Sunday, March 15, 2015


We live in a hyper connected society brought together through all forms of technology. It takes just seconds to send a picture or message across the world. Of course with this hyper connectivity comes the possibility of sending sensitive information such as a credit card number, a social security number, or even a message regarding a terrorist attack.

To proctor their citizens from potential attacks, some government organizations have begun accessing this sensitive data. This violates a negative right, the right to be left alone or forgotten. However one must consider: if one can trust the government to protect one's life, then what is so wrong with them accessing personal information through our hyper connected devices. Personally, if it serves for the greater benefit of the country, I have no qualms with my information being accessed by government organizations, I have nothing to hide, and quite frankly don't care. If someone can post something on Facebook and have hundreds of people read it, then what is wrong with the government seeing it.
In the end I guess where I stand is that if you are scared of the government accessing your information, maybe you're doing something questionable to begin with.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Intellectual Property

The concept of intellectual property is a relatively new idea in the history of humankind. Intellectual property is the idea that people "own" ideas and this is accomplished through trademarks or patents. On an individual level, intellectual property is beneficial in that one makes royalties off of the use of their property, on a societal level this stalls the growth and progression of human development.

Contrary to popular belief, people are often not struck with ideas out of the blue, ideas are usually developed upon or derived from previous ideas or knowledge. By privatizing knowledge, society is essentially stalling creativity and new ideas/solutions by not allowing access to how they were created. How are ideas meant to be built upon unless their knowledge is known.

In my opinion ideas and developing future technology is also stifled by the high prices required to access already existing knowledge such as textbooks. All in all I believe that we must reconsider what deserves to be owned privately as opposed to public for the sake of human development and whether it is ethical for people to "own" ideas.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Gun Control

The two main arguments concerning gun control are: regulating guns violates American's second amendment rights and alternately that guns contribute to the widespread violence in the United States.

The second amendment was fashioned with idea in mind of defending one's land against British invasion in the early days of the nation. It was the intention of the founding fathers that allowing the general populace personal gun rights, that a militia could be assembled so that the United States could fight off the British army.

On the other hand, one must understand that "guns don't kill people, people kill people."
This is a very hot topic in the United States any time a gun killing pops up, and one where I believe neither side is correct. Personally I don't believe in ridding people's right to bare arms, however I do believe that before owning a gun people should go through a mental examination process to determine whether or not a person is fit to own a gun. Secondly I believe that we should limit the number of guns one can own.

It is ethically incorrect to rid someone of their constitutional right but through guns, people do kill other people. Thus we as a society must reexamine what it means to bare arms with respect to other people in our society.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Keystone Pipeline

The Keystone Pipeline is a highly debated argument at the moment, generating opinions ranging from potential environmental damages to job creation and economic stimulus. It is my goal to explore some of these opinions at face value and then proceed to generate an ethical opinion of this on my own.

To begin, only 35 permanent jobs will be created by the Keystone Pipeline (source), and while job creation is good, this is hardly something to get excited about. However it will generate 42,000 annual jobs, 29% will come from regions where the pipeline will be located.

The next opinion that pops up is the environmental issue. Environmentalists argue that the pipeline will cause huge environmental damages especially if an oil spill occurs. Now I consider myself an environmentalist and I don't agree with that opinion, one must consider the current method of transporting oil, transporting it using 18-wheelers. The 18-wheelers are consuming oil and producing carbon dioxide, and this is more environmentally detrimental than making a pipeline (which in turn will require the release of carbon dioxide to make). Additionally one must think that the 18-wheeler drivers will be out of a job if the pipeline gets made.

Ultimately I believe that ethically the pipeline is a good idea, It will create jobs, simplify our oil obtaining process (even though I don't agree with it), be more environmentally friendly and stimulate our economy. Environmentalists need to stop rallying against the pipeline and focus on developing better efficiency energy processes and a carbon tax instead.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Having Children

Pope Francis recently stated that couples who are able to have kids and choose not to are "selfish." I believe that this is clearly an opinion and not something people should take to heart. Religion encourages people to have children because the easiest way to get more people to follow a religion is not to convert people, but to make more believers. Mind you this is an opinion of my own and does not reflect my own personal beliefs. The pope does not take into account the possibilities of a child being born into terrible conditions. What if parents can't afford children, the child could potentially have a bad life.

The world is currently facing the first throes of depleted resources and having a child would only contribute to the depletion of the resources, and overpopulation for that matter. Maybe not having children is a better decision than having children. If anything I believe that it is selfish to bring a child into this world that we've created, wouldn't you want your children to grow up in the best possible conditions for life instead of being thrown into a pit of uncertainty about the future? I personally believe that if you don't like something, change it, and because of that philosophy I will not have children until I've created the best possible conditions for them to grow up in, not because I'm selfish, but because I want the best for my children, and I don't think any parent would disagree with me on that.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


If your job can be done by a robot or computer, sometime in the near future it probably will be performed exclusively by those entities. One of the most disheartening facts about the future is that jobs will be replaced by cheap labor, and by cheap labor that means laborers that don't ask for wages: robots and artificial intelligence. 

One thing is certain and that is in the future unemployment will be rampant. Knowing this, one must ponder as to whether or not unemployment is a good thing for humans. In the following I will discuss my own personal opinion, and I ask that whoever is reading this keeps an open mind, as I will keep an open mind regarding any opposing viewpoints. The following viewpoints do not describe any political beliefs or malice towards an political/economic systems in place in the world, these are merely musings on the future of jobs.

Unemployment is not a bad thing. When society advances to a point in which all jobs are replaced by technology I believe that the human spirit will truly be free. The one thing that cannot be replaced (as of now) is creativity and the human experience. I believe that when all the jobs are gone, our culture and society will boom, ushering in new art forms and an amazing lifestyle. Imagine for a moment being able to wake up whenever you'd like, and going about your day doing whatever you want. 98% of crimes committed derive from monetary inequalities and when there are no jobs, the merit or "success" of one's life will not be based on how much money one earns but rather the things that person decides to do with their life and their character.

This brings up the largest moral question I have ever thought of: what will happen to our economic system when there exists no jobs by humans? As of now, no economic or political philosophy is a solution to this problem. And I believe that the way we function in our current political system is taught to us, not intrinsic in nature. With that being said, I believe that in the future economic theories will be viewed in a fashion closely associated with how we view mythology in current days.

The key to these thoughts is not to assert a belief of mine, for as I grow my beliefs will change, but more to address the fact that as jobs are replaced by technology we as a society must reevaluate what it means ethically and economically what it means to be unemployed.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Artificial Intelligence

A great ethical dilemma is presented with the advent and development of artificial intelligence, a dilemma of "logical thinking vs. moral thinking."

What we as humans consider moral and ethical thinking is often strictly objective relative to our own personal interests. As humans grow the majority of children are taught what it means to be moral based on cultural  and societal norms, but when looked at independently of our personal upbringings one can see that humans are raised with specific morals regarding what it means to be "human."

A problem that will face society in the near future is creating an intelligence that functions only logically and not "humanly" moral because when looked at objectively and logically without human based morals one could assert that our very existence isn't in the best interest of the environment or even other species. There is a growing fear among powerful figures in today's society that if an artificial intelligence gains self awareness that it would eradicate the human species for the betterment of the world.

These thoughts however bring up a great thought experiment one could have, "is my life in the best interests of myself, the human race, or the world." I don't think that I will experience problems in my lifetime with artificial intelligence, but these thoughts really allow one to look at one's life from a different angle. There's a difference between doing good for humanity and doing good for the world, and often times those interests conflict with one another, but if as a collective conscious, we could merge these interests together, I believe that we can truly grow as a species and really discover our place among the universe.