Two weeks ago, I asked Only a Game players to contribute their thoughts on the ethical issues that were worth addressing (in this post), which generated some spectacular sideline discussions and a healthy collection of points to explore. There are far too many issues for us to cover them in a single post, so here we’ll review the issues briefly and then follow each up in turn with a separate post over the coming weeks and months. During this time, if anyone has any additional issues, they should feel free to contribute!
The issues raised were as follows:
- Personal responsibility (Corvus) - if this isn't a key issue then I don't know what is, but sadly it does not necessarily lend itself to progress through debate as it is a theoretical rather than a practical issue.
- Modesty of Sexuality (Jack) c.f. oversexualisation of the media - this is a good issue to raise; it directly relates to tensions with Islamic cultures. Difficult to separate the ethics from the political, though.
- Justice Between Generations (zenBen) - a theoretical rather than a practical issue, but I guess I shouldn't be suprised, since this is a very theoretical blog. :) Well worth looking at.
- Freedom in the Face of Crises (zenBen) - although zenBen relates this to justice between generations, I see this as a seperate issue. The point being: if such-and-such a crisis must urgently be addressed, how do I justify doing a job that does not contribute to the resolution of that crisis?
- Environmental Preservation (Bezman) - finally, a practical issue! :)
- Hedonism versus Self-development (Bezman) - this is another great issue. We may have to defer it to the discussion of Utilitarianism, though - I'm not sure, though. (translucy also touches upon a related topic).
- Ethics of Science (translucy) - what are the ethical issues that face an individual scientist? Are there areas of research one can and should refuse on ethical grounds? Can there be an ethical imperative to research one area and not others - and if so, how would such an imperative arise? In general: what are the ethical dimensions of scientific practice?
- Freedom and Drugs (Foster) - aha, now this is a practical issue. And I shall be more than delighted to talk about it.
- Animal Rights (Foster) – another practical issue, and another one that was already on the cards for discussion. I think we should come to this later rather than sooner, though.
- Lying (Foster) – Kant’s favourite topic – is it permissible to lie? I’ll look forward to going through this one.
- Extreme Acts of Protest (Suyi) – I was already intending to discuss non-compliance as protest, but Suyi brings up extreme actions such as self-immolation (in itself related to suicide bombing - both are suicide as protest, the latter is also murder as protest). We can cover this, although it is not a comfortable subject.
(Remember, we will also look at Ethics of War and the issues surrounding Abortion - but not yet.)
We probably won’t look at these in order, but I’ll begin with personal responsibility as it’s a central point. Expect posts on all these topics to arrive about once a week from now on!
Get involved! Share your thoughts when you have a spare moment.