Chronology Current Month Current Thread Current Date
[Year List] [Month List (current year)] [Date Index] [Thread Index] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Prev] [Date Next]

Re: [Phys-l] OT: Reflecting on Ethics (was A geek's ... "Avatar")

I really cannot connect the word "ethically" with anything you've said. In fact, I'm not sure I even understand what you said.

I am not a person driven my morality based ethics, but I am a proponent of property rights and contracts (explicit or implied) - these rights are the bedrock for all the wonderful benefits we have living in a western society.

I am tired of constantly having to protect myself from people stealing from me and my neighbors and my employer just because they need drug money or are too damned lazy to be productive themselves. I have had four radios stolen from my car. My daughter's main occupation is as a figure skating coach. She has had her skates stolen twice - costing me over a thousand to replace them each time. I have reported all of this to the police and they just take the report and say there's nothing that can be done. The last time I heard a couple of young men trying to get into my car I got some satisfaction by getting a round off at them from the back door - fortunately I missed, because I would have ended up in more trouble than they would have - but I was so angry I couldn't help myself. Just two days ago I took my brother-in-law to see his father in hospital. When we returned to his house his car had been broken into and band equipment he had put in his trunk for a job that evening had been stolen. This was in a quiet single-family neighborhood on Cape Cod.

Unlike Brian, I don't see parking my car in my own driveway as an "attractive nuisance". I refuse to take any responsibility for people who steal from me and can find no justification for them doing so (only excuses). Small thefts - big thefts - they all stem from the same disregard or disdain of property rights.

Bob at PC

From: [] On Behalf Of Brian Whatcott []
Sent: Monday, January 04, 2010 6:30 PM
To: Forum for Physics Educators
Subject: [Phys-l] OT: Reflecting on Ethics (was A geek's ... "Avatar")

Not only is it not alright for Bob to consider stealing from stores
because he can,
it is also not alright for Bob to consider stealing glasses that are
worth only cents rather than dollars. **

Moreover, it is ethically suspect for store managers to place goods in
positions so accessible that they provide appreciable temptation to
customers. If business owners wish to collect loans in person from
people to whom they loaned items of appreciable value, this would be
superior to their loaning goods of particular value without taking
ordinary precautions to elicit their return. This is in the area of
"attractive nuisances" for which (in the case of domestic swim-pools for
example) a trespasser - a child who decides to go for a swim - who then
drowns, will thereby attract retribution upon the homeowner who is
shown not to take seriously his duty of reasonable care in guarding
attractive nuisances.

There, how do you feel when placed on the sticky end? :-)

Brian W
** Compare the US penal system which treats thefts of articles exceeding
some limit value, to be punishable on a more severe scale. (petty/grand
** Consider the ethical code upheld by some religious sources: that it
is as culpable to even IMAGINE forbidden conduct as to execute it.
These might be considered polar opposites....

LaMontagne, Bob wrote:
Let me see if I understand you - It's OK if I steal items from stores because they can just raise prices and let others pay for what I steal?

Unfortunately, this is just how many people feel. I have a friend who manages a Bed Bath and Beyond. The pilferage is astounding. When caught, shoplifters have no remorse whatsoever - they feel they are just taking back from a big rich company that is ripping them off with high prices. They have no idea that they are part of the high prices.

Just because stealing is built into the business models of most retailers does not in any way justify the theft.

I think what I find most annoying is listening to middle class people on this list justifying theft simply because they are doing it for the use of their classes. What hubris!

Bob at PC

-----Original Message-----
From: [mailto:phys-l-] On Behalf Of Brian Whatcott
Sent: Monday, January 04, 2010 1:06 PM
To: Forum for Physics Educators
Subject: Re: [Phys-l] A geek's observations on "Avatar"

Not to blur an ethical issue, but Joel illustrated here a business
decision of the kind also made by stores who place sale goods on free
access to customers, realizing that they invite 2 or 3 percent losses
from pilferage, in inviting increased sales and allowing reduced store
manning by this means.

If a movie theater experiences 2% box office losses from lack of
of this kind, they have the option of lifting seat prices by 3 or 4%
- say from $12 to $12.50 per seat....

Brian W

Rauber, Joel wrote:

Fun movie, but I definitely had the impression that I had seen this

western before.

Depending on the theatre it may or may not be stealing the glasses;some theatre's sell the glasses to the audience. I so Beowulf and paid
$2.00, for my glasses and saved them._________________________

Joel Rauber, Ph.D

Forum for Physics Educators