Moral fluoridation


Why do I keep screwing things up? This is, IMHO, the first question of moral philosophy. I know what the decent, sensible and right option is, and yet I choose the nasty, mad and wrong option. Bad ideas, said Plato. Bad education, said Rousseau. Desire, said Buddha. Capitalism, said Marx. Nature red in tooth and claw, said Darwin. Myself, I’m partial to the notion of Original Sin, which, as G.K. Chesterton observed, is the only Christian doctrine which can be proved by reading the newspaper.

The second question is how do I stop screwing things up? Theoretically, this can be solved without answering the first question. A number of bioethicists believe that we could live the good life if we spiked the water supply with a kind of morality fluoride. This sounds a bit too much like living as a Delta in Brave New World for my taste, but their concern is preventing very bad hombres from destroying the world. Perhaps the loss of a wide range of human emotions would be worth it.

However, there are other considerations – should we force people to drink the water? Should we tell them that their water has been spiked? All interesting questions – read all about in this week’s newsletter below.




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