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Toward a Rational Ethics

Princeton professor of bioethics Peter Singer says emotional and rational evaluations of ethical dilemmas are distinct and that they produce different outcomes.

“Let’s assume that we have instinctive moral responses to a variety of situations of the kind encountered by our ancestors throughout our history, though modified by our culture and upbringing. What would follow from this about what we ought to do? It certainly doesn’t follow that we ought to do what our instincts prompt us to do. … Rather, by undermining the authority that some philosophers have given to our intuitive moral responses, the new scientific lines of evidence about the nature of morality open the way for us to think more deeply, and more freely, about what we ought to do.”


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