Can you reason your way into being a good person? Or are your feelings a better guide for doing the right thing? This week we’re thinking about German enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant and his view of a universal morality based on reason.
The Mole Agent is a charming documentary about a private investigator hired to find out whether elder abuse is happening at a nursing home in Chile. At the heart of the film is a deception, which raises questions about trust beyond the question whether lies can ever be justified by good intentions.
I recently posed a puzzle about Kant's moral philosophy. The puzzle was this: if lying is always wrong, would it be wrong (according to Kant’s theory) to lie to a robot with speech technology who came to your door trying to locate innocent people who were hiding from a tyrannical government?
Can studying moral philosophy make you more moral? Could it make you less moral? How do we become more virtuous? Or should we all just settle for moral mediocrity? These are some of the questions we’re thinking about on this week’s show, “The Ethical Jerk.”
Listener Jacob B. in the UK got in touch with a question on our recent "Pet Ethics" show. He wanted to know if preventing his cat from staying out at night to make sure she is not killed by a fox means he is depriving her of an essential part of a cat's life experience. Ray responds.