Moral Maze

Moral Maze

United Kingdom

Combative, provocative and engaging live debate examining the moral issues behind one of the week's news stories. #moralmaze

Episodes

Morality of the Green Belt  

When it comes to talking about home ownership in this country it quickly divides in to the "have's" and "have not's." According to the OECD fewer than half of low to middle income families are now able to afford to buy a house and some campaigners estimate that, by 2020, families earning the National Living Wage would be unable to afford to buy homes in 98 per cent of the country. The answer, according to many, is radical deregulation of the planning laws and building on the greenbelt. 8 million new family homes could be built if just 2% of the greenbelt was handed over to developers. To those threatened with the prospect of bulldozers arriving in a field near their home, it will mean urban sprawl and the destruction of large swathes of natural countryside so that builders can make a quick profit. Economists argue that when the greenbelt was created in 1955 it arbitrarily distorted the market for building land. But the current housing crisis is about moral issues too and in such a polarising debate it's vital that we're able to identify them to get the root of the issue. How do we draw the line between legitimate self-interest and Luddite nimbyism? People talk a lot about inter-generational justice, but do we have an absolute moral duty to provide for the next generation whatever the cost? How do we choose between conflicting moral goods? We all love a beautiful pastoral scene, but does the physical landscape have a moral value beyond how it can be used in the service of mankind? Obviously, having somewhere to live is a fundamental need, but is home ownership a moral good and even a human right? Panellists George Buskell, Poppy Cleary, Maddie Groeger-Wilson and Jane Fidge.

Nationalism  

This week the Prime Minister is touring the devolved nations of the UK as she prepares to trigger the Brexit process. Her message to the people of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is clear: we are better as one nation - the United Kingdom. Brexit has whipped up a complex and (some would say) toxic mixture of politics and patriotism. While Theresa May and others champion the national credentials of the UK, she's having to shout down the voices in the devolved nations that say their economic, cultural and democratic interests would be best served by independence. At the same time, nationalist political parties across Europe are growing in strength, with electoral challenges in France and Germany on the horizon. Is nationalism a moral force for good, because there's no better vehicle for the exercise of freedom and self-determination? Does it encourage a sense of belonging, community and culture? Or is it the worst kind of identity politics - exclusionary, divisive and populist, with sinister currents of "us" and "them"? Are we entering an age when trans-national ideas of the "Brotherhood of Man" are being replaced by loyalties closer to home? At the heart of the debate on nationalism there is an acute moral tension - between solidarity with oppressed national groups on the one hand and revulsion from the crimes perpetrated in the name of nationalism on the other. How and where should we draw the line? The morality of nationalism. Witnesses are Sophie Gaston, Simon Winder, Prof David Conway and Hardeep Singh Kohli.

Meritocracy Of Grammar Schools  

The government has pledged that a new generation of grammar schools will improve social mobility. One way being proposed to ensure that is to force grammar schools to lower the 11-plus pass mark for poorer children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The idea is already running into opposition. People are asking what's the point of having a selective academic system if you don't select the most able students? It's also said that it risks patronising disadvantaged communities by sending out a message that less is expected of them. At the heart of this debate is the moral value of meritocracy - that you should be rewarded on the basis of your skills and not on your background. Every child should be offered the chance to achieve their maximum educational potential, but what if they can't achieve that because of an accident of birth? Isn't it right to try to balance the scales? Or will that come at the cost of another, perhaps more able child, being denied a place at a grammar, again because of an accident of birth? Does this encourage identity politics and blur the line between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome? Is this treating the symptom and not the cause - creating a state education system that's lost sight of the quest for academic excellence and is more interested in the politics of social mobility, class envy and division? Witnesses are Dr Martin Stephen, Dame Rachel De Souza, Prof Peter Saunders and Conor Ryan.

Virtue Signalling  

There was a time when publicly standing up to protest at injustices, especially if they didn't affect you personally, was the sign of an upright citizen - the very definition of altruism - a "disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others." Now such expressions of moral outrage are as likely to be dismissed as "virtue signalling" as they are to be applauded. It's a neat and pithy phrase and like all the best neologism seems to capture and distil something in our cultural discourse. It's only been in use for a couple of years. You know the sort of thing - ice bucket challenges, male actors and politicians wearing t-shirts with the slogan "this is what a feminist looks like". Virtue signalling - the practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate our good character or the moral correctness of our beliefs - was only coined a couple of years ago, and has caught on like wild fire. Perhaps because the only thing people seem to like more than virtue signalling is judging other people. To some the phrase deftly skewers an age where politics is driven by narcissism and the echo chamber of social media where being moralistic is more important than being moral? But has what started off as a clever way to win arguments become a lazy put down or mental shortcut to dogmatism? Does accusing others of virtue signalling encourage you not to interrogate your own beliefs? Even if we can't change something we know to be wrong, big collective moral shifts in society have to start somewhere, so is dismissing them as empty gestures a cynical counsel of despair? There was a time when virtue was its won reward. Is that still the case? The morality of virtue signalling. Witnesses are James Bartholomew, Maya Goodfellow, Dr Jonathan Rowson and Professor Frank Furedi.

Morality of Loyalty  

298 days after Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri had done the seemingly impossible and helped his team win the Premiership league title, he's been sacked. Even by the standards of football it was a decision that shocked many. Gary Lineker, a former Leicester player, said he shed a tear. Leicester had never won a top-flight title but their improbable triumph rekindled some of the romance of the sport and Ranieri was made FIFA's Coach of the Year. This season has been a disaster. Leicester now face relegation - which will cost the club £70m. That might be a simple mathematical calculation, but this is a complex moral equation. Is loyalty a moral virtue? Isn't hard-head commercialism, loyal only to the bottom line, the only rational approach in a results-driven environment? As much as loyalty is a virtue, is blind loyalty a vice? Is loyalty owed to moral principles and objectives rather than to people, who can lead us badly astray? In an era when friendships and relationships have been reduced to the click of a mouse or a swipe to the right, should we value loyalty more highly? And then of course, there's the issue of loyalty to your leader and your political party... Witnesses are Rev. Rachel Mann, Dr Shahrar Ali, Jim White and Richard Bevan.

The Morality of Fake News  

You can't open a newspaper or hear a press conference at the moment without having to dodge the allegations of "fake news" being thrown around the place. Journalism used to be regarded, at least by journalists, as the "Fourth Estate" - the foundation of a civilised society and an essential part of the democratic process. A properly working democracy, it's argued, cannot function if its citizens don't have reasonably accurate, reasonably fair and reasonably comprehensive information about the world in which they live. Now we have the President of the United States and the mainstream media accusing each other of lying and peddling fake news, while a plethora of social media and alternative online news sites are weighing in with their (often highly partisan) views. Has the internet democratised news journalism, creating a new plurality of reporting and opinion? Are we witnessing the healthy overturning of the apple cart of the entitled metropolitan elite who've run the media for so long? Or are the moral rules of journalism being scrapped and the old expectations of objectivity and fairness being replaced by a toxic digital fog of instant comment, rumour, cynicism and outright lies? Is this a danger to democracy or just entertaining political theatre? Are those who complain about accuracy and spin confusing facts with truth? The morality of fake news. Witnesses are Jim Waterson, Tom Chatfield, John Lloyd and Manick Govinda.

The Morality of Empathy  

The government's decision to end the scheme that let unaccompanied migrant children into the UK has provoked an outcry. Many had hoped that we could offer a home to thousands of child refugees and the closure of the scheme has been branded "shameful". It's hard not to empathise with the bewildered and vulnerable child refugees now stranded in Europe and it's a very natural human reaction to want to do something to help. But what if, in the very act of helping, we make matters worse? The resettlement scheme has been halted because it's feared that it will just encourage child trafficking. In this case, our empathy could be leading to greater harm and suffering. Morally, how useful is the emotion of empathy? It might encourage us to feel compassion - and experiencing that emption may make us feel better about ourselves - but, as Aristotle warned, "we are easily deceived concerning our perceptions when we're in the grip of our emotions." In a difficult world where there are no easy answers, does empathy cloud our judgment? It is morally better to use reason and evidence to decide on the most effective, altruistic course of action? The morality of empathy. Witnesses are Oliver Moody, George Gabriel, Harry Phibbs and Prof Paul Gilbert.

Peace, Justice and Morality  

How far should we be willing to forgive and forget past crimes in the interests of building lasting peace? The issue has been a running sore in Northern Ireland politics despite the Good Friday peace agreement. The Police Service of Northern Ireland has a special unit, the Legacy Investigations Branch, to review more than 3000 murders during the Troubles. But there are allegations it is prioritising re-opening the killings where soldiers from the British Army were involved, over those carried out by terrorists - the majority of which were by Republicans. There are practical issues of getting evidence for crimes that happened so long ago and the cost of investigations, but the moral questions are harder to answer. How do you weigh the right and the need of the families of victims to get justice for their loved ones, against the need to move on and find peace for the whole community? A general amnesty might solve the narrow question, but does that serve the interests of justice? And can you find reconciliation and peace if people feel they've been denied justice? As we move further away from the conflict, does the current generation who lived through it (and in some cases took and active role in it) have a responsibility to set aside their history in the interests of peace for the next generation? These are questions for Northern Ireland, but also around the world - in Cyprus, where there are renewed hopes for a peace deal that can united the island; in Colombia where, in a referendum, the people rejected a peace deal between the government and Farc rebels that would have ended the 52-year-long conflict that has killed more than 220,000 people; and in the Balkans where the truth and reconciliation process is struggling. What price peace? Producer: Phil Pegum.

Morality of international trade  

If you want to watch the reality of modern politics being played out in real time, you could do worse than visit the Parliament petitions website. The petition to prevent Donald Trump from making a State Visit to the UK has now got well over a million signatures. Rather like the spinning figures on a petrol pump, you can see the total rising by the hundreds every minute as people register their moral outrage at the President's executive order banning travel to the US from certain Muslim majority countries. What price should we, as a nation, be willing to pay to make it clear to a foreign nation that their policies are unacceptable? Publicly humiliating Donald Trump by withdrawing, or downgrading, his state visit would certainly send him a message and might win us the equivalent of a diplomatic round of applause around the world, but what impact would that have on our ability to negotiate a favourable trade deal with the US? Would that be a price worth paying? If you draw the line at Donald Trump, how do you feel about the UK signing a £100m arms deal with Turkey - a country that, according to some human rights groups, jails more journalists than any other? These are questions we'll increasingly have to answer in a post-Brexit world where we need to sign deals to replace the trade that might be lost on leaving the EU. People talk euphemistically of "holding their noses" and "supping with a long spoon" in the national interest, but how far should you morally compromise to keep the bottom line in the black? Producer: Phil Pegum.

The Psychology of Morality  

Go on - admit it. You like to feel you're above average. Don't worry. We all like to feel we're somehow special - that our gifts make us stand out from - and above - the crowd. Psychologists refer to this phenomenon as positive illusion. It's the sort of self-deception that helps maintain our self-esteem; a white lie we tell ourselves. The classic example is driving: the majority of people regard themselves as more skilful and less risky than the average driver. But research just published shows that this characteristic isn't confined to skills like driving. Experiments carried out by psychologists at London's Royal Holloway University found most people strongly believe they are just, virtuous and moral and yet regard the average person as - well, how shall we put it politely? Let's just say - distinctly less so. Virtually all the those taking part irrationally inflated their moral qualities. Worse, the positive illusion of moral superiority is much stronger and more prevalent than any other form of positive illusion. Now, as a programme that's been testing our nation's moral fibre for more than 25 years, we feel this is something we're uniquely qualified to talk about. Well, we would wouldn't we? So, if we can't entirely rely on our own calibration to judge a person's moral worth, how should we go about it? Is the answer better and clearer rules, a kind of updated list of commandments? There might need to be a lot more than ten though. Does legal always mean moral? In a world that is becoming increasingly fractious, being less morally judgmental sounds attractive, but if we accept that morality is merely a matter of cognitive bias, do we take the first step on the road to moral relativism? The Moral Maze - making moral judgements so you don't have to. Witnesses are David Oderberg, Michael Frohlich, Anne Atkins and Julian Savulescu.

Social Integration  

Do we have a moral duty to make friends with people of different races, social backgrounds and sexuality? The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, is warning that a lack of social integration in the UK is costing our economy about £6bn and he says the answer lies in our own hands. Talking at an international conference on the issue he said "Promoting social integration is a matter for everyone, for every citizen of our cities. It means ensuring that people of different faiths, ethnicities, sexualities, social backgrounds and generations don't just tolerate one another or live side by side but meet, mix and forge relationships as friends and neighbours as well as citizens." London is said to be one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, with over 300 languages spoken in it and more than 50 non-indigenous communities with a population of more than 10,000. Yet even there it's clear that some groups choose to settle in areas where there are already a high proportion of people from the same background. Go outside London and that effect is even more pronounced. At a time when social polarisation is an issue in many communities, is it time to see social integration not only as a policy priority but also a personal moral imperative? Should it be as unacceptable to admit to having a mono-cultural social network as to admit being prejudiced? Or is this the kind of PC interference in our lives which fires public resentment and actually encourages division by fostering identity politics? Combative, provocative and engaging debate chaired by Michael Buerk. With Michael Portillo, Mona Siddiqui, Anne McElvoy and Matthew Taylor. Witnesses are Ludi Simpson, Jon Yates, Jemma Levene and James Delingpole.

Political Discourse  

When the actor Kevin Spacey was filming the current series of House of Cards, with its brutally cynical take on American politics, he said he was worried that they may have gone too far. As the US presidential election reaches its vituperative climax, he now concedes they haven't gone far enough. The invective has reached new heights this week with Donald Trump claiming the election is being rigged and Hilary Clinton countering that he's unhinged and dangerous. Has political discourse ever been as poisonous? It's not as if we can look down from the moral high ground. When three High Court judges found that Parliament should have a say on Brexit their photos were splashed across the front pages with one newspaper headline branding them "enemies of the people". Ours is not, of course, the first age to fret about the quality of political discourse. Plato and Socrates did their fair share of lamenting, but the digital age has intensified the political cycle and ratcheted up the stakes. Is this all just part of the theatre of current affairs - an entertainment that we all are knowingly a part of and can tune in and out of at will? Or is a political discourse in which there is no longer any presumption of good faith between opponents not just morally bankrupt, but also dangerous? Is this a healthy revival of robust political engagement, or have we abandoned moderation as a moral virtue?

US Presidential Election  

On the afternoon of Thursday 19th November 1863, the American President, Abraham Lincoln, delivered what has become perhaps the most important speech in American history. Lincoln was dedicating a National Cemetery for the 50,000 men who'd been killed in the Civil War battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His address was only 272 words long, but it has become one of the greatest and most influential statements of a national moral purpose "that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." America has always seen its Constitution and the Declaration of Independence not just as foundational documents, but as statements of moral purpose. America was to be the "shining city on a hill", a light unto the other nations of the world. At a time of national crisis, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was a reaffirmation of those founding principles that all men are created equal and share rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This November the American people have to choose between two people bidding to step in to Lincoln's presidential shoes: 'Crooked Hillary', the machine politician under an FBI investigation, and the narcissistic self-confessed women-abuser Donald Trump. What has gone wrong with America's moral vision? Were the fine words of Lincoln and the Founding Fathers just that - fine words? Has America ever confronted its problems of inequality, race and class? Have big government and bigger corporations betrayed the founding principles of liberty and the American dream? Where is the moral vision of America in this year's presidential election? Chaired by Michael Buerk with Claire Fox, Melanie Phillips, Giles Fraser and Matthew Taylor. Witnesses are Charlie Wolf, James Kirchick, Carol Gould and Erich McElroy.

Moral imagination and migration  

The demolition of the Jungle camp in Calais this week has highlighted a moral paradox at the heart of the debate about migration. The media are full of heart-rending stories of the suffering, endurance and hope of individual migrants - each one of them a compelling cry for our help and understanding. Yet, despite our growing collective knowledge of the plight of migrants, our attitude to migration seems to be hardening. Why? In many other areas of our society the opposite is true. Take, for example, the case of mental health. As more people overcome stigma to talk about it, we know more about its impact, our empathy with suffers has increased and people are now being treated more humanely. It's a virtuous circle that doesn't seem to work for migrants. Is this a failure of our moral imagination? How can we, at the same time, feel moved by the plight of one refugee but indifferent to the plight of thousands of refugees? Should we be trying to turn what we can see to be right in individual cases into general moral principles to be applied across the board? Or is it sometimes legitimate and desirable to reduce morality to numbers? What it may be rational to do for one individual, it may be irrational to do for thousands. When the German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacted, like most of us, with horror to the terrible picture of the body of a drowned toddler being carried from a Greek beach, she agreed to take in hundreds of thousands of Syrian asylum seekers. Now many in Germany and across Europe are questioning whether that was the right and moral thing to do as countries struggle to accommodate the new arrivals. Was that a triumph of moral imagination or the worst kind of emotionally driven gesture politics? Moral imagination and migration. Witnesses are Matthew Parris David Goodhart, Dr Wanda Wyporska and Zrinka Bralo.

Authors of Our Own Misfortune?  

This week the Moral Maze asks "in a society where resources are scarce, should we take account of whether people have contributed to their own misfortune?" The issue has been raised by Phil Kay, the assistant chief constable of Leicestershire. Like other public bodies, the force is struggling to stretch resources to cover demand. He told his local newspaper that he would "far rather" officers focus on preventing crime and protecting the public than spend their time investigating break-ins where carelessness may have played a role. In time-honoured fashion Mr Kay says his remarks have been taken out of context, but does he have a point? This week it's been reported that some NHS authorities are considering closing hospitals to meet a £22 billion savings target. At the same time demand from patients has never been greater. Is making an explicit connection between our lifestyle choices and the chances of getting treatment for the consequences of them the most just and moral way to allocate resource? Or is it the worst kind of victim blaming? There are already many ways in which we reward so called "good behaviour" - no claims bonuses, reduced premiums in return for fitting better security, tax breaks for pension savings. Wearable technology like fitness trackers will make looking after ourselves even more feasible in the future, so why not punish "bad behaviour"? We already have sin taxes, and they're called that for a reason. When the cost of our collective sins is so great, is it morally justifiable to expect the rest of society to pick up the bill for our moral blameworthiness? Or is the very notion a kind of mass hardening of the heart that weakens the bonds of our collective humanity?

Privacy  

For Donald Trump it was an 11 year old dusty tape that appeared from the archives. For Sam Allardyce it was a sting by undercover reporters. For the Olympic gymnast Louis Smith it was a video leaked on to the internet. All of them conversations they thought were private becoming embarrassingly public, with varying degrees of consequences. We all say things in private we wouldn't want made public, so what right to privacy should those in the public eye be entitled? Is it a simple case that we have a right to know if it tells us about the character of people who have power or who are asking us to trust them? If that's the case how do explain the myriad of examples from minor sporting celebrities to victims of stings by fake sheiks? Should we put them in the same category? We may think their views are unattractive, even offensive, but shouldn't they be allowed to express them in private, like the rest of us, with some confidence that they'll remain private? What right do we have to know? Would the world be a better place if we never said anything privately we wouldn't want made public? In our clamour to expose and condemn are we creating an unhealthy reality gap between what our leaders and politicians are allowed to say and what they actually think? Or has the digital age rightly blown apart the tight and elitist clubbable privacy that was once so much part of our society? Chaired by Michael Buerk with Anne McElvoy, Michael Portillo, Giles Fraser and Matthew Taylor. Witnesses are Prof Steven Barnett, Prof Josh Cohen, Paul Connew and Tom Chatfield.

A world without Down's syndrome?  

Do we want to live in a world without Down's syndrome? This isn't just a theoretical question. It could soon become a reality. A new technique called non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), detects Down's syndrome with 99% accuracy and it should soon be available on the NHS. It's already being used in Iceland where 100% of Down's syndrome pregnancies are terminated. The Danish health system declared the objective of being Down's-free and introduced the test in 2006. The termination rate there today is 98%. In Britain the termination rate for positive tests is 90 per cent and around 775 babies with Down's syndrome are born every year in England and Wales. A lot of effort has been made to increase people's knowledge of the condition which has a wide range of symptoms. Many children with it will grow in to adulthood and lead very integrated lives, but some will never walk or talk, or may have severe heart defects, glaucoma, deafness and a risk of early dementia. Would it be a sign of human progress if we reduced the number of people born with Down's syndrome to zero? Many people would agree that reducing suffering is an unequivocal moral good, yet when Richard Dawkins told a woman on Twitter that if she was carrying a child with Down's she should "abort it and try again" and "It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have a choice" there was an outcry. NIPT could soon be available for other single gene disorders such as cystic fibrosis and we've done our best to eradicate many other disabling conditions, so why not make the most of what technology can offer? Or is this a kind of nightmare eugenicist council of perfection - a triumph of cold hearted utilitarianism over our moral duty to embrace difference and care for our fellow man? Chaired by Michael Buerk with Anne McElvoy, Claire Fox, Giles Fraser and Melanie Phillips. Witnesses are Sally Phillips, Jane Fisher, Prof Dominic Wilkinson and Simone Aspis.

The Summer of 2016  

As someone once said 'Whoever you vote for the government wins'. Whether we thought it was a conspiracy or not we've got used to the idea that something we called the establishment ran societies like ours. No longer. From Brexit voters agreeing with Michael Gove that we shouldn't listen to experts, to Donald Trump supporters relishing the hostility to their man of every part of the American establishment or Jeremy Corbyn supporters rejecting conventional wisdom about what is needed to win elections: everywhere it appears the conventional, the expert, the elite, the establishment view is on the defensive. For some this is a brave new world of openness, activism and renewal. For others it's a post-factual world of populism, extremism and damage. Is the establishment dying? Is this the assertion of the independent-minded? A welcome jolt for a complacent ruling class? A time of renewal? Or a brainless twitch by people bored with issues and complexity, ushering in a host of dangerous isms - populism, extremism, nationalism. "The Summer of 2016" - should we cheer, worry, or despair? The Moral Maze. Witnesses are Will Moy, Ian Chamberlain, Milo Yiannopoulos and Philip Collins.

Legalising Drugs  

Going to a music festival has become a rite of passage for the post GCSE teenager. Their excitement at the prospect of a long weekend of unsupervised possibility is perhaps only matched by the anxiety of their parents who know exactly what that might entail. Those fears may have been heightened by the news that a music festival in Cambridgeshire has just become the first UK event of its kind to offer people the chance to have their illegal drugs tested to establish the purity of content before they take them. The testing facility, at the Secret Garden Party, was offered with the co-operation of the police. The organisers said the aim was to reduce harm from drug taking and promote welfare. The group conducting the forensic tests this weekend hope other festivals will follow suit. Is this a pragmatic and realistic approach to drug taking that will save lives or a tacit endorsement that will cost them? Is it part of a gradual slide toward decriminalisation of drug taking? According to the 2016 European Drug Report, ecstasy has surged in popularity in Britain among those aged 15-34 in the past three years. Is it logical on the one hand to criminalise the sale of legal highs, but on the other to make it easier to take an illegal drug like ecstasy? Needle exchanges have long been available to registered intravenous drug addicts. Is this a logical extension or does discovering people have illegal drugs and then allowing them to walk away and use them, while the police turn a blind eye, cross a moral Rubicon? It will make it safer for people who want to take drugs, but what about those people who want to attend a festival knowing it is drug free? How should we balance those competing moral goods? Witnesses are Dr Ian Oliver, Johann Hari, Steve Rolles and Deirdre Boyd.

Nuclear Weapons  

MP's have voted overwhelmingly to renew our Trident nuclear weapons system and the first job of any new prime minister is to write the "letters of last resort" which contain prime ministers' instructions for what to do in the event of a nuclear attack. The handwritten notes are taken to the UK's four Vanguard-class submarines, the ships which carry the ballistic missiles the Royal Navy calls "the nation's ultimate weapon" and contain instructions of what to do in the worst-case nuclear scenario: the obliteration of the UK state. The value of nuclear weapons is in their deterrence - the promise of mutually assured destruction. Theresa May has told the Commons that she wouldn't hesitate, but she could do no other. It is rumoured previous prime ministers may not have been so certain. By their nature the letters have to make broad moral judgments rather than situationally-dependent ones. They're about morality and ethics, not tactics. In the event that deterrence fails and we are attacked, would it be moral to use our nuclear weapons against civilians in retaliation? What would you do in the event of nuclear war? Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, collective punishment is a war crime. If you think the moral principles of collective punishment are clear when it comes to nuclear weapons what about in other stories in the news? Is it always wrong to punish the innocent in pursuit of a wider justice? Should we ban all Russian athletes from the Rio Olympics to punish the drug cheats? Is protecting American citizens against terrorist attacks a greater good than the right of Muslims to travel to the USA? The morality of retaliation and collective punishment on the Moral Maze. Witnesses are Major General Patrick Cordingley, Air Vice Marshall Nigel Baldwin, Avia Pasternak and Austen Ivereigh.

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