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Podcast Profile: The Morality of Everyday Things: An Everyday Philosophy Podcast

podcast imageTwitter: @MoralityofThe@AnthonyNCollias
Site: anchor.fm/moedt
90 episodes
2020 to 2023
Average episode: 44 minutes
Open in Apple PodcastsRSS

Categories: Ethics • Two Hosts

Podcaster's summary: The Morality of Everyday Things is a philosophy podcast (top 0.1% most listened to, in fact!) that guides you through the moral questions we may all wonder in life, from "Should billionaires exist?" to "Is God a good thing?" Join Jake and Ant, two friends who studied philosophy, politics, and economics at Oxford before founding Stasher.com together, as they still find time to enjoy philosophy in their sparetime when they break down the key arguments on these and other everyday ethical issues. | This podcast is for anyone who wants to learn more about philosophy and morality in a fun and accessible way. Jake and Ant are experts in their field, but they also know how to make complex ideas easy to understand. They're also not afraid to have a bit of fun, so you can expect to hear some interesting and thought-provoking conversations. | Whether you're a seasoned philosophy buff or a complete beginner, The Morality of Everyday Things podcast is sure to teach you something new about ethics, morality and philosophy. So subscribe today and start exploring the big moral questions in life!

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List Updated: 2024-Apr-14 06:08 UTC. Episodes: 90. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

Episodes
2023-Dec-24 • 57 minutes
Replay: Should you lie to your kids about Santa Claus? When is a white lie ok?
Old description: | Is the Santa myth just harmless fun, or should we be honest to our kids about Saint Nick? | In this very festive episode, Jake and Ant discuss the morality of lying to children about Santa Claus. They start with a brief history of the character's origins, including Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas and even Odin. Then they go over the origins of the tradition of teaching children of Santa's literal existence and the reasons for doing it. | After that, they discuss the potential benefits of...
2023-Nov-23 • 53 minutes
Replay: Is it wrong to have children in an era of climate change? Is it unfair to have babies?
Old description: In this episode, Jake and Ant look at the ethics of having children in the context of climate change. Is it ok to birth a child into a doomed circumstance...is this circumstance quite so doomed...even if it wasn't, is it maybe wrong to birth someone without their permission anyway? This discussion begins by exploring moral considerations around having children with 2 key perspectives, particularly: the way that you may be wronging a baby itself by birthing it, either by dooming it to a stru...
2023-Nov-09 • 59 minutes
Replay: Is it wrong to keep pets? Why is keeping a pet different to keeping a slave?
Old Description: In this episode, Jake and Ant look at the ethics of pet care. Is it ok to keep any sentient living being as property, free to be made infertile if their incessant humping annoys us and even to be put down if they become an inconvenience or minor danger. Part of this discussion will feel familiar from our vegan/vegetarianism episode (how do we compare animal vs human rights?), but the fundamental question is how do we square the very common stance of being anti-livestock/vegan but pro-pets? ...
2023-Oct-25 • 50 minutes
Replay: Can we enjoy art even if it was made by a paedophile or anti-semite?
Old description: In this episode, Jake and Ant look at the ethics of art. Well, a very small sub-section, enjoying the works of artists who are themselves immoral. In considering this, we consider the difference between art and things that are simply visually/audibly pleasing and how the context of art can (or should) affect how we appreciate it. Key considerations include whether the 'problematic' context of the artist is literally part of their work, a heavy influence or driver of the work, or totally sep...
2023-Oct-20 • 60 minutes
Replay: Is it wrong to send your children to private school? Should all education be free?
Old episode description: In this episode, Jake and Ant look at the ethics of private education. Education is so important - and so formative - that it's important to ask whether it is fair for some people to access a higher quality education on the basis of wealth. What happens when what is best for society does not line up with what is best for us individually? Support the show: Please leave us a review! Spotify even now let's you do it - see that little star icon - go on, give it a click. Reviews are a g...
2023-Oct-12 • 51 minutes
Replay: Are you a bad person if you work at Facebook? What are the moral implications of your career choices?
Old episdoe description: In this episode, Jake and Ant explore what it means to be a bad person, briefly revisit the distinction between good/bad and right/wrong and discuss in some more depth why they specifically chose Facebook for this question (rather than BP or Goldman Sachs or Google) and some of the harms and goods it facilitates. Support the show: Please leave us a review! Spotify even now let's you do it - see that little star icon - go on, give it a click. Reviews are a great way to help others fi...
2023-Oct-05 • 47 minutes
Replay: Is it immoral to eat meat? Should you be a vegetarian if you want to be a good person?
Old Description: In this episode, Jake and Ant consider whether the consumption of meat - and specifically the production and slaughter of animals to that end - is immoral. This includes an exploration of the moral differences between different animals (humans included) and a consideration of whether the crux of the issue lies in the suffering and death involved in production or rather in the specific act of consuming the flesh of another creature. Following this, there's a consideration of the indirect eff...
2023-Sep-28 • 51 minutes
Replay: Is it ok to punch a nazi?
Old Description: In this second episode, Jake and Ant explore the circumstances in which we may be justified in doing something we'd typically class as wrong. Are we ever justified in using violence, particularly against those who have done or intend to do bad things? Would you be proud if your child punched a bully? Would you lie to an axe-murderer? Can you punch a secret nazi? All this and more discussed in this episode, including a breakdown of the 3 main types of moral frameworks - virtue based ethics, ...
2023-Sep-20 • 44 minutes
Replay: Should billionaires exist?
NOTE: we'll be doing replays and occassional hot-take updates between now and January next year, when we will release our next season! The episode that started it all...Should billionaires exist? We explore classic perspectives from the likes of Nozick and Rawls and give some context on just how much a billion is! Old description: In this first episode, Jake and Ant explore the moral implications of extreme wealth inequality. Can billionaires co-exist with a population in poverty? When, if ever, is it right...
2023-Sep-06 • 27 minutes
How do we know we're not living in the matrix? Solipsism and another classic philosophy film
The season finale....we bring it back to films we love which are loaded with philosophical ideas and we dive into a little bit of Latin - Cogito Ergo Sum! We discuss the classic questions of, how do we know anything is real? Is there anything we CAN know is real? Does it even matter? We discuss Descartes and how he came to his famous "I think therefore I am" and what that exactly means, and we extend his skepticism to help explain the relationship with the classic movie The Matrix. This is the final episode...
2023-Aug-30 • 40 minutes
How should we decide what makes the news? Imploding submarines and manufacturing consent.
In this episode, we use the recent nautical disaster of the imploding submarine to explore how we determine what makes the news, and what should make the news? We examine the model of "newsworthyness" as well as looking at the work of Baudrillard and Chomsky. Basically, is the news a filter that brings forward diamonds, or does the new have an agenda and weave narratives to guide our thinking, or distract us? P.s. we're thinking of a London live show! Let us know if you'd like to see us live :) Join the wha...
2023-Aug-23 • 32 minutes
INTERVIEW: Life Is Hard, with Kieran Setiya - part 2
Following our episode discussing his book and the concepts within, we speak with the author himself! Kieran is a professor in Philosophy from MIT and author of several books around philosophy and it's practical place within our lives. In this follow-on episode we focus more on the concept of justice and it's role in Kieran's conception of dealing with the hard parts of life - and a wider ranging conversation thereafter! Support the show: Please leave us a review! Spotify even now let's you do it - see that ...
2023-Aug-17 • 59 minutes
INTERVIEW: Life Is Hard, with Kieran Setiya - part 1
Excuse posting this episode 1 day late. This week, following our episode discussing his book and the concepts within, we speak with the author himself! Kieran is a professor in Philosophy from MIT and author of several books around philosophy and it's practical place within our lives. We have a far ranging topic around why he wrote this book, whether philosophy is self-help and a breakdown of a synopsis of the book! Support the show: Please leave us a review! Spotify even now let's you do it - see that litt...
2023-Aug-09 • 43 minutes
Is it wrong to increase the price of medicine?
Some of you may remember "The Pharma Bro" who raised the cost of medicine 1000%. He recently appeared on a podcast and it led us to consider the question. Should medicine be sacrasanct? Is it really that different ot other businesses and is being sanctimonious about it just going to get in the way of progress? We discuss whether Shkreli is fully morally developed, mid-term vs short-term moral optimization and the Heinz thought experiment (is it ok to steal medicine?). Support the show: Please leave us a rev...
2023-Aug-02 • 55 minutes
Life is hard, but can philosophy help deal with our suffering and the meaning of life? A discussion of Kieran Setiya's book
In this episode, we discuss Kieran Setiya's book "life is hard" and discuss the place of philosophy in our everyday lives. Can philosophy be a guide to a life well lived, and actually educate us to live through suffering effectively? This one is a far-ranging open discussion around the topic of the book. Support the show: Please leave us a review! Spotify even now let's you do it - see that little star icon - go on, give it a click. Reviews are a great way to help others find the show, and it makes us feel ...
2023-Jul-26 • 42 minutes
Universal Basic Income with Professor Guy Standing (part 2) - how do we practically make it happen, and what will the impact be?
A follow on to last episode where we discuss Basic Income with Guy Standing. Last episode we talked about the moral basis for Basic Income, this week we follow on with a moral practical approach. How will it be funded, what will the impact be, how/when are we likely to see this, etc. Guy is a fantastic and fun guest, so it's definitely worth listening to the follow up here. Support the show: Please leave us a review! Spotify even now let's you do it - see that little star icon - go on, give it a click. Revi...
2023-Jul-19 • 49 minutes
Universal Basic Income with Professor Guy Standing - what is the moral justification for giving everyone free money?
After having previously said over and over that we'll "do UBI properly at some point", the time has come, and what better way to approach this question than including the man who quite literally wrote the book on it, Guy Standing. A professor in Economics at SOAS, who spent many years at the Internatinoal Labour Organization and founded the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), this episode is really more about Guy than us - with us questioning him on what drives the moral imperative for everyone receiving bas...
2023-Jul-12 • 37 minutes
Money in sports - is it wrong to support Newcastle United now they have Saudi money?
We've previously discussed footballers being overpaid...but where is that money coming from? With our beloved clubs being increasingly funded by authoritarian regimes with spotty human rights records, who are arguably intentionally using these investments as a means of improving their global image, what responsibility sits on the fans? Are newcastle fans required to take a stand against their saudi owners? Should we have boycotted the most recent world cup in Qatar? All this and more as we explore jakes fav...
2023-Jul-05 • 37 minutes
Absurdism, The Meaning of Life, Camus and Everything Everywhere All At Once
In today's episode, we use the lens of the film Everything Everywhere All At Once to examine the absurdist strand of the french existentialists. Specifically, we'll discuss Camus and his book The Myth Of Sisyphus, and how it may shape our view of the meaningless(?)ness of it all. On the way, we'll discuss how the stoics and Nietzsche shaped existentialism on its way to Camus, and ultimately wrap up by relating this to the film. Support the show: Please leave us a review! Spotify even now let's you do it - s...
2023-Jul-03 • 2 minutes
SEASON 3 teaser trailer - out this wednesday!
What to expect this season, each wednesday. Support the show: Here's the link to our new community whatsapp. Please leave us a review! Spotify even let's you do it - see the little star icon? Go on, give it a click and leave a cheeky 5 stars. Reviews are a great way to help others find the show, and it makes us feel all warm inside. Also, click the bell icon to get notified of new episode releases! If you’re a fan of the show, please consider signing up to our Patreon. A small subscription goes a long way t...
2023-Jun-28 • 54 minutes
Is it unfair to overpay footballers? REPLAY
The final episode in our mid-season hiatus - which means season 3 will launch next week! This replay also relates to an upcoming episode in the new season....little teaser for you there. Old episode description In this episode Jake and Ant explore what it means to be overpaid - both from an economic and moral perspective. Particularly, footballers are considered in the context of essentially being entertainers. In it, you'll get a potted history of how footballers went from earning £1 a week to over £300k, ...
2023-Jun-20 • 22 minutes
Is 'God' a good thing? Part 3 - what's the source of religious moral authority? REPLAY
The third in 3 parts which will relate to the first episode in our next season - absurdism! Old Description: In this episode, we finish our series (of 3 episodes) exploring the intersection of 'God' and morality. You'll note the use of quotation marks, this is because we explore the moral implications of theism and organized religion in a way that is not limited to faith-based belief. This means both looking purely at the incentives around belief rather than basing belief on faith, but also weighing up the ...
2023-Jun-15 • 37 minutes
Is 'God' a good thing? Part 2 - has religion been a net benefit to society? REPLAY
The second in 3 parts which will relate to the first episode in our next season - absurdism! Old Description: In this episode, we begin a series (of 3 episodes) exploring the intersection of 'God' and morality. You'll note the use of quotation marks, this is because we explore the moral implications of theism and organized religion in a way that is not limited to faith-based belief. This means both looking purely at the incentives around belief rather than basing belief on faith, but also weighing up the pr...
2023-Jun-08 • 1 minutes
Community whatsapp group - link in description
As the audio explains, here's the link to our new community whatsapp, to discuss upcoming episodes and engage generally! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2023-Jun-05 • 42 minutes
Is God a good thing? Classic arguments for belief - Replay
The first in 3 parts which will relate to the first episode in our next season - absurdism! Old Description: In this episode, we begin a series (of 3 episodes) exploring the intersection of 'God' and morality. You'll note the use of quotation marks, this is because we explore the moral implications of theism and organized religion in a way that is not limited to faith-based belief. This means both looking purely at the incentives around belief rather than basing belief on faith, but also weighing up the pro...
2023-May-31 • 65 minutes
Are NFTs a Scam? - Replay
This episode is an inter-season replay - enjoy! Old intro: Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are all the rage - at time of posting. Should we all be rushing to buy digital images of gorillas wearing sunglasses? Or are there better ways of supporting struggling artists? In this episode, Jake and Ant look at whether NFTs represent a bright future for helping artists monetize their work. They begin by discussing how NFTs work, what web3 is and why people are so excited about where this technology could lead us. Bill ...
2023-May-26 • 1 minutes
The Trailer - The Morality of Everyday Things
"...and it's live!" Welcome, everybody, to the morality of everyday things. This is a 1 minute intro to Ant and Jake and what this podcast is all about. We'll tackle everyday questions such as "Should billionaires exist?", "Is it immoral to eat meat?" and much more. We'll walk through how to approach these issues from an accessible philosophical perspective. We're here to make you think and sometimes chuckle. If you'd like to support the show, check out our Patreon at: https://www.patreon.com...
2023-May-26 • 1 minutes
Season finished - Replays to come for the next 4 weeks
It's felt great to hold a streak and post for you guys each week for a couple months - even if a bunch of bank holidays changed posting days, and we missed the last one by a week! Unfortunately, we're busy busy boys so we'll now be taking a hiatus to build up a bank of episodes again and focus on our business over a rather key month for us. If there's a question you'd like to hear about in the upcoming season, an anecdote you'd like to share, or something you're an expert on (open to guest sessions in that...
2023-May-22 • 37 minutes
Is bullying ever a good management strategy? Raab getting fired, hot-take - end of season
Firstly, apologies for the slow release - technical issue with an AI product to smooth the sound ruined our initial release. This will also be the last episode in our recent season, so expect 3-4 weeks of replays of our old hits while we build out a bank for our new season! Today's Episode: Today, we do a hot take on the deputy PM's recent firing (Dominic Raab) based on allegations of bullying. We dig in to the specifics of the report, and touch on concepts of management and culture (generally and specifi...
2023-May-10 • 54 minutes
Will AI steal our jobs, or just straight up kill us?
Today's Episode: We've previously touched on AI and understanding. In today's episode, we explore what sorts of jobs are at risk of loss, and how and why AI poses a risk to human existence. This explores both it becoming out of control, but also intentional misuse. Check it out and let us know your thoughts! Support the show: Please leave us a review! Spotify even now let's you do it - see that little star icon, go on, give it a click. Reviews are a great way to help others find the show, and it makes us ...
2023-May-02 • 26 minutes
When do you deserve to retire, and have the french taken striking too far? Hot-take episode
Today's Episode: The concept of living out your golden years somewhere warm, wallowing away the hours in the garden or on a beach has gone from the idea of luxury (100-200 years ago) to the expectation for all. In a world with declining fertility rates (i.e. people aren't having babies) and some larger generations approaching their twilight years, some countries are seeing pension spending rising to over 10% of GDP. Put simply, generational demographics (gens getting smaller in many developed countries) and...
2023-Apr-24 • 57 minutes
Is WFH good for us?
Today's Episode: Many will recall the remote/wfh fervour during covid, what felt like the coming of a new revolution. So many CEOs were saying how much more productive they were, employees were happy and commutes were a distant memory. Things are different now that covid's gone. CEOs and demanding people back into the office (if they're not just laying people off), cities are rather sad ghost towns and commutes are coming back. In this ongoing struggle between WFH, remote or office based work, where do you ...
2023-Apr-17 • 30 minutes
Does AI actually understand us, and what does it mean to understand?
Today's Episode: ChatGPT is the hot topic of the day and, much like when google first came out, it still feels magic to use. However, it raises several bigger questions to match. Some are practical, but many are a bit deeper. On the practical side: what happens when AI is doing all the work, will enough be left for us? How should we renumerate people to survive, if not for work? On the philosophical side: does AI ACTUALLY understand me? What does it even mean to understand? If AI reaches the point where f...
2023-Apr-10 • 49 minutes
Should we censor children's books?
Today's Episode: You may have recently heard that Penguin Random House released new, editted versions of Roald Dahl's old classic childrens books, to keep them up to date with current norms around discussions of: weight, gender, race and mental health. Those are some weighty (no pun intended) topics of identity politics of recent years, but have they got this right? Come with us and examine some of these edits to determine where you sit on this decision, that has found critics from across the ideological sp...
2023-Apr-03 • 65 minutes
Replay: should we make the covid vaccine mandatory?
One more replay before we start our new season - p.s. let us know how you like our current affairs hot-takes, early feedback has been positive! Following the covid theme to mark the 3 year anniversary (do you say that for bad occasions?) of the first lockdowns in 2020, here we discuss the ethics of making vaccines mandatory - original description follows: ---- In this episode, Jake and Ant look at the ethics of mandatory vaccination, particularly in the context of covid and the year of mandatory lockdowns w...
2023-Mar-27 • 37 minutes
Hot-take: Gary Lineker was right, and the unexpected reason we should support refugees
The first of our hot-take episodes, where we assess current affairs, what our feelings are on it and try to apply a philosophical lens where appropriate - and talk through recent listener questions! This week, we discuss the BBC's temporary suspension of Gary Lineker after comparing descriptions of plans to deal with refugees as akin to the talk of 1930's germany. Please do send in your suggested questions, thoughts etc via instagram. Support the show: Please leave us a review! Spotify even now let's you do...
2023-Mar-24 • 69 minutes
REPLAY: When is lockdown justified?
An ominous anniversary hit us yesterday...3 years since the first UK lockdown. It seemed only fitting to replay this episode. The original description follows. Next up is a hot-take episode for you to let us know what you think of the format, and we then plan to replay our 2nd covid episode as a follow-on to this one, before getting started on the next season! In this episode, Jake and Ant consider the circumstances where restricting personal freedoms in the interest of public health may be morally justifie...
2023-Mar-23 • 3 minutes
Update on upcoming epsidoes on the podcast...
Firstly, if you enjoy the show, please send in your listener questions via instagram - whether they're personal or topics you'd like us to cover. We'll be addressing more of these in our new episode format (read on for more)... An update on how we'll be running the podcast in future: to give you all a more consistent posting schedule, we're moving to a seasonal format so we can keep up with weekly posts (if not even more frequent)! 2 things on this...we're moving to a more typical 'season' structure. This m...
2023-Mar-14 • 24 minutes
Greta Thunberg is selling a book...noble move or total sellout?
A quick one for you today spawned from a real discussion that Anthony and Jake recently had. Ever the cynic and hater of celebrity culture, upon hearing that Greta Thunberg was releasing a book, Anthony was a little miffed - is this capitalist/celebrity co-opting? Jake fights the case in defence of what he rates as quite a good book! Hear it all here. If you're a fan of the show, please do follow, review and recommend it to a friend - it does far more good than you may realize! :) Support the show: Please l...
2023-Mar-06 • 60 minutes
Are strikes selfish extortion or justified and necessary?
If you're a fan of the show, we'd love to chat to you! Book a call with us here and it'll feel like being on one of our episodes: https://calendly.com/jacob-stasher/user-research And... if you want to give us feedback via our survey, please fill that in here: https://forms.gle/xMjvDbsipam1RAwg6 Today's Episode: Anyone who lives in the UK will have been affected by these recently...large-scale strikes. This has taken on a very unique flavour, begging a podcast episode, for 2 reasons: aside from the fact thi...
2023-Feb-10 • 25 minutes
Is it wrong to ghost someone?
If you're a fan of the show, we'd love to chat to you! Book a call with us here and it'll feel like being on one of our episodes: https://calendly.com/jacob-stasher/user-research And... if you want to give us feedback via our survey, please fill that in here: https://forms.gle/xMjvDbsipam1RAwg6 Today's Episode: Really taking it to a modern everyday issue here...ghosting. What exactly is ghosting, why does it hurt so much, and when is it ok to do (if ever?). We discuss why the appearance of the romantic tre...
2023-Feb-03 • 38 minutes
Should teenagers get a vote, or should we limit voting even further?
If you're a fan of the show, we'd love to chat to you! Book a call with us here and it'll feel like being on one of our episodes: https://calendly.com/jacob-stasher/user-research And... if you want to give us feedback via our survey, please fill that in here: https://forms.gle/xMjvDbsipam1RAwg6 Today's Episode: Should teenagers get a vote, or should we limit voting even further? Famously in the UK, many reported that, had 16 year olds been included, Brexit would not have passed. Further, had retirees been ...
2023-Jan-11 • 38 minutes
Should it be a legal requirement to vote? Can I sell my vote?
If you're a fan of the show, we'd love to chat to you! Book a call with us here and it'll feel like being on one of our episodes: https://calendly.com/jacob-stasher/user-research And... if you want to give us feedback via our survey, please fill that in here: https://forms.gle/xMjvDbsipam1RAwg6 Today's Episode: Should voting be required by law? Should you have to pay a fine if you fail to get to the polls? With voter turnout dropping around the world, Ant & Jake look at the example of Australia and the eff...
2023-Jan-06 • 32 minutes
Am I a bad person if I don't vote?
Do you have a moral duty to vote? Are you letting down your country if you don't make the effort to ballot? Last episode, we looked at whether voting was rational. This episode we shift focus and ask whether you have a duty - a moral obligation - to vote, whether or not you think voting makes sense. Surveys show most people feel you do have a duty to vote - and most moral and political philosophers agree. But why? We look at a few of the major arguments, including the generalization argument, the civic virt...
2022-Dec-29 • 31 minutes
Should you bother voting? Intrumental vs Expressive theories (FEEDBACK SURVEY LINK IN DESCRIPTION)
Please let us know what you think of the pod and how we can improve via our feedback survey! https://forms.gle/xMjvDbsipam1RAwg6 Why should you bother voting at all? In a world where your vote feels like a drop in the ocean, where you're only voting for a representative most of the time, where districts are gerrymandered and voters are suppressed...why bother? Maybe the answer to that is that we're doing something for the communal good? Maybe you need to communicate to swing future elections? Maybe it's mo...
2022-Dec-20 • 57 minutes
REPLAY: Should we lie to kids about Santa Clause?
A replay of last year's festive episode - new episode on voting to follow soon :) Is the Santa myth just harmless fun, or should we be honest to our kids about Saint Nick? In this very festive episode, Jake and Ant discuss the morality of lying to children about Santa Claus. They start with a brief history of the character's origins, including Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas and even Odin. Then they go over the origins of the tradition of teaching children of Santa's literal existence and the reasons for d...
2022-Dec-14 • 22 minutes
Work: money or meaning? Discussion - Part 2
Excuse our delay in posting this part 2 - we had to swap podcast providers as we've joined the Auddy.co podcast network and had some issues with this move. In a slightly different format to normal, today we have part 2 in a discussion around the role that work should have in our lives. Should jobs that make us have to choose between doing good and making money even exist really? Why is there a cultural dichotomy between making money and pursuing meaning, has this always been the case? This is a loosely scri...
2022-Nov-21 • 26 minutes
Work: money or meaning? Discussion - Part 1
In a slightly different format to normal, today we have a discussion around the role that work should have in our lives. Should jobs that make us have to choose between doing good and making money even exist really? Why is there a cultural dichotomy between making money and pursuing meaning, has this always been the case?This is a loosely scripted/planned episode based on an essay written by Ant, which can be found here: https://adonic.medium.com/work-money-or-meaning-why-has-this-become-a-choice-we-... If ...
2022-Nov-08 • 43 minutes
Should we have a death tax? - part 2 - Why have an inheritance tax and does it work?
The second in a two-parter where we discuss taxes and specifically inheritance tax. The series explores why taxes make sense at all, and then apply this thinking to inheritance tax - both whether it meets the ideological/moral aims we have for taxes more generally, and indeed whether they seem to actually effectively meet their intended aims!In this episode, we get into the specifics of inheritance tax - context, policy, ideology. We discuss the intended moral impact of inheritance taxes - avoiding the "par...
2022-Oct-31 • 60 minutes
Should we have a death tax? - part 1 - Why do we have taxes?
The first in a two-parter where we discuss taxes and specifically inheritance tax. The series explores why taxes make sense at all, and then apply this thinking to inheritance tax - both whether it meets the ideological/moral aims we have for taxes more generally, and indeed whether they seem to actually effectively meet their intended aims!In this episode, we focus a lot on the point of taxes in general and break it down into 3 points: supporting public goods that it wouldn't make sense to privately provid...
2022-Oct-24 • 40 minutes
Are landlords evil? Part 2
The second in a two-parter where we discuss whether landlords are evil. In a world where more and more urban centers in the western world are becoming unlivably expensive, should we be permitting people to treat homes as investment assets and sources of incomes? We also specifically discuss this in the context of 'leverage', which is basically when you use a mortgage to multiply your gains and losses.In this episode, we discuss whether asset ownership in general should be a means of generating returns with ...
2022-Oct-17 • 40 minutes
Are landlords evil? Part 1
The first in a two-parter where we discuss whether landlords are evil. In a world where more and more urban centers in the western world are becoming unlivably expensive, should we be permitting people to treat homes as investment assets and sources of incomes? We also specifically discuss this in the context of 'leverage', which is basically when you use a mortgage to multiply your gains and losses. In this episode, we give some very wide context on the housing crisis, what's driving it etc, and discuss ge...
2022-Sep-19 • 85 minutes
Replay - Is it time to get rid of the royals?
REPLAY - in light of the queen's death and power transfering to Charles III, whilst we offer our condolensces it's more pertinent than ever to ask during these lavish ceremonies and high air-time events...should we even be maintaining our royal families? Here's a replay of our old episode, previously titled 'should we abolish the monarchy?'Previous description:In this episode, Jake and Ant look at the ethics of abolishing the monarchic institutions that are present in the UK and several other EU countries (...
2022-Sep-15 • 41 minutes
Are luxuries immoral? Part 2
The second in a two-parter where we discuss whether luxury goods are immoral. In a true return to form, this is a specific argument we have literally had over the office lunch table, originating from Ant's throwaway statement that he "doesn't get the point of jewellery" and "thinks it's ridiculously wasteful". In order to dissect whether luxuries are immoral, we first break down what exactly counts as a luxury, and secondly explore what exactly would make them immoral. In this episode, it's all about discu...
2022-Sep-05 • 47 minutes
Are luxuries immoral? Part 1
The first in a two-parter where we discuss whether luxury goods are immoral. In a true return to form, this is a specific argument we have literally had over the office lunch table, originating from Ant's throwaway statement that he "doesn't get the point of jewellery" and "thinks it's ridiculously wasteful". In order to dissect whether luxuries are immoral, we first break down what exactly counts as a luxury, and secondly explore what exactly would make them immoral. In this episode, it's all about discus...
2022-Jul-19 • 30 minutes
When is it ok to put down a human being? Part 3
The third in our series on euthanasia and assisted suicide - later named with the much more provocative title, 'When is it ok to put down a human being?'. In this series we explore how much control we (and other people) should have over our own death. This is primarily focused on circumstances where death is near and inevitable, and life/treatment is becoming pretty horrible in the interim, but we do broaden the discussion a little beyond these boundaries. As we clarify in the episode, agency creates an ext...
2022-Jul-14 • 28 minutes
When is it ok to put down a human being? Part 2
The second in our series on euthanasia and assisted suicide - later named with the much more provocative title, 'When is it ok to put down a human being?'. In this series we explore how much control we (and other people) should have over our own death. This is primarily focused on circumstances where death is near and inevitable, and life/treatment is becoming pretty horrible in the interim, but we do broaden the discussion a little beyond these boundaries. As we clarify in the episode, agency creates an ex...
2022-Jul-05 • 37 minutes
When is it ok to put down a human being?
The first in our series on euthanasia and assisted suicide - later named with the much more provocative title, 'when is it ok to put down a human being?'. In this series we explore how much control we (and other people) should have over our own death. This is primarily focused on circumstances where death is near and inevitable, and life/treatment is becoming pretty horrible in the interim, but we do broaden the discussion a little beyond these boundaries. As we clarify in the episode, agency creates an ext...
2022-Jun-24 • 33 minutes
Should we legalize (part 3)...Gambling
Third in our series (of 3 episodes) exploring the intersection of morality and public policy; generally of the form 'should X be made legal?'. We'll be exploring both the ethical arguments and some of the high level data around key policy decisions surrounding commonly banned substances and activities. A core introductory theme (and one that's consistently touched on through the series) is when and how a governing power should behave independent of morality, i.e. with a greater focus and interest in outcome...
2022-Jun-01 • 36 minutes
Should we legalize (part 2)...Sex Work
Second in our series (of 3 episodes) exploring the intersection of morality and public policy; generally of the form 'should X be made legal?'. We'll be exploring both the ethical arguments and some of the high level data around key policy decisions surrounding commonly banned substances and activities. A core introductory theme (and one that's consistently touched on through the series) is when and how a governing power should behave independent of morality, i.e. with a greater focus and interest in outcom...
2022-May-24 • 51 minutes
Should we legalize (part 1)....Recreational Drugs
In this episode, we begin a series (of 3 episodes) exploring the intersection of morality and public policy; generally of the form 'should X be made legal?'. We'll be exploring both the ethical arguments and some of the high level data around key policy decisions surrounding commonly banned substances and activities. A core introductory theme (and one that's consistently touched on through the series) is when and how a governing power should behave independent of morality, i.e. with a greater focus and inte...
2022-Apr-28 • 22 minutes
Is 'God' a good thing? Part 3 - the source of religious moral authority
In this episode, we finish our series (of 3 episodes) exploring the intersection of 'God' and morality. You'll note the use of quotation marks, this is because we explore the moral implications of theism and organized religion in a way that is not limited to faith-based belief. This means both looking purely at the incentives around belief rather than basing belief on faith, but also weighing up the pros and cons of organized religion and their impact on society. Did it help to instill moral norms and unity...
2022-Apr-20 • 37 minutes
Is 'God' a good thing? Part 2 - has religion been a net good for society?
In this episode, we continue our series (of 3 episodes) exploring the intersection of 'God' and morality. You'll note the use of quotation marks, this is because we explore the moral implications of theism and organized religion in a way that is not limited to faith-based belief. This means both looking purely at the incentives around belief rather than basing belief on faith, but also weighing up the pros and cons of organized religion and their impact on society. Did it help to instill moral norms and uni...
2022-Apr-11 • 42 minutes
Is 'God' a good thing? Part 1 - classic arguments for belief/non-belief
In this episode, we begin a series (of 3 episodes) exploring the intersection of 'God' and morality. You'll note the use of quotation marks, this is because we explore the moral implications of theism and organized religion in a way that is not limited to faith-based belief. This means both looking purely at the incentives around belief rather than basing belief on faith, but also weighing up the pros and cons of organized religion and their impact on society. Did it help to instill moral norms and unity, o...
2022-Feb-22 • 65 minutes
NFTs: the future of art or a pyramid scheme?
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are all the rage - at time of posting. Should we all be rushing to buy digital images of gorillas wearing sunglasses? Or are there better ways of supporting struggling artists?In this episode, Jake and Ant look at whether NFTs represent a bright future for helping artists monetize their work. They begin by discussing how NFTs work, what web3 is and why people are so excited about where this technology could lead us. Bill Gates famously warned that one of the early design flaws of ...
2022-Feb-08 • 75 minutes
CROSSOVER EPISODE - Is Liberal Democracy The Best We Can Do?
This is a crossover with the Good in Theory podcast. We discuss with Clif what liberal democracy is, the arguments in its favour, and some big critiques. What is the purpose of government? How much of what we look for in good governance is shaped by our liberal democratic contexts (and particularly, the Cold War)? Episode includes Plato, Nazis and of course the Lizard People. Enjoy!--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/moedt/message If you'd like to listen ad-free (on any podcast app) and support u...
2022-Jan-25 • 53 minutes
Is trophy hunting really wrong?
Hunting endangered animals for sport. Everyone knows it’s bad. But is it really?In this episode, Jake and Ant talk about trophy hunting and whether a moral society can permit it. They begin with an overview of how trophy hunting actually works in the nations that allow it and how it has gone wrong in the past, followed by outlining the effects it has on the environment, conservation, and local communities, which curiously, are generally positive.This leads them into a discussion of the morality of conservat...
2021-Dec-22 • 57 minutes
Is it bad to lie to your kids about Santa Claus?
Is the Santa myth just harmless fun, or should we be honest to our kids about Saint Nick?In this very festive episode, Jake and Ant discuss the morality of lying to children about Santa Claus. They start with a brief history of the character's origins, including Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas and even Odin. Then they go over the origins of the tradition of teaching children of Santa's literal existence and the reasons for doing it.After that, they discuss the potential benefits of the fiction, as well as ...
2021-Dec-08 • 55 minutes
Are you a bad person if you buy gifts from Amazon this X-mas?
Does buying gifts from Amazon make you a bad person?This week, Jake and Ant tackle the very festive topic of the morality of buying gifts from Amazon. They start by going over the pros and cons of buying from Amazon, both the intended and unintended results. As well as going over both Amazon’s philanthropic and less-than-philanthropic endeavours.They discuss different philosophical frameworks and what they have to say about the morality of buying from the online marketplace behemoth.Then they go over the ro...
2021-Nov-24 • 61 minutes
Do you have to keep unreasonable promises?
Can you break a promise if it was an unreasonable one to make?In this episode, Jake and Ant go in depth, discussing several philosophical frameworks and what they have to say about promises. Using realistic (and some less realistic) examples of promises, they discuss what various philosophers would have to say about them, as well as giving their own two cents. They discuss duty, trust, and how our actions support or erode institutions we all depend on.Should you keep a promise to someone who’ll never know i...
2021-Nov-10 • 41 minutes
Here's why cyclists who skip red lights aren't bad people
Is it justifiable to blatantly break one of the most basic rules of the road?In this episode, Jake and Ant discuss the morality of skipping red lights on a bike. They begin by chatting about unexpected outcomes of laws that are designed to improve safety and the possibility that running reds is actually safer for cyclists. They discuss the “Reverse Peltzman effect'' and how by making a behaviour more risky, people compensate by being more careful, which may be enough to outweigh the increased risk.They also...
2021-Oct-14 • 45 minutes
Was Joe Biden wrong to pull out of Afghanistan?
In this episode, Jake and Ant look at the ethics of the Western abandonment of Afghanistan after decades of support.We begin by chatting about some necessary context on the history of Afghanistan, both cold war era and post 9/11. Ultimately, we discuss the limits of one person's moral agency (can the president be personally blamed? Was there any winning decision to be made?), when it may be just to invade or 'nation-build' and the limits of respecting sovereignity and self-determination. Specifically, we al...
2021-Sep-13 • 45 minutes
Is the death penalty ever justified?
In this episode, Jake and Ant look at the ethics of murdering a murderer.We begin by chatting about the point of punishment - if we can't work out a justified aim of punishment, it's certainly hard to ever justify any punishment! We discuss the '5 theories of punishment' and their historical context (from Kant, to Bentham, to Michel Foucault). Following this, we discuss the particular issues around death (the sanctity of life and most importantly the irreversibility of death)! We also consider some side-que...
2021-Aug-05 • 39 minutes
Should you give money directly to homeless people?
In this episode, Jake and Ant look at the ethics of giving cold hard cash to street beggars (who we typically assume are homeless).We begin by exploring a bit around how people end up in the situation of begging for cash and the difference between giving people cash vs giving them goods and services. We go on to examine the tradeoffs between your own satisfaction and the actual consequences of your giving cash to someone who's potentially unstable; what are the limits of your moral agency for the actions of...
2021-Jun-15 • 84 minutes
Should we abolish the monarchy?
In this episode, Jake and Ant look at the ethics of abolishing the monarchic institutions that are present in the UK and several other EU countries (but really focusing on the UK as a specific example).The key arguments discussed and considered are:1 - democracy, 2 - elitism, 3 - corruption/abuse of power, 4 - history & tradition, 5 - entertainment, 6 - soft power, 7 - the practical nuisance of disbanding the royals.Ant is writing this and I maintain that it's a grossly inequitable institution that does...
2021-May-14 • 52 minutes
Is it wrong to have children in an era of climate change?
In this episode, Jake and Ant look at the ethics of having children in the context of climate change. Is it ok to birth a child into a doomed circumstance...is this circumstance quite so doomed...even if it wasn't, is it maybe wrong to birth someone without their permission anyway?This discussion begins by exploring moral considerations around having children with 2 key perspectives, particularly: the way that you may be wronging a baby itself by birthing it, either by dooming it to a struggle with the woes...
2021-Mar-29 • 58 minutes
Is it wrong to keep pets?
In this episode, Jake and Ant look at the ethics of pet care. Is it ok to keep any sentient living being as property, free to be made infertile if their incessant humping annoys us and even to be put down if they become an inconvenience or minor danger. Part of this discussion will feel familiar from our vegan/vegetarianism episode (how do we compare animal vs human rights?), but the fundamental question is how do we square the very common stance of being anti-livestock/vegan but pro-pets? We do care about ...
2021-Mar-06 • 50 minutes
Can we enjoy the music of problematic artists?
In this episode, Jake and Ant look at the ethics of art. Well, a very small sub-section, enjoying the works of artists who are themselves immoral. In considering this, we consider the difference between art and things that are simply visually/audibly pleasing and how the context of art can (or should) affect how we appreciate it.Key considerations include whether the 'problematic' context of the artist is literally part of their work, a heavy influence or driver of the work, or totally separate. We also con...
2021-Feb-12 • 63 minutes
Can entrepreneurship be a force for good? - w/ beyond binary thinking podcast
In this episode (another guest-isode digression from our usual format, which we'll return to next episode), Jake and Ant look at whether entrepreneurship can be a force for good, with Chris and Chris from the Beyond Binary Thinking podcast. We discuss the difference between entrepreneurship en masse and large tech companies, the role of finance (and over-financialization) in business and whether shifting ownership can help resolve some of these issues.Sign up to our newsletter here to receive a breakdown of...
2021-Jan-25 • 59 minutes
Was Twitter right to ban Trump? w/ Peter Suciu and Alex Kantrowitz
In this episode, Jake and Ant look at whether banning Trump was the right thing to do for social media platforms. With our guests, Peter Suciu (Twitter: @PeterSuciu) and Alex Kantrowitz (twitter: @kantrowitz, podcast: https://redcircle.com/shows/big-technology-podcast)... we explore questions such as: are SM platforms utilities, is free speech the same as free access to platforms, what were the morally relevant contingent factors to this decision and what next for such SM platforms?This is our first guest-f...
2021-Jan-07 • 64 minutes
Would it be ethically justifiable to make the covid vaccine mandatory?
In this episode, Jake and Ant look at the ethics of mandatory vaccination, particularly in the context of covid and the year of mandatory lockdowns we've just been through. Arguably, vaccines have clearer benefits and fewer trade-offs than lockdowns, but precedent over the last few decades has been to enshrine people's freedom of choice on the matter (even if their opinions are based on debunked conspiracy theories). Does the covid crisis make for a different circumstance, particularly given all the recent,...
2020-Nov-19 • 60 minutes
Is it wrong to send your children to private school?
In this episode, Jake and Ant look at the ethics of private education. Education is so important - and so formative - that it's important to ask whether it is fair for some people to access a higher quality education on the basis of wealth. What happens when what is best for society does not line up with what is best for us individually? If you'd like to support the show, checkout our patreon at: https://www.patreon.com/moedt--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/moedt/message If you'd like to ...
2020-Nov-04 • 54 minutes
Are footballers paid too much?
In this episode Jake and Ant explore what it means to be overpaid - both from an economic and moral perspective. Particularly, footballers are considered in the context of essentially being entertainers. In it, you'll get a potted history of how footballers went from earning £1 a week to over £300k, an original take on the footballers v nurses debate and a look at what happened to the Gunnersaurus. If you'd like to support the show, check out our Patreon at: https://www.patreon.com/moedtReferences from...
2020-Oct-17 • 51 minutes
Are you a bad person if you work at Facebook?
In this episode, Jake and Ant explore what it means to be a bad person, briefly revisit the distinction between good/bad and right/wrong and discuss in some more depth why they specifically chose Facebook for this question (rather than BP or Goldman Sachs or Google) and some of the harms and goods it facilitates.If you'd like to support the show, check out our Patreon at: https://www.patreon.com/moedt--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/moedt/message If you'd like to listen ad-free (on any podcast...
2020-Oct-02 • 47 minutes
Is it immoral to eat meat?
In this episode, Jake and Ant consider whether the consumption of meat and specifically the production and slaughter of animals to that end is immoral. This includes an exploration of the moral differences between different animals (humans included) and a consideration of whether the crux of the issue lies in the suffering and death involved in production or rather in the specific act of consuming the flesh of another creature. Following this, there's a consideration of the indirect effects of eating meat a...
2020-Sep-23 • 45 minutes
Should we segregate sports by sex?
In this episode, Jake and Ant consider how and why we segregate sports and, ultimately, what the point of sports might be? This includes an exploration of current issues of segregating by sex, given difficulty determining how to include trans atheletes and those with DSD such as Caster Semenya - who recently lost a court ruling on the matter. There are many other forms of segregation that happen in sport, such as weight classes.If you'd like to support the show, check out our Patreon at: https://www.patreon...
2020-Aug-20 • 68 minutes
When is lockdown justified?
In this episode, Jake and Ant consider the circumstances where restricting personal freedoms in the interest of public health may be morally justified. This includes an exploration of whether this is a truly unique circumstances, versus issues like national security, what moral frameworks are most appropriate and the classic balancing of the moral calculus. We'll address questions such as: what's the value of a human life? How should we spread benefits and harms across society and, of course, what might Kan...
2020-Jul-04 • 48 minutes
Should you have shared #BlackoutTuesday?
In this episode, Jake and Ant explore why those who are able may have a duty to help disadvantaged groups and whether the motives of our actions matter to their moral worth. We revisit the question of 'Can you do the right thing for the wrong reasons?' as well as exploring the types of obligations we have and how we can form new ones. Do white people have a special obligation to help BAME groups, or is it purely on the basis of fairness that a duty is owed? Is a duty owed at all?If you'd like to support the...
2020-Jun-16 • 51 minutes
Is it OK to punch a nazi?
In this second episode, Jake and Ant explore the circumstances in which we may be justified in doing something we'd typically class as wrong. Are we ever justified in using violence, particularly against those who have done or intend to do bad things? Would you be proud if your child punched a bully? Would you lie to an axe-murderer? Can you punch a secret nazi? All this and more discussed in this episode, including a breakdown of the 3 main types of moral frameworks - virtue based ethics, consequentalist a...
2020-Jun-10 • 44 minutes
Should billionaires exist?
In this first episode, Jake and Ant explore the moral implications of extreme wealth inequality. Can billionaires co-exist with a population in poverty? When, if ever, is it right to takeaway someone's private property? Do we deserve the cash we inherit any less than the talents we inherit by birth?If you'd like to support the show, check out our Patreon at: https://www.patreon.com/moedt--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/moedt/message If you'd like to listen ad-free (on any podcast app) and supp...