Do ethics matter anymore?

ImprobableJoe

New Member
For post #1000(yeah, I know...), I though I would start a thread to discuss something that maybe doesn't get talked about enough in a specific manner: Ethical Behavior.

We live in a world where rules seem made to be broken. No one drives the speed limit anymore... in fact, if you are only driving 5-10 MPH over the speed limit you'll get run over on the interstate. People download illegal copies of music and movies, and see nothing wrong with it. They complain that there shouldn't even be laws making it illegal, because they are "entitled" to something for nothing. Divorce and adultery are rampant to the point that there's an online dating service for married people looking to cheat on their spouses. Religious folks have been engaging in a war on science and reason, claiming that we secular types are evil and immoral, while using lies and half-truths to make that case. The world economic system is in chaos because lots of people thought that they could get something for next to nothing, and corporations and banks drove prices sky-high for short-term gains, knowing that when it all crashed they could walk away with their fortune and let the government absorb the losses. In America, the government has declared that torturing prisoners in violation of the law is acceptable if they are accused of a bad enough crime (terrorism) but they have no right to be tried for terrorism and be convicted or released. No one can be convicted for violating the Geneva Convention, because it would be "uncomfortable" from a purely political standpoint.

From little things that barely matter, all the way up to behaviors that appear to violate the foundations of civilization, people seem to go through life without even the barest consideration of what behavior is ethical. Of course, they want others to treat THEM well, but without a sense of reciprocity, that's not ethics.... that's just being a spoiled asshole. What ever happened to looking out for each other? What about the concept of keeping your word, following the rules, not taking things without paying for them?Since when is simple honesty an inconvenience that people just don't bother with? How about the rule of law, is that out of style now?

Sweet Satan, I'm not a Pollyanna who thinks that the past was some sort of golden era where everyone treated everyone else with dignity and respect. On the other hand, it doesn't seem like people even pay lip service to the ideas of integrity, honesty, commitment, or much of anything else. Generally, the people who DO talk about it tend to be the worst offenders themselves (Ted Haggard, anyone?)

I'm also not trying to claim that I'm perfect. I've downloaded things illegally before. I've driven over the speed limit. I've never actually violated the Geneva Convention, but I have punched someone in the face a few times. I'm not a saint. The difference between me and the people I'm talking about is that I TRY to do better. I understand that some of the things I've done are wrong, and I struggle every day to do the best I can to be the best I can.

People often say "no one's perfect" and that's true, but there's two ways you can look at it. The ethical person sees that perfection is impossible, and knows that it is the effort that counts. You try to do the right thing, and if you fail today you try twice as hard tomorrow. The unethical person sees that perfection is impossible, and claims that there's no point in trying to strive towards being better. Other people get away with not doing the right thing, so they feel justified in breaking the rules too. They will also assert that the fact that they are unlikely to get caught is a good reason to break the rules.

Maybe I'm just getting old and crotchety... but I also had some good role models growing up, and I want to be like those folks. I don't feel like getting away with things is the best way to live. I think behaving in an ethical way is actually important, even if you sometimes fail at it.

What do you guys think?
 

Ozymandyus

New Member
I think I'm old and crotchety too, and I'm not even that old yet.

But anyway, I think more people try to be ethical and care about honesty/integrity than it sometimes seems. Some of what is perceived as unethical behavior is an honest attempt to change the systems around us that seem to care more about the almighty dollar than the society or the individual (or at least that is the justification). Robin Hood-ery may seem quite dishonest and lacking integrity but when you force everyone to work within a system they may not all agree with, you must expect some backlash.

Anyway, I think we can hardly expect anything else when our entire society is constructed to make you WANT STUFF and to distribute stuff upwards so there are people without stuff and people with everything. And constructed to tell you that you should do what makes you happy because there is no possibility for over-arching social truth, so what you think is as important as what everyone else thinks.

Anyway, I think most people here do believe that being honest is important. But when you see so many powerful people getting away with so much for so long, at some point you realize it's a big dog eat dog world out there and you can only trust a few people. So people form in-groups where they still live by and care about integrity and honesty and everyone else is on the outside.

But to be fair, they usually don't expect people on the outside to treat them fairly either(or they think they are ALREADY being treated unfairly), so I think you are exaggerating that a bit.
 

digitalbuddha48

New Member
First off...Congratulations on your 1000th post!

Secondly, it's interesting you brought this up because my dad and I were just talking about this very subject.

In my opinion, the source of this lack of moral fiber is greed. It is the driving force behind many atrocities that have been committed. And believe me, this is no mystery. Human beings are selfish, self-absorbed creatures that look out for themselves. I hate to quote a movie to help me get my point across but bare with me. In the first Matrix, Agent Smith shares a "revelation" with Morpheus that I'm sure most if not everyone in here remembers, " Human beings are a disease...a cancer of this planet." To break it down we are animals, but we are unique when it comes to how we choose to live. Instead of creating an equilibrium with our environment, we exploit it to benefit us. This is not a bad thing if we are conscious of the decisions we make and make an effort to replenish the natural resources that we so eagerly consume, but obviously we don't. This carries on into all the other aspects of our lives. We make decisions based on how we will be effected and rarely take time to worry ourselves about who else is effected by our decisions.

I'm sorry if this is a childish way of addressing your topic but I feel that it is important to pin-point the reason behind all these ethical fallacies that people make on a day to day basis; which I believe is greed.
 

ImprobableJoe

New Member
Ozymandyus said:
I think I'm old and crotchety too, and I'm not even that old yet.

But anyway, I think more people try to be ethical and care about honesty/integrity than it sometimes seems. Some of what is perceived as unethical behavior is an honest attempt to change the systems around us that seem to care more about the almighty dollar than the society or the individual (or at least that is the justification). Robin Hood-ery may seem quite dishonest and lacking integrity but when you force everyone to work within a system they may not all agree with, you must expect some backlash.

Anyway, I think we can hardly expect anything else when our entire society is constructed to make you WANT STUFF and to distribute stuff upwards so there are people without stuff and people with everything. And constructed to tell you that you should do what makes you happy because there is no possibility for over-arching social truth, so what you think is as important as what everyone else thinks.

Anyway, I think most people here do believe that being honest is important. But when you see so many powerful people getting away with so much for so long, at some point you realize it's a big dog eat dog world out there and you can only trust a few people. So people form in-groups where they still live by and care about integrity and honesty and everyone else is on the outside.

But to be fair, they usually don't expect people on the outside to treat them fairly either(or they think they are ALREADY being treated unfairly), so I think you are exaggerating that a bit.
I think you've got a point... people come up with tons of excuses why some people are "unworthy" in some way, and therefore it is acceptable to engage with them in an unethical manner. Everyone knows it is wrong to lie to your mom, but too many people think it is OK to lie to the IRS.

Part of the failure of ethics in society I think comes from the idea that we should base our behavior on how much we value the other persons involved. It is not OK to waterboard your mom, but it is OK to waterboard a suspected terrorists. The thing is, ethics is supposed to define our behavior in ANY situation, and not be based on judging whether or not other people are worth being ethical over. Stealing form someone doesn't become OK if I think my victim is an asshole.

As far as rich and powerful people getting away with horrible behavior? We empower that, we allow and endorse it as a society by making heroes out of them and celebrating their behavior... on the one in 10 million chance that we someday become one of them? Is that what it is?
 

Ozymandyus

New Member
ImprobableJoe said:
Part of the failure of ethics in society I think comes from the idea that we should base our behavior on how much we value the other persons involved. It is not OK to waterboard your mom, but it is OK to waterboard a suspected terrorists. The thing is, ethics is supposed to define our behavior in ANY situation, and not be based on judging whether or not other people are worth being ethical over. Stealing form someone doesn't become OK if I think my victim is an asshole.

As far as rich and powerful people getting away with horrible behavior? We empower that, we allow and endorse it as a society by making heroes out of them and celebrating their behavior... on the one in 10 million chance that we someday become one of them? Is that what it is?
Well, I think that society has learned to accept that the golden rule just doesn't work. It's an idealist strategy that is just too easy to take advantage of by people that are willing to be unethical. Tit-for-tat strategies are much more effective. You give people the benefit of the doubt and don't take advantage of them, but if they show a willingness to take advantage of you then the deal is off. Just basic game theory.

If someone is stealing from you, we generally frown on it less if you steal from him. If someone beats you up, you beating him up is justified. If someone tries to kill you, you can try to kill them to defend yourself. And if someone is lying to you, why should you be honest and friendly to them? You wouldn't if it was a friend, why do it just because it's a big faceless corporation?

Terrorists are unwilling to play by the rules of the geneva convention, so perhaps we shouldn't feel a need to treat them as we would treat a soldier from a country that would not torture/behead our soldiers. I don't know about that, I don't personally feel that way, but there is a reasonable argument to be made.
 

ImprobableJoe

New Member
digitalbuddha48 said:
First off...Congratulations on your 1000th post!

Secondly, it's interesting you brought this up because my dad and I were just talking about this very subject.

In my opinion, the source of this lack of moral fiber is greed. It is the driving force behind many atrocities that have been committed. And believe me, this is no mystery. Human beings are selfish, self-absorbed creatures that look out for themselves. I hate to quote a movie to help me get my point across but bare with me. In the first Matrix, Agent Smith shares a "revelation" with Morpheus that I'm sure most if not everyone in here remembers, " Human beings are a disease...a cancer of this planet." To break it down we are animals, but we are unique when it comes to how we choose to live. Instead of creating an equilibrium with our environment, we exploit it to benefit us. This is not a bad thing if we are conscious of the decisions we make and make an effort to replenish the natural resources that we so eagerly consume, but obviously we don't. This carries on into all the other aspects of our lives. We make decisions based on how we will be effected and rarely take time to worry ourselves about who else is effected by our decisions.

I'm sorry if this is a childish way of addressing your topic but I feel that it is important to pin-point the reason behind all these ethical fallacies that people make on a day to day basis; which I believe is greed.
Nothing "childish" about it. We can't all be grumpy old men... :)
I'm sure that greed in an important component to it, but I don't think it is the ONLY or even the MAIN component. I think greed is a subset of a larger issue, which is that people feel like they are "important" and "special" in an unhealthy way, that makes them feel entitled to whatever they want, without any responsibility or effort on their part.

What strikes me as especially odd is how people have adopted the rhetoric of the civil rights movement, when discussing their selfishness and sense of unwarranted entitlement. Someone in another thread compared the desire to get intellectual property without paying its creators to Rosa Parks and the fight for equal rights in the 1960s? Really? Taking on a racist government and society isn't the same as trying to get a pirated copy of Windows Vista. It just ISN'T.
 

Otokogoroshi

New Member
I think the reason being unethical is so prevalent (big and small) is because of society itself. Humans may be social animals but we are more built to be in small social groups. The more people you add to the equation the more diluted your feelings towards them become.

My friend makes a great example of this. He almost never watches the news, reads the news paper and he frankly doesn't give a rats ass what's happening in Sudan. After all its far removed from his world. Granted this is an extreme example but imagine being someone on wall street or a CEO. They are as emotionally removed from the average person as my friend is from the Sudanese people. Why should they concern themselves about people they don't seen, interact with or have any immediate reason to even think about.

Back when we lived in smaller groups you know everyone around you so if you did something bad the consequences were HUGE! After all your survival depended on the people around you. Fast forward several thousand years and add in the dozens if not more levels of removal we have from the people around us and well... it makes it hard to care.

Personally I barely know the people who live in the block around me. I've only spoken to two neighbors and don't even know their names or anything about them beyond the things I can discern from just looking at them. Increasingly we are detaching ourselves from the people around us... I'm sure I'm an extreme example. My general anxiety disorder and agoraphobia means well... I don't get out much! But the fact I don't know my neighbors isn't atypical at all.


Ethics do matter. They matter more than ever. The problem is that they aren't taught beyond the general crap parents instill in their kids with is well... inconsistent and in some cases unhealthy!



Just you know... my thoughts on it >.>


BTW I was tinkering with the idea of becoming a sociologist when I was younger :p does it show?
 

ImprobableJoe

New Member
Ozymandyus said:
Well, I think that society has learned to accept that the golden rule just doesn't work. It's an idealist strategy that is just too easy to take advantage of by people that are willing to be unethical. Tit-for-tat strategies are much more effective. You give people the benefit of the doubt and don't take advantage of them, but if they show a willingness to take advantage of you then the deal is off. Just basic game theory.

If someone is stealing from you, we generally frown on it less if you steal from him. If someone beats you up, you beating him up is justified. If someone tries to kill you, you can try to kill them to defend yourself. And if someone is lying to you, why should you be honest and friendly to them? You wouldn't if it was a friend, why do it just because it's a big faceless corporation?

Terrorists are unwilling to play by the rules of the geneva convention, so perhaps we shouldn't feel a need to treat them as we would treat a soldier from a country that would not torture/behead our soldiers. I don't know about that, I don't personally feel that way, but there is a reasonable argument to be made.
The problem is that we're not really talking about "tit-for-tat" at all.

If your friend lies to you, or is a dickhead, you stop being friends with him. You don't steal his car.

If someone punches you, you have a right to defend yourself. If someone cuts you off in traffic, you don't have a right to shoot him.

If you disagree with the business practices of Walmart, you shop somewhere else. You don't go into Walmart and shoplift or vandalize the place.

If you think that the record companies are profit-hungry assholes, the proper response is to buy records from independent labels, or bands that self-publish their music.

As far as terrorists... if we want to claim to be better or different from them in any meaningful way, then we cannot behave in kind towards them. Are you better than a terrorist? If you torture someone, the answer is automatically "no"... and stopping short of killing them doesn't make it OK, any more than a rapist should be excused from punishment if they don't kill their victim.
 

Ozymandyus

New Member
ImprobableJoe said:
The problem is that we're not really talking about "tit-for-tat" at all.

If your friend lies to you, or is a dickhead, you stop being friends with him. You don't steal his car.

If someone punches you, you have a right to defend yourself. If someone cuts you off in traffic, you don't have a right to shoot him.

If you disagree with the business practices of Walmart, you shop somewhere else. You don't go into Walmart and shoplift or vandalize the place.

If you think that the record companies are profit-hungry assholes, the proper response is to buy records from independent labels, or bands that self-publish their music.
I certainly agree with that. I'm just saying a certain sense of tit-for-tat is involved. People feel ripped off by music companies, so they think they are justified to rip off music companies. It's not quite comparable to stealing a friends car who lied to them (which is not something we see in society so really doesn't have a place here). The problem is of course that people are completely incapable of judging fair prices and they always think they are being ripped off.

Certainly some crazy people take it too far and kill people who cut them off in traffic. But that is hardly the norm or the trends we are talking about here, it's a relatively rare occurrence. The question is whether you can cut the person that cut you off or is that a violation of an ethical standard - I would say no. The danger is that people get angry and then cut off someone else completely who cuts off someone else, without regard that the logical thing to do is to always be friendly unless you recognize the driver as someone who is taking advantage or driving dangerously.

I personally don't shop at Walmart and rarely buy music from any big record labels, I don't steal anything. Granted, I am no longer in the age group that finds listening to music to be the most important thing in life, so thats not a big deal for me.
 

Otokogoroshi

New Member
I feel like mentioning that yes, I do download music illegally. Why? So I can know if I actually want to spend money on the damned CD. If I like the music, I go out and buy the CD. If I don't I delete it because well... why clog up my hard drive with bad music?

I illegally downloaded Richard Dawkin's The God Delusion... after I bought the book.

I don't download movies because watching them on the PC isn't much fun. Also I feel that's a far greater theft than downloading music. If I download the music and then go out and buy the CD no skin of the recordists back. However if I download a movie... why go see it in the theater? I like going to the theater. LOVE IT. So much money is spent making movies so I feel I should reward their efforts!





I'm too anti social to go to concerts though so sorry recording artists.
 

Aught3

New Member
I think another issue is the preoccupation with short term benefits/pay-offs over stable long term behaviour. Some of it results from our own short-sightedness, obviously it's not possible to accurately predict all the consequences of our actions. However, a lot of the time behaviour is actually incentiveised in the wrong direction. An example would be CEO bonuses for based on the profit increase over a year. This encourages the wrong type of behaviour at the top of our biggest corporations. A similar case can be made for election of politicians occurring every 3-4ish years.

I also wanted to disagree with the tittle of this thread. I don't think people's consideration for ethics has gotten any better or worse over time - but Joe seems to agree with that in his OP :D

I think the golden rule can take you pretty far in the consideration of ethics, especially when you are dealing with people one on one.
 
ImprobableJoe said:
For post #1000(yeah, I know...), I though I would start a thread to discuss something that maybe doesn't get talked about enough in a specific manner: Ethical Behavior.

We live in a world where rules seem made to be broken. No one drives the speed limit anymore... in fact, if you are only driving 5-10 MPH over the speed limit you'll get run over on the interstate. People download illegal copies of music and movies, and see nothing wrong with it. They complain that there shouldn't even be laws making it illegal, because they are "entitled" to something for nothing. Divorce and adultery are rampant to the point that there's an online dating service for married people looking to cheat on their spouses. Religious folks have been engaging in a war on science and reason, claiming that we secular types are evil and immoral, while using lies and half-truths to make that case. The world economic system is in chaos because lots of people thought that they could get something for next to nothing, and corporations and banks drove prices sky-high for short-term gains, knowing that when it all crashed they could walk away with their fortune and let the government absorb the losses. In America, the government has declared that torturing prisoners in violation of the law is acceptable if they are accused of a bad enough crime (terrorism) but they have no right to be tried for terrorism and be convicted or released. No one can be convicted for violating the Geneva Convention, because it would be "uncomfortable" from a purely political standpoint.

From little things that barely matter, all the way up to behaviors that appear to violate the foundations of civilization, people seem to go through life without even the barest consideration of what behavior is ethical. Of course, they want others to treat THEM well, but without a sense of reciprocity, that's not ethics.... that's just being a spoiled asshole. What ever happened to looking out for each other? What about the concept of keeping your word, following the rules, not taking things without paying for them?Since when is simple honesty an inconvenience that people just don't bother with? How about the rule of law, is that out of style now?

Sweet Satan, I'm not a Pollyanna who thinks that the past was some sort of golden era where everyone treated everyone else with dignity and respect. On the other hand, it doesn't seem like people even pay lip service to the ideas of integrity, honesty, commitment, or much of anything else. Generally, the people who DO talk about it tend to be the worst offenders themselves (Ted Haggard, anyone?)

I'm also not trying to claim that I'm perfect. I've downloaded things illegally before. I've driven over the speed limit. I've never actually violated the Geneva Convention, but I have punched someone in the face a few times. I'm not a saint. The difference between me and the people I'm talking about is that I TRY to do better. I understand that some of the things I've done are wrong, and I struggle every day to do the best I can to be the best I can.

People often say "no one's perfect" and that's true, but there's two ways you can look at it. The ethical person sees that perfection is impossible, and knows that it is the effort that counts. You try to do the right thing, and if you fail today you try twice as hard tomorrow. The unethical person sees that perfection is impossible, and claims that there's no point in trying to strive towards being better. Other people get away with not doing the right thing, so they feel justified in breaking the rules too. They will also assert that the fact that they are unlikely to get caught is a good reason to break the rules.

Maybe I'm just getting old and crotchety... but I also had some good role models growing up, and I want to be like those folks. I don't feel like getting away with things is the best way to live. I think behaving in an ethical way is actually important, even if you sometimes fail at it.

What do you guys think?
Wow, this topic is all over the place, and you're throwing out wild claims that have absolutely nothing to do with ethics.
First of all, following a law simply because it is a law is nowhere near ethical behaviour. More suitable language could be: disciplined, decent, obedient or just "being a good boy".

Secondly, it's very important before embarking on a journey in ethical la-la-land to realise that ALL the examples you brought up are bourgeois problems. You (assuming that you're an American) think mentioning people's intimate relationships and following rules is much more important than focusing on the individuals that are losing their houses because of their devastating medical bills, or people sleeping under the bridges that you cross while feeling guilty about speeding.

The things you find ethical are profoundly unethical to me. You bring up the present economical collapse, but fail to mention the structure that it rests upon; capitalism. "Ethical capitalism" is an oxymoron, because the socioeconomic system has an inherited requirement of exploitation. And if that's not unethical, I don't know what is.

But enough chitchatting, let's get to the real point behind all of this nonsense; piracy. If I want to create digital art on my computer, I can't and won't pay a month's salary for a programme that can make it possible. I shouldn't have to give up my life savings if I want to learn about musical composition and be able to put it to good use. Why should a rich kid have these privileges over a working class kid only because he has the means?

Did you notice my implication? There's a huge difference between law and justice. Laws are subjective, while justice is objective. It's actually a branch of ethics compared to your examples.


From Wikipedia:
Justice

Justice is the concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, fairness, religion and/or equity."[2]
 

ImprobableJoe

New Member
Mà¶bi said:
Wow, this topic is all over the place, and you're throwing out wild claims that have absolutely nothing to do with ethics.
First of all, following a law simply because it is a law is nowhere near ethical behaviour. More suitable language could be: disciplined, decent, obedient or just "being a good boy".

Secondly, it's very important before embarking on a journey in ethical la-la-land to realise that ALL the examples you brought up are bourgeois problems. You (assuming that you're an American) think mentioning people's intimate relationships and following rules is much more important than focusing on the individuals that are losing their houses because of their devastating medical bills, or people sleeping under the bridges that you cross while feeling guilty about speeding.

The things you find ethical are profoundly unethical to me. You bring up the present economical collapse, but fail to mention the structure that it rests upon; capitalism. "Ethical capitalism" is an oxymoron, because the socioeconomic system has an inherited requirement of exploitation. And if that's not unethical, I don't know what is.

But enough chitchatting, let's get to the real point behind all of this nonsense; piracy. If I want to create digital art on my computer, I can't and won't pay a month's salary for a programme that can make it possible. I shouldn't have to give up my life savings if I want to learn about musical composition and be able to put it to good use. Why should a rich kid have these privileges over a working class kid only because he has the means?

Did you notice my implication? There's a huge difference between law and justice. Laws are subjective, while justice is objective. It's actually a branch of ethics compared to your examples.
The real point is that people are unethical, and create giant rationalizations for their unethical behavior. You appear to be doing so right now, as a matter of fact, dragging your unethical position from one thread to another like an anchor around your neck. Why not try dealing with THIS thread? Why not?

Tell me how torturing people is ethical? How about driving in an unsafe manner? Is cheating on a spouse ethical in your worldview? Apparently it is, since you claim that "The things you find ethical are profoundly unethical to me." So that means you find cheating, torturing, and unsafe driving ethical. I already knew that you consider theft to be ethical. Since you are the opposite of what nearly every other rational human being considers ethical, I will be ignoring you from this point forward, since forum rules do not allow me to accurately describe what I think of you.
 
I'm actually curious to read the descriptions you have of me. You could always use PM.

Not everything you mentioned is unethical to me. Of course I think speeding and infidelity is unethical, I just find it very odd that you prioritise many of these kinds of things over some that are far more important from an ethical point of view. You did however bring up torture, which obviously is deeply atrocious.

If I think that theft doesn't fall under the category of unethical behaviour, does not mean I automatically find it ethical. Example; do you think that a starving boy is unethical if he steals food to survive? This is what I mean with the other stuff being bourgeois problems; you must have the basics before thinking about trivialities. You're generalising everything that theft could entail. This world isn't all black and white you know.
 

ImprobableJoe

New Member
Otokogoroshi said:
I feel like mentioning that yes, I do download music illegally. Why? So I can know if I actually want to spend money on the damned CD. If I like the music, I go out and buy the CD. If I don't I delete it because well... why clog up my hard drive with bad music?

I illegally downloaded Richard Dawkin's The God Delusion... after I bought the book.

I don't download movies because watching them on the PC isn't much fun. Also I feel that's a far greater theft than downloading music. If I download the music and then go out and buy the CD no skin of the recordists back. However if I download a movie... why go see it in the theater? I like going to the theater. LOVE IT. So much money is spent making movies so I feel I should reward their efforts!





I'm too anti social to go to concerts though so sorry recording artists.
You know, there are ways to sample music without stealing... you should work just a tiny bit harder, and have the satisfaction of doing the r right thing. :)
 

Otokogoroshi

New Member
ImprobableJoe said:
You know, there are ways to sample music without stealing... you should work just a tiny bit harder, and have the satisfaction of doing the r right thing. :)
Well considering I can hear music on the radio and youtube and webstreams I don't really considering stealing to download music. Especially considering a large chunk of the music I have can't even be obtained legally because its not sold in my country.

You put waaaay to much value on the 'theft' of digital music. I get the exact same emotional feeling buying a CD as I do downloading it... which isn't much... so no real satisfaction to be had here :p
 

ImprobableJoe

New Member
Otokogoroshi said:
Well considering I can hear music on the radio and youtube and webstreams I don't really considering stealing to download music. Especially considering a large chunk of the music I have can't even be obtained legally because its not sold in my country.

You put waaaay to much value on the 'theft' of digital music. I get the exact same emotional feeling buying a CD as I do downloading it... which isn't much... so no real satisfaction to be had here :p
I don't want to focus just on this one tiny bit of the issue, but it IS informative. What other areas of your life do you apply this same lack of ethical consideration to?
 

Otokogoroshi

New Member
ImprobableJoe said:
I don't want to focus just on this one tiny bit of the issue, but it IS informative. What other areas of your life do you apply this same lack of ethical consideration to?
Nice way to sound like a creationalist. You assume (or at least insinuate) that because I lack the 'ethical' standard to consider downloading music that instantly that stretches to some other aspect of my life.

Do you speed? Ever? At all? Then by that line of logic you lack a strong moral fiber because you break a form of ethics that by almost everyone's standard is trivial.

I really don't get why this irks you so much.

I don't claim that what I (sometimes... actually really rarely) do is noble or justice or even all that great. I don't leave my house unless I have to so going to the record store is a no-no. I don't have a job so when I DO spend the little money I scratch together I spend it very carefully. So when I DO go out (figuratively speaking... I don't think anyone considers Amazon.com to be 'out' haha) and buy a fucking CD I want to do it in the most informed manner possible. I want to listen to every last song, start to finish on the CD to KNOW that its actually something I want to spend my money on.

So I download the music. Listen to it and decide if I want it or not. If I like it... I buy it. Recently I imported two CDs from Russia because I loved the band so much. So I do not consider it a theft when I already acquired the songs on those CDs on my hard drive, now I have a hard copy and some of my money is going to support the band.


I even have a copy of Paint Shop Pro 6 on a CD that I acquired illegally. Since I sure as shit couldn't afford the retail version and never made money off of the random crap I made I don't consider it a theft. I couldn't buy it in the first place so it isn't as if I'm taking money from them. THEY NEVER WOULD HAVE GOTTEN IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. And I never used it for anything other than shits and giggles so how is this a loss? How is this a moral issue? How is this a trespass of my ethics?

I really honestly thought only religious people had that black and white cut and dry 'no gray area' kind of rules.






What did a digital pirate kidnap your wife and kill your parents? WTF man?
 

ImprobableJoe

New Member
Otokogoroshi said:
Nice way to sound like a creationalist. You assume (or at least insinuate) that because I lack the 'ethical' standard to consider downloading music that instantly that stretches to some other aspect of my life.
That was kind of lazy of you, wasn't it? Anyone who has ethics and calls other people out is a "creationist." That's hardly a fair or honest way to proceed. Plus, you missed the point of my question completely! Sorry about that , I must have been unclear. We'll press on, I guess, but I'll explain what I was getting at when we get to the end of this, mkay? ;)
Do you speed? Ever? At all? Then by that line of logic you lack a strong moral fiber because you break a form of ethics that by almost everyone's standard is trivial.
There it is... a second place where you reject ethical behavior in favor of expediency. I guess my "assumption" wasn't incorrect at all.(not that I was making an assumption)
I really don't get why this irks you so much.
I don't think my OP was unclear in the least, although my last post was.
I don't claim that what I (sometimes... actually really rarely) do is noble or justice or even all that great. I don't leave my house unless I have to so going to the record store is a no-no. I don't have a job so when I DO spend the little money I scratch together I spend it very carefully. So when I DO go out (figuratively speaking... I don't think anyone considers Amazon.com to be 'out' haha) and buy a fucking CD I want to do it in the most informed manner possible. I want to listen to every last song, start to finish on the CD to KNOW that its actually something I want to spend my money on.

So I download the music. Listen to it and decide if I want it or not. If I like it... I buy it. Recently I imported two CDs from Russia because I loved the band so much. So I do not consider it a theft when I already acquired the songs on those CDs on my hard drive, now I have a hard copy and some of my money is going to support the band.
That's all well and good. I only suggested that there's a better way, one that you rejected out of hand.

I even have a copy of Paint Shop Pro 6 on a CD that I acquired illegally. Since I sure as shit couldn't afford the retail version and never made money off of the random crap I made I don't consider it a theft. I couldn't buy it in the first place so it isn't as if I'm taking money from them. THEY NEVER WOULD HAVE GOTTEN IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. And I never used it for anything other than shits and giggles so how is this a loss? How is this a moral issue? How is this a trespass of my ethics?
Do you think people should be paid for their work, or not? That's the only question. If you do, then you breached your own ethics. If not, then not. More likely, as I said at the start, you find an excuse for why it really isn't so bad, and go ahead and steal because it is just a "little" theft, and you're "not really hurting anyone."
I really honestly thought only religious people had that black and white cut and dry 'no gray area' kind of rules.
It isn't about there's being "no gray areas" as much as I feel like everything is becoming "gray area" with no actual black and white at all. There are no absolutes, of course, and swiping music or speeding is pretty low on the list of priorities... which is why I was asking you about other stuff! I wasn't intentionally asking "in what other way are you a dirty rotten scoundrel." I was trying to see if you did anything WORSE, because focusing on piracy is sort of boring, and there's already a thread for that.
What did a digital pirate kidnap your wife and kill your parents? WTF man?
This thread is about what feels like to me a general loosening of ethical behavior. Piracy is only the tip of the iceberg. My parents have been ripped off by burglars, con artists, used car dealers (didn't I already say con artist) and other people. I'm sure none of them sat there thinking they were evil people. After all, they didn't beat up my parents, so it couldn't be THAT bad, or some other rationalization for their behavior. I just wonder what the future will be like, in a world where people spit on laws even more so than they do today... and I think the little rules-breaking creates a foundation for larger rules-breaking down the road.
 
Top