What Do We Owe Future Generations?

Sunday, February 10, 2019

What is it

We talk about owing future generations a better world. We might also think that we should do things for future generations even if our actions might not benefit present-day people. But is it possible to have obligations to people who are not yet born? Can people who do not exist be said to have rights that we should respect? And if they do, what do we do if our rights and theirs conflict? Josh and Ken are obliged to welcome Rahul Kumar from Queen's University, editor of Ethics and Future Generations.

Comments (2)


Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Friday, November 23, 2018 -- 1:02 PM

Upon completing an essay on

Upon completing an essay on enlightenment philosophy, I looked at the PT blog and found this post. An ending portion of my essay is given below. It may give some clue, as to what debt we have to those who are not yet in control of that of which we are not yet in control:

I think we have to wonder---more now than did our enlightened ancestors. If the famous 2nd law of thermodynamics holds for closed systems, what means that for us? Sure, it holds in matters of physics, but all things, animate or no, are vulnerable to obligatory constraints and land mines. Might it not be that entropy is stalking us while we carelessly look the other way? You cannot hope to ask the right questions if you have already arrived at the wrong answers.

Cordially, Neuman

Mark P's picture

Mark P

Sunday, February 10, 2019 -- 11:31 AM

Speaking of Utilitarianism, I

Speaking of Utilitarianism, I'd love to hear what the commentators think of the Utility Monster thought experiment -- which I believe is another nail in the coffin for Utilitarianism. I see examples of it in society today. But I'd like to hear your thoughts.

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