Friday, June 05, 2015

Keep your ethics at home

What Milton Friedman says here sounds like what some of you are saying about the photographer case.

Strange bedfellows.

Here. 

18 comments:

Dan Gillson said...

I'm not sure where you're seeing the connection between what Friedman said and what people are saying about SSM.

Crude said...

"there is one and only one social responsibility of business--to use its resources
and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.


I think this comes across repeatedly. People talk repeatedly about how bakers who don't want to service same-sex weddings should exclusively cater to religious people ONLY because they really shouldn't have a right to determine what business they will and won't take. After all, businesses are 'supposed to make money', right?

Ilíon said...

VR: "Keep your ethics at home"

DId you even read it?

Dan Gillson said...

In a climate in which businesses feel compelled to cave in to the demands of SJW-types, I'm surprised that you read what you quoted in the way that you did, Crude. The socially responsible things for businesses to do is ... business.

Crude said...

In a climate in which businesses feel compelled to cave in to the demands of SJW-types, I'm surprised that you read what you quoted in the way that you did, Crude.

My problem with the 'SJW types' doesn't only have to do with their demands. It's also their habit of using the power of the state to force businesses to do as they demand. See the Beach Body Ready debacle - when the company said 'Our ad campaign is successful, these SJWs are ridiculous', the response was to have the state step in and bar the ads.

Just as they turn to the state to heavily penalize businesses for refusing to service same-sex weddings, even if their business is thriving.

After all, businesses are 'supposed to make money', right?

Should we outlaw the ability for businesses to donate to charity?

Dan Gillson said...

"See the Beach Body Ready debacle - when the company said 'Our ad campaign is successful, these SJWs are ridiculous', the response was to have the state step in and bar the ads." ... Well, to be fair it happened in England, which is a country that is notorious for caving in to people's hurt feelings.

"Should we outlaw the ability for businesses to donate to charity?" ... No. However, arguably businesses shouldn't. Donating to charity is something that should be left up to individuals.

Crude said...

Well, to be fair it happened in England, which is a country that is notorious for caving in to people's hurt feelings.

Agreed, but at the same time - that's why people dislike SJWs. You know, that long and established history of out and out outlawing and penalizing people for disagreeing with them. Go take a look at how SJW dominance of college campuses has worked out.

No. However, arguably businesses shouldn't.

I recall that there was a big response from the 'business community' when Indiana was going to pass its law protecting religious freedoms. They said they were prepared to pull out of Indiana and take a business hit if that law were passed.

Apple was included among their number. Is Apple 'doing business wrong'? (Fun fact: Apple also blocked a Manhattan Declaration app from its store. Also wrong?)

Dan Gillson said...

I'm inclined to say that yes, Apple is doing business wrongly, because some of the people whom Apple employs probably don't agree with Apple's stance, and they probably don't like to have the profits which they help to generate directed towards causes which they don't support. It is, in short, an enslavement of conscience through economics.

DougJC said...

Crude,

"People talk repeatedly about how bakers who don't want to service same-sex weddings should exclusively cater to religious people ONLY because they really shouldn't have a right to determine what business they will and won't take."

That seems too restrictive. What I've been saying is that if businesses want to only serve customers who behave consistently with certain religious or cultural purity laws, they should change their business model to exclusive serve that religious or cultural community. Demarcating the "pure" from the "impure" by denying service is too great a social power (and that's amply demonstrated by the reaction of those deemed impure).

Crude said...

Dan,

Alright, I misread you. I think you're talking at a personal level of 'ought', rather than a legally backed one. If you are, well, we were having two different conversations, my bad.

Doug,

What I've been saying is that if businesses want to only serve customers who behave consistently with certain religious or cultural purity laws,

No one is asking for that in these discussions.

There is this repeated desire to frame the current climate as 'These businesses don't want to do business with gays!' When, in all of the prominent cases, that's completely untrue - they simply don't want to provide service to a specific event they object to.

(and that's amply demonstrated by the reaction of those deemed impure).

Funny, I thought that was a great way to tell which people were so lacking of pride, so cocked up with mental issues that they cannot tolerate the existence of people who openly disagree with the choices they make in their lives. You know, 'mental illness'.

I suppose that when ISIS throws gay males off buildings, that's them amply demonstrating their rejection of having their beliefs treated as 'impure' by western secularists, and thus all the reason in the world for LGBT people to stop causing trouble out in the various muslim nations, eh?

Seriously, this standard of 'You can tell who's in the wrong by determining which side reacts with the most anger or emotional fury' one day is going to result in people realizing 'If we want to be taken seriously, we can't just speak up - we have to light some buildings on fire and make some people scared for their lives. Maybe then they'll realize they shouldn't fuck with us'.

Me, I thought the proper thing to do was to suck it up, act civilized and respect the wishes of others, but apparently that's yet another bit of outmoded thinking.

DougJC said...

Crude,

"There is this repeated desire to frame the current climate as 'These businesses don't want to do business with gays!' When, in all of the prominent cases, that's completely untrue - they simply don't want to provide service to a specific event they object to."

I would see the two extremes as denying all services to a person because they're involved in immorality, and denying only the services that explicity offer moral support for that immorality. I would agree that the right-most case shouldn't be an issue here.

However, what seems to be happening is that business owners are offering creative explanations for why their secular business services might be construed as offering explicit moral support for something they feel is immoral even though the service itself is not a moral act. Is baking a cake a moral act, taking a photo, creating a flower arrangement? If they are, all business services could be similarly argued, giving us a slippery slope to the position that business services, period, are morally complicit in the lifestyle of the customer.

And, generally, this is as it should be since no business owner wants to provide services to the Mafia, or to a pedophile who consistently escapes justice and repeatedly harms children. The only issue that creates a problem for society is when the moral view permitting discrimination is one not based on fairness as a primary concern, not based on harm as a primary concern, but based on sanctity/degradation.

The solution in my view is that religious or cultural views based on moral intuitions related to sanctity/degradation have to play zero part in secular business dealings. All other religious moral views-- fairness, care, honesty, integrity, the right to worship, etc.-- are absolutely permitted.

"Seriously, this standard of 'You can tell who's in the wrong by determining which side reacts with the most anger or emotional fury' "

Again, I'm not making a moral argument here. I am not saying who is right and who is wrong (I have my moral views and I'm sure you can guess them but that has nothing to do with my argument). We can certainly hope those people who claim to feel wronged are actually not really feeling wronged and are not really angry but instead putting on a show. But, historically, when people go to that much trouble, they don't quit, they don't stop and society does change. And then the history books all record that these folks really were wronged.

Crude said...

I would agree that the right-most case shouldn't be an issue here.

Unfortunately, it is.

However, what seems to be happening is that business owners are offering creative explanations for why their secular business services

Rape is a secular activity.

might be construed as offering explicit moral support for something they feel is immoral

Show me who is making the 'moral support' argument as opposed to 'I don't want to take part in this'. It's not 'moral support', it's 'support'.

If they are, all business services could be similarly argued, giving us a slippery slope

Are you arguing that slippery slope reasoning is valid?

not based on fairness as a primary concern, not based on harm as a primary concern, but based on sanctity/degradation.

Sophistry. "Fairness" is just another bit of sanctity, and "harm" is a religious, not a secular, determination.

So no thanks. Drawing the lines around 'sanctity' is a load of crap.

But, historically, when people go to that much trouble, they don't quit, they don't stop and society does change.

Yeah. Sometimes they start throwing jews, gays and jehovah's witnesses into gas chambers. Clearly if they go THAT far, it's because they've been truly wronged.

Right, Doug?

DougJC said...

Crude,

"Rape is a secular activity."

In context, I'm talking about secularism as separation of church and state and secular businesses as businesses that aren't operating as religious organizations. Obviously rape is not a legitimate secular business service so I don't know where you're going there.

"Show me who is making the 'moral support' argument as opposed to 'I don't want to take part in this'. It's not 'moral support', it's 'support'."

Irrelevant, since, as you read on further, I'm pointing out that support is in some necessary way "moral" support. Granting a business service is granting some basic social legitimacy to the customer and social legitimacy seems intrinsically bound up with morality in some way.

"Sophistry. "Fairness" is just another bit of sanctity, and "harm" is a religious, not a secular, determination."

I assure you it isn't sophistry and the division is quite reasonable based on human behavior. Fairness/cheating is specifically related to reciprocal altruism, care/harm is related to attachment and empathy, while sanctity/degradation is shaped by the psychology of disgust and contamination (per moralfoundations.org). Do I understand you to be claiming these distinctions in moral psychology are illusionary or arbitrary in some way?

"Yeah. Sometimes they start throwing jews, gays and jehovah's witnesses into gas chambers. Clearly if they go THAT far, it's because they've been truly wronged."

Were the eventual ruling elite of Nazi Germany characterized as an oppressed minority ostracized for reasons related to moral issues of disgust or contamination protesting vocally within society to change majority views over time? If not, I see nothing in common here.

Come up with an example of a minority deemed impure by larger society in some way due to sanctity/degradation cultural or religious laws that in some way deserved their treatment. I think that would go a ways towards advancing my understanding of your point of view on this.

planks length said...

"Come up with an example of a minority deemed impure by larger society in some way due to sanctity/degradation cultural or religious laws that in some way deserved their treatment."

That one was easy: Homosexuals.

Crude said...

Obviously rape is not a legitimate secular business service

It's treated as legal in plenty of locales, and it's a booming business. See the sex industry.

Irrelevant, since, as you read on further, I'm pointing out that support is in some necessary way "moral" support. Granting a business service is granting some basic social legitimacy to the customer

No, you didn't 'point it out'. You 'alleged'. And your example fails pretty easily:

Man walks into a bakery. Announces he's gay, tries to buy a cake. Is sold the cake. He leaves.

Another man walks into the same bakery. Announces he'd like a cake made for a same-sex wedding. Is denied the cake.

If a successful business transaction grants 'basic social legitimacy' to the customer, then LGBT people have it from this bakery. What's being denied is the service, not the person.

I assure you it isn't sophistry and the division is quite reasonable based on human behavior.

I assure you is, in fact, sophistry.

Do I understand you to be claiming these distinctions in moral psychology are illusionary or arbitrary in some way?

As they've been sliced up? Yes. 'Fairness' goes beyond "reciprocal altruism" - it also trades on assumptions about purposes and justice. For people opposed to same-sex marriage, it's utterly unfair to call polygamist open relationship a 'marriage', just as it's inane to treat old-school 'married for the duration of a visit' sexual relationships as marriages. It's a hijacking and abuse of a function, along the lines of using a public pool as a urinal. You can argue 'but you get to use the pool the way you want - it's unfair that I don't get to use the pool the way I want!', but that's not at all going to illustrate it's 'unfair' to deny that use.

Were the eventual ruling elite of Nazi Germany characterized as an oppressed minority ostracized for reasons related to moral issues of disgust or contamination protesting vocally within society to change majority views over time?

The germans saw themselves as an oppressed minority ostracized unfairly by people who regarded themselves and their culture as morally reprehensible - see the cultural context leading up to the nazis rise.

Come to think of it, pedophiles also qualify on exactly those terms.

Come up with an example of a minority deemed impure by larger society in some way due to sanctity/degradation cultural or religious laws

Active homosexuals were considered mentally ill people by secular authorities - including the scientific authorities - until well into the latter half of the 20th century. Nor were homosexuals deemed 'impure'. Sodomy, an act, was considered impure, regardless of who did it. Ass to mouth didn't become celebrated when a man did it to a woman.

DougJC said...

Crude,

"Man walks into a bakery. Announces he's gay, tries to buy a cake. Is sold the cake. He leaves.
Another man walks into the same bakery. Announces he'd like a cake made for a same-sex wedding. Is denied the cake.
"

That certainly looks like the owner is saying a same-sex wedding is not socially legitimate, and by extension anyone participating in a same-sex wedding. The cake can not be said to morally bless the marriage in any sense unless, say, it has a Bible verse on it contradicting the owner's views. Only in the latter case would I think an owner could properly claim to being forced to morally participate in something he finds immoral.

Basically I don't see how a business owner can object to his/her services being used in a socially illegitimate way without making a social legitimacy judgement. (And judgements of this nature are fine I'm saying (descriptively, not normatively), as long as not based on sanctity/degradation moral intuitions, as carefully defined by moral pyschology.)

"'Fairness' goes beyond "reciprocal altruism" - it also trades on assumptions about purposes and justice. For people opposed to same-sex marriage, it's utterly unfair to call polygamist open relationship a 'marriage',"

Sure, fairness trades on assumptions of justice and rights but your example seems to be using "fairness" consistently with that. Marriage, as a valued institution with a traditional meaning, can't be redefined unilaterily without it feeling unfair. Changing of the definition without broad consensus isn't fair, that's the key issue. I'm not seeing disagreement on "fairness". The goal of moral foundations theory referenced is basically to describe the core, basic moral intuitions accurately, not redefine anything. This is all in descriptive terms, not normative.

"The germans saw themselves as an oppressed minority ostracized unfairly by people who regarded themselves and their culture as morally reprehensible - see the cultural context leading up to the nazis rise."

I'll agree that the nature of events leading up to WWII could have made Nazi Germany feel like an oppressed minority (although not for reasons related to sanctity/degradation but reasons related to WWI). However, unlike the gay rights movement, their solution was violence rather than peaceful political change as well as scape-goating of minorities by embracing the sanctity/degradation moral intuition instead of throwing it off. Not seeing a path from gay rights to gas chambers.

"Come to think of it, pedophiles also qualify on exactly those terms."

Pedophiles certainly have been oppressed via sanctity/degradation moral intuitions in society. However, isn't that unjust? Pedophiles should only be penalized if they harm or attempt to harm children, not for being who they are.

Crude said...

That certainly looks like the owner is saying a same-sex wedding is not socially legitimate, and by extension anyone participating in a same-sex wedding.

The owner is expressing their views, not necessarily - indeed, in some cases, manifestly not - the views of 'society'. You are grasping at straws here.

Basically I don't see how a business owner can object to his/her services being used in a socially illegitimate way without making a social legitimacy judgement.

Look, I gave you a dead on effing example of how - by your own standards - these services are not denying 'social legitimacy' to gays. By your own standards, they are /conferring/ 'social legitimacy' to them, because they were serve them. Not a particular event.

Sure, fairness trades on assumptions of justice and rights but your example seems to be using "fairness" consistently with that. Marriage, as a valued institution with a traditional meaning, can't be redefined unilaterily without it feeling unfair.

In which case it's inane to say that people in favor of gay marriage are about 'fairness', while their opponents are about 'something else'.

However, unlike the gay rights movement, their solution was violence rather than peaceful political change as well as scape-goating of minorities by embracing the sanctity/degradation moral intuition instead of throwing it off.

LGBT activists engage in plenty of scape-goating and engaging in sanctity/degradation - see how they treat their opponents. And the nazis didn't engage in 'violence' until the end of their reign. Up until that point it was secular enforcement of their will and a bit of 'social action'. You know - vandalizing businesses, death threats, things like that.

Go ask Memories Pizza how that's going on.

Pedophiles certainly have been oppressed via sanctity/degradation moral intuitions in society. However, isn't that unjust?

So, you think revulsion at unabashed consumption of pedophile porn - even fictional - is 'unjust'?

DougJC said...

Crude,

"Look, I gave you a dead on effing example of how - by your own standards - these services are not denying 'social legitimacy' to gays. By your own standards, they are /conferring/ 'social legitimacy' to them, because they were serve them. Not a particular event."

Sure, but the issue I'm talking about is about denying social legitimacy to gay marriage. Finding an event or activity morally offensive should give one the right to withhold services (even apart from being forced to participate in a morally-condoning way in such an event). However, in a secular society, moral offense based on purity concerns is complicated by the fact that different religious and cultural traditions may have different views on what constitutes impurity. The default method that secular society uses to resolve the issue seems to be by diluting or undermining this moral intuition. In my view, this is why society becomes more "liberal" over time.

"In which case it's inane to say that people in favor of gay marriage are about 'fairness', while their opponents are about 'something else'."

A simple misunderstanding once it's clear I'm talking about moral foundations theory. People in favor of gay marriage are not using the "sanctity/degradation" moral intuition likely at all but are instead relying solely on the "fairness" moral intuition (this instinct remains strong in secular society through constant reinforcement, along with care/harm, since these intuitions are largely universally shared across all religions and cultures). People against gay marriage are probably using the "sanctity/degradation" moral intuition on at least the same level as the "fairness" moral intuition (and maybe also authority and loyalty to some extent).

"LGBT activists engage in plenty of scape-goating and engaging in sanctity/degradation - see how they treat their opponents. And the nazis didn't engage in 'violence' until the end of their reign. Up until that point it was secular enforcement of their will and a bit of 'social action'. You know - vandalizing businesses, death threats, things like that."

I don't see much "sanctity/degradation" issues at all. I've never heard of someone being denied services because they were Christian accept as retaliation (i.e using the "fairness" intuition). The care/harm intuition in secular society today also seems much too strong to allow sanctioned violence of any kind. The worst religious businesses will ever face is lawsuits and political pressure from what I can see.

"So, you think revulsion at unabashed consumption of pedophile porn - even fictional - is 'unjust'?"

There is revulsion, yes, but it comes from considering two possibilities: 1) the pedophile understands the damage sexual advances can do to children but doesn't care, in which case we're dealing with a sociopath, or 2) the pedophile wishes to believe that sexual advances to children is okay and deludes his beliefs this way along a dangerous path to realization. In both cases it is the expected harm the pedophile will do that is the concern.

Are you saying that a pedophile deserves our judgement of moral degradation merely for being the way he is?