Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

CategoryEthics

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Euthanasia Medical Intervention

Canadian Death Doctor Has Euthanized Hundreds of Patients

Ellen Wiebe kills the sick, the disabled, the elderly, and unwanted fetuses
To her credit, reporter Sharon Kirkey at least provides a brief counterpoint to the pro-euthanasia narrative, something often entirely missing in many media. Read More ›
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Old man in hospital bed looking up

Disabled Canadian Euthanized Due to Lack of Care

He asked for and received euthanasia explicitly because of a lack of care
Quebec’s chief coroner promises an investigation. Don’t expect much to come of it. Read More ›
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Store employee with down syndrome working in a produce store selling stuff

Neanderthals Cared for Down Syndrome Children

Too often, we abort them
Such compassion is on the outs in these “enlightened” days. Indeed, it may now be that more babies with Down syndrome are killed in the womb than are born. Read More ›
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two men playing chess

European Court: Assisted Suicide Not a Human Right

The high court also ruled that refusing life-sustaining treatment is not the same thing as suicide
The court did not rule — as Glucksberg did not about states — that countries cannot legalize assisted suicide or euthanasia. Read More ›
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The dog made a mess in the living room, tore the sofa and scattered things. Generative AI

Does Your Dog Feel “Guilty” When He Rips the Sofa?

Dog expert Zazie Todd says no; when assessing dog emotions, we should think more simply
The dog’s life is easier than human life in some ways; if he isn’t in trouble with humans or other dogs, everything is fine. Read More ›
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A wildlife conservationist caring for a rescued, endangered species, showing their dedication to preserving nature.

If Humans Were Just Animals, We Would Not Help Animals

Whether we like it or not, the gulf fixed between humans and other animals is what makes it possible for us to reject cruelty to animals
The “human evolution” narrative that ignores the critical distinction handicaps the thinking of philosopher Hugh Desmond and many others. Read More ›
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Scientist preparing a DNA sample for testing.

Dual-Use Technology and Research Ethics: Interview with Yves Moreau

A conversation on the responsibility and ethical limits of tech companies
Our conversation about the ethics of collecting and using genetic data brought out two important themes that are often addressed here at Mind Matters News. Read More ›
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In a dimly lit laboratory, a group of scientists debates the ethical implications of altering human genetics The camera angle is focused on the intense expressions of the researchers,

Bioethicists Want to Rule the World

Alright, the headline is a tad hyperbolic. But just a tad.
It seems to me that the best approach to the policy opinions of mainstream bioethicists is to consider the source, shrug, and carry on. Read More ›
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Big brother is watching you. Digital spy concept. Based on Generative AI

Orwell’s Cold Dystopia is Closer Than We Think

When we speak lies as truth, tyrants come marching in

The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. [Winston’s] heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him… And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right. The obvious, the silly, and the true had got to be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that! The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall towards the earth’s center. With the feeling that he was setting forth an important axiom, he wrote: Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows. GEORGE ORWELL, 1984 Read More ›

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Human fetus with internal organs, 3d illustration

Confronting IVF: Human Embryos Are Persons With a Right to Life

We humans are persons even when we are non-sentient and dependent on others
IVF is the industrial manufacture of human beings. The right to life of the embryo is a bulwark against dehumanization for all. Read More ›
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Vitro Fertilization. IVF with DNA strand. 3d illustration.

Are IVF Human Embryos “Children”? A Recent Court Decision

Neurologist Steven Novella claims that the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that they are “children” under the law “essentially referenced god”
The ruling not only did not reference God, it was meticulously based on precedent. So those who seek to remove protection from IVF embryos must lobby for that. Read More ›
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Businessman keeping the growth in economy

Is There a Solution to Low Quality Research in Science?

Molecular biologist Henry Miller and statistician Stanley Young explain why statistical techniques like meta-analysis won’t solve the basic problem
It doesn’t sound as though any solution that doesn’t tackle the basic honesty problem is likely to work. Meanwhile, the public should not be blamed for doubt. Read More ›
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Skull Assorted Poison Bottles

Artists Strike Back!: New Tool “Poisons” Images Pirated by AI

Nightshade, developed by University of Chicago computer science prof Ben Zhao, makes the AI generator keep giving you a cat when you ask for a dog
Overall, Nightshade may prove more useful than lawsuits to artists. It is embedded in pixels, visible only to AI, not to humans. Read More ›
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Profile portrait of a child looking up at a robot with curiosity on a dark background - not based on a real person, Generative AI

When a Brilliant Man Has a Very Confused Perspective …

Astrophysicist Avi Loeb simply doesn’t seem to see that human beings are more valuable than advanced machines
Those who think that Harvard’s best and brightest should rule over us might want to invest some time to discover how some of them really think. Read More ›
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Evil robot head with glowing red eyes in data center, Ai generated image

Can AI Really Start Doing Evil Stuff All By Itself?

We need to first talk to the man in the mirror before we go around blaming transistor circuit boards for what’s wrong in the world
Far from being independent superintellects, AIs — without human input — are subject to Model Collapse, where they start reprocessing information into nonsense. Read More ›
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Two chimpanzees have a fun.

Why Does the Proposal for Chimp–Human Hybrids Keep Coming Back?

From David Barash’s perspective, the humanzee’s suffering is rendered worthwhile precisely because it enables the denigration of other human beings
Physicist Rob Sheldon warns, when ridiculous inhumane ideas are routinely aired, we become more willing to accept inhumane ideas that are in fact quite viable. Read More ›
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Senior woman sitting on the wheelchair alone

Euthanasia’s Slippery Slope

Once a society embraces death as the answer to suffering, what counts as suffering never stops expanding.
Note well that the concept of the “completed life” need not involve any physical illness, disabling condition, or psychiatric malady at all. Read More ›
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Modern day slavery, illegal trade of human organs on the black market and forced organ harvesting of death row inmates concept theme with a liver, heart and kidney with price tags and a barcode

Organ Transplants: How the Internet Enables the Dark Side

Euthanasia activists offer to "ease" the donor organ shortage, and so do cartels that exploit the world’s most vulnerable poor
Africans are lured abroad in hopes of a job, maybe in high tech even, and it sometimes turns out that the job is — organ donor. Read More ›
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Israeli National flag waving on the top of Mount of Olive with background of residential houses in Jerusalem, Israel

Israel, Free Will, and the Problem of Evil

If determinism is true, then we have no free will. We are nothing more than meat machines.

The events of the past week in Israel have left the civilized world reeling. Hamas has killed more than 1,200 Jewish innocents in the most violent eruption of anti-Semitism since the Holocaust, and it seems likely a war will follow that will soon kill thousands more innocent people. As we ponder and pray over this mass slaughter, it is worthwhile to reflect for a moment on what these events tell us about the ideological and scientific dogmas of the 21st century — about atheism, determinism and Darwinism. Are these dogmas true, and do they provide a meaningful understanding of man and of moral action? If atheism is true and there is no God, there is no Moral Lawgiver. The concept of Read More ›

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Hallway the emergency room and outpatient hospital. 3d illustration

The Small Steps That Lead to Dystopia

Revisiting a 1993 article warning about the future of assisted suicide

Editor’s Note: The following piece was originally published in Newsweek in June 1993. Today is my 76th birthday,” the letter began. “Unassisted and by my own free will, I have chosen to take my final passage.” Suicide. My friend Frances died in a cold, impersonal hotel room after taking an overdose of sleeping pills, with a plastic bag tied over her head suffocating the life out of her body. Frances was not a happy woman. She had family troubles. She suffered from chronic lymphatic leukemia and was facing the difficult prospect of a hip replacement. She also had a chronic nerve condition that caused her to feel a burning sensation on her skin. But Frances was lucid, aware and involved. Read More ›