Proponents of vaccine mandates typically claim that everyone who can be vaccinated has a moral or ethical obligation to do so for the sake of those who cannot be vaccinated, or in the interest of public health. I evaluate several previously undertheorised premises implicit to the ‘obligation to vaccinate’ type of arguments and show that the general conclusion is false: there is neither a moral obligation to vaccinate nor a sound ethical basis to mandate vaccination under any circumstances, even for (...) hypothetical vaccines that are medically risk-free. Agent autonomy with respect to self-constitution has absolute normative priority over reduction or elimination of the associated risks to life. In practical terms, mandatory vaccination amounts to discrimination against healthy, innate biological characteristics, which goes against the established ethical norms and is also defeasible a priori. (shrink)
If there is something (P) that every possible agent is committed to value, and certain actions or attitudes either enhance or diminish P, then normative claims about a range of intentional actions can be objectively and non-trivially evaluated. I argue that the degree of existence as an agent depends on the consistency of reflexive-relating with other individuals of the agent-kind: the ontological thesis. I then show that in intending to act on a reason, every agent is rationally committed to value (...) ‘above all else’ being an agent, what consists in exercising the capacity to act and having the freedom to discriminate between more or less valuable actions: the transcendental thesis. Since the degree of possession of this personal but non-contingent good depends on relating to other agents in a special way, certain actions and attitudes may be objectively right or wrong for all agents. (shrink)
Pope Benedict XVI argued that it is "necessary and reasonable to raise the question of God through the use of reason" and to understand "theology, as inquiry into the rationality of faith." (Ratzinger 2006) The idea that faith per se can be reconciled with rationality per se presents a delicate analytical task for philosophy of religion, to consistently ground a belief system which is regarded by nonbelievers as inherently ungrounded and inconsistent, without negating any grounding postulates internal to the dogma. (...) Focussing on Abrahamic theism, with special emphasis on Christianity, I interpret the Biblical narrative as a symbolic representation of a universal normative structure grounded in social ontology and the value-commitments intrinsic to agency. (shrink)
Face-coverings were widely mandated during the Covid-19 pandemic, on the assumption that they limit the spread of respiratory viruses and are therefore likely to save lives. I examine the following ethical dilemma: if the use of face-masks in social settings can save lives then are we obliged to wear them at all times in those settings? I argue that by en-masking the face in a way that is phenomenally inconsistent with or degraded from what we are innately programmed to detect (...) as human likeness, we are degrading the social quality of our relations. Drawing on my previously published proof that Self is socially reflexive (mutually mirrored) rather than monadic in its constitution, I conclude that any widespread en-masking is also deleterious to humanity and therefore unethical. (shrink)
The Golden Rule, most commonly expressed in the form "do to others what you would have them do to you", has attracted criticism for failing to provide practical guidance in case of moral disagreement and for being susceptible to irrational outcomes. I argue that the alleged limitations are not a defect but just what makes the Golden Rule an effective tool of socio-ontological transformation towards ideal agency.
In medical sciences, health is measured by reference to our species-typical anatomy and functional integrity – the objective standard of human health. Proponents of transhumanism are committed to biomedical enhancement of human beings by augmenting our species-typical anatomy and functional integrity. I argue that this normative impasse is not only a problem for the transhumanist movement, but also undermines the rationale for some common medical interventions.
The premise that it is logically necessary for a necessary condition of value to be valuable is sometimes used in metaethics in support of the claim that agency, or some constitutive condition of agency or action, has value for all agents. I focus on the most recent application of this premise by Caroline T. Arruda and argue that the premise is false. Despite this defect the relevant evaluative step could still work just in case of agency if an additional condition (...) were satisfied. (shrink)
Philosophical views about the logical structure of time are typically divided between proponents of A and B theories, based on McTaggart's A and B series. Drawing on Paul Ricoeur's hermeneutic phenomenology, I develop and defend McTaggart's thesis that the C series and the A series working together give a consistent description of temporal experience, provided that the two series are treated as distinct dimensions internal to time. In the proposed two-dimensional model, the C series expresses a nesting order of the (...) constitutive states of a world, whereas ontological continuity and change are properties of the A series. This, I argue, allows for limited backward causation. (shrink)
Phenomenology offers a unique perspective on abortion that avoids the pitfalls associated with arguments from human rights, religious belief, or morality. Instead, and without negating the possibility that abortion may be justified for other reasons, it obtains reasons not to abort from the nature of agency and the commitments intrinsic to intentional action. Less formally, it says that abortion hurts because it involves killing something humans automatically identify with, and as humans we constitute ourselves just in terms of what we (...) identify with. (shrink)
We address the most fundamental yet routinely ignored issue in economics today: that of distributive impact of the monetary system on the real economy. By re-examining the logical implications of token re-presentation of value and Irving Fisher’s theory of exchange, we argue that producers of value incur incidental expropriation of wealth associated with the deflationary effect that new value supply has on the purchasing power of money. In order to remedy the alleged inequity we propose a value-added negative tax (VANT) (...) based on net individual contribution to the economic output, which is structured as a negative tax function geared to profits derived from eligible productive activities in consideration of their estimated deflationary impact. We show that an adequately optimised VANT can be non-inflationary and have zero net cost to the public. Furthermore, economic output stands to improve due to direct incentivisation of value creation, making the proposed scheme not only politically feasible but economically desirable. The proposal advances the principle of ‘fair money’, where all forms of economic value are attributed to their rightful owners prior to any positive taxation. (shrink)