- Tolerating extreme poverty – defined by the World Bank as living on less than $1.25 per day (in 2005 US dollars). 1.4 billion people, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and rural South and East Asia, suffer needlessly because they lost the birth lottery. (Work Bank poverty data: http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/…)
- Not abolishing the death penalty – the US is one of the only developed countries that still executes people. In a major national study, 68% of death penalty cases were found to have serious flaws (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2…).
- Supporting the status quo on pharmaceutical R&D, which leads to lots of funding for products like Latisse, a treatment that remedies "hypotrichosis," the condition of not having enough eyelashes, but very little funding for neglected tropical diseases like TB and malaria, which kill millions of people in developing countries every year. (See http://globalnetwork.org/about-n…)
- Assigning moral value to nationality – related to the above, the idea that a life in one country is worth more than a life in another country.
- Consuming luxury goods (especially goods produced under awful conditions, like conflict diamonds and foie gras) – We're starting to realize that people only care about these things because they indicate status and that most of the value of goods consumed above a certain level of basic sustenance is virtual.
- Eating lots of beef – 40% of global warming is caused by deforestation. One of the main reasons people clear forests is to make room for cattle.
- Not regulating global natural resource consumption – Yale's Forestry Dean wrote a good book about this problem: http://www.thebridgeattheedgeoft…
What are some behaviors that are accepted now but might be considered immoral in the future?