Auto Shares?! They published that?

My lack of Ethicist response posts does not mean that I think his columns have improved, and it's high time I got back to talking about what's wrong with them. I don't even accept that the first question he answered this week counts as ethical dilemma, it's just a matter of doing whatever makes life easier. That's not to say that no parent-child problems are ethical problems, but this one isn't. If a parent were to insist, over their child's (or children's) objections, on always listening to exactly what they want, they might be asking for family problems they don't need, but it's hard to see how they're doing something wrong. Except maybe on a strict utilitarian perspective, and even then it's not clear to me that you want to count children's preferences in the same way as everyone else's.

The second question (which is of course correctly answered) could have an interesting explanation, but none is provided. This may be due to space constraints, admittedly. One way to solve that would be to put an extended version of the column online, though I'm admittedly unsure what reason the Times would have to do that as long as the Sunday Magazine is not part of TimesSelect, and I'm happy it's not a part of it.

Also, it's probably as much a feature of the blog for me to mention being behind in my Ethicist posts as it is for me to write them.