Is Spock a Professor of ethics at Oxford?

Podcasts are the best thing since sliced bread. So why is it that so few actually know what they are or how to use them? Strange. Or is it just difficult to break ingrained behavior? But this is not about trying to persuade those who don’t get it but I just want to push the amazing series of podcast being sent now on the BBC Arts & Ideas show.

With a focus on the theme of Change the show presents lectures and a following q&a session from people like Landscape architect Charles Jencks, Neuro-scientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (listening to her now), Psychotherapist Susie Orbach & Economist Aditya Chakrabortty.

All these were great but the lecture that really blew me away was by Professor Julian Savulescu who spoke about the duty of change and the case for human enhancement and genetic selection. What I liked was the way in which he, like some philosophers seem to do, took a logical thinking to its consequences. Most of the time we find it difficult to accept a logical chain of thought. Well ok, I do… I get to the beginning where I can lay out the foundations. A is true, B is true… (and so on) but when drawing out the consequences I often shy away from the obvious as I am steered by an irrational emotion. What a philosopher can do is to dare to think the unthinkable.

With his bold logic, I suspect that Julian Savulescu may actually be Spock.



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