Would You Kill Baby Hitler?
Would you kill a baby if you knew he would grow up to be Hitler? Psychologist and author Kevin Dutton explores the mindset of psychopaths as a window into this fascinating ethical question.
Why do cold-hearted psychopaths make good surgeons and world leaders?
According to Kevin Dutton, author of The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success, psychopaths are well-equipped to deal with all kinds of nasty crises. Sending thousands of troops to war, for instance, is not something that many people can easily carry on their conscience, Dutton points out. Psychopaths tend to simply "be people who are able to get the job done, who are less morally squeamish."
So how does this apply to the moral conundrums of daily life?
Dutton explains the so-called trolley problem, a test in which the responses of psychopaths differ greatly from that of normal people.
If psychopaths are utilitarians at heart, how doers that affect their judgment in other scenarios. To answer that question, Dutton presents a number of variations on the trolley problem in the video below.
For instance, imagine that you are a transplant surgeon who had the ability to save many lives by taking one. Or, for that matter, would you kill a baby if you knew he would grow up to be Hitler? Dutton lays out these scenarios here:
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Butter supply and life satisfaction are linked – but by causation or correlation?
- Haiti and other countries with low butter supply report low life satisfaction.
- The reverse is true for countries like Germany, which score high in both categories.
- As the graph below shows, a curious pattern emerges across the globe. But is it causation or correlation?
Sometimes the basics really matter.
- Jordan Peterson believes that only by taking care of your immediate environment can you then move onto bigger challenges.
- The idea stems from millennials who want to change capitalist economic structures though can be applied broadly.
- In a distracted age, our inability to pay attention to our environment is leading to increased rates of anxiety and depression.
The catacombs of Paris. Secret graffiti beneath NYC. The hidden cities of Cappadocia. Writer and explorer Will Hunt is your philosophical tour guide to what lies beneath.
- "The surface of the earth is where we're rational . . . Part of us dreads the chaos, and part of us is always attracted to it."
- "There were these things hanging from the ceiling…long strands of bacteria called "snotsicles"… But at our feet was a natural stream that had been running through Brooklyn forever."
- "It's…about death. Undergoing a death. We're going into the other world and then retreating to the surface… changed in some way."
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