Tag Archives: ethics

Hyppo and Critter: We Are The Champions!

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Guru Comic: Good Business

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Comic: You Can Bank On It

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We Are The Hurled

funny-protest-signs-17The Law of Biology states:

An organism will do anything it can.

The hypothetical and highly imaginary Law of Ethics states:

Just because you can do a thing doesn’t mean you should.

BZZT! Shock administered to test subject. The word “should” is disallowed. You lose a turn. Go back to START.

Okay. How far back should I go?

Hmm. No need to be excessive. How about the day your slimy species grew legs, became amphibious and hauled itself up out of the primordial ooze and lay panting on the beach?

So yeah, the other day I became embroiled in a discussion on Twitter about free speech. It all started when a person I follow stated they were under attack by some haters. Not only that, but she had just written a piece about how the haters were attacking her supporters, too. Hate by proxy, I guess. Adding my two cents, I responded with this pearl of wisdom:

“You have the right to your voice. Online harassers shouldn’t be allowed to operate with impunity.”

Naturally, as if to prove her point, I picked up some criticism of my own. I then got involved in a surprisingly civil discussion about the perils of too much free speech and what, if anything, constitutes “hate speech.” I began by asking my new-found critic a simple question: Where do YOU draw the line on anonymous online free speech?

His reply? “I don’t. Sticks and stones…”

No limits on free speech? None??? Such is the world of absolutes that some find friendly. This got me to thinking. Twitter, alas, was too limiting of a medium to try to explore some complicated concepts, so this post was born.

What would a world with no limits on free speech look like? Warning: This isn’t going to be pretty.
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Outside The Box

outside_the_boxWe’ve all been told at some point in our lives to “think outside the box” by some weasel-face jackass, right?

The problem is when your mind is limited, it’s really hard to be aware of how it’s limited. Because, you know, you’re not even aware. True original thought is so contrary to our ingrained pre-programmed mental pathways that if we actually had one it would bite us in the ass.

Perhaps heart attacks and strokes are merely the symptoms of people who’ve experienced an original thought. Hey, I’ll bet that’s an original thought right there. Ugh. What’s this tingling in my fingers? Oh, pretty rainbow colors. My head hurts.

Thunk!

Oops. Sorry about that. I’m back. Turns out it wasn’t an original thought after all. Just the same old thing that always when I happen to stand up too fast. I’ll try to be more careful so we can get this damn post over and done with.
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Yelp This

hate-yelpEveryone’s a critic but nobody enjoys being criticized. If you ask me, that’s a fantastic system. P.S. You suck.

Today we’ll explore another fascinating facet of GUNT (Grand Unification Negativity Theory) that offers supporting evidence that every human enterprise is gamed to the Nth degree.

At the Guru of Negativity I happen to love Yelp. (Their politics aside. That’s another story.) Surprised? Think about it. Start with the word “yelp” itself.

yelp: a short sharp cry, esp. of pain or alarm

Yep! The negativity is built right in. Don’t blame me. I’m not the one who named the service. It’s intended to be a place where you share your sharp cries of pain. Now that’s a blight idea!

The Yelp business model is simple. You criticize each other and we’ll make money off it. What could possibly go wrong?
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No Good, No Bad

moralityWhen one is an atheist in small town conservative America, one learns to play things close to the vest. Maybe later, after getting to know someone, the truth may be divulged. But it is known that premature sharing comes with a significant amount of risk. It’s a lovely place where the wrong bumper sticker will get your car keyed.

One company in that small town, named after a biblical location no less, asked about my religious beliefs during a job interview. That was my first clue that the game was afoot.

Later, when applying for another job in that same small town, my due diligence ended up freaking me out. I didn’t particularly get a good feeling from my research and, thanks to the internet, learned the owners of the company were flamboyantly religious. I was on a quest to get out of the frying pan and into the fire, so naturally I didn’t let this slow me down.

Despite shouting his religion for all to see, the man was one of the most unethical business people I’d ever met. And that’s saying a lot. He was no slouch. Yet there he was, up on the high ground, at least in his mind, looking down his nose at everyone else. Compensate much?

When office discourse finally turned to matters of politics and religion, I defiantly let fly with my disclosures. His reaction was one of thoughtfulness and class. “Atheist, eh? I have a question. Why don’t you kill people?”

Although flabbergasted by the audacity, I still think I handled it with style and aplomb, especially considering the source. “You don’t kill people because God forbids it,” I said. “I don’t kill people because I choose not to. It’s my decision.”

Booyah.

Right and wrong. Good and evil. Yin and yang. Night and day. Black and white. Betamax and VHS. DVD and Blue-ray.

But now, after assessing more empirical data, I now think, perhaps, I was a bit hasty. It’s time to bust out with yet another theory. I got a million of ’em.
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