search instagram arrow-down
Jack Weinstein

Need advice? have a philosophical question or comment?

Explore a topic:

Top Posts & Pages

Enter your email to follow PQED.

Join 3,114 other subscribers

Recent Comments

J on Are restaurant customers oblig…
Saby J Carrasquillo on Is it ever okay to put a Star…
Saby J Carrasquillo on Is it ever okay to put a Star…
QueenKarma on Are restaurant customers oblig…
julietewe on Should there be children’s boo…

Click image for the Why? Radio podcast

Why? Radio’s Facebook


Twenty-eight years ago me and my horrible hair graduated @sunyplattsburgh, thanks to the mentorship of Professor David Mowry. We lost him yesterday. Read my very emotional tribute to him at #philosophy #collegife Hi listeners! Do you want to see our host Jack Russell Weinstein (@diasporajack) in person as he deejays fun and exciting music? Come down to @ojatadogmahal records this Saturday for the fourth installment of Ska and Waffles! Rehearsing for Tuesday night! Want to hear #Klezmer music live? Come to Why? Radio’s 10th anniversary party, Tuesday at 6:30. Details at @prairiepublic @diasporajack @empireartscenter Above two folds! Thanks @gfherald @prairiepublic ❓📩❓📩❓📩❓📩❓📩
#philosophy #ask #morals #advice #questions #help #curious #hardquestions #anything #podcast #discussion #currentevents #philosophyiseverywhere #whynot #politics #ethics #art #metaphysical #religion  #myund #questionoftheday WHY? Philosophical Discussions About Everyday Life, the Prairie Public radio show is celebrating its 10th birthday and we’re all invited to think philosophically about music with them!

Join the party for food, an interview with legendary Jazz flutist Mark Weinstein, and live Klezmer music! All for free!

For more information, visit or go to
Award winning Jazz Flutist Mark Weinstein plays World Jazz and Straight-Ahead with world-class musicians rooted in the music of Cuba, Brazil, Africa, Argentina and his Jewish heritage. A Latin Jazz innovator, Mark was among the first jazz musicians to record with traditional Cuban rhythm sections in an epic album, Cuban Roots, released in 1967 with Chick Corea on piano. He also has a Ph.D. in philosophy and is a professor of Education at Montclair State University, in New Jersey. His music is the soundtrack to Why? Radio. You can learn more about him at 
Stay after the recording for a live concert, as Mark joins the Balkansi Klezmer Band for a jazz-infused exploration of the classic Jewish folk music, Klezmer. Balkansi is an ensemble based in Grand Forks that specializes in traditional music from one of the richest and most diverse musical regions in the world. The members of the band include Tamara Auer on violin, Haley Ellis on clarinet, Edward Morris on guitar, Zephaniah Pearlstein on cello, Michael Ferrick on bass, Rachel Agan Muniz on percussion.

And then stay even longer for an informal Q&A with Why? Radio host, Jack Russell Weinstein. 🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼
@prairiepublic @whyradioshow @diasporajack @empireartscenter #logic #philosophy #podcast #jazz #flute #grandforks #music #event #klezmer #northdakota #philosophyiseverywhere #birthday #10 #markweinstein #jackweinstein #jackrussellweinstein #free #concert #interview

Follow PQED on Twitter

What is Philosophy?


A man in Ontario died suddenly, right after turning on the bathroom faucet. The water ran for three weeks, resulting in a $500 bill. His daughter is asking that the utility forgive the bill but the City Council is unsure whether it will do so.

On the one hand, someone died and the city council should be compassionate; one would think that the city utility would have some kind of fund or insurance to pay for things like this. More philosophically, it seems odd to suggest that a dead person can even be said to incur charges. He or she is no longer an “agent” in the economic sense. (Living relatives are charged for funerals, not the deceased.)

On the other hand, it’s the man’s house, it’s his water meter, and it is unclear whether taxpayers should be on the hook because of his untimely death. Someone has to pay for it. Why shouldn’t it be his estate or his family? He’s the one who turned on the faucet. Who else could be said to be liable?

Yes, forgiving his debt is generous and kind, but is it the right thing to do?

3 comments on “Who should pay the dead man’s water bill?

  1. Matt Martin says:

    I don't think you can say that forgiving the water bill is the right or wrong thing to do. A charge was incurred, like the article states, it would be generous for the city to forgive the bill, but it is not obligated to do so. That being said, this isn't a question of right or wrong. As far as who should pay it, I would first say the man's estate. The family should not be on the book for this as they did not have any control over the situation. The same can be said for medical bills. If a person dies with no spouse to pay for medical bills, the hospital doesn't go and bill his brother. This is the same deal. The city should send a bill to the estate of the deceased if they are looking for satisfaction on the water bill. If the estate has the money, it should be paid. The deceased turned on the water and it is not the cities fault he was unable to turn it off because he died. If the estate is unable to pay, then the city is out of luck and they have to write it off as a cost of doing business with a customer base that is mortal and sometimes, “you know what” happens.

  2. Yep, I think Matt summed it up nicely.

  3. jaynicks says:

    Even assuming the scenario as stated if there was neither volition nor negligence it depends on the contract. If estate or inheritors were not mentioned the town would be wise to chalk it up as a loss as collecting would have to first prove by whom and exactly when the water was turned on, and if the scenario is mostly true, whether A. MacPherson was dead before or after the water was turned on ~ ~ whether anybody or just a body turned on the water.

    The town should void the bill.

    It is generally accepted in law zombies cannot be billed for the damage they cause. The second reason is that, as Maimonides said, “It is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to charge a single innocent one for water down the drain.”, or words to that effect.

    The town should void the bill just as they would ignore the charge for the water if a backhoe split a water main, or a lightning strike opened a pipe and spilled the same amount of water.

Leave a Reply
%d bloggers like this: