What We Owe to Each Other and the Practical Value of Empathy

jennifer mei
1 min readDec 11, 2020

Lessons from The Good Place on Morality in a Pandemic

On existential angst and the primal ache, or alternatively, a TL;DR of a bunch of philosophy books, articles, and treatises for you to drop into casual conversation.

As this hellscape of a year comes to a close, I’m fascinated by the evolving ethical implications of living in a society in the midst of COVID-19, and the necessity of morality in a pandemic. My third and final deck of the year is an investigation into what “patriotism” means from a philosophical perspective: how the cult of American individualism informs our ideas of moral obligation and social contracts (come for the philosophy, stay for the scattered musings on Survivor), using the wisdom of the sitcom The Good Place. But the ultimate question is: What do we owe to our fellow human beings?

Hot tip: Make sure you read my notes in the comments for context; just click the three dots and select “open speaker notes”

Originally published at https://www.jayemsey.com on December 6, 2020.