Philosophy & Ethics

Australian guidelines for the ethical use of IVF allow selecting a child’s sex for medical reasons. But draft guidelines that are now open for public submissions raise the possibility of extending this and allowing the choice for social reasons.

Based on the furor currently engulfing the US, you might imagine that the use of fetal tissue is illegal. But in fact the collection and use of cells obtained from a human fetus following miscarriage or abortion has a long history in medical science.

For children with autism, early intervention is critical. Therapies and education – especially in the first two years of life – can facilitate a child’s social development, reduce familial stress and ultimately improve quality of life.

But while we can reliably diagnose autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at 24 months, most children are diagnosed much later.

Globalized data shows hardliners on all sides losing, and points to emergence of open-minded pro-science, pro-spiritual outlook

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Keeping the Gate is the first to announce that an anonymous complaint addressed to the New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) has been made against famed O.J. Simpson defense attorneys Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, who are the cofounders of the Innocence Project at Yeshiva University in Manhattan. 
In this short note physiological terms of unconditioned and conditioned reflexes are suggested for description of the sensitive active reflexive feature of quantum reality related to the impact of observational device. Those new in quantum physics terms intend to emphasize the active feature of quantum reality in combination with its temporary psi-memory of state that is outlined on the background of the passive classical physics. The quantum phenomenon of reflexive activity and temporary psi-memory of quantum reality is pointing to analogy with the known phenomenon of unconditioned reflexes of living organisms. 

I’m a philosopher, working in logic and related issues. This means that I spend a lot of my time working with words and arguments. And sometimes, when I’m not feeling so good about things, it can seem like it doesn’t matter, that it’s all just words.

Arguments about ethics, about issues in metaphysics or epistemology—on a bad day, at least—can seem to be nothing more than pointless hot air. Here’s an illustration of the point, due to the American Pragmatist philosopher William James.

Here’s the scene—a man walks rapidly around a tree, while a squirrel moves on the tree trunk. Both the man and the squirrel face the tree at all times, but the tree trunk stays between them.

Northern Ireland recently changed the law to criminalize the act of paying for sex. This follows a trend set in Sweden, where selling sex is legal but buying it is criminalized.

It was recently revealed that the University of Wollongong has spent around A$20,000 over the past five years on lunches and dinners with politicians, including several fundraising events for the Liberal Party. Usually only one person attended these functions – probably someone at the top, though we don’t know for sure – but the donations themselves were made in the name of the university, thus making the university a sponsor of the Liberal Party.

I have a wife, three children, three dogs, seven cats. I’m not a Franz Kafka, sitting alone and suffering.

So wrote Stanley Kubrick in 1972. And indeed, Kafka and Kubrick may not seem to have a whole lot in common. Kafka is Czech, Kubrick American.