amendment under an individual right interpretation - a project that lower courts will be forced to undertake if Parker is affirmed. Courts commonly interpret the scope of a constitutional right in light of the interests the right protects. For this reason, they need a clear conception of why individuals have an interest in private arms possession. I offer this article as a first, but crucial, step toward answering this question. (shrink)
Commentators on Robert Nichols’s tetralogy of novels called Daily Lives in Nghsi-Altai have been highly complimentary.1 John P. Clark claims that Daily Lives is “one of the most important contributions to both literary and theoretical utopianism.”2 Werner Christine Mathisen argues that it could inspire other green utopias to take politics more seriously.3 And Ursula K. Le Guin has suggested that it is in some ways the place she was trying to reach when she wrote “A Non-Euclidean View of (...) California.”4 Unfortunately, however, as recent commentators have also acknowledged, Daily Lives is not well known and is seldom the focus of critical attention.5 My intention here is to encourage other readers and critics to .. (shrink)
Illegally downloading music through peer-topeer networks has persisted in spite of legal action to deter the behavior. This study examines the individual characteristics of downloaders which could explain why they are not dissuaded by messages that downloading is illegal. We compared downloaders to non-downloaders and examined whether downloaders were characterized by less ethical concern, engagement in illegal behavior, and a propensity toward stealing a CD from a music store under varying levels of risk. We also examined whether downloading or individual (...) characteristics of downloaders were similar for men and women. Findings revealed downloading was prevalent (74.5% of the student sample downloaded), men and women were equally likely to download and the factors characterizing downloading were similar for men and women. The comparison between downloaders and nondownloaders revealed downloaders were less concerned with the law, demonstrated by less ethical concern and engagement in other illegal behaviors. Downloaders were also more likely to indicate that they would steal a CD when there was no risk of being caught. Given these results, messages regarding illegality are unlikely to perturb downloaders and alternative recommendations are offered for targeting illegal downloading. (shrink)
"Many of you know about an important disagreement that Jenny Wade has with Spiral Dynamics, namely, whether orange and green are two different stages of development or whether they are two different paths through the same stage of development (see her book, Changes of Mind ). Both Don Beck and Jenny Wade are members of IC, so it's an in-house friendly disagreement. Also, this discussion is a little bit technical, and demands a general grasp of what we call a (...) phase-4 model--'all quadrants, all levels, all lines, all states'--but I'll go through it briefly for those who are interested. (shrink)