The unique mix of modern Western and traditional Confucian values in Singapore presents young people with contradictory views on duties to aging parents. It remains to be seen whether the changing demands of modern life will result in new generations giving up Confucian family ethics or whether the Confucian dynamic will find a way to adapt to the new pressures. It is the opinion of this author that the Confucian family structure has mixed potential for the growing crisis of elder (...) care. Alone, both Confucian traditions and typical Western institutional approaches toward elder care fall short of what is necessary for intergenerational social justice, yet a hybrid of the two has great potential for the growing aging crisis. To demonstrate this, I first give a brief account of the history of filial piety in Confucianism as well as the social environment from which it originated. Then I turn my attention to the present issues of an aging population and elder care that face much of the developed world in the twenty-first century. Finally, I show how adherence to Confucian filial traditions can both help to address many of these issues and how it can potentially leave unjust gaps in elder care. Ultimately, I conclude that the crisis of elder care may be best dealt with through a hybrid of Confucian values and Western approaches. (shrink)
What I seek to do in this paper is to reemphasize what I see as the forgotten or neglected other half of the effective altruist equation. Effective altruists need to take seriously the ways in which their actions contribute to systemic inequality and structural violence. Charitable donation is not enough to create a paradigm shift or stop systemic injustice. In tackling systemic injustice, the ascetic response may allow effective altruists to attack the roots of the problem more directly. Further, the (...) cost-benefit analysis and randomized controlled trials favored by the movement can produce distinctly biased perceptions that leave effective altruists blind to the political dimensions of many types of harm. Balancing ascetic approaches to combating suffering may temper the overzealous focus on cost-effective charities and make room for the support of the causes this narrow focus excludes. Ultimately, this paper defends the basic tenets of effective altruism: that we have a duty to reduce suffering in the world and that we should apply our powers of reason in order to make our labors maximally effective. (shrink)
Among the collective as well as individual responsibilities of nurses as professionals is that of maintaining and improving the quality of nursing care. In exchange for monopoly status and professional authority to control nursing practice, the profession is charged with the responsibility of meeting the nursing care needs of the community. If one claims, as I do, that one of the collective responsibilities of nurses is maintenance of high nursing standards, we must examine what action is required of nurses who (...) find themselves in work contexts in which standards and practice are deficient. Specifically, is the strike weapon one that may or even ought to be used? In this essay, answers to the following two questions are advanced: (a) What conditions must obtain for it to be (morally) right for nurses in a particular health care facility to strike? (b) Does their collective responsibility with regard to nursing standards and practice ever entail that a group of nurses has a (moral) duty to strike? The essay concludes with a consideration of how one balances the collective responsibility to maintain and improve the quality of nursing care with an individual nurse's responsibility to her/his own patients. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
In this essay, Kant's so-called argument for god's existence is analyzed and interpreted in light of the claim that the problem of god's existence correctly falls under the question "what may I hope?" ("critique of pure reason", A805=b833 ff.). It is maintained that Kant has established that the rational thing for the moral person to do is to hope for god's existence.
I argue that life after death is an appropriate object of one's hope, despite the fact that it may not be an appropriate object of one's belief. That is, the hope for life after death is a reasonable hope. Whereas the belief that there is a life after death may not be a justified belief.I begin by discussing and clarifying the phenomenon of hoping and developing a logical analysis of the concept of hope. Hoping is then distinguished from both wishing (...) and believing. Next I discuss what must obtain before we consider a hope to be a reasonable one or to be justified. Finally I demonstrate that at least one form of life after death meets the conditions for justified hope. (shrink)
In Use and Abuse Revisited: Response to Pluhar and Varner, Kathryn Paxton George misunderstands the point of my essay, In Defense of the Vegan Ideal: Rhetoric and Bias in the Nutrition Literature. I did not claim that the nutrition literature unambiguously confirms that vegans are not at significantly greater risk of deficiencies than omnivores. Rather than settling any empirical controversy, my aim was to show how the literature can give the casual reader a skewed impression of what is known (...) about the risks of a vegan diet. In this brief rejoinder, I illustrate how two essays by nutritionists in the same volume as George's and my essays, and a referee's report on my manuscript which was authored by a nutritionist, confirm the soundness of this basic insight. (shrink)
This book is also a call to situate Eastern religious traditions in their own framework, not borrowing from Western scholarly paradigms and also not being apologetic to the Western ideas of life, religion, and the beyond. Written in an engaging and informative style, this book would be interesting to both scholars and ordinary readers.
I was optimistic of a new beginning in an open society when I came to America in 1999. Since then, I have indeed benefited from many aspects of American life. I have learned a lot – especially through my experience with small farms and farmers. But now, it's time to move on. And it was reading Debt and Dispossession, a book about American agriculture and human values, that crystallized in me why I wanted to leave. By telling the story of (...) the 1980s farm crisis through the words of the residents of a Minnesota town, the book prizes open many of the contradictions of American society. The 1970s were boom times for mid-western farms; farmers took advantage of “easy” farm credit to finance expansion. By the 1980s, the boom burst and slump loomed. Lenders wanted their money back and thousands of farmers were dispossessed. Debt and Dispossession probes beneath the surface of a community apparently united in protest against the dispossessions. Underneath, it finds a tangled picture of a society at war with itself, pitting farmer against farmer in a fratricidal struggle. The book let me glimpse the paradox of American individualism, all-American contradictions centering on government and consumerism, frugality and morality. Just like my experience of American agriculture and farmers as a whole, Debt and Dispossession helped me see the best side of America, but also revealed the fragility of life in a one-on-one society. (shrink)