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Archive For: Ethics

O’Reilly’s “Potential Human Being”

Fetus, 36278550_sWhen Bill O’Reilly used the term “potential human being” to describe a human fetus in 2011, Catholic Online (among other journals) quickly corrected him. However, he evidently didn’t get the message, because he continued to use the term. Four years later, on May 28, 2015, he showed a letter from a viewer objecting to the term and then chastised him, arguing that the term was less extreme than that used by many pro-life advocates and therefore a more effective way to advance the pro-life cause.… Read More


Moral Dilemmas in Washington

choose-which-way-signA moral dilemma is a situation in which a choice must be made between conflicting courses of action, each of which is morally supportable. The key word is conflicting—meeting either obligation necessitates violating the other. In other words, the person is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. Figuratively speaking, of course.

By bureaucrat I mean anyone who works for the government in any capacity.… Read More


Don’t Raise The Debt Ceiling- LOWER It!

FranklinDoes the debt ceiling debate seem familiar? It should. From the Carter administration to the Obama administration the debt ceiling has been raised 39 times. Each time the increase was opposed but then passed by the opposition party.

It’s like a political variation on the silent movie drama in which the poor damsel says, “I can’t pay the rent,” the villainous landlord demands, “You must pay the rent,” and the young hero declares, “I’ll pay the rent.” In the political version, the parties take turns playing the villain.… Read More


Our Current Plague Of Nuttiness

hillaryEvery day’s news brings multiple illustrations of the plague of nuttiness that is afflicting America. A case in point is the government’s handling of the Benghazi affair.

On September 11, 2012, the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya was attacked, four Americans including the ambassador were killed and ten others were injured. The administration blamed the attack on protests about an anti-Islamic video, an assertion they reportedly knew to be false.… Read More


Wages, Capitalism, And Morality: Part II

Leoxiii(Note: Part I documented that the minimum wage harms the very people it is designed to help and the popular alternative—letting capitalism work, unencumbered by regulations—encourages practices that cry out for reform. It concluded by suggesting that a new approach is needed, one based on a discipline that economists seldom consult—ethics.)

The division of knowledge into particular fields of study and the tendency to narrow specialization within each field have led many scholars to assume that nothing outside their disciplines is relevant to those disciplines.… Read More


Ending Legislative Gobbledygook

chestertonI recently commented on the absurdity of having members of Congress vote on bills they have not had time to read. This essay addresses a closely related problem—the fact that most bills are difficult, if not impossible, to understand even when there is ample time to read them. Here are two typical passages:

Excerpt from the Final Version of the Affordable Health Care Act, Sec. 107.… Read More


The Excuse Awards

goreAs everyone knows, the results of the first presidential debate are in and over 60% of those polled consider Mitt Romney the clear winner. Barack Obama’s performance was so unimpressive that millions of people around the world wondered how a man widely regarded as among the brightest and most eloquent of our time could have fallen so short of expectations.

Administration officials and Obama supporters were quick to offer a variety of explanations, a number of which were nominated for the coveted 2012 Presidential Debate Excuse Awards.… Read More


Bill Clinton’s Missed Opportunity

RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2008In August 2011 Bill and Hillary Clinton were with several guests at their home in Chappaqua NY. Bill was trying to persuade Hillary to challenge Obama for the nomination in 2012; Hillary resisted the idea.  One of those present later reported that Clinton bashed Obama at length, saying “I have no relationship with [him]. He doesn’t know how the world works. He’s incompetent.” Then he added, “Barack Obama is an amateur.” The story is told in Ed Klein’s best-selling book, The Amateur, whose title was borrowed from Clinton’s reported comment.… Read More


The Decline Of Leadership

leadershipEvery day brings new examples of the intellectual deficiencies of people in leadership positions. Consider these examples. The U.S. Senate ignoring its obligation to create an annual budget for over three years (and counting). Congress pressuring banks to make highly risky loans and then blaming the banks when the inevitable financial disaster occurs. Congress and the President attempting to solve the nation’s debt crisis by increasing the debt.… Read More