In Defense of Totalism

The repugnant conclusion (RC) is a commonly discussed problem in population ethics. If our ethical theory merely aggregates the total happiness of a population, then in some scenarios with many slightly-happy people would be preferred to scenarios with a few very-happy people. Why does this matter? Because making decisions about future populations is hugely important,Continue reading “In Defense of Totalism”

Is Immortality Ethical?

Summary: At a steady state of population, extended lifespan means taking resources away from other potential people. Technology for extended life may not be ethical in this case. Because we are not in steady state, this does not argue against working on life extension technology today. Many people research radical life extension, dreaming of aContinue reading “Is Immortality Ethical?”

Utilitarianism: Common, Intuitive, Flexible

Summary: I argue that utilitarianism is a good basis for morality and highlight some properties which might help skeptics be more comfortable with utilitarian approaches to ethics. Utilitarianism is often an attractive approach to ethics for more math-oriented thinkers. At the surface, it seems to put fuzzy questions of right and wrong into a preciseContinue reading “Utilitarianism: Common, Intuitive, Flexible”