Friday, November 16, 2007

Radio Lab on morality

Both Elizabeth Green Musselman (from the Missing Link podcast) as well as Dan Colman (from the great Open Culture Blog) point to the radio program and podcast Radiolab by WNYC. On their webpage, I saw them point to a show about morality and needless to say, this had me turned on in a minute. That's it with me and morality.

Radiolab is a science show presented by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich (see biographies), who succeed in making light, informative and entertaining conversation about their topics. So do they on morality, only, it is not about morality. Not in my opinion. They sketch moral dilemmas about whether to save many at the expense of a few, but do not enter the issue how we morally solve those problems (if they are genuine problems at all and not such construed riddles that deliberately place you in an impossible position.)

What they take on is the study of what the brain does, while confronted with such dilemma riddles. This is science, true, and it may help understand us more, especially about psychology. Given some extra credit, it may even hand some pointers in ethics, but certainly, we gain no insight whatsoever in what morality is.