Are luxuries immoral? Part 2


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The second in a two-parter where we discuss whether luxury goods are immoral. In a true return to form, this is a specific argument we have literally had over the office lunch table, originating from Ant's throwaway statement that he "doesn't get the point of jewellery" and "thinks it's ridiculously wasteful". In order to dissect whether luxuries are immoral, we first break down what exactly counts as a luxury, and secondly explore what exactly would make them immoral.

In this episode, it's all about discussing the opportunity cost of money spent on things that aren't strictly needed. Particularly, this comes through the lens of our last episode where we discuss luxuries of 2 sorts, expensive but perhaps 'good value' and offering some valid sort of self-esteem/self actualisation benefit within Maslow's hierarchy of needs, or another sort where it's frivolous and perhaps the user derives self esteem, but we may question whether that's a legitimate sort of esteem. We then particularly frame this morally considering the ideas of Peter Singer (i.e. all money you spend could be used to save lives, how should that affect your decision making?) vs Susan Wolf (i.e. not everything is about optimizing moral outcomes, it would create a sad and dreary life where we could not pursue anything of what makes the human experience so rich).

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