Simon Blackburn

I’m very suspicious of the professional ethical scene, which I think has to concentrate on issues of often obsessive importance to certain kinds of middle-class Americans. For example, you find probably 10 articles in the ethical journals on the rights and wrongs of abortions for one article you find on the distribution of resources to healthcare, for example, between the poor and the rich, which seems to me a far more important problem: the fact that the rich command all the health resources available. So, if I were to become a first-order moralist, on these matters, I’d become a first-order political theorist. It seems to me that actually the fundamental moral problem faced in the world is the distribution of wealth. It has nothing to do with whether women should have control over their bodies, or if we should be allowed to red pornography, or whatever might be. These things are side shows. The real ethical issues are the different life-expectancies in different countries, and the different access to the necessities in life [for different] people.

Simon Blackburn, ‘Quasi-Realism in Moral Philosophy, ethic@, vol. 1, no. 2 (December, 2002), p. 114