Billionaire Investors Hilariously Tussle Over Who's More Moral

Hamilton Nolan · 11/11/15 04:17PM

Billionaire hedge fund mogul Bill Ackman (pictured) is in a tiff with billionaire Bershire Hathaway investment mogul Charlie Munger. The topic? Whose investments are more “moral.” Now that’s what I call comedy!

It's Not Charity If You Want Your Name on It

Hamilton Nolan · 10/27/15 10:42AM

Very rich people sometimes make very large donations to educational or cultural institutions. In return, they ask for their names to be plastered atop buildings. These donations have no moral worth.

How to Save Lives: A Conversation With Peter Singer

Hamilton Nolan · 04/17/15 10:00AM

Do your charitable donations suck? Are you failing to save lives due to greed you don't even realize you have? Do poor people have the right to take all of our stuff? One of the world's most famous philosophers talked about these very topics with us.

People See Jesus in Grilled Cheese Because They Want Justice

Hazel Cills · 04/05/14 03:52PM

When people see significant, often religious imagery in everyday images, from grilled cheese to their dog's butt, it's called "pareidolia." But as for exactly why people see divine figures like Jesus in things like potato chips and other ordinary objects, a recent study in the journal cognition says it is due to a phenomenon called "the moral pop-out effect."

Peter Singer Is Here to Talk About Right and Wrong

Hamilton Nolan · 02/25/14 05:00PM

Peter Singer is a professor of bioethics at Princeton University and one of the world's most prominent—and controversial—moral philosophers. He's written influential works on poverty, charity, and euthanasia, and is considered a founder of the modern animal rights movement. He's here to speak to you.

​Mississippi Will Support Morality by Denying Prisoners Marital Sex

Tom Scocca · 01/13/14 06:05PM

For more than a century, the state of Mississippi has allowed the inmates of its prison system to behave as if they are human beings capable of familial relationships, providing well-behaved prisoners the chance to briefly spend time alone with their spouses. On February 1, falling in line with prevailing trends in American justice, the state will stop allowing the visits.

What the Media Owes to Bradley Manning

Hamilton Nolan · 08/22/13 10:42AM

Yesterday, former U.S. soldier Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified U.S. government documents to Wikileaks. Journalists and news outlets owe Manning more than gratitude. We owe her the truth: in a just world, we'd be in the cell next to her.

Hamilton Nolan · 08/21/13 10:27AM

"I vaguely hoped that one day, someone would say something. I just didn't want that person to be me. That bar was too high for my moral courage to clear." A former soldier's brutally frank reflections on Bradley Manning and the pathology of conscience.

Study: Market Economies Make Us Evil

Hamilton Nolan · 05/16/13 11:14AM

You're a good person, right? You have morals. You would never betray your ethical code. Unless there was a bidding war for your morals— in that case, you could scarcely resist selling out. It's human nature.

Must We Save Money?

Hamilton Nolan · 08/14/12 03:04PM

A philosophical question: Is saving money a moral imperative? That is, given the means, are we all ethically obligated to save at least a small portion of our income, in case of emergency? Or are we morally free to blow every penny on impulse purchases, the future be damned?

Cell Phone Cameras and The End of the Fair Fight

Hamilton Nolan · 02/08/12 02:06PM

Here we see two young women grab each other and start fighting at yesterday's Giants victory parade. A large crowd gathers around them. What the crowd does: point their cell phone cameras and film the fight. What the crowd does not do: make any move to break up the fight. Cell phone cameras have given us a fine excuse to become a bunch of moral zombies.

Where to Spend Valentine's Day if You're Single

Max Read · 02/10/11 03:52AM

Single on Valentine's Day? Instead of complaining loudly and publicly or going to some kind of stupid themed singles event, you should take a trip to Malaysia or Russia, where religious authorities are attempting to crack down on the decadent Western celebration of couples being gross with each other.