Tag «Standardized Argument»

Evil in All Its Forms

The U.S. Supreme Court expanded exemptions to a federal mandate that requires employer health plans to cover birth control. The mandate already exempts churches and lets other non-profits file for a “religious accommodation.” The Hobby Lobby decision lets for-profit employers file, too. The Wheaton College ruling lets Wheaton, a Christian non-profit, skip filing the accommodation form—EBSA …

Facebook’s Emotion Experiment & Informed Consent

For seven days in January 2012, roughly 689,000 Facebook users unknowingly took part in an “emotional contagion” study. Facebook reduced the percentage of positive posts, negative posts, or both in select news feeds. A comparison group had posts omitted from their feeds at random. Reducing negative posts led users to give status updates with fewer …

Stop Saying Money Isn’t Speech

In McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down limits on the total amount an individual can contribute to political candidates, parties, and action committees. The 5–4 decision said that “aggregate limits” violate the First Amendment’s protection of political speech and political association. In contrast, “base limits” lawfully restrict how much an …

The Worst Possible Misery for Everyone is Bad (Reasoning)? – Part 1

Sam Harris’s “worst possible misery for everyone” argument (WPME, for short) attempts to defend this conclusion: Increases/decreases in the well-being of conscious creatures fully determine which states of the world are morally better/worse. The argument is named for its key premise: “The worst possible misery for everyone is bad.” In this post, I’ll lay out …