The abortion debate is heating up in Ireland and one of the most common claims made is that the unborn has a right to life. There are groups dedicated to it such as the Society For The Protection Of The Unborn (SPUC). In fact, the 8th Amendment of the constitution states the unborn child has an equal right to live as the mother. But does it really? Do the unborn really have rights? Do we have duties to them? In my next post I examine when life begins, but right now, I want to look at the question of whether or not there is a right to life. Continue reading “Do The Unborn Have A Right To Life?”
In Ireland you must be 16 before you can join a political party. The thinking is that only at this age are people mature enough to make a conscious decision about something as important as politics. At a younger age they are not capable of rational thought or fully aware of the consequences of their actions. As children their parents will simply tell them what to do. Imagine if we treated religion the same? Imagine we said people must reach adulthood before they could become a member of a religion? Continue reading “Age Of Consent For Religion?”
Predictably Irrational byDan Ariely is a fascinating and deeply insightful book that is a pleasure to read and full of gems. It is bursting with interesting and ground breaking experiments that completely debunk many of the assumptions of economics. It will reshape how you view economics and how consumers react in real life, as opposed to in economics textbooks. It is a book I would highly recommend and should be considered a behavioural economics classic. In fact it’s so great that I couldn’t fit all I wanted to say about it into one post (or three) so instead I will summarise my favourite chapters (which is most of them) and highlight the important points they make. What is particularly interesting is that the book is heavily based upon evidence and empirical studies, so no claim is made without being backed up. In fact Ariely does most of the experiments himself so you are really hearing it from the horse’s mouth.
There is a lot of discussion in economics and society over the idea of choice. This is the notion that we can choose the life we want to live. Libertarians in particular claim that people’s situations are a result of their choices. However this is an illusion. We are not individuals in a vacuum choosing from a menu. Rather almost all our decisions are based upon our circumstances. We do not have free will in the sense of being able to freely choose our life. Continue reading “The Illusion Of Free Choice”