Sunday, July 3, 2011

Martyr E. Coli

I've been listening to the archived episodes of the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe podcast.  They had an interesting episode with an interview of a scientist from UC - Boulder, and in it he mentioned that certain E. coli will explode themselves in order to save the rest of their colony from attacks by other colonies.

I think this is an interesting example of a "moral act" exemplified by non-humans in the natural world.

It is clear that such behaviors can cause greater well-being for a greater number of individuals, and that the absence of such behaviors can cause less well-being for a greater number of individuals.

In short, this is a natural example of the benefits of utilitarian ethics.

No comments: