Without God, is Everything Permitted?: The 20 Big Questions in Ethics
Can it ever be right to kill? Is terrorism ever justified? Should euthanasia be legal? Are some people superior to others? Do animals have rights? Some ethical judgements are easy: one side is wrong and the other is right. But how do we handle the really tough 'right vs right' dilemmas, where each side has strong moral arguments? In Without God, is Everything Permitted? bestselling author and philosopher Julian Baggini clear-sightedly and compassionately examines 20 of the most complex contemporary ethical dilemmas. Whether it's asking if torture is always wrong, or if discrimination can ever be good, this book will help you sort out what you really believe about the issues that matter most.
Julian Baggini is the founding editor of The Philosophers' Magazine. He has a PhD on the philosophy of personal identity and is the author, co-author or editor of over 20 books including The Ego Trick, Welcome to Everytown and, most recently, The Virtues of the Table (all Granta). He has written for numerous newspapers and magazines, as well as for the think tanks The Institute of Public Policy Research, Demos and Counterpoint. He has also appeared as a character in two Alexander McCall-Smith novels. His website is www.microphilosophy.net.
Preface. Is there a golden rule? - Doing as you would be done by. Do the ends justify the means? - Doing wrong for the sake of what is right. Is terrorism ever justified? - The legitimacy of all necessary means. Should we favour our families and friends? - The ethics of preferential treatment. How much should we give to charity? - The duty to rescue. Are drug laws morally inconsistent? - The link between law and morality. Do animals have rights? - Expanding the moral circle. Is abortion murder? - The value of human life. Should euthanasia be legal? - The right to end your own life. Is sex a moral issue? - Ethics beyond prudery. Can discrimination be good? - Sameness, difference and equality. Is free trade fair trade? - The ethics of global business. Should we protect the environment? - On whether nature can be harmed. Are we responsible for our actions? - Criminality and being in your right mind. What is a just war? - The rights and wrongs of armed conflict. Is torture always wrong? - How to stop a ticking bomb. What can science tell us about morality? - What facts tell us about values. Is morality relative? - The variability of moral codes. Without God, is everything permitted? - The link between morality and religion. Can all moral dilemmas be resolved? - The limits of ethics. Endnotes. Index.