So, I’m reading Will Saletan’s latest piece in Slate, and the first paragraph is the following:
Imagine that killers have invaded your neighborhood. They’re in your house, and you and your neighbors are hiding in the cellar. Your baby starts to cry. If you had to press your hand over the baby’s face till it stopped fighting—if you had to smother it to save everyone else—would you do it?
Well, of course I would! It’s one life against many, what else would you do? Saletan continues:
If you’re normal, you wouldn’t, according to a study published last week in Nature. But if part of your brain were damaged—the ventromedial prefrontal cortex—you would.
Oh. I think I should make an appointment with my neurologist now…anyway, read the rest of the article. It’s great at showing how and why the pace of evolution is toward utilitarianism, and thus all that is good and jolly.