Essential Reads

A Lesson Learned From Auschwitz: Who Am I to Judge?

The phrase “Who am I to judge?” is a call to ponder the need for reflection.

Four Ways to Foster Ethics in College Athletics

College athletics can be an excellent venue to nurture ethics and character.

Freedom and Its Consequences

Everything we do matters, without exception.

Paging Dr. Ben Carson: Homophobia Calling

Homophobia, the shadow, and the problem of projection

Recent Posts on Ethics and Morality

Kim Davis, Pope Francis, and the Moral Ambiguity of Courage

Exactly what was so compelling about Kim Davis’ court case that Pope Francis would squeeze her into his already crowded U.S. visit? On the surface at least, Davis’ illegally defiant behavior as a county clerk in Kentucky would hardly seem exemplary. Yet many have staunchly defended her--while others have contested her fundamentalist ideas about religious liberty.

What Drives Our Dumb and Disorganized Mental Health Policies

By Allen J Frances M.D. on October 13, 2015 Saving Normal
In a rational world, the real needs of the mentally ill would be identified and addressed in an efficient and cost effective way. Those who need care would receive it. Those who don't, wouldn't. Unfortunately, policy in the United States is based mostly on profit, political power, and ideology, producing terrible outcomes that are anything but rational.

Social Media Shaming: A Call to Conscience or Mob Madness?

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on October 12, 2015 The Pacific Heart
Recently two books explore the good, bad and ugly of online shaming. Here's a brief review and reflections on where we are in the age of social networks

A Simple Act of Kindness

Acts of kindness go a long way towards making us better people, and this a better world.

How Gun Control Can Work

By Arthur Dobrin D.S.W. on October 12, 2015 Am I Right?
It is possible to have safer public spaces and the Second Amendment, just as it is possible to have a car in every garage and safer roads.

The Short Life and Eugenic Death of Baby John Bollinger

By Elliot Hosman J.D. on October 12, 2015 Genetic Crossroads
In 1915, Dr. Harry Haiselden decided not to operate to save the life of a baby born with disabilities. His controversial choice sparked a massive public debate over the responsibilities of medical doctors, the rights of individuals with disabilities, and the new and dangerous field of eugenics.

Failure to Communicate

Open communication comes with risks. The goal to reduce these risks while preserving openness creates a social dilemma. Your responses will reveal your values.

A Lesson Learned From Auschwitz: Who Am I to Judge?

What is the psychological relevance of the phrase "Who am I to judge?"

What Do Master Manipulators and Psychopaths Have in Common?

Psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism are personality traits that make up the "Dark Triad." These three traits all have interrelated features. But Machiavellianism and psychopathy have more in common with each other than either has with narcissism.

You're Not My Real Mother (Part 2)

Capgras sufferers who murder a family member don't believe they are committing a crime or are harming someone they love. In fact, their motive is often to save the world — or themselves — from evil or to somehow "rescue" their loved one from an imposter.

Universities, Violence, and Community

By Michael W Austin on October 09, 2015 Ethics for Everyone
What can we do about violence on campus? One step is to foster true and deep community.

Personal & Professorial Ethics: Does Turpitude Trump Tenure?

At what point does someone’s personal behavior interfere with the performance of their professional functions?

Top Psychiatrist's Stunning Announcement About Gun Violence

American Psychiatric Association speaks the truth about gun violence and mental illness, but politicians ignore her.

Are Pets Really Family?

We should be cautious about using the phrase “pets are family” as an endorsement of the way companion animals are currently treated or as a sign that all is well, but should use the language of family very mindfully and with attention to what is at stake.

How Many Foundations Of Morality Are There?

By Jesse Marczyk on October 06, 2015 Pop Psych
Our moral sense operates in a variety of different domains, from fairness, to harm, to disgust, and well beyond. Does this reflect the operations of a single cognitive mechanism or a variety of different moralities?

A Decent Minimum of Care for Companion Animals

The increasing range of options for caregivers of companion animals should be celebrated. And it should also remind us that although there can be too much of a good thing, there can also be too little. Far too many pets are denied basic care like dental hygeine, antibiotics, and treatment for pain.

A Kinder, Gentler World Starting with Football?

Seahawks coach Carroll “embraces diversity, encourages free expression, promotes self-discovery and remains positive.”

The Golden Rule in Love Relationships

By Stan Tatkin Psy.D. on October 05, 2015 The Puzzle of Love
Practicing the Golden Rule can transform a relationship. Couples who treat each other as they would like to be treated create a bedrock of security that will serve them well.

Why Narcissism, Greed and Power Go Hand in Hand

By Joseph Burgo Ph.D. on October 05, 2015 Shame
Modern day America has been characterized as both a New Gilded Age and a Culture of Narcissism. It is no coincidence that these two critiques have arisen at the same time.

The Pain of Rejection (and How We Justify Dishing It Out)

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on October 04, 2015 Off the Couch
Researchers have provided evidence for what you and I already know – being ostracized, or ignored or excluded by a group to which we would like to belong or have already been part of is not good for our psyches or our souls. But what about the ostracizers? Do they get off scot free? Or does something happen to them as well.

Cooperation and the public good

Social scientists differ about the relative virtues of top-down verses peer-to-peer actions to secure public goods like clean water and air and safe foods and pharmaceuticals. Recent decision experiments suggest that in modern societies, both dimensions are necessary, and that they’re complementary to each other.

Social Engineer Gun Violence or Accept the Consequences.

We have made the country safer by socially engineering car safety as well as other issues related to smoking, vaccinations, and various consumer protections. Other developed countries have much better track records regarding gun safety than we do. Perhaps taking a page from their playbook isn’t such a bad idea if we have the will to do so.

What Men Need to Play With—It's Not Guns

By Paul Joannides Psy.D. on October 02, 2015 As You Like It
With each new mass shooting, we've allowed the NRA to further its agenda. We've allowed it to use senseless tragedy after tragedy to help our gun culture flourish.

What is the Role of a Judge?

Can a Judge be trusted to identify the inappropriateness of her own bias? What checks and balances are in place for unprincipled judges?

Four Ways to Foster Ethics in College Athletics

With appropriate attention and desire, college athletics can be an excellent venue for nurturing ethical behavior and character formation. It really doesn't take that much time or money to make it happen. But will colleges make it a priority?

Cosmetic Vaginal Surgery Ignores Women's Mental Health

The promise of a "perfect vagina" generates enormous wealth at women's expense.

Does the Meat-Animal Suffering Link Impact Views of Animals?

By Nathan A Heflick Ph.D. on September 30, 2015 The Big Questions
How do people resolve not wanting to harm animals, but enjoying meat?

Freedom and Its Consequences

In his book Freedom Evolves, the philosopher Daniel Dennett tells about a young father who forgot to drop off his infant daughter at her day-care center on his way to work. She spent the day locked in his car in a hot parking lot. When he returned to his car, she was still strapped into her little car seat in the back seat, dead.

Students: Microaggression and Trigger-Warnings

By Leon Pomeroy Ph.D. on September 30, 2015 Beyond Good and Evil
Folie à Plusieurs in the 21st Century!

Political Correctness Gone Mad

By Leon Pomeroy Ph.D. on September 29, 2015 Beyond Good and Evil
The thinking we do when we don't think about the thinking we do: microaggressions and trigger-warnings: