Philosophy

I heard a philosopher on an Ideas program recently and he spoke about something I had never considered before.

He said that there is a class of philosophical questions which cause people to react against the person posing the question. He noted that you don't even have to take a position on the question, simply stating the problem causes people to think that you are morally suspect.

He gave some examples, the question of the right to help with suicide, the question of the legality of abortion, and the question of the legality of prostitution.

His opinion was that some questions make people so uncomfortable that they don't even want to have to think about them. I think that some problems in dealing with covid are eliciting the same reactions in many people.

He pointed out that since we (as a society) know that speed limits affect motor vehicle accidents and deaths, we should recognize that the decision about what speed limits to set are essentially *moral* decisions. But when you point this out, people get angry.

Covid is causing people to be forced to deal with the idea of medical triage, ie- the decision to simply let some people die. This can be for practical reasons such as lack of sufficient medical supplies or personnel or for less direct practical limitations such as keeping businesses in operation.

Note that this is *no different* from setting a speed limit on a highway which lets people get around quickly while sacrificing the lives of some drivers (and their passengers).

Are you mad at me now?