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  • Showing only topics with the tag "ethics". Back to normal view
    1. Is it ethical for services to exclude those without internet access?

      I've been turning the question over in my mind since I read this article the other day. A company that delivers milk and basic groceries is moving to online-only billing and account management -...

      I've been turning the question over in my mind since I read this article the other day. A company that delivers milk and basic groceries is moving to online-only billing and account management - the article quotes various people who are "disgusted" that the company are cutting off their "elderly or vulnerable customers". It's one relatively niche example that raises a much broader question, and the idea of people still living without some form of internet access genuinely caught me by surprise.

      The UK has 94.6% internet penetration, relatively low costs (£10/month or less) for basic access, and a variety of subsidised schemes available for people to get basic hardware. That said, there are always gaps for people to fall through, and that last 5% still represents over three million people. At what point does it become reasonable to assume everybody is, or has the opportunity to be, online?

      20 votes
    2. If you were going to start investing more ethically, how would you go about it?

      Over the past few years, I've become increasingly uncomfortable with continuing to invest in broad market index funds, given the bulk of my money is being invested in industries or companies that...

      Over the past few years, I've become increasingly uncomfortable with continuing to invest in broad market index funds, given the bulk of my money is being invested in industries or companies that actively go against my moral beliefs, e.g. Facebook, Wal-Mart, fossil fuel companies, etc. There are "ethical" index funds, but I've had a hard time finding ones that are broad and fit my beliefs (e.g. Vanguard's ESG funds exclude nuclear energy), but there are ones that are close, so maybe this is a good option. I also could invest in specific companies that fit my goals, but my pool of money is small enough that that would be pretty risky.

      Of course, the caveat of all participation in the stock market is some shade of unethical applies and that my individual choice would be drastically overstated if compared even with a drop in a bucket, but if my goal is to minimize my harm while still growing my savings at a rate slightly above buying bonds, what would you do? Assuming that becoming a landlord is also off the table. Are there ethical investment options you like or participate in? How have you navigated this with regards to your own personal philosophy?

      17 votes
    3. Is sex work bad?

      Prompted by a recent tildes post about vice, and also this from the bbc, and a conversation with a colleague who just went to a strip club, I keep thinking about this issue. I have a stake in...

      Prompted by a recent tildes post about vice, and also this from the bbc, and a conversation with a colleague who just went to a strip club, I keep thinking about this issue.

      I have a stake in this, despite being cis male: I have mother, sisters, wife, and most importantly young daughter. And I am a feminist, on simple moral grounds.

      My baseline position is that whether a woman chooses to engage in sex work is, and should be legally and socially supported as, entirely her own choice.

      The only question I have any business answering, or participating in finding an answer, is whether my patronage of sex work is inherently exploitive, to either the woman whom I am patronizing* or to other women individually or to womanhood and general issues of gender.

      And I just can’t come up with a good answer. I do look at porn, but increasingly, as with meat, the potential ethical problems of it are reducing the enjoyment. I have tried to ease my conscience by limiting myself to cartoons and stories, but those wouldn’t stop the harm that is caused by the mere existence of porn, if any exists.

      As a purely practical matter, the existence of the industry leads to opportunities for exploitation of individuals, and the advancement of a culture of gender exploitation. But as the war on drugs has so ably demonstrated, any attempt at prohibition only increases the level of exploitation, while smart regulation decreases it. Regardless, though, there’s plenty of exploitation to go around the world, I heard there’s thing called #metoo.

      I come from a sex-suppressing, fundamentalist “Christian” background. The quotes are there to indicate that I think much of the practices were anything but christ-like. The principles there swirl through the culture around me in varying degrees of intensity, and they inform and direct my choices (sometimes against my will and my better hopes and ideals). I have to be open to the notion that any objection I have to sex work, or my participation, is entirely a cultural construct. And while I don’t think it is true, I cannot dismiss the notion that morals themselves may have no possible objective existence, having relevance and utility (if at all) only in very time and space limited scopes.

      It is what I believe the sociologists call a “wicked” problem. It involves really complicated normative stances, and there’s no data analysis that can provide any guidance. For myself, I expect my participation to continue to wane as I mature. I only hope that whatever I do only further enables and empowers the women in my life and everywhere.

      • I almost stopped myself from using this word when I realized potential implications, but ultimately left it in because it (and the fact it was my natural inclination to select it) really highlights the issue for me and hopefully others

      Bonus hypothetical: If porn is somehow wrong and harmful, even drawings and writings, are sex fantasies also wrong?

      30 votes
    4. Use this, not that: Positive swaps for the New Year

      This is a bit of a sibling topic to the one about changing habits for 2020. Rather than looking at habits specifically, I want to look at "swaps" that people can make. What's something someone...

      This is a bit of a sibling topic to the one about changing habits for 2020. Rather than looking at habits specifically, I want to look at "swaps" that people can make.

      What's something someone could change out for a better alternative?

      A swap should be recommended if it is,

      • more ethical,
      • more sustainable,
      • heathier,
      • or just overall better in an individual or collective way.

      Importantly: the swap should be both feasible and sensical, and should be something that is relatively easy to do. This isn't about making huge lifestyle changes but about taking what we're already doing and making it better.

      Please give your reasoning for your swap, as well as any important caveats. Mentioning specific brands/companies is fine if that's an important part of the swap. Also, swaps can be for anything so don't feel limited to consumer products. Feel free to give good food/service/app/software/store swaps as well!

      See my post below for an example, if the setup I've given here is unclear!

      54 votes
    5. Would you eat lab grown human meat?

      This question popped up between my friends and I when we were discussing the possibilities of lab grown meat. When discussing lab grown meat, one of the arguments for it is that it is far more...

      This question popped up between my friends and I when we were discussing the possibilities of lab grown meat. When discussing lab grown meat, one of the arguments for it is that it is far more ethical to consume as it didn't originate from a living, conscious being. But if you replace the meat being grown in a lab to human meat rather than fish or beef, is it still less ethical? Or is it something that will be seen as incredibly taboo to the point where it should be outlawed?

      I would be curious to read your thoughts and points of view on this!

      For me, it's going to be a hard no that it shouldn't it be done. But to be honest, I feel like my feelings regarding it come from an emotional perspective rather than a logical one.

      Edit: Let's throw in lab grown human organs as well. Say these are the organs that aren't suitable for transplant, but are perfectly edible.

      36 votes