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Poll Time!
cap, captain miss america
Poll #1402404 Ethics

I have done things that normally go against my personal ethics or morals strictly on principle in response to something I felt was unethical or immoral.

No, and I wouldn't
No, but I would if the situation was right

Note that I mean things that *you* think are unethical or immoral-- For example, if you have no issue with pirating music, that doesn't count. If, however, you normally don't pirate music but were angered/bothered/troubled by a record company's actions in reference to a certain album so you went out of your way to pirate it, that would count.

In the comments, tell me what you did or didn't do! Or thought about doing! Or would do! Note that this is public so admitting to serious crimes may be unwise.

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I answered, "No, but I would if the situation was right."

I'm not a dead baby sign waver, but personally, I would not have an abortion. But if the pregnancy became life-threatening for me or the baby, or the baby would be born with serious defects or complications, I would.

That doesn't really have anything to do with the question? I am looking more for choosing to do something against your ethics because someone else behaved in a way that was unethical. For example, if you shoplifted from a store because they turned away gay customers-- and only because of that.


And I once keyed the car doors of a guy who was listening to White Power propaganda music in the parking lot of the gas station I worked in.

It is okay! If you aborted your unborn child because it was blasting white power propaganda music from your womb, that might qualify!

But yeah, that was more the kind of thing I was thinking!

My examples:

When I was a little kid, I used to shoplift from places that would call the cops on kids. On purpose. Not because I wanted to shoplift, but because it would make me angry that people would try to get eight year olds arrested.

I have dinged people's cars for parking in the handicapped spot when they clearly weren't handicapped.

I don't typically pirate software, but since the EA Games end user agreement says that you're not allowed to charge for custom content made for the Sims, I totally pirate all that shit.

I was perturbed when I saw how much Adobe was charging its customers for photoshop, but I never pirate software. I may wish viruses on those who do, but I wouldn't personally or consciously send them malware.

I was angry at one of my friends for not paying me back the money I loaned them. When they gave me cash to purchase food for them, I had the opportunity to take what was due to me, but decided against it. I did, however, charge them interest on each day they didn't pay be back and therefore got my money returned quicker. But that's not against my morals.

I think Wal-Mart is a monopoly that should be hit with antitrust, but when they gave me too much change back, I returned it.

Well, the change in Wal-Mart could get the cashier written up, it's not their fault. That's not going to affect the company, just the cashier.

Why wouldn't you just take back the money from your friend? I don't even see that as being an ethical question. They owed you the money, there's nothing unethical about saying that you're taking back the money they owed you.

Because my friend gave me the money for the purpose of buying her food, not paying me back. I need the satisfaction of knowing they're consciously giving back what is mine.

Isn't that actually meaner than taking the money outright? I mean, my friends and I always are like "oh, here, you pay for this and then you don't owe me anymore." We don't try to force someone to feel repentant.

If it's to friends I trust, I'm a lot more lax. I pay for takeout one night, they pay for pizza the next. Even Steven, without any of us really addressing it. If it's to friends who may take advantage of my generosity, I tend to be more rigid.

I said maybe because I can't think of a time I actually had, but if I thought someone deserved it enough I probabally would.

And it would be beautiful.

I was angry that developers were looking at putting in a new subdivison in our neighborhood, so I went into the woods and removed all the plastic ribbon they'd tied to trees and switched things around. OMG I WAS A REBEL>

I am against using the internets to harass people, and honestly, VERY much against harassment of people in general since I was bullied as a kid. I usually pride myself on keeping my cool and walk away from arseholes rather than letting the battle escalate.

However, despite my strong views on this I have been involved in internet warfare twice, the first time it even spilled out into the real world. I did things there which I am NOT proud of, and I would not condone. But when the person in question edited an e-mail in my name and sent it around as proof that I had written things about people that I had not written, the gloves were off. Sufficient to say I was a part of a group that tracked down evidence in order to report him for fraud, he was a paraplegic vietnam vet that according to the things we found were saying that he was a member of a certain elite unit and had been honorably discharged (which turned out not to be true). Apparently certain circles in the military frowns on people going public online claiming to be people they aren't. I know I shouldn't have cared by what a sad old crippled fart wrote on the net, but you do not forge what I write and try to get my friends lose their jobs by calling their bosses.

The second one was a bit more grey area, I was tired of the people on the site I was playing at the time, so I manufactured an entire new persona, which character and a completely different online OOC voice just to see how they would treat me if they did not know I was a girl. The reason I did this was the rampant misogamy at the site, and the way women in general were treated there, so I wanted to get in on the male side to get a different story. This was a MUD so nobody saw IP or anything. It was interesting to say the least, but included lying to friends, including having the almost girlfriend of one of my best real life friends starting to crush on me. I had to abort the experiment not to wreck their relationship. They are in fact married now, so it was not too late.

Edited at 2009-05-19 10:14 pm (UTC)

I'm a pacifist. But there have been Situations in which I threatened to seriously harm someone, and I'm not altogether sorry about it.

I also cheated on an SO for what were basically retaliatory reasons. I wouldn't do *that* sort of thing again, but on the good side, that provided incentive to call the whole thing off, which very very much needed to happen.

That gets into the whole land of "two wrongs don't make a right"-- yes, I may find situation/circumstance A to be morally wrong/unethical, but if in response I undertake response B, which is equally morally wrong/unethical, I end up with a compromised personal moral code and the reality that I probably haven't contributed much of anything towards the positive resolution of situation/circumstance A.

It's a bit of a slippery slope fallacy, but it's very easy from that state of compromise to continue doing so-- until every action can be justified and a "personal moral code" is nothing more than a sham.

I've done precisely what you used as an example, although still while closely watching my ass. Oh and in the spirit of one of the ones you commented, I've totally cut off/driven rudely around people who don't use their blinkers. I use my damn blinkers while doing it, though.

A lot of little things--I'm a bit passive-aggressive. So I've broken things and stolen little things and defaced things to "get back at the man" in some situations. Like college... a lot of petty theft and defacement in situations when I felt that it would send a pretty clear statement. Like the "no smoking" sign that they posted on one of the very few remaining areas in which it was completely safe to smoke without smoke blowing at passers-by. When they replaced the sign, I covered it in nail polish.

I said no and I wouldn't, and here's the qualifier--

I think it's wrong to steal, right? But if I think someone is being extortionist then stealing isn't as wrong-- so I might do it to say fuck you, but it would fit my moral system in that like... that wasn't property they were deserving of, as they were trying to steal it from me, basically.

That's exactly what I meant by "yes" -- does principle play a role in determining someone's ethics? Is it okay to do something that would otherwise be wrong when someone else has done something wrong first?

I voted for "No, but I would if the situation was right" but now that I think about it, I think it's a Yes. I had a classmate who would steal things from whoever she was sitting next to, then a few weeks later she would bring them back to class, using them as her own. I was like WTF and stole them right back lol.

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