Peter Singer’s famous pond thought experiment threw me in to philosophical dilemma over a decade ago. My mind urged me fish for any reason why it’s conclusions were invalid, for any escape from accepting its inconvenient implications. I never found one.
In this episode, we discuss the difference between actions that cause suffering and inaction when suffering can be prevented. When the consequences are identical, and when we are uniquely positioned in the world to be in control of those consequences, what’s the moral difference between actively causing pain and neglecting to prevent pain within our control? Well, the Omission Bias, a very dangerous cognitive imperfection of ours, leads us to believe this difference is a lot larger than logic suggests.
If we then have some level of responsibility to proactively alleviate suffering within our control, shouldn’t we attempt to do that as effectively and efficiently as we can?
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND THANKS
A very special thank you to HÄANA (Violinist, vocalist and producer) and Cello Joe for allowing me to use their beautiful music throughout the podcast (only HÄANA in this episode, with music from her Copal project). They are two of my favorite artists and I’m super happy to be able to share their music with you all. You can find HÄANA on SoundCloud, on Facebook, and on iTunes, and Cello Joe on SoundCloud, on Facebook, on YouTube, and on Band Camp.
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