‘Deep pragmatism’ as a moral engine

first_imgYou could be forgiven for believing that some of the most vexing issues of our time — partisan gridlock, abortion, climate change, Middle East strife — might never yield to progress. After all, the debates are so emotionally fraught that it can be a challenge just to bring both sides to the table, never mind getting them to listen.But Joshua Greene believes there’s a way.“I don’t think there’s a magic bullet, but I do think there are better and worse ways of thinking about difficult moral questions,” said Greene, the John and Ruth Hazel Associate Professor of the Social Sciences and author of “Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them.”“Some approaches have a chance of producing long-term positive effects, while others get us nowhere.”What makes an issue like abortion or Israeli-Palestinian relations seem insurmountable, he said, can be chalked up, in part, to brain wiring.“Most of morality is about gut feelings,” Greene said. “Our gut feelings enable us to be cooperative, to form groups. But the same gut feelings that enable us to form a cohesive group — that enable people to put ‘us’ ahead of ‘me’ — also make us put ‘us’ ahead of ‘them,’ not just in terms of our interests, but in terms of our values.”The core moral problem, he said, is illustrated by “the tragedy of the commons,” where a group of herders share a resource — a grazing field — but destroy it when each acts selfishly, growing his own herd until there are too many animals and all of them die. The solution is to cooperate, to limit purely selfish behavior, and thus preserve the commons.But terms of cooperation, Greene said, can vary quite a bit.One group may “privatize” the pasture, giving each herder a plot of land; another may opt to share the entire herd. Different groups, meanwhile, rally around their own leaders, gods, holy books — what Greene calls “proper nouns.” Every tribe harmonizes in its own way.“Our emotions are designed to solve that basic cooperation problem,” Greene said. “We have positive and negative emotions — like empathy or guilt — that make us cooperative. That’s part of our basic moral machinery, and we can see it at work in our brains.”Much of Greene’s experimental research uses brain imaging and classic quandaries to understand moral decision-making: Is it acceptable to push someone in front of a speeding trolley if doing so will save the lives of five others farther down the track? Dilemmas such as these reveal universal tensions between emotion and reason, but some gut reactions are less widely shared. It’s when moral tribes with different gut reactions run up against each other, Greene said, that the most challenging social problems arise.“Everyday morality is about being selfish versus caring about others. That’s what we think about when we think about ‘morality’ — the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other,” he said. “But the big moral problems that divide us are very different — they’re about what I call the ‘tragedy of commonsense morality.’ It’s the tragedy of the commons one level up, at the level of groups rather than individuals. Different tribes have different moral systems, different ways of averting the tragedy of the commons.”Imagine different tribes living around the edge of a large forest. One hot summer, the forest burns down. Then comes the rain, and soon there is a lovely green pasture in the middle. Each tribe moves into the new pasture, where it confronts other tribes, all with different philosophies, religions, and traditions.“That’s the modern world — that’s the problem we face,” Greene said. “If basic morality solves ‘the tragedy of the commons, if it’s what allows individuals to form groups, then you need a higher-order morality — what I call a ‘metamorality’ — to enable groups to live cooperatively on the new pastures.“But this is where it gets tricky, because while we have gut reactions that help us solve the tragedy of the commons, our gut reactions are not as good at solving the tragedy of commonsense morality.”The solution, Greene said, requires us to distrust our tribal gut reactions, to stress reason over “common sense.” More specifically, we need to base our decisions on evidence concerning the social consequences of our actions.“Your brain is like a digital camera,” Greene said. “Your camera has standard point-and-shoot settings, but it also has a manual mode. Most of the time you just point and shoot, and it works very well. But if you’re doing something special, you put the camera in manual mode, so you can adjust everything yourself, tailoring your shot to the specific situation at hand.“The human brain has essentially the same design,” he continued. “We have gut reactions. Those are our automatic settings, which is what we rely on most of the time. And it makes sense to rely on our gut reactions when we’re dealing with the tragedy of the commons — me versus us. But when it’s the tragedy of commonsense morality, our gut reactions typically get in the way. They don’t help us resolve our differences over Obamacare, for example.”To solve those problems, Greene argues, we need to apply “deep pragmatism,” which builds on the ideas of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, the founding fathers of utilitarianism.“Bentham and Mill argued that what ultimately matters is the quality of people’s experience, our happiness and our suffering,” Greene said. “Experience is the Higgs Boson of normativity – it’s the value that gives so many of our values their value. Why, for example, do we value honesty? You could say that honesty is valuable in and of itself. But would we value honesty in this gut-level way if it were not generally beneficial? When people are dishonest, it causes harm. It negatively impacts our lived experience.”But how does deep pragmatism work in practice? As an example, Greene turned to the abortion debate.“People on the left say a woman has the ‘right to choose,’ and people on the right say a fetus has the ‘right to life,’” he said. “This all sounds very objective and rational, but let’s scratch beneath the surface.“Does a woman have a ‘right to choose’ at nine months? Most pro-choice advocates say ‘no.’ But what changes between the first and ninth month of pregnancy? Is it that the fetus feels pain? That it’s conscious? The problem is that many of the animals that we eat — or allow others to eat as a matter of personal choice — feel pain, appear to be conscious, and so on. This doesn’t mean that one can’t coherently defend a woman’s right to choose. But it’s much harder than simply declaring that a woman has the right to choose.”On the anti-abortion side, Greene says, the argument ultimately comes down to a metaphysical belief that an embryo is imbued with a soul at the moment of fertilization — a claim for which there is no evidence.Greene’s alternative is to bypass endless arguments concerning rights — which he thinks are ultimately about gut feelings, automatic settings — and instead focus on consequences.If abortion were outlawed, or severely limited, what would happen? Would there be more happily adopted babies? Would there be more babies born to parents unable — or unwilling — to care for them? Would there be fewer abortions, or would the practice continue at the same rate, only in the shadows?“Of course, both sides will be biased. Both sides will say that terrible things will happen if they don’t get their way,” Greene said. “But the difference is that, as nasty as that disagreement is, at the end of the day there’s an answer. It’s subject to evidence. So with 10 steps forward and nine steps back, we can make progress.”last_img read more

Poland’s second-pillar pensions reform faces class action

first_imgPoland’s controversial second-pillar pensions law, which took effect in 2014, is facing a new legal challenge.On 4 March, the Warsaw District Court ruled that a class action initiated by lawyer Paweł Kowalczyk for 53 claimants could go ahead.The lawsuit – against the Polish State Treasury, Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) and pension fund management companies – claims the transfer of Polish sovereign bonds from pension fund (OFE) portfolios to ZUS violated members’ property rights.The transfer, in February 2014, removed PLN153.2bn (€36.7bn) in assets, equivalent to 51.2% of the previous month’s net asset value. The Court ruled that, because the claims of the individuals – all OFE members – were substantially the same, the lawsuit could proceed as a group action.Other members can now sign up to the action.Any compensation from the State Treasury, should the case succeed, would be subject to a separate lawsuit.The ruling, which is subject to appeal, has already caused disquiet, given that the government had earlier insisted its reforms were legally watertight.There are other outstanding challenges to the 2014 law.In January 2014, president Bronisław Komorowski, after signing off the law, referred sections to the Constitutional Tribunal.These included the ban on investments in sovereign bonds, the requirement for a high level of equity investment and the prohibition on pension companies advertising during the window when all members had to declare that they wanted to remain in the second pillar or default to ZUS. Subsequently, Irena Lipowicz, Poland’s Human Rights Ombudsman, referred the law to the tribunal on the grounds it violated public confidence in the State.Neither party addressed the issue of legal ownership of second-pillar assets.The tribunal has yet to set a date for the hearings.Meanwhile, the size of the second pillar has shrunk dramatically following the bond removal, the decision of the majority of former members to stop further contributions once the system became voluntary, the incremental transfer to ZUS of the assets of members with 10 or fewer years left till retirement, and the massive indifference of new labour market entrants.In January 2015, net assets, at PLN150.6bn, were down 49.6% year on year in Polish zloty terms, while the total monthly contribution plunged by 78.5% to PLN231m.last_img read more

NFL Week 14 Weather Updates: Rain, wind could impact fantasy start ’em, sit ’em choices for Ravens-Bills, Giants-Eagles, more

first_imgWEEK 14 NON-PPR RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerNFL Week 14 weather updatesRavens @ Bills. This figures to be the windiest game of the week — and likely the biggest weather worry. Temperatures will be around 40 degrees, but a 15-20-mph sustained wind with gusts over 30 mph will push “feels-like” temps closer to 30 degrees. The wind really is the primary concern and could be an issue for kicks and longer throws. Still, we are talking about a pair of athletic, mobile, and strong-armed quarterbacks, so even with an expected eight-percent decrease to passing and scoring, I wouldn’t call this a “stay away” game (stats courtesy of WeatherEdge).Bengals @ Browns. This will be another breezy game, but maybe just a tick less windy than in Buffalo. I’d expect sustained winds around 15 mph with gusts around 25 mph. That will have a slight impact to passing/kicking.Redskins @ Packers. It’s going to be cold, but not overly frigid or unusual for Green Bay standards. There’s also a chance for showers/drizzle and some occasionally gusty winds. None of the individual factors are enough to recommend fading this game. It’s not perfect, but it’s not bad enough to worry about. Week 14’s NFL weather forecast has a few worrisome spots, and with the fantasy playoffs underway, fantasy football owners can’t afford to botch any start ’em, sit ’em decisions because of weather. The Ravens-Bills and Giants-Eagles are the most worrisome spots because of potentially cold, wind, and rainy conditions, but will any be bad enough to cause you to sit normally reliable players. Before we break down the Week 14 forecast, here’s a reminder that if you have any questions about sports weather or how weather could impact play (and, potentially, your fantasy, DFS, and gambling decisions), don’t hesitate to reach out on Twitter @KevinRothWx or check our hourly NFL weather forecasts on RotoGrinders. To take your game to the next level, subscribe to RotoGrinders’ exclusive WeatherEdge tool and see how different weather conditions have impacted historical scoring. Giants @ Eagles. There’s nothing like watching two bad teams play in bad weather on Monday Night Football. We’re still a few days out here (and I’d recommend checking Twitter before kickoff — @KevinRothWx), but this games presents the best chance of seeing heavy rain this week. With winds aro und 15 mph, it’s a bump down for passing elements and a slight bump up to RBs.WEEK 14 DFS LINEUPS:DK Cash | DK GPP | FD Cash | FD GPP | Y! Cash | Y! GPPAs always, all forecasts are subject to change prior to kickoff. You can follow me on Twitter (@KevinRothWx), check out the hourly automated NFL weather forecasts on RotoGrinders, or take a look at WeatherEdge for updates. We’ve also added automated College Football Weather for those NCAA football fans looking for a little weather insight.last_img read more

GoFundMe Account set for local Fort St. John man

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Local man Shaun Jacquard is fighting for his life according to a GoFundMe account set up on his behalf by his cousin Meagan McLean.McLean shares, Jacquard is in his 30’s with two boys, Ethan (15) and Felix (4). Jacquard has always been the life of the party, and the light in the room. She goes on to share he definitely is the one person in the world that deserves a second chance.The GoFundMe account set up July, 17th has raised $1510.00 of its $10,000 goal.- Advertisement -In the account description, it shares Jacquard was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Synovial Sarcoma which is in his right lung and has grown into his chest cavity.According to the account, Jacquard found out that surgery is not an option for treatment and he was deemed palliative, the time left in his life is dependent on how the cancer responds to treatment.On Monday, July 15, 2019, one of the two chemo pills he could take was denied funding.Advertisement The funding raised from the GoFundMe will help the family pay for Jacquard’s Chemo pills which will hopefully extend his life and give him a better quality of life so he can spend it with his family, shares the account.To view the GoFundMe; CLICK HERElast_img read more

FEU forces KO tiff vs Adamson in PVL

first_imgRead Next Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Few tickets left as La Salle, Ateneo cross paths Sophomore middle blocker Czarina Carandang turned in a breakthrough performance, smashing in 21 points for the Lady Tamaraws, who just became the first team to beat the Lady Falcons this conference.FEU and Adamson will face each other in Game 3 of their best-of-three series on Monday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We are overwhelmed. We planned for this match and I told the players to just follow the instructions and they responded well,” said come backing FEU coach George Pascua.Carandang was a pillar for FEU, scoring her last point on a kill-block against Adamson main girl Christine Joy Soyud for a 13-9 lead in the fifth. BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Far Eastern University stood its ground against a rampaging Adamson to prevail, 21-25, 27-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-11, Saturday night and extend their semifinals series in the Premier Volleyball League at FilOil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games MOST READ LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

James Harden scores 35 in Rockets win over Raptors

first_imgThe Raptors got 32 points from Leonard as they dropped their second straight.The Rockets held a 7-point lead to start the fourth and pushed it to 10 before the Raptors scored five straight points, capped by a 3 from Norman Powell to get within 99-94 with about nine minutes left.Houston then used a 9-0 run to extend the lead to 108-94 about three minutes later. Rivers made a 3 late in that span before Tucker capped it by grabbing a steal and finishing with a layup.Toronto got within 10 after scoring four quick points later in the fourth, but a layup by Harden made it 117-105 with about 90 seconds left.Houston led by as many as 22 early, but Toronto used a 41-point second quarter to cut the lead to 70-61 at halftime. The Raptors opened the third quarter with a 9-4 run to get within 4, but Houston followed with a 18-4 spurt, with nine points each from Harden, to push it to 92-74 with about four minutes left in the quarter.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte MOST READ Petra Kvitova-Naomi Osaka: Australian Open final from different perspectives NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 23: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets celebrates after teammate Gerald Green dunked in the third quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on January 23, 2019 in New York City. Elsa/Getty Images/AFPHOUSTON — James Harden scored 35 points for his 22nd straight game with 30 or more and the Houston Rockets never trailed and held off a late charge for a 121-119 win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.After averaging 52.2 points over the last five games, capped by a franchise-record 61 in Wednesday’s win over the Knicks, Harden’s torrid scoring pace slowed a bit as all of Houston’s starters scored 10 points or more.ADVERTISEMENT ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes LATEST STORIES Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Oil plant explodes in Pampanga towncenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss The Raptors got back on track after that, scoring the next 10 points, with two 3-pointers from Danny Green, to cut the lead to 92-84 with about a minute left in the third.TIP-INSRaptors: Jonas Valanciunas missed his 21st game with a dislocated left thumb. … Green and Pascal Siakam added 22 points each. … Serge Ibaka had 12 points and 14 rebounds.Rockets: Brandon Knight missed his seventh straight game with a sore left knee, but is expected to return Sunday. … Houston made its first 20 free throws on Friday night before a miss by Faried with 7:55 left in the fourth quarter. The Rockets finished 29 of 33 from the line.UP NEXTRaptors: Visit Dallas on Sunday night.Rockets: Host Orlando on Sunday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Eric Gordon led that group with 24, Kenneth Faried had 21, P.J. Tucker added 18 and Austin Rivers scored 13. Faried also had a season-high 14 rebounds and blocked two shots in his third game since signing with the Rockets to fill in with Clint Capela recovering from thumb surgery.Houston led by 11 points after two free throws by Harden with 1:14 remaining before the Raptors made three straight 3-pointers to cut the lead to 121-119 with 27.3 remaining. Gordon missed a 3 to give the Raptors a chance, but Kawhi Leonard’s 3-point attempt was short.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsIt’s the 22nd straight game where Harden has led his team and Houston’s opponent in scoring, which moves him past Michael Jordan for the second-longest streak in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain, who did it in 40 in a row.Harden’s stretch of 30-point games is the fourth-longest in league history, behind three streaks by Chamberlain of 25, 31 and 65 games. Harden was 15 of 15 on free throws, but struggled from long-range, shooting just 2 of 13 on 3-point attempts. The strong play of Faried gave Harden some much-needed help Friday and The Beard will get another reinforcement Sunday night when Chris Paul is expected to return after missing 17 games with a strained left hamstring. US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting View commentslast_img read more

9 days ago​Gilmour reveals Lampard advice before Chelsea debut

first_imgAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say ​Gilmour reveals Lampard advice before Chelsea debutby Ansser Sadiq9 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBilly Gilmour has spoken about the advice that he received from Frank Lampard before making his Chelsea debut.The 18-year-old got his chance to shine with the senior side against Sheffield United in August. He came off the bench in the 2-2 draw.Gilmour has now revealed the words he exchanged with boss Lampard before the match.”The night before, the gaffer kept asking if my family were coming down and saying make sure they come,” the Scotland U21 international told reporters.”We were 2-0 up and I’m thinking ‘this could be good’, but it was 2-1 when I came on. “That shows you how much trust he has in the younger players to put you on in such a tight game.”It finished 2-2, which wasn’t the result I hoped for, but it made my dream come true of playing in the Premier League.” last_img read more


first_imgActor Stephan James and model Winnie Harlow may have careers that have led them far away from home, but their connection to Toronto is stronger than ever. In our cover story, shot on the streets of Little Jamaica, we find out what it takes to walk a path of your own creation and go up against the odds and win.WINNIE HARLOWWinnie Harlow is striding down Eglinton West in Toronto’s Little Jamaica like she’s on a runway in Paris. She’s wearing a floor-length houndstooth Chanel coat and not much else. Traffic has come to a halt as our photographer orbits her, and people passing by are scrambling for their phones so they can capture the moment. And this is definitely a moment. Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more