Principle of Charity


Should We Put a Dollar Value on Human Life?

Season 1, Ep. 3

Leading economist Gigi Foster lets us in on the dirty little secret  - our lives have been given a dollar value, and it’s used by governments to make a whole range of decisions, from whether we’re given that life saving medicine, to when to shut down an economy because of a pandemic. Covid19 has let us into this secret room, as we as a society grapple with how much economic pain we should suffer to protect the lives of the elderly and vulnerable. One of Gigi’s most articulate critics, moral philosopher Matt Beard, joins Gigi as we unpack the pros and cons of putting a dollar value on the most precious thing of all - our lives. 

Gigi Foster is a Professor with the School of Economics at the University of New South Wales.  Educated at Yale and the University of Maryland, in 2019 she was named Young Economist of the Year by the Economic Society of Australia.  Gigi is one of Australia’s leading economics communicators, and co-hosts The Economists, a national economics talk-radio program on ABC Radio National.

Matt Beard is a moral philosopher with a background in applied and military ethics. He has taught philosophy and ethics at university for several years. Matt is extensively published, a columnist with New Philosopher magazine, and a podcaster on the ABC’s Short & Curly program.

Your hosts are Lloyd Vogelman and Emile Sherman.

You can find Emile at:

You can find Lloyd at:


Produced by Jonah Primo

More Episodes


Is There Good Pornography or is it Inherently Demeaning to Women?

Season 1, Ep. 2
Media professor and feminist Catharine Lumby sees a role for pornography in a healthy sexual diet, whereas public ethics professor Clive Hamilton has the self-confessed unfashionable view that it’s destructive and demeaning. They’ve clashed in the media, and we bring them together for the first time to see if we can tease out this complex topic, in a conversation that exemplifies the principle of charity.Everyone seems to be looking at pornography but its rarely discussed.35% of all internet downloads are estimated to be porn-related, and porn sites receive more regular traffic than Netflix, Amazon, & Twitter combined each month. A third of porn users are female, and the industry is estimated to be worth $97 billion worldwide.So is pornography a healthy form of sexual expression, exploration and enjoyment for all these people? And a thriving industry of empowered performers?Or is pornography exploitative, demeaning, and ultimately destructive to our intimate relationships, even sometimes promoting violence against women?Our guests are Catharine Lumby and Clive Hamilton. Catharine is Professor of Media at Sydney University. She’s written extensively on this topic as an author, and is a frequent media commentator across print, radio and television. Clive is Professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University. He has held academic positions at the University of Oxford and Yale. Clive was the executive director of public policy think tank The Australian Institute.Your hosts are Lloyd Vogelman and Emile Sherman, You can find Emile can find Lloyd at: by Jonah

Is It Moral To Eat Meat?

Season 1, Ep. 1
Fat Pig Farm owner and author Matthew Evans and vegan animal advocate Ondine Sherman of Voiceless join us to discuss whether it’s moral to eat meat.How are we to make sense of the incredibly complex topic of meat. First of all, is it right to take a sentient life?What about our evolution, our nature, our culture, and our taste-buds, all powerful forces that drive most of us to eat meat?Each year over 70 billion land animals and a trillion sea animals are killed for food. The vast majority of land animals live in factory farms.Have we, as a society, sanctioned the way these animals are raised for our consumption? Do we even know what goes on behind those walls?We look at all of this, plus questions like: Can we live healthy lives without meat? How does the raising of animals impact the environment and climate change? What about the huge numbers of animals that are killed growing crops?And what about free range; can we feed the world’s growing billions that way, at an affordable price?At the core of all of this, however, are the animals, whose experiences we are only starting to understand. We hold their lives in our hands. Have we fully reckoned with that responsibility?Our guests are Matthew Evans and Ondine Sherman. Matthew is a television presenter and author of the ethical meat eating manifesto “On Eating Meat”. Matthew runs Fat Pig Farm in Tasmania, and sees eating animals, reared humanely, as a key part of our diet. Ondine is managing director of Voiceless, the animal protection institute. Her latest book “Vegan Living” is out now. Your hosts are Lloyd Vogelman and Emile Sherman, You can find Emile can find Lloyd at: by Jonah