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Journal gmhowell's Journal: A question of morals, ethics, and blame 12

If you want something to happen that might be against your own morals, and you get someone else to do it, should you still feel bad? Should you be held responsible?

Note: nothing illegal, merely immoral or perhaps unethical.

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A question of morals, ethics, and blame

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  • by Morosoph ( 693565 )
    "Holding Responsible" is like "being tried". One shouldn't be "held responsible". One is responsible as part of the causal chain. Responsibility is joint and several; parcelling it out is not allowed. Diminished responsibility is admissible for human fallibility and igrorance, but that is not the same as a smaller fraction.

    Holding you responsible is what others do, and is a way of taking punishment, which is much easier than blame for the conscientious. If you consider the act immoral, it is up to
    • by gmhowell ( 26755 ) *
      I think you might not have exactly answered the question I envisioned, but I can see how it relates and responds to what I asked.

      'Feeling bad' is nice, but that's only the beginning of responsibility. Shouldn't actions be taken beyond 'feeling bad'?

      • Feeling bad can even be optional, when one acts swiftly enough. When one can't, though, or the damage cannot be undone, it is right to feel penance, IMO.

        Action is the most important thing, though, and by that I mean wise action, not merely action that makes you feel better quicker. For example: telling someone the truth about something that you would rather hide from them might lead you to dwell more upon things that you could have patched up, and learn from them better. Sometimes, discretion is the
  • If you "got" someone to do it, definitely you're responsible.

    If you "allowed" someone to do it, since they were going to do it anyway, then less so, but to some extent still yes if you could have stopped them. If it was inevitable, then No, and schadenfreude is just fine.

  • Mmm. I love these questions.

    Does having someone else do it make it "better"?

    Dealing out deeds to others can sometimes be quite worse than doing the deed yourself, because you've stepped beyond the doer to be the manager. You've taken that extra step to say that not only are you willing to bend your morals to allow the deed, but you are willing to stain the hands of others in order to ensure the deed be carried out. It is even worse when your intention for doing so is to make yourself feel a little less
    • by gmhowell ( 26755 ) *
      Thanks for the insightful comments. As you have already guessed, I can't really say much more about it. Let me just say that the actions to which I refer have already transpired, both by the doer and the manager. And none were illegal, afaik.
  • But that's probably why I feel so much guilt. To me, the borrower and the lender are both participating in usury, though one as a victim.
    • by gmhowell ( 26755 ) *
      Yesterday or Saturday in the Washington Post, there was an op-ed that had the thesis that South/Central America is receptive to socialist governments largely as a result of strong Catholic backgrounds. My father read it, I haven't had a chance, but you may be interested.

      • I'll check it out- though I'm already well familiar with the theology behind it. Most people don't realize that Catholicism, while socially conservative, really is fiscally liberal; we're all sinners under God and capitalism's method of enriching some while leaving others to go hungry makes no sense if we're all equal.
      • It's called Liberation Theology [].
        I went to a Jesuit school and we had all kinds of arguments about this. With that and my experiences of the Democrat machine of South Jersey, any time any government or large entity says they're there to help I am extremely wary. Unless, of course, it's Joe Kennedy []. Good job, Joe. Nice we get cheap gas off the back of Venezuelans. I wish Republicans had thought of that.
        Hugo's showing us by giving us cheap fuel. Smart man, that one. Soon he won't have to worry about pri []
        • by gmhowell ( 26755 ) *
          As well as can be expected. I *do* have an interesting story to tell if I didn't already (around December 5-10). Drop me an email. (Hey, when did brew-masters go offline?)

I don't want to be young again, I just don't want to get any older.