Tag: Feature Articles

Do ethics come from the heart or the head?

Admit it:  we all know, at some level, that rational thought can be a smokescreen.  You don’t like strawberries because there’s a rational argument for them … they just taste good.  And you don’t abhor murder because there’s a good argument against it, although there is:  that good argument is something you use to justify… Read more »

‘Pay-for-Performance’ isn’t as simple as it sounds

The three most controversial words in government right now might be:  “Pay for performance.” A number of federal departments have recently announced that they’ll be instituting pay-for-performance plans for the first time, because they say they have a desperate need for motivated, high-quality employees … and that traditional reward structures just aren’t doing it. At… Read more »

You can teach ’empathy’ in the classroom

When some people say “kids will be kids,” what they really mean is that “children are cruel.”  The assumption behind the saying is that there’s nothing we can do about it.  It’s human nature.  Kids won’t grow out of cruelty until they mature.  But according to a recent New York Times report, schools around the… Read more »

Humanistic thought for bioengineered humans

  Humanity passed a milestone last month, with the first ever commercial fertility service announcing that it would allow parents to screen potential offspring for “cosmetic” details such as eye color, hair color, and skin color.   The company (Fertility Institutes) announced that it was dropping the service shortly afterward, as “we remain sensitive to public… Read more »

Re-evaluating ethics in 21st century war

  The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may not be exceptions:  they may be the new rule. According to a recent article in The New Atlantis by former Marine and current Ethics and Public Policy Center senior fellow Keith Pavlischek, the United States’ dominance in conventional warfare has given insurgents the world over the incentive… Read more »

Is a ‘nanny’ state a ‘healthy’ state?

It didn’t get much buzz in America, but across the pond Britons are still talking (so we’re told) about a BBC commentary made last month by Dr Alan Maryon-Davis, the President of the UK Faculty of Public Health. In it, Dr. Maryon-Davis says that public health has become a significant enough social issue that the government… Read more »

Building America’s first ‘green highway’

Imagine a highway stretching along the coast from California to Mexico – with alternative, eco-friendly fuels available at every rest stop.  Need compressed natural gas?  Electricity?  Biodiesel?  Hydrogen?  They’d offer it to every car that passes by. That’s the dream of three state governors – Gov. Chris Gregoire in Washington, Gov. Ted Kulongoski in Oregon,… Read more »

Dreams are made of better stuff

It was, according to the New York Times, a breakthrough in the study of dreams. “(S)ocial scientists now have answers,” about what dreams “mean,” wrote Times science blogger John Tierny, “and really, it’s about time.” He was referring to a meta-analysis published by the APA showing that “people engage in motivated interpretation of their dreams… Read more »