Brian’s Links 14 May 2011

Walmart cheats its customers.

The Republic of the Marshall Islands impending “engulfment” – both physically and culturally.

Why are gas prices so high?

Senator John McCain denounces torture.  Torture did not help get Osama bin Laden and torture is not good US policy.  Funny how he has to argue it pragmatically and not ethically…

On being “wimpy” about Osama bin Laden’s death. And for ethicists who like trolley dilemmas (like me) a critique of “trolleyology.”

Osama bin Laden’s son calls for an investigation of his father’s death.

Osama bin Laden’s LONG New York Times obituary.

An article on how to manage your online reputation… if you need to do things like that. Or be aware that others might be doing so themselves.

What vaccine refusal costs.  A lot.  People get hurt, and taxpayers foot the bill.

The Vatican holds a conference on climate change. In the words of one participant:  “We have become a force of nature.” And what’s an unruly force of nature to do with itself?  Figure out the ethics and live them.

Will the USA and China go to Mars together?

Sympoze online crowdsourcing of academic review.  Yes!  Sign me up.

Academic project to explain religion.  Very interesting, of course.

Darth Vader announces Obi-wan Kenobi is dead.  Some will find this distasteful, I find it amusingly absurd, which is what I think it was meant to be.  Of course with the obvious undertone that the USA is an evil empire, and OBL was fighting a just war against us… Yeah, I don’t like that part.  But it’s still funny. The comments are funny too.

Lastly, a viral YouTube biochemistry sensation. Over one million views of a video on sugar metabolism? Yes: because the speaker calls fructose poison. An interesting hypothesis with huge implications for food ethics.


2 responses to “Brian’s Links 14 May 2011

  • Rick Ritchie

    You got me looking up the trolley problem, and I ran into a Wikipedia entry that said “In an urban legend that has been making the rounds since at least the mid-1960s, the decision must be made by a drawbridge keeper who must choose between sacrificing a passenger train or his own four-year-old son. This version is often drawn as a deliberate allegory to the Christian belief that God sacrificed his son, Jesus of Nazareth.” Scary thing is, I heard that as a sermon illustration when I was growing up.

  • Brian Green

    Trolley problems in sermons! I hadn’t heard that one before. Now if I were God I would just cause a miracle to happen (like having the train fly for a while, or “the multiplication of tracks,” or angels intervening, etc.) to get out of that one… ! I bet just about any trolley problem could be easily overcome with a good miracle. 🙂

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