"Philosophy Changing Lives" with Guest Peter Singer
6:21PM Sep 29, 2020
Jack Russell Weinstein
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Hi, I'm jack Russel Weinstein host of wide philosophical discussions about everyday life. On today's episode, we're talking with Peter Singer about philosophy changing lives. Human beings have always had a hard time putting their moral beliefs into practice. Even those of us who have clear rules that we genuinely believe break them sometimes jubilantly. We lie and steal, we fail to recognize the dignity and others, we stop trying to be excellent. We make ethics optional. We do this in part because we tend to think of principles as justifying our actions, not the other way around. If we are generally honest people, we will subscribe to a moral code that values honesty. If we're adulterers, we will be attracted to a system that has few sexual restrictions. Our personalities come first and our ethics come second. But philosophers think this approach is backwards. Actions shouldn't justify principles. We believe principles should justify actions, we're supposed to do things because they are the right thing to do because they're commanded or derived from reason or the law of the land. Once we commit to an ethical precept philosophers tell us, we have to follow it. We call this normativity. a normative principle is one that articulates right and wrong and creates an obligation to do it. The problem is that sometimes these rules tell us to do things that don't feel right to us. We want to be honest, but we prefer to lie so as not to hurt someone's feelings. We may believe in minimizing suffering, but get angry at the idea of turning off someone's life support system. We think animals deserve respect. But using them to test medicine is okay if it cures human disease. We want exceptions that fit our desires. We want a moral set of rules that predicts what we do not want that restricts how we're allowed to act. And when our freedom is curtailed, we get angry at the rules, not ourselves, and sometimes we condemn the messenger. Few philosophers know this better than our guests, Peter Singer is almost 50 year career has been a case study of how people react when you argue for things that they don't like, very briefly, Sr subscribes to utilitarianism, he's committed to the greatest happiness principle, Our duty is to create the greatest good for the greatest number of beings. We're supposed to minimize suffering and creatures that suffer always take priority over ones that don't. Now I'm skipping over a lot of details here. We'll get to some of them in the discussion. But this commitment to utilitarianism has led our guests to argue for, among other things, the equality between animals and humans, the legitimacy of euthanasia, the obligation to give up luxuries to care for the poor. Some of his conclusions upset people, he's faced the usual criticism that any philosopher gets, but he also has been the subject of protests and politically motivated misrepresentation, someone's once tried to stop him from giving a lecture by taking his glasses. Singers work is powerful in part because of his consistency. His justification has remained basically the same. He's refined his position, but he's never really changed it. Unlike those who want to adjust ethical theories to suit their circumstances or political goals. He's accepted, sometimes very unpleasant conclusions as necessary. Ethical consistency is a virtue, his career reminds us. Without it, there can be no ethical justification at all. Here's the way I explained it to my students. The fundamental lesson of modern ethics is that none of us is special. I don't mean that we aren't each unique or valuable, but rather that the rules that apply to other people also apply to us. The rules that apply to us also apply to other people. A consistent ethic is universal in scope. We don't get to pick and choose and ethical principles don't exclude anybody. Very little attention is paid to consistency anymore. Senators who oppose sending financial assistance to flood ravaged New York demand money when it is their state that's underwater. Religious leaders who condemn homosexuality lead secret lives with same sex lovers. hypocrisy used to be a vise. Now it appears to be an exercise in team loyalty. We expect our moral leaders to argue strategically not ethically, and this undermines the very concept of morality. Eventually, all we'll have is politics and opportunity. There's no virtue and consistency if one's ethical system is wrong. There's no shortage of people who think singers misguided, and if they can convince him of that, he'll be obligated to defend his newly adopted moral principle with the same vigor with which he has defended his current one. But there's a difference between changing one's mind and being moral only when it is convenient. What we will see on today's show is that at least from his perspective, most of us have been much more sporadic in our ethics than we know. Almost all of us are living lives of convenient ethical principles. And Peter singers message if it is nothing else Is that it is time for that to change.
And now our guest, Peter Singer is one of the most well known philosophers today. He's known for a stalwart public voice and his clear moral conclusions. He's the author of many books from accessible accounts of philosophers like Marx and Hegel, to animal liberation that some people read his manifestos. His most recent book, the most good you can do tells the story of effective altruism. Peter is both the IRA w decamp professor of bioethics in the University Center of human values at Princeton University, and a laureate professor at the University of Melbourne. He's also the co founder of the nonprofit organization, the life you can save. Peter, thanks for joining us on why
I'm happy to be with you, jack.
We've pre recorded the show, so we won't be taking any questions. But if you'd like to send your comments, tweet us at at why radio show post a email@example.com slash why radio show or visit our live chat room at why Radio show.com? So, Peter, I guess I want to start by asking practical ethics seems different in some ways, then then the ethics I teach in the classroom, it's there's it's so contextual, and people get so upset, is it the same thing is ethical theory that I teach the same thing as applied to practical ethics that you're talking about in your books,
I'm not really sure exactly how you teach ethics Jack, but because I do teach practical ethics in the classroom, but there certainly is a difference between teaching ethical theories as such. So for example, exploring both utilitarianism, the theory that I hold and kantian ethics or Aristotelian virtue ethics, there's a range of, of different ethical views, and you can discuss them at a higher level of abstraction, where you're considering the theories as themselves. Or you can apply them to particular problems. And what I do in most of my books, I do have one book that's rather well, I have two that are more somewhat more theoretical. But what I'm doing otherwise is I am applying ethical theories to the practical problems that we face in the world in which we live, some of them from an individual level. So what should I be doing? Should I be doing something to help the global poor? And if so what is it okay for me to eat, go down to supermarket and buy meat and eat it? Those are questions that affect all of our lives. And then there's I split still regard as practical ethics questions about what should our government do about climate change? So I think we can we can do ethics in different ways. And both of them are very much worthwhile doing.
Do you think that there is a tension between theory and practice? And this has been a question in the history of philosophy for a very long time and in popular culture, right, even with my friends, sometimes, or on the internet? I hear people say, oh, You're overthinking this, or or, you know, well, if you want to be philosophical, this than the other thing, but this is the real world, is there? Is there that tension? In actuality? Or is this just a sort of resistance to being forced to think through things in a more systematic manner.
There are some ethical views, which I do think, our attention with what we would do in the real world and what we would what we think about doing. And there are others, which are not, at least not at the same tension. So for example, there might be somebody who says, it's always wrong to take an innocent human life and thinks that that's an absolute principle no matter what. And then we may be in a situation where killing an innocent person is the only way to stop nuclear war. And most people would say, well, sadly, in the real world, in that case, we have to kill an innocent person. Because people who hold the view, absolutely my state is still wrong, and justice should be done. come what may. But I think when people say while you're not being practical, you're not thinking about the real world, they tend to be thinking about people who hold principles, independently of their consequences. The view that I hold utilitarianism is a view that actually says the right thing to do is the thing that will have the best consequences. And so I don't think that view can come loose from the real world because in the real world, you always have different circumstances. And utilitarianism is saying, well, we have to then work out in these particular circumstances, what will have the best consequences? So for me, the idea that something is all very well in theory, but not good in practice is not a sound view. It's something that really means if it's not good in practice, Just then it's not good in theory either. And I'm not the only one to have said, this actually counts. It said something very similar A long time ago, even though he was not a utilitarian.
Um, when when students talk about utilitarianism in the classroom, one of the classic problems that get discussed is how to figure out what a consequence is. And of course, in the real world, there's this chain of consequences that sometimes we have good for knowledge about, and sometimes we don't, how do you? How does one use there? Is it just the best judgment that people have for what they think is going to happen? Or is there another method for determining what kind of consequences we take into account when we're measuring what to do and what kind? We don't?
Yeah, that's a good question. Just before I answer it, it's reminded me that there was something that you said in your introduction, that was not entirely accurate, because you said the most good you can do is my most recent book. In fact, my most recent book is utilitarianism, a very short introduction, I co authored with Catalina de lazarey, Radek, and that's a, a short popular introduction to utilitarianism in which we address just that question that you've asked me and along with a number of other objections to utilitarianism. So, in terms of the question, then what are the best consequences? We could break that up into two different elements? One is, what do we really mean by best consequences? So the utilitarian answer to that is the one that maximizes the well being of all of those affected by the action. And some other people might say, Well, no, I don't think well being is the only consequence that matters by well being I mean, here's basically happiness and reduction of pain and misery. Some people might say, I think, for example, and knowledge is a good in itself, even if it doesn't contribute to well being or freedom or justice. So those people are not utilitarians, but they're still consequentialist. They just take a different view of the consequences. So that, as I said, is one element of the question. But the second element of the question is, how do we work out what will have the best consequences? And some disputes are precisely about that we don't really know what to do, that will have the best consequences. Because especially when we're talking about government policies, so complicated, I mean, how should we reduce poverty in the world? What are the best kinds of interventions to do that?
Should we try to actually bring more material assistance to people provide them with food? Or? Or would that actually not be a good thing? Should we rather try to help them to grow their own food more successfully? Should we try to have somehow give better government for them so that they have more effective and less corrupt governments? Can we work for cleaner, more transparent governments? There are a whole lot of different different questions, obviously, about what will have the best consequences. And utilitarians don't have any magic answer to that. But they say look, where there's uncertainty, we have to be guided by probabilities by the probabilities of various tactics. And, of course, we have to experiment and try out what works and look at the data. That's all very important for utilitarians because we are really always trying to work out what will produce the best consequences.
The question that I want to ask now is, how deep does utilitarianism go? What I mean by that is the examples that you have been using the best government, the most transparent government, they're all laden with, with value language in themselves. Do you use the utilitarian approach to identify the values that then utilitarianism is going to try to maximize? How does is it like the turtles, right? Does it go all the way down? Or are there other influences?
Yes, I think it's I think it does go all the way down. So we're talking about the best government, then for utilitarian that will mean the government that does most to maximize the well being of all of those affected by its actions. You also mentioned my my reference to the most transparent government, across transparent does not necessarily mean best. That's a claim, it's often claimed that it's best for governments to be transparent. But transparency for utilitarian is not a goal in itself. It's a goal. Only if we believe that a more transparent government will produce better consequences for all of those effects. And that's something that could be, you know, argued against, but I'm inclined to think that transparency and governments is a good thing that is a good thing in terms of generally not always, but generally tending towards governments that do more to improve the well being of those they affect.
The the utilitarian idea wants to maximize the greatest good and minimize the greatest harm. And you've spent a fair amount of time focusing on the notion of suffering and trying to minimize suffering. Why does that have priority? What is it about suffering that makes it such a potent measure of what's good and bad?
Well, again, there's a couple of things I can say in response to that. One is this. Suppose I told you that you could have an hour of the most intense pleasure that you've ever experienced. But in order to have that you will also have to put up with an hour of the most intense pain you've ever experienced? Would you accept that deal? My guess is that you probably would turn it down. I know, I would turn it down. And I think most people do. And perhaps it depends on what kinds of pains and pleasures they've experienced. But I think certainly, if you ask them to imagine the worst pain or imagine the greatest pleasure they can, most people would say, no, it would take many, many hours of the greatest pleasure I've experienced to outweigh just one hour of the most intense suffering. So if you feel like that, then you are saying that if you're like the tail of suffering is longer than the tail of pleasure. That is, you know, at some midpoint, we could say, well, here's a mild pleasure, that's just like a mild pain. But when you go to extreme pain, that's further away from this neutral, middle ground, then extreme pleasure. So I think that that probably is the case. And I think that's a good reason for focusing on suffering more than pleasure. But the second reason is, again, a more factual one. And that is, I think, it's easier, more straightforward for us to remove causes of suffering, than to bring about causes of happiness. Again, this is something of a generalization. But for instance, if we can see that people are suffering in some way, let's say they're suffering, because they are suffering from diseases that making them you know, let's, let's say malaria taken example, I happen to have had malaria many years ago, and it's not a pleasant state to be in. So if somebody is in that state, and we know how to cure the malaria, we have the drugs that will cure them from it, or for that matter, we know how to prevent malaria by distributing bed nets against malaria, then that's, it's pretty clear that we can do that. And that will achieve the goal we want. And there'll be better off higher well being because they don't they're not suffering from malaria or anymore. On the other hand, once people are not actually suffering, knowing how to make them happy, is more complicated. You know, we can we often think, Oh, yeah, I'd be so much happier if I had more money. And yet studies show that people who win the lottery, yeah, they're happier for a few months. Yeah, very happy at first, certainly happy and maybe typically for about six months. And after that, even though they've gotten much more money, you know, I'm not assuming that they've gambled it all away or anything, they've got much more money, but they're not really happier than they were before. We kind of adjust to the level we get used to it, and then we're not better off than we were before. So, so thinking how to make people who are already kind of, okay, above the neutral level thing, how to make them happier, is actually typically much more difficult than reducing suffering. And that's why I focused on reducing suffering.
I find this really a compelling choice. And I, it makes me perfect sense to me, the argument that you're making, in part because in our pluralistic world, one of the things that we talk about is that people's conceptions of happiness varies from person to person, from culture to culture, and of course, philosophers have fiddled with this idea for almost the entirety of philosophy is suffering a universal? And I guess what I mean by that is, if we are if many of us are happy in different ways, do we all suffer the same way? Or is suffering also as contextual and idea as happinesses?
I think there are Differences in the ways we suffer. But perhaps there's also more commonality than there is in happiness. So with, with very few exceptions, obviously, but, but generally, people who physical pain, you know, let's say who gets stabbed with something or get burned, they're going to suffer pain in roughly similar ways. So I think there we have something in common a basic nervous system that functions roughly in the same way. Although, of course, it's, it's true that some people can tolerate greater levels of physical pain, I know, my wife doesn't mind going to the dentist as much as I do. So there, there are certainly differences like that. But I think probably there's more and more in common and more agreement also, that being in particular states is unpleasant, and something that we want to eliminate if we possibly can,
is imagined suffering to be as considered as actual suffering, for lack of a better term, if I am paranoid, but no one's really out to get me if I, if my attitudes are such that I just consistently make my own on happiness, and therefore I suffer. That seems more subjective than someone being stabbed or going to the dentist. is, is, is there a distinction to be made there? Or does just if someone experiences suffering, Whatever the cause it counts as suffering?
I would say the latter, if someone experiences suffering, Whatever the cause it cancer suffering, you know, you can say it's subjective, because it's going on in that person's head. Whereas in the other case, you know, yes, there's really a knife sticking into their leg, and you can see it objectively there. And no wonder they're in pain. But, in fact, mental illness is one of the most serious and to some extent, neglected causes of suffering, and possibly neglected for the reasons you just gave the people say, Oh, well, it's all in their heads, they should just, you know, wise up and get rid of it. But of course, it's not that easy. As you know, if you've known anybody seriously depressed, and you know that it's not that easy at all. So, I prefer a utilitarian and certainly for me, that it can't, if their life is miserable, Whatever the cause of it, that is a bad thing. And if we can change that, then that's something we ought to do.
I've one more sort of foundational theory, theoretical question, then we'll take a break, and then we'll dive into the examples. But you mentioned depressed, and, and I've course known a lot of people who struggle with depression I have at various times in my own life, and, and many people argue that what depression feels the most like is boredom, that there's just an unwi, a neutrality of existence when you're depressed. And so the question that I have is, is not feeling anything, a form of suffering is unwi is, is is disconnectedness, a sort of no forward movement, would that count to suffering because it's the absence of happiness, or is suffering in itself something more distinct, and however unpleasant on we may be, it is not suffering?
Well, I would, I would apply this test to see whether something is, is suffering. So let's suppose you send it spent a day 24 hours in this condition that you're just describing. And I say to you, well, you now have a choice. Either you can spend another 24 hours in this condition, or I'll put you to sleep now you'll sleep for 24 hours, you'll be it'll be a deep sleep, no dreams, no consciousness at all. And then you'll wake up again, and that 24 hours will be passed. So if you say, Thank you, please do put me to sleep, I'd rather have that than the 24 hours I've just experienced, then I think you were suffering. I haven't said how severely you were suffering, but you are on the suffering side of the ledger. Whereas if you say, Oh, no, please don't do that. I'd much rather be awake, then you're on the positive side of the ledger. So I think that's a test. And by the way, I would say, you know, you describe one form of depression, because depression isn't just one kind of experiences and I've known people who describe depression in much, much worse terms than and that really is, in fact, as a as a kind of torture in some cases.
And, and this, this, again, goes to that, that fluidity of the experience of suffering and what it might feel like to various people. When we come back, I'm going to adjust the sentence I just made instead of focusing on various people, I'm going to focus on various creatures and we'll start talking about suffering in animals and look at Peter's career and the various ways that utilitarianism has recommended important changes and reflections on our lives. You listen to Peter Singer and jack Russel Weinstein on why philosophical discussions but everyday life, we'll be back right after this.
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you're back with jack Russell white student Peter Singer on why philosophical discussions but everyday life, we're talking about utilitarianism reducing suffering and Peter singers career trying to have philosophy change lives for the better. And we're about to start talking about animals. And I was thinking about the news report I heard just on the way to the studio, this episode will be broadcast in a couple weeks. But they're the wildfires in California right now. And we don't know how they're going to turn out. And there was a woman who was talking about evacuating her farm and having to move 11 horses and something like 20 goats and all these other animals and how hard it was. And I found myself reacting very emotionally to that. More. So I think then some of the stories I heard about people. And I think some of that comes from my own experience with animals. I'm a dog person, longtime listeners know this. And the hardest decision I ever had to make, and I don't even like talking about it, is having to put down my dog who was in an accident that I had to see. And he was suffering. And when I was told that the best thing was to put him down, I, I exclaimed, you know, this was my son, and I thought of the dog as my son. And there was no question in my mind, that he was suffering and that he suffered as a creature. This is, however, a shockingly controversial point of view. There are lots of people who think that animals are not capable of suffering. There are lots of people who think that animals are not worthy of the kind of consideration that human beings have, because they're not rational in the same way, or they can't engage in allegedly higher order thinking. And so Peter, I guess, I want to start by asking you the insight that animals have moral consideration because they suffer. How hard was that? To get on the table? Were people resistant to that when Animal Liberation came out in the early 1970s? Or was it something that people like, Oh, of course, animals suffer and, and good point, and we're gonna, we're gonna change this.
By the time Animal Liberation came out, I think most people accepted that animals do suffer. I don't think that was the issue. I mean, obviously, Descartes famously denied that animals are capable of suffering. And there was a period in psychology of behavioral psychology, where some psychologists at least, wrote their papers as if there were no animal consciousness, but that maybe was more because they said, We can observe consciousness rather than actually denying that there is consciousness, but but sometimes the effect was the same. And certainly when you read the horrible things they did to animals, maybe it was easy to do them, if they somehow had got themselves into believing that animals aren't capable of suffering. But on the whole, I think, you know, the overwhelming majority of people, in certainly in our society, in Western societies, generally, and probably most of the world. Recognize that animals do suffer. The more controversial issue is persuading them, that that suffering matters, that that accounts even though they're not humans. And I suppose the most controversial point I was making in animal liberation, went a little further than that and said, that you know, pain for pain, animal suffering matters just as much as human suffering, that we may be capable of suffering in different ways because of our higher intellectual abilities. But where we compare the pain of an animal with the pain of a human, where they're similar or not just physical pain either, but can other forms of suffering, then we already give that the same weight as we would give to a similar amount of suffering, experienced by a human being And that's what initially
got a lot of pushback. And and was the pushback, just habitual? was it? Was it a prejudice? You coined the term speciesism? Was the pushback, just that? How do you? How do you think about the pushback in? And then? And then, of course, how do you respond to it?
I do think that a lot of it was a was a prejudice. And you know, we're familiar with prejudice is the the point of the term speciesism is to indicate that our attitudes to other animals is a bias or prejudice, akin to the prejudices that we're very familiar with that, for example, whites have had against Africans, or the prejudices that men have had against taking seriously the interests of women. So I, you know, we're familiar that in those cases, we build up an ideology, which makes the US the humans, the males, sorry, that the whites and the males, the superior group, and belittles and denigrates the others as inferior. And that, of course, goes on very strongly in the case of animals. And there are differences. I'm not saying that racism and sexism and speciesism are the same. And your listeners may be saying, Well, wait a minute, one of the differences is that we really are superior to non human animals. And one evidence of that is that there aren't any non human animals capable of listening to this broadcast and understanding what I'm saying. So of course, it's true that our cognitive abilities for abstract communication of ideas, for instance, is something that no non human animal on this planet is capable of. They may be alien, somewhere in the universe who are capable of it, but we haven't met them yet. So, you know, yes, I'm not denying that. But nevertheless, I think we do, we are very ready both to belittle the capacities that animals do have. And also, even when we don't belittle it, just to say, yes, but they're not members of our species. So they don't really count or they don't have rights, for instance, a very common thing that we talked about human rights. But some people are resistant to the idea that animals might have rights. If humans have rights, then animals do too. So I think there are a lot of different things going on, but that some of them
in a minute, I want to ask you about animal rights, because I think that that's an incredibly compelling discussion. But you use the word, I probably actually used it first, the word superior, and superior feels like a laden word. And would you think that by using the term human beings are engaged in a form of special pleading that once you accept the legitimacy of the claim that human beings are superior? You've already given up the game? What is there? Is there an objective notion of superiority? Or is that just itself a strategic term?
I don't think there's an objective notion of superiority, overall, obviously, objective notions of superiority in different respects. So as I just said, human capacities for communication of abstract ideas, far superior to those of chimpanzees, or dogs, or pigs or any other animal. On the other hand, the capacities of an eagle to fly are obviously superior to ours, the capacities of a cheetah to run are superior to ours. And, you know, maybe the capacities of bonobos to live at peace in a social group are superior to ours, as well. So I think you have to take specific specific aspects of life and then you can get objective judgments but but not just with superiority in the in the moral sense.
Well, and and that's actually what I want to push you on for just a second this this notion of superiority in the moral sense, because philosophy has always had a problem equivocating the word natural, right, natural can mean existing in the wild, natural can mean existing without human participation, but natural has often meant immoral, right? People who claim that homosexuality is unnatural, they can't possibly mean it doesn't exist in the in the in the world because it does. So what they mean is that it's bad. And so I guess what, what I want to ask is, when people claim that human beings are superior to animals, is it largely a moral claim, rather than a kind of comparison of capabilities are they really just, they're just saying that that we matter more, and we matter more, because Cause on the great chain of being right, we are higher moral creatures.
I think that probably is what many people mean, some of this will come from a religious basis, and they will be taking this view that somehow human beings are higher creatures that we, for example, have an immortal soul and non human animals don't. And know that God made us, you know, created us last and gave us dominion over the earth, and made us in His own image and didn't make pigs and dogs in His own image. So those are those claims which underlie I think some of the claims of human superiority that we might hear. And I think that, you know, for those who don't share those religious beliefs, or think those religious beliefs needs, we need reinterpretation, then that isn't going to hold very much water. And if it doesn't come from those, then I think, you know, very often it just means, you know, we're humans, that's us. And even some philosophers have basically said this, Bernard Williams, in a essay, published late in life called the human prejudice ends up saying, he imagines that Earth is being invaded by an alien species and the species that is actually superior to us in terms of various capacities that they have. But William says, you know, nevertheless, we, you know, the question should be, Whose side are you on? So, you know, we should be saying we should defend humans and try to kill these aliens, whatever, because we're humans, and you ought to be on the human side. That, to me is something that obviously would also justify racism in various ways. And I don't think it's a
good argument at all. And this is precisely the the kind of thing that the notion of rights is supposed to counter this, this perspectival notion that, you know, we have it because we're awesome, you don't have it, because you're you rights are supposed to be in some sense, above and beyond culture. And, and there is, I'm going to ask you a question. And it's sort of absurd, because there are huge debates about what it means and whether or not rights are conferred by nature, or God, or the government, but sort of passing over the fact that I'm asking you a ridiculous question. What are rights? And what kind of rights to animals have? Why do they apply to animals?
Okay, but you have to start from the fact that you're asking a utilitarian that question. And utilitarian don't think that rights are somehow just out there in the world. They don't think that there, there are any natural rights. Bentham called natural rights nonsense in a famous remark, and natural and in prescriptive all rights, he said a nonsense upon stilts. So for utilitarians, rights, things that you create that a society creates either by custom or by law, and they used to, for example, protect beings from certain things being done to them, whether by other individuals, or by the government. So on the utilitarian view, you know, animals have rights if society recognizes that they have rights. And the same is true for humans. And so we can argue about whether society should recognize both specific human rights and rights for non human animals. But we don't find what we say about animals or about humans, for that matter, on ideas of rights for the rights, secondary, to the question of how are you going to bring about the most good? So to that extent, you know, I'm not the right person to ask about animal rights, because in the most fundamental sense, I don't believe that animals have rights. But then I don't believe that humans have rights either.
I think that's a really useful distinction, though. It's one of the reasons why I asked because it gets us to see how the notion of suffering and good can be inculcated into the language, right? rights is a shorthand for they shouldn't suffer or they shouldn't suffer in this way. And so again, this is an example of right, how far it goes down that rights, even political rights and human rights, these these phrases all ultimately mean that there is this calculus, and that and that and that the suffering of these creatures matter. And so, I guess, let me ask this question. Does it matter that we have to advocate for an Right animals can't assert their own rights animals can't vote. And so there is a role that you play, for example, and other people play that speak the voices that animals don't have. Does that change the legitimacy of the claim? Does that does that affect how seriously we need to take it can? Or is it just the advocates or our This is what the advocates care about, and it's in their imagination, and the animals aren't talking into the animals aren't worthy of that consideration.
I think it's, it doesn't change things fundamentally, that that the animals are not capable of advocating for themselves. That's obviously true. But it's also obviously true of some categories of human beings, for example, infants are not capable of advocating for themselves, maybe parents will advocate for them. But not always, sometimes parents abused infants, and we need to appoint guardians, who will like advocate for them. And we think that that's the right thing to do. So I don't think that animals are in a different situation in that respect, just because they're not capable of being their own advocates, I think that we still have to ask the question as to whether we are justified in treating them in the ways that we are treating them? And I think that the answer to that is for the practices, you know, the largest practices, the largest ways we exploit animals, which is raising the way we raise them for food in factory farms. I think the answer that is clearly no. So you could put that by saying, look, all animals have a right to walk around freely, not to be caged, so that they can even stretch their limbs or in the case of hens stretch their wings. And they have a right to a decent living environment. In conditions that are suitable for their species, you could you could put that in terms of rights if you like. I'm happy to do that. But I'm also happy just to argue that we're inflicting indefensible suffering on them.
So many of our listeners will be encountering your work for the first time. And I wonder if you could just briefly state before we move on to effective altruism? What is your position on the relationship between humans and animals? Is it wrong to eat animals? Is it is it if you kill them, you have to kill them suffer free? Or are they should can they be tested upon as long as they are used? novocaine or something? I mean, what what what's the overall gist of recognizing the suffering of animals as equivalent to the suffering of human beings?
Well, the first thing is that this is a change in the way we've generally thought about animals. And obviously, it is going to change many of our practices, because we have thought about animals basically as things for us to use. For example, I referred to factory farming a moment ago. That's simply the application of technology to the idea that we want to produce meat or eggs or milk as cheaply as possible and will do pretty much anything to animals in order to do that. Now, from the point of view that I take, that's wrong, because it fails to give equal consideration to the interests of these animals. Is does that mean that it's always wrong to eat them? Well, certainly not always, if you happen to come across a deer that's been hit by a car happens around where I am now in New Jersey, and you want to want to eat some venison, there's absolutely nothing wrong in slicing up that deer and take it home. So that's one case where you're not causing any extra suffering to the animal, it's already dead. At the other extreme of cases where you you go to the supermarket and you buy meat or eggs that were produced from confined animals kept indoors all of their lives, often in conditions where they can't walk around freely, where they can stretch their wings, say in the case of hens, caged hens laying eggs, or where they can socialize with other animals in the numbers that they usually do, perhaps where they have no straw to bed down in or they never get to go outside. Walk around on grass. So those things deny all of these important interests to animals to produce the products more cheaply. And I think that's, you know, the worst thing if you like, that's, that's the clearest wrong. Somewhere in between might be you say, Well, I don't often find fresh deer meat that's been hit by a car. But there are a lot of deer in New Jersey and arguably the the lack of any predators. You know, there are no wolves here anymore. There are no indigenous Americans who hunt them with arrows or whatever. So I'm going to train myself to shoot accurately. And then I'm going to go at stalk a deer. When I'm a good enough shot, I'm going to put a bullet through the head of that deer, it'll die instantly. And then I'll eat the meat from that deer. That's a lot better in my view than going down to the supermarket and buying your factory farmed pork or chicken. So do I object to that? Well, not really not, you know, give given that it's correct that there aren't natural predators of deer. And that, in fact, what happens to keep the population in check is that the weaker ones die in the winter. And that's not a very pleasant death. So if you're keeping the population in check by shooting them in a way that is painless. That's probably a better end for the idea, then, at least someday would have so you know, I'm not totally happy with this. I certainly, you know, wouldn't want to do it myself. But I don't really object to that. And then in between, you know, I suppose those other middle kind of cases, but but my point is that that the overwhelming majority in terms of numbers of the animals, we're talking about 9 billion in the United States alone, factory farmed animals, and that's really what we should be talking about. And that's really the the outrageous moral horror, I think that we are, have 9 billion animals that we are inflicting lives on them that are worse than death, you know, that it would be better for these animals if they drop dead, because I think their lives are ones of enduring suffering. So that's, that's what I'm most concerned about. And I think that we ought to be absolutely boycotting products of factory farming.
There's a symmetry between what you're saying and what you started saying earlier in your career, with the focus that you have now later in your career, and more More recently, and that is that just as there are billions of animals that are suffering, there are also billions of people that are suffering. And just as there's a spectrum of harm, there's also a spectrum of what we're entitled to you you argue that people should give the money that they have that, that that that they earn, above and beyond what makes them I guess, I should ask you the standard, comfortable or necessity and give it to the poor? I wonder if you talk a little bit about this Why? What is the obligation that we have to care for the poor? And, and how do we engage in that obligation?
I think the obligation comes from the simple fact that there is such an enormous discrepancy in wealth and comfort between people who live in affluent countries like the United States, and I'll exclude the very poorest people in the United States, but but anybody who's sort of middle class or above, there's a big discrepancy between what they have, and what the poorest, actually it's less than a billion. Now, the World Bank's current figures of people are below the extreme poverty line, which is the purchasing power equivalent of $2. US per day, is now around 700, or 700, and 50 million, so it has come down, which is good. But that's still a lot of people. And if, as I said, they're living on less than $2 per day, and we spending more than $2, to go out and buy a cup of coffee, and we're Of course, maybe spending 10 or even 100 times $2 going out for a meal at a restaurant with some wine, and going to a show and various other things that we might do. Then I think that discrepancy becomes so glaring, that we have to ask ourselves, well, should I be doing this? Should I be spending this money on these things that I clearly don't need? And that add maybe just a little bit to my enjoyment of life? Or should I be using it to help people who are struggling on $2 a day and therefore can't afford, perhaps can't afford enough food perhaps can't afford basic health care? There are many other problems that they are going to have kept maybe not able to afford to educate their children. So my argument is that these are things that we need to be helping them with.
And you offer a standard that that you connect with this, this activist approach called effective altruism, which I'd like to ask you what that is, that it's not just that, well, okay, they get they are $2 a day. And so why don't I send them $2 to double their income, that you're actually advocating for? Doing the most good that they can do, rather than the minimum good that they can eke out or can can can deign to do wonder if you talk a little bit about what effective altruism is, and what it means to have the standard of the most good you can do.
Think of altruism is an emerging movement, it's only 10 years old has less than that, under the name effective altruism of people, mostly the millennial generation, who, firstly, do want to make altruism an important part of their life. Not necessarily that only our overriding goal, but they think that there's significant part of their activities. And the goal should be to make the world a better place for everyone, not just for themselves and their selves in their friends. And secondly, in doing this, whether they're doing it by volunteering for organizations, or using particular skills, or by donating money to organizations, they want to use those resources as effectively as they can. So to find out, what is the most effective way of doing it, they look at some of the research that has been done in recent years about what particular organizations are doing, essentially, where you get the biggest bang for your buck in terms of of helping people or helping animals or making the world a better place generally. And I find this a very exciting movement. As you mentioned, in the introduction, I've founded the organization, the life you can save, which is also the title of one of my books. And the life you can save is an effective altruism organization. It recommends that people donate to particular charities who are helping people in extreme poverty. And those charities have been very thoroughly researched. And people can go online and look at the life you can save.org and they can check out those charities and donate to one of them directly through the website. So that's that's the kind of thing that effective altruists are interested in, in doing encouraging people to help others and encouraging them to do it in the most effective way possible. How much
should I give, right? I know, many religious organizations suggest the tithing a 10%. But other people think, well, I only need this to eat. So why don't I lower my standards and suffer a little bit to relieve the suffering of other people? That's the concept of sainthood in Catholicism? How much does utilitarianism tell me that I have to give of what I have.
utilitarianism is a very demanding ethic. And if we had to follow it all the way, we would give to the point at which by giving more, we would not be doing any more good. So for example, if it was simply comparing poverty and wealth, we would give until by giving more, the amount of harm we would cause to ourselves or our family, would be comparable to the amount of benefit we would bring about two rubbers. Now, as I said, that's an extremely demanding standard. And very, very few people live up to that standard. I don't claim to live up to that standard myself. So this is a point that goes back to what you said in your introduction, where sometimes ethics can be so demanding that we can't really act fully on it. But we might at that point regarded as as an aspirational standard. And we might try to get further towards it. So for instance, when I started thinking about global poverty and what I ought to do about it, which is now more than 40 years ago, I started by giving 10%, my wife and I should say started by giving 10% of our combined income to what we could the most effective organization we could find at the time, Oxfam, there wasn't that much research then. But, and at that time, we were living on reasonably modest incomes. But gradually, as our incomes have built up, and we've become more comfortable, and we no longer responsible for supporting our children, we have boosted that amount. And we've perhaps now giving away something somewhere around a third or so some years, a little more, to effective charities. But I don't claim that, you know, that's the sort of limited which we ought to stop, I think we ought to continue to increase and we'd be better if we gave more and I do know some people who do give more than that.
It's interesting to think of utilitarianism as aspirational, because, and maybe I'm simply wrong about this. It doesn't feel like a more theory that has a lot of room for utopian thinking that there are that utilitarianism recognizes that, you're probably not going to get rid of all suffering, you just have to do the best you can. And you're not going to make everyone happy. You just got to do the best you can with your calculations and your, your your judgments and all that sort of stuff. And yet, there is this aspirational aspect that you talk about, how much how do we reconcile? And maybe this is even what I was trying to ask in the very beginning of the class about Sorry, that was Friday in the very beginning of the show, of between theory and practice. How much? When do we know I guess, is the question, when an ethical principle is aspirational, and what an ethical principle is an absolute necessity to follow.
After utilitarians there isn't really a way of drawing that distinction sharply. I mean, you're right, that utilitarians I'm interested in utopian schemes for reforming society that can't be achieved. Sometimes when I talk about global poverty and donating to charities, as I just did, people say, Oh, no, that's the wrong approach. What we should do is overthrow global capitalism, because that's the cause of poverty. And that seems to me to be utopian, I can't see any way in which we're going to overthrow global capitalism. And if somehow, miraculously, we could, I don't know what we'd put in its place, that would be better, because there isn't really a system that we've got extensive experience of that's work better than capitalism for producing what people need. So utilitarianism is not aspirational in that utopian sense. But it is in terms of being a very demanding morality and in asking your people what a realistic utilitarian is not going to expect many people to achieve. So allow, as I said, You know, I gave you that utilitarian standard of giving until if you gave more, you would not be achieving any net benefits. But any person who looks at human nature realistically is going to say, not many people are going to achieve that standard. So then you have to ask, Well, what can I do to that will have the best consequences? And maybe what you should do is to say, look, let's not blame people for failing to achieve this extremely demanding standard that we know most humans are not guided, let's encourage them to give more. So you know, then you might debate so what should we encourage them to give. And and people can differ on their, one of the effective altruists, organizations giving what we can, asks its members to pledge to give 10% of their income, that is the traditional ties that you mentioned, the life you can save the organization I found it has a progressive table that thinks well, people who don't have much maybe even to give 10% is a struggle. But on the other hand, people who are wealthy can easily give 10 20% 30%, perhaps more. So maybe a progressive sort of scale, as a rising percentage as your income rises, is a better one. But the point is that what we want to do is to encourage people to do what they can, and hopefully over time to raise the social average, so that it becomes normal to do to give, let's say, 10%, if again, if you're middle class or above in an affluent society, and then once it becomes normal to give 10%, then we'll have perhaps more people saying, Oh, I can do more than that won't affect my living standard very much. And I'll get a lot of fulfillment out of it, helping people if I give 20% or 30%. So I think that's what that's what utilitarians auto aim at. They are both, you know, giving more of themselves individually, progressively, and trying to raise the social standard for what's considered normal or acceptable if you want to live an ethical life.
I want to call attention to sort of how expansive the aspects of utilitarianism are in what goods and what contributions it counts in the calculus because, you know, we've been talking almost exclusively about money and giving money to help people who need it. And that's, of course, very important, if not possibly the most important, but it doesn't escape me that you a scholar who has spent your career reading and writing and researching and engaging these discussions, that you formed a nonprofit that uses your skills that you've researched, and now other people with you research, which organizations are more effective than others in which has the money, more money go to the poor and which has less money, and that and that usually Use your intellectual and research skills to create an organization that helps other people become more effective. And I think that that's really important. Because it highlights that everything counts, and that the skills that we can give like Habitat for Humanity, right? Sometimes you can't give money, but you can give an afternoon and help build a house. You talked about overthrowing global capitalism. longtime listeners know that I'm an Adam Smith scholar and I to believe that we're not going to replace it with anything else. But maybe if I can do some work on Adam Smith's moral theories and the way it relates to, to the market that I can help make the market a little better, right, that skills count to what what counts less in or perhaps not at all. And utilitarianism is intentions, right? That, that it's not what you want to do, necessarily. It's not what you hope to do, but it's actually what you do and what the consequences are.
Yes, I think, I think that's right. It is, many people focus on intentions. And they think that, you know, what's important is to have the right intentions. But for me, and for utilitarians generally, it's really very important that what you do has the best consequences. intentions do matter, because typically, people who don't have good intentions are not likely to do good things. But for instance, if people sometimes say to me, Well, you know why Bill Gates is giving so much money, it's because he wants to improve his reputation and, you know, wants to look good in the world after Microsoft got such a monopoly and so on. You know, I have no particular insight into Bill Gates motives, that doesn't strike me as likely given what I read him saying, but even if it were true, you know, to some extent, I wouldn't really care, I would say, Look, he's done so much good in setting up the Gates Foundation in donating whatever it was $29 billion to it. That that's really the important thing, that the work that he's done in the Gates Foundation has done, has literally saved millions of lives, and improved the lives of 10s of millions, let's say maybe even hundreds of millions of people. So for utilitarian, that's the most important thing.
I'm thinking as you're saying that, that if someone ever saved my daughter from drowning, I wouldn't care if they did it to get on the on the on the front page of the newspaper, or, you know, impress their boyfriend or girlfriend, right? Just I'm happy to have my daughter's life. And I think that that's a really powerful approach, because so much in our day to day lives are focused on you know, on what the motivation is and what you're trying to achieve. And are people selfish, or are people altruistic? Obviously, ethics classes are awash in these discussions. And yet, there are real consequences to these things. And utilitarianism counts those because real consequences either create or alleviate real suffering. So I got a question from a guest in advance who's a philosophy professor at Morgan State University. And he was talking about he spends a lot of time teaching your work. And his name is zeca Botha, Kuma, and he actually he's founder of this great organization, which I might as well mention on the air called polyglots. And action for diversity. Now, I'm not sure what they do, but it's a great name. And um, and and he wants to know, what your reaction is to the the the Trump's intention to step out of the Paris accords and what your thoughts are about the shifts away from helping to curb climate change. And and I'll give you a space to answer that if you want. But I guess the question that I want to ask in anticipation of that is how often in your position, do you get asked these directly political current event questions given given your prominence and given the voice that you have? Are you have you become a weathervane? Do people constantly look for or just people sometimes look for Peter Singer seal of approval or help us Peter, we're lost in the woods. I mean, to what extent does your prominence as an ethicist and as an a very effective ethicist put you in a position where you have to be a public intellectual and a guide for people who want that
that has does happen quite frequently, nowadays? And I don't mind it. I mean, sometimes I have to just honestly say that my particular skill set doesn't enable me to answer the question. But sometimes I can contribute, as I think, for example, I can on Trump's pulling out of the Paris accords have come to that in a moment. But I do also in my, in my own writing, now, quite often talk about current events. And, and that's because I've been writing monthly columns for something called Project syndicate. And many, not all of those, but many of those take off from current events. For example, the one that I've just sent in, is about the storms that we've had the Hurricanes Harvey, and Irma, and Maria. And it does refer to whether these are natural events, or whether these are things caused by the warming of the planet. And another recent book that I've published is a collection of these columns called ethics in the real world. And many of those do touch upon these events. So I think that's that's a worthwhile thing for me to do to try to influence people on particular events in in particular directions. To come into the question of the Paris Agreement. I think there are many things that Trump has done that I strongly disapprove of, but I think, possibly the one that is going to have the worst consequences, and consequences in particular, that will be around for decades, even centuries after Trump is is gone, could be pulling out of Paris. And now, of course, repealing the Clean Energy regulations that President Obama put in place, because that's really you know, that more than pulling out of Paris, this is what's going to make a difference if in fact, we we do emit more greenhouse gases than we would have if Hillary Clinton had been elected president. And now that's, that's so important, because it's really ignoring the world as a whole. I mean, I also think it's it's not in America's interest. And I think that the storms that we've been having, and the wildfires that you mentioned, that are raging in California Now, those things you can't say that any particular event is because of climate change. But what you can say is that climate scientists have long predicted that a warming planet would have more intense hurricanes. And of course, that a warmer and drier summers would lead to more wildfires. And we certainly seen that this summer. So I think it is bad for America. But it's much much worse for people in developing countries, people who have nowhere else to move to people who rely on rainfall to grow their food and rainfall patterns will change with a warming planet. Some predictions, for example, that the monsoon over the Indian subcontinent will weaken. And we have more than a billion people living there who rely on those monsoons to grow their food. So the consequences I think, are going to be disastrous. Now, some people may say, you know, this is uncertain, these are models, we can't be sure that climate that greenhouse gases are causing this. But even just to take the risk, even if you think we're not sure, but but even if you thought there's only a 50% chance that this will, that our greenhouse gases are causing the climate to change in these ways. And let me say, I think there's much, much higher probability than 50%. But even if you were to say it was only 50%, it still would be quite the wrong thing to do to take that risk with the future of so many hundreds of millions of people, just so that we can get slightly cheaper energy. That seems totally wrong decision.
You mentioned ethics in the real world. And I have it in front of me, and you talk about play, and you talk about technology, and obviously bioethics which interests you, you talk about God, and I know that you have debated professionally, people on the existence of God. And the question I have is, how much of that stuff is or how much of those perspectives are part of or strongly informed by utilitarianism? And what I mean by that is, do you do you have to not believe in God or believe in God in order to be utilitarian? Do you have to have a particular attitude about player technology, how globally encompassing a person's experience is utilitarianism? And I asked that because often theories are taught in isolation. They're taught separate from metaphysics, they're taught separate from from not necessarily social political philosophy, but but from a lot of different aspects of life, including just the existential commitments that people have. And so I wonder, to what extent are the big questions and to what extent are the details and the nuances in a person's life governed by this commitment to utilitarianism, or in theory, another ethical theory,
as well as a number of things in what you said, firstly, although it's probably true today that most religious people are not utilitarians, there is nothing inherently about utilitarianism that makes it at odds with religious belief. And in fact, one of the important early utilitarians was a theologian, William Paley, who was an 18th century utilitarian writing around the time of Jeremy Bentham towards the end of the 18th century. And, in fact, his works were more widely read them Bentham said at that time, and he was both a Christian and a utilitarian, he thought that we should understand the Gospels as saying that God wanted the welfare of his creatures to be as high as possible, and therefore we should do what is in accordance with God's will, which is to maximize well being if we can. So I think that's that's definitely a possible view. And there have been some other Christians who've also had broadly utilitarian views. I think that you can come talk to utilitarianism from from many different perspectives. And most people give it some weight, right? Even if they think that there are some rules that we should not break just because we'll have best consequences to do so. Most of them would think that there is an important place for benevolence to others for altruism for improving the well being of others, reducing their pain and suffering. So to that extent, most people have an element of utilitarianism in their ethical viewpoints.
I want to ask one last question. Because it's, it's it's, it's been haunting me since we had the earlier conversation and but I and I do want to wrap up. And it's it's a sort of, it starts off with a typical philosophers thought experiment kind of thing. But But hopefully, I'll be able to clarify, in Douglas Adams book, The restaurant at the end of the universe, which is the second in The Hitchhiker's series. People are at a restaurant and a cow, or a cow, like creature walks up to them, and says, you're going to eat me today. And the humans are horrified. And the other people said, No, no, he's bred for this, let's meet the meat and, and the happiness of the animal is based on the fact that he has been bred to be eaten and that he will be eaten. And obviously, science fiction, also comic novels, details aren't important. What I'm trying to ask is, to what extent is a person choosing to suffer or choosing a life that we would otherwise disapprove of? To what extent can we override that judgment? Could we say to that animal, I know you choose to want to be eaten? I know, you think that that is your reason for living. But you're wrong, because your suffering overrides your choice. And we are not going to let you be eaten. To what extent does a person's choice affect how we respond to the negative consequences from a utilitarian perspective?
Well, the way a person will react to that certainly is something that a utilitarian would take into account because you have to look at the consequences of what you're doing. So if a person says, I want to be eaten, and you say, as they did in that scene at the restaurant at the end of the universe, they say, Oh, no, we're not going to eat you. By the way, there's a great line that that comes into that exchange, where the animals then says, well, would you rather eat someone who wants to be eaten or, you know, a an animal who doesn't want to be eaten, right? And because that's what all the viewers are doing. They were constantly eating animals who have no desire to be eaten. But, but any case if the result of saying to this animal was, you know, we're not going to eat you and then the end animal would just be miserable, and was feel that the whole purpose of her life had been in vain. And there was nothing for her to do except crawl into a hole and cry. Well, of course, you know, we should not do that then because that would be the worst consequences. And if on the other hand, I suppose the animal could say, Oh, well, great, okay, so I'm not going to be now just go off into a field and skip around happily with other animals of my kind, then then that's fine. So sometimes we might push back against preferences that people have, because we might think, really, that will be better for them. In the long run, of course, we very often do that with with children. We don't think that their preferences are sound guides to what's going to be in their interest in the long run. So yeah, I think I think that's legitimate, but only where it's going to have the better consequences.
Well, I could, I could keep you here for another six hours, or, frankly, given your career, I could keep you here for 4050 years. But I wouldn't do that to your listeners, Peter, this is I have to admit that that I started grad school in the early 1990s. And your work has been ever present. As I learned what philosophy was and what moral theory is, and it's an incredible experience to talk to you, too, because you are such a fixture. And I think your ability to take and to explain utilitarianism was such, both sophistication and clarity is is invaluable, and I really appreciate it and I know our listeners do as well. Thank you so much for joining us on why it's been
my pleasure, Jack. It was good talking to you. Thank you.
You've been listening to Peter Singer and jack Russel Weinstein on why philosophical discussions but everyday life, I'll be back with a few thoughts right after this.
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You're back with why philosophical discussions about everyday life. We were talking with Peter Singer about utilitarianism about the most good you can do about animal rights about effective altruism. We were talking about the importance of his nonprofit organization, the life you can save.org there are a lot of details that I would like to talk about at the end. But I think instead, what I want to do is point out that this is what it looks like when you take a moral theory seriously, you were so used to thinking about morality, in theory, in textbooks, in scriptures, in sermons in lectures from friends, or people standing on soap boxes in the corner. And although no one actually uses soap boxes anymore, and we don't really think about what it means to take a theory seriously, over an entire lifetime. What does it mean to be committed to a principle and then try to just get better over time. This is, of course, what many religious folks have tried to do with their lives. And whether or not you are a member of their religion, or even approve of religion in itself, there is something incredibly noble about that self improvement about that aspirational aspect. But what's particularly interesting about this conversation, and what's really nice about taking philosophy, taking a moral theory seriously, from a philosophical perspective, is that we really get to examine what it means and how it works, not just, you know, this is what you should do, and do your best to act this way. But rather, this is how you figure it out. This is how you refine your perspective. This is how it relates to other things, and to do that, with the intellectual precision that philosophy requires, as well as the vigor and enthusiasm that day to day life requires of things that are hard. utilitarianism. maximizing the greatest good for the greatest number of people may be the right moral theory. It may not. I can't say and I certainly wouldn't say on the show what my opinion is. But what I will say is that no one can argue that Peter Singer hasn't done incredible good in his life. And no one can argue that a philosophical theory and a philosophical career that ends with its own nonprofit helping other people Do better is a bad thing. No one can look askance at that. And no one can say that doesn't have tremendous moral value. You've been listening to jack Russell Weinstein unlife philosophical discussions about everyday life. Thanks for listening. As always, it's an honor to be with you.
Why is funded by the Institute for philosophy and public life Prairie Public Broadcasting in the University of North Dakota is College of Arts and Sciences and division of Research and Economic Development. Skip wood is our studio engineer. The music is written and performed by Mark Weinstein and can be found on his album Louis soul. For more of his music, visit jazz flute weinstein.com or myspace.com slash Mark Weinstein. Philosophy is everywhere you make it and we hope we've inspired you with our discussion today. Remember, as we say at the Institute, there is no ivory tower.