Despite the settlement, at least two legal lessons can be taken away from the case: 1) Sensational tabloid covers, replete with screaming headlines juxtaposed next to photographs, can indeed be defamatory; and 2) tiny cover-page disclaimers won't always get tabloids like the New York Post off the hook.
I'm all for development of superior machine intelligence that can help the world out with its brilliant analytical skills. But programming AI with mammalian ideas, modern-day philosophies, and the fallibilities of the human spirit is dangerous and will possibly lead to total chaos.
As a sociological game, social media is not about being an authentic person. It is about trying to become an authentic person in the eyes of your audience -- a moral protagonist.
We have to remember that a large cross-section of the American public, albeit not a majority, separate their own positive feelings towards gay people from the moral and political choices they make in life.
Jesus cared a great deal for the poor. Christians believe that all people are equally loved by God. However, the institutional structures that protect human dignity in our society are becoming frayed and worn.
Intriguingly, people don't lie and cheat indiscriminately -- simply because they can get away with it. Even when there is no chance of being found out, people show some level of aversion to acting unethically. They want it both ways: to profit by dishonesty, but also to preserve some sense of themselves as moral beings.
In his recent op-ed, "Becoming a Real Person," David Brooks explores the importance of developing one's "moral self" and the lack of elite universities and colleges focusing on this development.
If we evaluate viewpoints using the veil of ignorance and a thorough analysis of the facts, we will more easily identify the root causes of disagreements. We will also be forced to focus our conversations around ethical considerations and honest dialogue.
Studies have shown that, in general, individuals are willing to give up some economic benefits and personal gain in favor of honesty, even when there's no risk of punishment or repercussions for dishonesty. What's keeping us honest? How do our brains actually make that decision?
"Ya can't learn nuthin' with yer mouth open." My grandpa taught me that. I'm still trying to practice that wise piece of counsel. He also taught me that there's always a job diggin' ditches and that I "ain't above it." Neither are you.
It is important because what happens in our world affects us all. One used to be able to trust networks and media -- and that is fading fast.
The Internet gives users immense power to affect the welfare of others. Malicious use of that power, such as the recent theft and release of nude photos of female celebrities, confronts users with a perplexing question: Does that power have moral boundaries?
It recently struck me that the marriage of ethics and aesthetics in the premium segment of consumer goods seems to be considered a luxury too extravagant to indulge in by the fashion industry.
Why should science not also have its ten commandments? Here is the current set of commandments through the eyes of science, in the form of objective, natural theories that should be believed.
The decline of religion in developed countries offers a unique perspective on the religion-spirituality connection. What happens to spirituality as organized religion declines? Are regular churchgoers more spiritual to begin with?
What happens when conservatives discover "political correctness?" Recently the Discovery Institute, a front for creationist conservatives, posted a column complaining about the phrase "vegetable" being used to describe those who have lost cognitive functions.