Aug 19, 2008

The hidden costs of thinking about money

PRINCETON, N.J. — When people say “Money is the root of all evil,” they usually don’t mean that money itself is the root of evil. Like St. Paul of the New Testament, from whom the quote comes, they have in mind the love of ...

Jul 22, 2008

Rights of rational beings who are not human

MELBOURNE — On June 25, in a historic vote, the Spanish parliament’s Commission for the Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries declared its support for The Great Ape Project, a proposal to grant rights to life, liberty and protection from torture to our closest nonhuman relatives: ...

Jun 18, 2008

Neither blatant benevolence nor silent giving

PRINCETON, New Jersey — Jesus said that we should give alms in private rather than when others are watching. That fits with the common-sense idea that if people only do good in public, they may be motivated by a desire to gain a reputation ...

May 19, 2008

If there is a god, then why is there suffering?

PRINCETON, New Jersey — Do we live in a world that was created by a god who is all-powerful, all-knowing and all good? Christians think we do. Yet a powerful reason for doubting this confronts us every day: the world contains a vast amount ...

Apr 17, 2008

Have we finally achieved moral progress?

MELBOURNE — After a century that saw two world wars, the Nazi Holocaust, Stalin’s Gulag, the killing fields of Cambodia, and more recent atrocities in Rwanda and now Darfur, the belief that we are progressing morally has become difficult to defend. Yet there is ...

Jan 17, 2008

Hypocrisy weakens West's whaling protests

PRINCETON, New Jersey — Thirty years ago, Australian vessels, with the government’s blessing, killed sperm whales off the West Australian coast. Last month, Australia led international protests against Japan’s plan to kill 50 humpback whales. Japan, under mounting pressure, announced that it would suspend ...

Dec 20, 2007

The case for compelling people to vote

PRINCETON, New Jersey — As an Australian citizen, I voted in the recent federal election there. So did about 95 percent of registered Australian voters. That figure contrasts markedly with elections in the United States, where the turnout in the 2004 presidential election barely ...

Nov 11, 2007

Should we study race-intelligence links?

PRINCETON, New Jersey — The intersection of genetics and intelligence is an intellectual minefield. Harvard’s former President Larry Summers touched off one explosion in 2005 when he tentatively suggested a genetic explanation for the difficulty his university had in recruiting female professors in math ...

Oct 18, 2007

Feeling low exacts an extremely high cost

PRAGUE — Depression is, according to a World Health Organization study, the world’s fourth worst health problem, measured by how many years of good health it causes to be lost. By 2020, it is likely to rank second, behind heart disease. Yet, not nearly ...

Aug 19, 2007

Why not let doping close the gene gap?

PRINCETON, New Jersey — There is now a regular season for discussing drugs in sports, one that arrives every year with the Tour de France. This year, the overall leader, two other riders and two teams were expelled or withdrew from the race as ...