If anyone can see the morally unthinkable online, what then?

If virtue is insufficient temptation, then the internet makes sure we are never lacking.Aeon counter – do not remove

Imagine you work at a Latex glove factory. One night, you type 'Latex' into Google: you’re searching for competitors' products, but you find other things too.

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Mind & Brain

The psychology of moral grandstanding

Moral grandstanding is a vanity project that sabotages public discourse says moral philosopher Brandon Warmke.

  • Moral grandstanding is the use of moral talk for self-promotion. Moral grandstanders have egotistical motives: they may want to signal that they have superhuman insight into a topic, paint themselves as a victim, or show that they care more than others.
  • Moral philosophers view moral grandstanding as a net negative. They argue that it contributes to political polarization, increases levels of cynicism about moral talk and its value in public life, and it causes outrage exhaustion.
  • Grandstanders are also a kind of social free rider, says Brandon Warmke. They get the benefits of being heard without contributing to any valuable discourse. It's selfish behavior at best, and divisive behavior at worst.
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  • Four states have now passed "heartbeat laws," which ban abortions at about six weeks.
  • Ohio's new law prohibits rape and incest victims from having an abortion.
  • In Georgia, having a miscarriage could result in an investigation.
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Politics & Current Affairs

Should veganism receive the same legal protection as a religion?

It's illegal to discriminate against people based on their gender, race, or religion. What about veganism?

Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Veganism is on the rise globally – but it can be contentious. Only recently, the editor of a food magazine joked that vegans should be force-fed meat while a bank employee told a vegan customer that they should be punched after he objected to some vegan graffiti near his home.

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Culture & Religion

Why A.I. robotics should have the same ethical protections as animals

If A.I.s are as smart as mice or dogs, do they deserve the same rights?

KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images

Universities across the world are conducting major research on artificial intelligence (A.I.), as are organisations such as the Allen Institute, and tech companies including Google and Facebook.

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Technology & Innovation