Essential Reads

Knowledge and Blame

We blame people when we believe they should have known better.

Psychologists and Torture, a Shameful Saga

Damning evidence hits the front page.

The Horrors of Self-Esteem

Why self-esteem is a bad idea.

The Deepest War Wound May Be the Anguish of Moral Injury

That the military code is impossible to meet doesn't always register deep down.

Recent Posts on Ethics and Morality

Connect Act Evolve

What is today's non-religious approach to community?

Dr. Oz, Entertainment, Ethics and Medicine

The debate about whether Dr. Mehmet Oz should resign from his position at Columbia for "quackery" continues. Questions about doing no harm, doing good, forgiveness, public shaming and responsible medicine are addressed in this blog.

Medical Ethics Are Healthier Than Business Ethics

Traditional medical ethics puts patient welfare first. As corporations increasingly control health care, business ethics replace medical ethics. Doctors and patients must work together to defend the doctor-patient relationship.

A Workover: Do I Need to Be Completely Honest on My Resume?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on May 03, 2015 in How To Do Life
Advice I gave to a caller to my NPR-San Francisco radio program.

Torture and the Identity of Psychology

By Gregg Henriques on May 02, 2015 in Theory of Knowledge
The torture fiasco is partly a function of the APA being very confused about the identity of psychology and psychologists.

The Puzzling Unhappiness of Braggarts

What can John Mayer tell us about happiness?

Nuclear Weapons R'Us - Not!

It takes wisdom, compassion and courage to lay down weapons and offer friendship to those we have formerly mistaken as enemies.

Knowledge and Blame

By Art Markman Ph.D. on May 01, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
Human beings love to give explanations for things. If you have ever spent any time with a 5-year-old, you know that a child that age just loves to ask, “Why?” This desire to understand why things happen continues throughout our lives. Understanding why things happen affects many aspects of our lives, including our ability to assign blame for an action.

The Pleasures of Riot

Indignation and frustration are often taken as their own justification. But are they?

Wisdom From a Psychopath?

Research by Dr. Kevin Dutton shows that psychopathic traits may be appealing to individuals, but are harmful for communities.

Spring Roadside Cleaning with Two Boys and Two Bags

So which is it: Do we take care of what we love? Or do we love what we take care of? Which comes first—loving the Earth or taking care of it?

Psychologists and Torture, a Shameful Saga

By Hara Estroff Marano on April 30, 2015 in Brainstorm
Damning evidence hits the front page.

To Thine Own Self Be True?

By Michael W Austin on April 30, 2015 in Ethics for Everyone
Don't be you. Be a better version of you.

Are Killers Born or Made? Both

By Temma Ehrenfeld on April 29, 2015 in Open Gently
A loving childhood can turn a natural-born killer into an aggressive but law-abiding guy.

Is It Ethical for Professors to Assign Their Own Books?

Lots of people—students, friends, colleagues, and publishing professionals—who think it’s automatically a conflict of interest for professors to assign their own books. But is it an unethical conflict of interest? Does the base motive for money unduly contaminate the noble motives to help students?

Angry Tears

It’s become increasingly common for therapists to note that underlying your anger are feelings of hurt. In fact the more pronounced your anger, the greater the hurt it conceals. So if the phrase “angry tears” sounds oxymoronic to you, that’s because it is: It’s profoundly descriptive of human experience yet, on the face of it, certainly seems contradictory. . . .

The Horrors of Self-Esteem

Our predecessors thought that self-esteem was a horrible notion. They were right.

The Deepest War Wound May Be the Anguish of Moral Injury

By Nancy Sherman Ph.D. on April 28, 2015 in Afterwar
That the military code—never abandon a buddy, bring all your troops home, don't put innocents at risk—is impossible to meet doesn't always register deep down. The result may be shame, and all too often suicidal shame.

Life in the Slow Lane

Modern middle American life is a blessed experience from an evolutionary perspective. If you're "in the middle," then you have the luxury of experience a "high k" life history strategy. Read on to see how lucky you are for this fact!

Heading toward First Human Head Transplant?

If “head transplant” sounds like the stuff of science fiction, think again. The possibility for such an operation seems to be drawing ever nearer. The surgeon is ready and a suitable patient has volunteered.

What Is the Motivation for a Criminal Act?

By Sheila Kohler on April 27, 2015 in Dreaming for Freud
St. Augustine, who ponders this question in 387 A.D. writes: So when people look for the reason why some criminal act has been committed their account is only rendered credible when it is evident that there may have been greed on the malefactor’s part.

My Daughter Is Dating My Son Figure

How To Adjust To The Changing Nature Of Relationships

Ménage à Trois: Sex, Dementia and the Law

By Mario D Garrett PhD on April 24, 2015 in iAge
The law will need to re-evaluate the legal standing of someone with dementia. The crude methods of conservatorship and declaration of incompetence cannot deal with the fragile nature of relationships, and sexual relationship, among patients diagnosed with dementia.

What Do We Love About Sports?

What makes sports so captivating?

Enjoy Yourself... or Else!

Everywhere we go we are bombarded with stimuli to keep us entertained. Do we have no right to silence?

Hinckley Release from Mental Hospital

Should John Hinckley be released from the hospital and given freedom?

How to Take Advantage of an Air Crash

Some people want to dramatize themselves by pretending to have been present at catastrophes. It can be lucrative or in other ways rewarding.

3 Reasons Any of Us Can Blow Up, at Anyone

We all have thoughts and impulses that are horrific if acted upon. Keeping our impulsive behaviors in check is one of the most important and hardest things we have to do in life. And if you add extreme frustration, anger, or alcohol it becomes that much harder to control this more ugly side of all of us.

Please Let Me Act out on My Sugar Addiction in Peace

By Anna David on April 21, 2015 in After Party Chat
Those who consider themselves sugar addicts but then quit never tire of lecturing other sugar consumers about the dangers of that white powder. Why can't they just let us leave us alone with our cookies?