Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Apr, 2014 02:30 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

Because only gay people are HIV positive?

How very 1970s of you.


You mean Magic Johnson is gay?
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Mon 7 Apr, 2014 03:00 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
Yes, that's all true. If it wasn't I wouldn't have a dilemma.

From my perspective, you don't have a dilemma. What bad consequences do you expect from shopping at a store whose propietor considers gay sex a sin?
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Apr, 2014 03:48 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
According to your description, the proprietors' only sin was to hold a private view that contradicts the community's majority opinion. If that's the only basis for a community-wide boycott, I consider such a boycott ethically unacceptable.

According to you, no doubt, but the boycotters would likely disagree. How do you determine that their actions produce more inutility than utility?
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Mon 7 Apr, 2014 03:58 pm
@chai2,
The Barilla issue was a bit bigger - there was an advertising component and apparently a hiring concern.

just after the original coverage ...

Quote:
The pasta maker plans to introduce an advisory board that includes American gay activist David Mixner to improve "diversity and equality in the company's workforce and culture", according to a statement posted on its website.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Mon 7 Apr, 2014 03:59 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

We don't really know yet how their beliefs might be reflected in their business.


in that case, I'd give them the benefit of the doubt and shop there.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Apr, 2014 09:19 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
According to you, no doubt, but the boycotters would likely disagree. How do you determine that their actions produce more inutility than utility?

I'll cross that bridge when I reach it. And I'll reach it when somebody identifies any desirable consequences of their boycott.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Apr, 2014 10:52 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
I'll cross that bridge when I reach it. And I'll reach it when somebody identifies any desirable consequences of their boycott.

Are you serious? You've reached it and you've crossed it. As soon as you say that an action is unethical, you've already performed the utilitarian calculus. What, after all, is an unethical act except one that produces more inutilty than utility?
Miss L Toad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 01:11 am
@thack45,
Thack45, you were in so deep at this stage that I was thinking of starting on you with the light rattan.

Quote:
If an owner is rounding up and beating gays, then I've got a problem.


Then to my complete surprise you out yourself with:

Quote:
I bet I could reveal one of my beliefs that even many here would wholeheartedly disagree with...


Thack45 if you think you can get away with 3 dots instead of hard evidence you are mistaken buddy.

It's time you spilled thack.

Oh and you are such a lovely old stick boomerang, the prices will be too high for you to bother with darling, end of ethical conundrum.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 05:08 am
@boomerang,
You can refuse to go to any store owned by a conservative. I, however, will continue to choose my food stores based on their wares and prices. That's because I believe that everyone's entitled to an opinion.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 08:13 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
Are you serious? You've reached it and you've crossed it.

And I have enumerated the desirable consequences of buying from this farmer, according to the facts Boomerang gave me: That "the environment gets protected by consuming local crops; that my community's historic heritage, as embodied in this farm, gets preserved; that more animals get to live in reasonably-happy circumstances rather than factory-farming hell; and so forth." But what's on the other side of the scale? Boomerang did not identify a single desirable consequence of boycotting, not even after I asked. I would happily perform a balancing test for you, with all my usual intellectual splendor. But so far, I can't: I have nothing to balance.
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 08:51 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
I would happily perform a balancing test for you, with all my usual intellectual splendor. But so far, I can't: I have nothing to balance.

Well, this just illustrates my point that utilitarianism is uniquely susceptible to "putting one's thumb on the scale." If you're performing a utilitarian calculus, you are responsible for factoring in all the considerations. You can't simply say that the other side hasn't presented any convincing arguments. You have to provide those yourself. Otherwise, you could simply close your ears to any opposing arguments and consider the case closed. I've never heard anyone suggest that the utilitarian calculus is an adversarial process, akin to Anglo-American jurisprudence.

Now, knowing that you like market analogies, let me point out that the boycott is like a rational consumer's decision to buy a product. Just as we can assume that the fact that the consumer bought the product means that there was a good reason for buying the product, the fact that some people would choose to boycott the store means that they have weighed the pros and cons and have decided that a boycott is more utile than inutile. If you're making an objective calculation of the utility and inutility of the boycott, therefore, you will take into consideration the motives of those who have already decided that the boycott is the better option.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 09:30 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
You can't simply say that the other side hasn't presented any convincing arguments.

And I'm not. All I'm saying is that this is my conclusion, given the information I have. When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you, sir?
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 10:48 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

joefromchicago wrote:
You can't simply say that the other side hasn't presented any convincing arguments.

And I'm not. All I'm saying is that this is my conclusion, given the information I have. When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you, sir?

What do I what?

If your position is that all the best arguments you've heard are on the side of not boycotting the store, then one may reasonably conclude that you haven't been listening hard enough, or that you're only listening to the arguments that confirm your bias. Those on the pro-boycott side could just as easily use the same rationale for continuing to support the boycott "until they hear a better argument from the other side." The dilemma, then, for the utilitarian is in determining who is correct. You would agree that both can't be right, right? So who's to say which one is acting ethically and which one isn't?
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 10:51 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
Just as we can assume that the fact that the consumer bought the product means that there was a good reason for buying the product, the fact that some people would choose to boycott the store means that they have weighed the pros and cons and have decided that a boycott is more utile than inutile.

I'm familiar with this argument. Indeed, I vaguely remember making it myself, in a discussion with you many years ago, around the apex of my libertarian period. Nevertheless, it's a bad argument. The analogy fails because buyers don't choose products because they're good. They choose products because they're good for themselves, ignoring the impact of their choice on third parties.

This distortion will not matter much if consumers choose among produce and their choice impacts themselves far more than third parties. But that's not true for their choice to boycott in the name of ethics. What's good about the boycott is mostly driven by impact on third parties. Yet what's good for the boycotteer --- like the pleasant feelng of moral superiority --- is still what drives their decision. Boycotteers get this feeling no matter if they carefully weigh the consequences for others. Indeed, at least in my experience, they will more likely detest than welcome suggested improvements to their analysis. Hence, while the theory of rational consumer choice does predict sound(ish) choices about consumer goods, it predicts bad choices about things like boycotts. The reason is market failure due to externalties.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 10:54 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
What do I what?

Nothing, it's just part of a quote from John Maynard Keynes.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 10:59 am
I dont care about beliefs of the owners. I care about the product, the service, the standing behind the product and service, price, and over all customer experience. I could be persuaded to care about proven illegal acts of the owners. I sometimes care when I get information that owners treat employees either very well or very poorly.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 11:06 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
So who's to say which one is acting ethically and which one isn't?

Maybe noone --- in which case we can fall back on ehBeth's maxim: By default, give people the benefit of the doubt.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 11:08 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

There's something to be said about knowing your customers though, the neighborhood she's moving into is a super liberal pocket of a very liberal city.

This is the city that fined a bakery hundreds of thousands of dollars for refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.
YEP. I am not an average consumer. Being openly anti gay ( and I dont mean anti gay "marriage" only) is a business killer in Portland. The campaign to kill this business with be highly organized, and will be successful. Liberals much more than conservatives are sheep, they do as their leaders suggest.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 11:33 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
What's good about the boycott is mostly driven by impact on third parties. Yet what's good for the boycotteer --- like the pleasant feelng of moral superiority --- is still what drives their decision.

I'm not sure I'd agree with that, but suppose you're right. Couldn't the same be said about your position? You're not being entirely altruistic in your estimation of the pros and cons of this situation, are you?
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 11:34 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

joefromchicago wrote:
So who's to say which one is acting ethically and which one isn't?

Maybe noone --- in which case we can fall back on ehBeth's maxim: By default, give people the benefit of the doubt.

Well, isn't that a problem with utilitarianism? If an ethical theory can't definitively determine whether an action is ethical or unethical, then that strikes me as a pretty significant flaw.
 

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