I leave you this fine evening with a column by William Powers.
Saturday, 1 March 2008
Those who believe in global warming cite every heat wave as evidence for it. They shouldn’t, because that means every cold wave is evidence against it. See here for Andrew Revkin’s New York Times story about the latest cold wave.
To the Editor:
“A Bad Year to Be a Mallard,” by Gail Collins (column, Feb. 23), is sad and horrifyingly true.
While presidential candidates trip over each other pandering to the National Rifle Association, college students in this country are tripping over bodies of fellow students gunned down in campus classrooms.
While politicians offer condolences, Americans are looking for common-sense guns laws before there is another senseless shooting on another campus.
Now is the time to pass common-sense gun laws. Close the federal gun show loophole; limit the number of gun purchases per month; enforce restrictions on access to guns for mentally ill and dangerous individuals; create gun-free campuses; pass child access protection laws; enact microstamping laws like California’s; and impose gun dealer responsibility laws.
Executive Director, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence
New York, Feb. 23, 2008
Note from KBJ: I have a question for the letter writer. Would any of the provisions you advocate have prevented the killings at Northern Illinois University? If not, then you’re using that tragedy as a pretext to deprive law-abiding citizens of guns.
Ethical egoism is the view that everyone ought to pursue his own self-interest (happiness, well-being) in preference to the self-interest of anyone else. The point people normally have in mind in accepting and advocating this ethical principle is that of giving their own interests a moral sanction by justifying their self-interested behavior in terms of a universalized rule. By doing so they are no longer open to the charge that they are making exceptions in their own favor; they are allowing themselves nothing more than is allowed—morally—to anyone else. The egoist does not claim to be acting merely prudently; his claim is that prudence is always moral, i.e., right; prudence is one’s duty; prudential reasons are always decisive in answering the question “What ought I to do?”
(Jesse Kalin, “On Ethical Egoism,” chap. 2 in Studies in Moral Philosophy, American Philosophical Quarterly Monograph Series, ed. Nicholas Rescher, no. 1 [Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1968], 26-41, at 27-8)