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RandomNPC
2010-02-19, 10:48 PM
So the place where I work has this list, and everyone on the list chips in ten bucks a week when someone else on the list is on medical leave for three weeks or more, to help them out. I figure the list is a great way to help out, and it's not that often someone is out for three weeks at a time.

Well it turns out one of the guys has Crones disease, has had large portions of his intestines removed, and survives mostly on cheap pizza, wings, and drugs. Not wanting my ten dollars to be spent on illegal substances I asked to be removed from the list, knowing full well that I can't get back on it. When asked why I told people that my roof is leaking and unfortunately I need all the cash I can get. (Not a lie the roof is leaking, but not the reason either.)

Is it odd that I don't want to give my money to a drug addict, but I don't want people to know why? I feel conflicted about the deception, I know I probably saved his job by not telling the boss the guy's an addict, even with the job market as bad as it is I felt the urge to rat him out, but I told them another reason I need the money.

Mando Knight
2010-02-19, 11:32 PM
TautologyMan to the rescue!

If he's doing something wrong, he's doing something wrong! If that includes using money that was given to him in good faith for illegal substances, you have the obligation to talk to somebody to fix this problem.

Mangles
2010-02-19, 11:44 PM
Agreed but not with ratting him to the boss. Tell him the real reason why you removed yourself from the list. If he stops using this money for drugs than the problems solved and no one gets fired. If not than you can always take it further depending on your feelings than. If he kicks up a stink and tries to blame you for singling him out or something you can always bring up the real reason with everyone else then.

billtodamax
2010-02-20, 12:17 AM
I'm going to suggest that you take this up with the person in question. If they respond negatively to your suggestions that they stop doing the activities in question, then take it up with someone else.

CollinPhillips
2010-02-20, 01:10 AM
You should inform your boss. Not out of concern for the dude's well being, or your moral ethical dilemma. You should do it for fun!

Dr.Epic
2010-02-20, 01:22 AM
So the place where I work has this list, and everyone on the list chips in ten bucks a week when someone else on the list is on medical leave for three weeks or more, to help them out. I figure the list is a great way to help out, and it's not that often someone is out for three weeks at a time.

Well it turns out one of the guys has Crones disease, has had large portions of his intestines removed, and survives mostly on cheap pizza, wings, and drugs. Not wanting my ten dollars to be spent on illegal substances I asked to be removed from the list, knowing full well that I can't get back on it. When asked why I told people that my roof is leaking and unfortunately I need all the cash I can get. (Not a lie the roof is leaking, but not the reason either.)

Is it odd that I don't want to give my money to a drug addict, but I don't want people to know why? I feel conflicted about the deception, I know I probably saved his job by not telling the boss the guy's an addict, even with the job market as bad as it is I felt the urge to rat him out, but I told them another reason I need the money.

Wizard's Second Rule: The greatest harm can result from the best intentions

Doing the right thing is what we should all strive for but you have to make sure those actions yield the results you want. Giving him money will probably result in him spending it on non-medical/non-injure related care. You can however still help this person: help that person out in non-monetary ways. You don't have to spend money to make someone's life easier.

Runestar
2010-02-20, 08:41 AM
If this is the case, your group may want to consider spending the money for him, to ensure it is used wisely and appropriately. It will be more work than just mailing him the cheque though.

I am just curious how you found out though. :smalltongue:

Anuan
2010-02-20, 08:52 AM
If you don't inform the others of where their money is going, if they don't know that is, then all you've done is ensure that he gets ten dollars less for the drugs.
Inform.

Zincorium
2010-02-20, 11:46 AM
Edit: redone post, first was a bit aggressive.

Alright, I see the situation you're in.

Here's what I would do:
-How exactly do you know that he is the type of person to spend your money on drugs? Is this hearsay, personal observation, or admitted? What you said is vague, is your knowledge firm on this point?

-Due to the situation he's in, is he simply self-medicating/incapable of taking better care of himself? Simply denying him the money isn't a solution to those, it's an attempt to wash your hands of the situation.

-How immoral is drug use on your personal scale, and why? You don't seem to empathize at all with this guy, is he a decent person otherwise? If he is, is his usage enough to condemn him?

-Most importantly, is this enough reason to get yourself taken off the list?


If you have good answers to all of those questions, I can't criticize you, but on first read this seems to lack empathy and grasp of this guy's situation.

Deathslayer7
2010-02-20, 01:32 PM
Wizard's Second Rule: The greatest harm can result from the best intentions

Doing the right thing is what we should all strive for but you have to make sure those actions yield the results you want. Giving him money will probably result in him spending it on non-medical/non-injure related care. You can however still help this person: help that person out in non-monetary ways. You don't have to spend money to make someone's life easier.

*gives a cookie for referencing favorite books* :smallbiggrin:

But yes. How do you know he needs the drugs and they aren't purely for medical reasons? I mean he did have his intenstines removed. I imagine he has some sort of painkiller and other stuff as well for it. How do you know that his drugs are the "bad" sort of drugs? I don't like playing the devil's advocate here but i'm just trying to show you that you might not be right in that he does "bad" drugs.

Thajocoth
2010-02-20, 01:58 PM
You simply said "drugs". There's a lot of different things this could mean.

Are the drugs prescribed? Recreational? Abused? Hurting his life in any way? Helping his life in any way?

Are you even sure he's spending THIS money on these drugs?

Here are a few scenarios to consider:

A - Person has a lot of trouble eating. They smoke pot illegally to get themselves to eat.

B - Person has a damaged growth gland from a car accident. They take a prescribed steroid every day through puberty to grow, but it makes them a little irritable.

C - Person spends money on drugs that should be spent on other things, like food or their child's medical care.

D - Person shows up to important tasks, like work or driving, while under the effect of drugs, impairing their ability.

See how wide a range this is? I can't judge the morality even of his drug use, let alone what you could/should do here. It's not all black and white. And if you don't know the answers to these questions, don't say anything. It's better not to rock the boat than to risk having everyone think you're an insensitive jerk. If his drug use matches C or D, then yes, it's a problem. For C, the others spending their money should know. I'd just tell whoever runs the pool. For D, his boss should definitely know.

However... This pool is supposed to be for emergencies, right? Not for continual care, from the sound of it. It sounds like his condition is continuous. It's a little unfair for him to be getting the money every week. If I was in your shoes, this would be the reason I stopped being involved. It's not up to you to pay for someone else's continual care. And the way you handled leaving was the best. Yes, it's a lie, but that doesn't automatically make it wrong. Sometimes it's better to lie than to hurt someone.

RandomNPC
2010-02-20, 06:56 PM
Note the way I use "meds" and "drugs".



Edit: redone post, first was a bit aggressive.

Alright, I see the situation you're in.

Here's what I would do:
-How exactly do you know that he is the type of person to spend your money on drugs? Is this hearsay, personal observation, or admitted? What you said is vague, is your knowledge firm on this point?


He's asked other people in the workplace to buy drugs for him, he's also buying some of his drugs from one of the other guys in his department, who can't keep his mouth shut. On top of that he's borrowing money once in a while to pay rent and makes more than I do, I've got a decent place to live. Insurance has covered his medical so it's not the legal meds draining his pocket.



-Due to the situation he's in, is he simply self-medicating/incapable of taking better care of himself? Simply denying him the money isn't a solution to those, it's an attempt to wash your hands of the situation.


Our insurance program gets him all the meds he needs, I don't agree with drugs and don't want my money going for drugs, but I know better than to push my moral code on others, he can if he want's I'm just not going to help him.



-How immoral is drug use on your personal scale, and why? You don't seem to empathize at all with this guy, is he a decent person otherwise? If he is, is his usage enough to condemn him?


I find any form of mind altering chemical quite offensive, down to the addictiveness of alcohol or ciggarettes. I try to avoid all I can, accepting myself as a hypocrite when it comes to caffeine.




-Most importantly, is this enough reason to get yourself taken off the list?



My main problem, and I'm glad you asked, is my unwillingness to tell my origonal reason for wanting off the list to my manager. My two reasons are he's an addict, and i need all the money I can get to fix my roof, all I told the boss was about my roof.




If you have good answers to all of those questions, I can't criticize you, but on first read this seems to lack empathy and grasp of this guy's situation.

It was past my bedtime when I first posted, and I am sorry for any confusion.

Edit: Thajocoth, he has no children, but otherwise C, I suspect but have no proof of D.

Edit Edit: The boss runs the pool, and he doesn't fail at doing his job, he's a bit slower than others but within reason. And the Pool is only for when you're out of work for 3 weeks. This is the first time he's been out for 3 weeks in the 4 years I've worked there.

JoshuaZ
2010-02-20, 07:52 PM
What drugs?

For certain stomach ailments (such as some varieties of Crohn's) there are drugs which are approved in some locations but not others. Thus for example, it might be something that is valid in Canada but not the US. I in fact know at least one person who is in that category.

Second, you said you find using mind-altering substances "offensive." I'm inclined to ask whether offensive is the same as morally problematic. I can think of a lot of behavior I'd not want to be involved in that isn't morally problematic (For example I find most forms of reality TV offensive but not morally problematic).

Third, I'm curious if you would feel differently about a drug that was legal. Say you were living in an area where medicinal marijuana would be ok, would that change your position? If so, how can you claim that this is a moral concern.

To my mind, the question you may want to ask is given his illness (and make no mistake Crohn's disease and its variants are very serious illnesses) is what he is doing allowing him to cope? Even assuming that the drugs in question are some form of mind-altering drugs, if they allow the person to function when he would otherwise not be able to function then what is the moral (note not legal, but moral problem). Unless you're own alignment is Lawful Neutral, I'm failing to see what is intrinsically an issue in that context. And to be very clear, when you are in intense pain, you're mind simply cannot function. So even things you label as "mind-altering" might very well put the person in a state far closer to functionality.

Rockphed
2010-02-20, 07:59 PM
I think you are doing the right thing. Mentioning that you don't think the program is actually achieving its goals is probably what I would have said were I in a similar situation and did not have something like a leaky roof to hide my true reasons behind. I might have said it anyway even if I did have a leaky roof to fix.:smallredface:

Solaris
2010-02-20, 08:02 PM
If you don't inform the others of where their money is going, if they don't know that is, then all you've done is ensure that he gets ten dollars less for the drugs.
Inform.

/Thread.
Stupid 10-character limit. We can't all be Quincux!

RandomNPC
2010-02-20, 09:57 PM
Ok, good points all around, I'll try to answer everyting thats been asked.

As to why I dislike mind altering drugs, not counting the legal trouble one can get into. They are mind altering, I see my mind as the core of who I am, all my thoughts, impulse control, decision making, everything. I see mind altering drugs as willingly altering the core of who you are. To be blunt, I've been understating my dislike of them quite a bit. As far as I know he has pain and everything under reasonable control with legal meds and the drugs are recreational.

As for the legality of them, I feel the same for Alcohol and Cigarettes, the chemicals that cause addiction is classified as mind altering, I could write pages on how I see it, so lets just say thats how I see it.

On the other three or four times I've seen the program go into effect I had no problem, and it does well, nowhere near a paycheck, but enough to help out. Most of the people in the shop know this guys doing these things, like I mentioned before he's asked others to buy him drugs.

I know he's getting only ten dollars less, but like I said before, I'm not trying to force my morals on others, I just don't want my ten dollars going for drugs.

Godskook
2010-02-20, 10:19 PM
1.If the program is voluntary, it is voluntary. You're leaving, and understand the consequences for doing so. Nothing more needs to be said on the subject.

2.The question is this: Are you lying to save face for yourself or to keep a coworker from getting the axe? The former is something you'll probably regret someday, while the latter is kinda admirable.

3.Regardless of why you're lying, you're lying. There's a lot of negative feedback that can be had from this. It'd be better to refuse to give a reason, stating that it is 'personal'.

Solaris
2010-02-20, 10:26 PM
2.The question is this: Are you lying to save face for yourself or to keep a coworker from getting the axe? The former is something you'll probably regret someday, while the latter is kinda admirable.

I disagree. Lying to help a pothead keep his job when he's stealing from other people is not admirable. Him taking the money meant for medical bills and blowing it on weed is, in fact, stealing.

The Duke
2010-02-20, 10:38 PM
As I recall he stated he didn't lie. Just only gave one of his two reasons.

Regardless I don't believe that what your doing is wise such a program could benefit you in the future, and $10 a month isn't really that much. I would suggest giving your full reasons to your boss, you might feel bad about it, but if it's as well known as you say it is, perhaps he'd be willing to exclude you from this situation without being off the list altogether. No need to push your morals on others but you can see if there is a way that your morals can be allowed to work with the situation

Solaris
2010-02-20, 10:57 PM
Not wanting my ten dollars to be spent on illegal substances I asked to be removed from the list, knowing full well that I can't get back on it. When asked why I told people that my roof is leaking and unfortunately I need all the cash I can get. (Not a lie the roof is leaking, but not the reason either.)

Is it odd that I don't want to give my money to a drug addict, but I don't want people to know why? I feel conflicted about the deception, I know I probably saved his job by not telling the boss the guy's an addict, even with the job market as bad as it is I felt the urge to rat him out, but I told them another reason I need the money.

I recall differently, but we're arguing semantics here. I think Random is doing himself and his coworkers a disservice by not making it better-known that the dude's got a drug problem and will most likely spend their money on drugs of the recreational variety.

RandomNPC
2010-02-20, 11:06 PM
Duke is right, I didn't lie, I excluded the reason that might get him fired. There seems to be some confusion on the program so i'll outline it a little better.

We get paid every 2 weeks. When someone is out for three weeks or more for medical reasons we all chip in ten dollars, every week from then on, untill they return.

Solaris:
All his medical bills are covered under our insurance, minus the 20 dolar co-pay. The money is to replace the paycheck he will not get because he can't work. He's still spending it on drugs though.

I know there's workers comp. or uneployment, or something, but it only pays a percentage out, and our program doesn't make up the entire difference, it just helps make the gap in pay smaller.

Godskook:
1: Not giving money that will be spent on drugs is morally worth not having my name on the list, if i need medical leave someday I accept that i'm not on the list. I have no problem with that.
2:I kept half the reason out so the boss wouldn't fire him. If the job market was different I honnestly don't know if I would have said it differently or not.
3: It is a personal moral choice, and I told them about my roof leak because I was asked for a reason and it was the only truth I had that wouldn't get this guy (possibly) fired.

The Duke
2010-02-20, 11:12 PM
I recall differently, but we're arguing semantics here. I think Random is doing himself and his coworkers a disservice by not making it better-known that the dude's got a drug problem and will most likely spend their money on drugs of the recreational variety.

While I may not agree with you on if he's lying or not. I do agree with this, you aren't doing yourself or anyone around you any favors by protecting him. While he's doing something you despise/dislike. Why shelter him it's his personal choice, it's against the law you could be doing worse. (Going to the Cops for example) However you should confront him before you act, despite overwhelming evidence perhaps there is an honest reason for it all.

(However I'm willing to be you want us to tell you what you did was the right thing, and are unlikely to change your mind as you want to do as you've said.)

Copacetic
2010-02-20, 11:45 PM
I think you made an exceptional choice, Random. You removed your support from an activity you did not morally approve of, without anyone being hurt. Well done, sir.

Solaris
2010-02-20, 11:47 PM
Duke is right, I didn't lie, I excluded the reason that might get him fired. There seems to be some confusion on the program so i'll outline it a little better.

We get paid every 2 weeks. When someone is out for three weeks or more for medical reasons we all chip in ten dollars, every week from then on, untill they return.

Solaris:
All his medical bills are covered under our insurance, minus the 20 dolar co-pay. The money is to replace the paycheck he will not get because he can't work. He's still spending it on drugs though.

I know there's workers comp. or uneployment, or something, but it only pays a percentage out, and our program doesn't make up the entire difference, it just helps make the gap in pay smaller.

Godskook:
1: Not giving money that will be spent on drugs is morally worth not having my name on the list, if i need medical leave someday I accept that i'm not on the list. I have no problem with that.
2:I kept half the reason out so the boss wouldn't fire him. If the job market was different I honnestly don't know if I would have said it differently or not.
3: It is a personal moral choice, and I told them about my roof leak because I was asked for a reason and it was the only truth I had that wouldn't get this guy (possibly) fired.

In my mind, concealing the truth is the same as lying. It's not necessarily wrong to lie, but in this case I do believe it is - or rather, less right than telling the full truth. That's not the important part, though. Like I said, semantics.

This part is: Way I'm seeing it, when you're concealing your real reason you're helping this guy take their money to burn on drugs. I agree you for withdrawing your money from the pool, but I think if you were to take it to your boss he might see things a little differently than he does now. You're shooting yourself in the foot by taking one for this guy.

The Duke
2010-02-21, 12:05 AM
In my mind, concealing the truth is the same as lying. It's not necessarily wrong to lie, but in this case I do believe it is - or rather, less right than telling the full truth. That's not the important part, though. Like I said, semantics.

This part is: Way I'm seeing it, when you're concealing your real reason you're helping this guy take their money to burn on drugs. I agree you for withdrawing your money from the pool, but I think if you were to take it to your boss he might see things a little differently than he does now. You're shooting yourself in the foot by taking one for this guy.

Solaris essentially summed up my point excellently. However as I suggested talk to the guy first make sure you aren't making a mistake.

Anuan
2010-02-21, 03:19 AM
Duke is right, I didn't lie, I excluded the reason that might get him fired. There seems to be some confusion on the program so i'll outline it a little better.


That's what we call 'Lying by omission,' brother.

Solaris has basically got what I want to say down already, so I'll leave it at that.

Edric O
2010-02-21, 03:57 AM
I must say I am shocked by the number of people who object so strongly to something as inconsequential as a little omission. Do you always tell everyone the whole truth, including all details that might be relevant, whenever you are asked any question?

If not, then it's hypocritical to make such a big deal about something that isn't even technically a lie.

Personally, I believe very strongly in worker solidarity, and I don't see anything wrong with lying (or telling only part of the truth) to protect a co-worker from the boss. In fact, I think it is noble and praiseworthy to do so.

Of course, the situation is complicated by the fact that this co-worker is hurting himself through his addiction. Telling the boss is still bad, as it would just get your co-worker fired and probably make his drug problem worse. Taking yourself off the list is morally neutral (it doesn't help anyone, but doesn't cause any big harm either).

If you want to take more action in a morally good direction, my general advice is to do something that has a chance of persuading your co-worker to stop taking drugs. Other people have suggested confronting this guy directly - that may or may not be a good idea, depending on his personality.

Solaris
2010-02-21, 05:54 AM
I must say I am shocked by the number of people who object so strongly to something as inconsequential as a little omission. Do you always tell everyone the whole truth, including all details that might be relevant, whenever you are asked any question?

If not, then it's hypocritical to make such a big deal about something that isn't even technically a lie.

Honestly? Yes. Particularly when I'm dealing with a situation wherein someone is stealing from others under the guise of asking for charity. I've always been blunt and open about the whats and the whys.


Personally, I believe very strongly in worker solidarity, and I don't see anything wrong with lying (or telling only part of the truth) to protect a co-worker from the boss. In fact, I think it is noble and praiseworthy to do so.

Solidarity is all well and good, but you can't be stupid about it. You're advocating standing by someone just to stand by him. Being your coworker does not automatically make him worthy of your support.


Of course, the situation is complicated by the fact that this co-worker is hurting himself through his addiction. Telling the boss is still bad, as it would just get your co-worker fired and probably make his drug problem worse. Taking yourself off the list is morally neutral (it doesn't help anyone, but doesn't cause any big harm either).

Telling the boss and getting him fired would not make the drug problem worse. The coworker would make the drug problem worse. He is, in fact, responsible for his own actions. Supporting his addiction would be morally wrong, and Random removed himself from the list because he did not want to support the addiction.


If you want to take more action in a morally good direction, my general advice is to do something that has a chance of persuading your co-worker to stop taking drugs. Other people have suggested confronting this guy directly - that may or may not be a good idea, depending on his personality.

This is all well and good. I agree, in principal, that trying to get the drug user to stop would be a good thing. However, Random has no real control over how this man will act. He cannot force the addict to stop being an addict. All he can do is stop supporting the habit and try to get others to do the same.

Anuan
2010-02-21, 06:54 AM
Solaris has apparently stolen my brain...

GoC
2010-02-21, 10:27 AM
I recall differently, but we're arguing semantics here. I think Random is doing himself and his coworkers a disservice by not making it better-known that the dude's got a drug problem and will most likely spend their money on drugs of the recreational variety.
You cannot know this. The person in question probably only spends a small portion of his income on drugs (this depends a lot on the type of drug, as the scale of addictive drugs ranges from cannabis to heroin).


stealing
It's not stealing unless the money has a specified purpose that is incompatible with recreational drugs. In this case the purpose is to compensate for the lack of paycheck. Him using it on drugs is no different (in terms of stealing/not-stealing) from him using it on a chocolate bar.

Thajocoth
2010-02-21, 10:31 AM
Edit: Thajocoth, he has no children, but otherwise C, I suspect but have no proof of D.

Edit Edit: The boss runs the pool, and he doesn't fail at doing his job, he's a bit slower than others but within reason. And the Pool is only for when you're out of work for 3 weeks. This is the first time he's been out for 3 weeks in the 4 years I've worked there.

Then talk privately with the boss about it. In your situation, I would've done that instead of leaving the pool, but what's done is done.

Solaris
2010-02-21, 03:38 PM
You cannot know this. The person in question probably only spends a small portion of his income on drugs (this depends a lot on the type of drug, as the scale of addictive drugs ranges from cannabis to heroin).

I can make a reasonable assumption based on the information presented. If he's capable of holding down a regular job and isn't homeless, I'd assume he doesn't spend a whole heap of cash on drugs.
Replace 'Drugs' with 'XBox Games' and I'll still say the same thing.


It's not stealing unless the money has a specified purpose that is incompatible with recreational drugs. In this case the purpose is to compensate for the lack of paycheck. Him using it on drugs is no different (in terms of stealing/not-stealing) from him using it on a chocolate bar.

That's lawyering your way out of it. Loopholes don't work outside of a television courtroom and you know it. The money has the express and intended purpose of alleviating a loss of income: To keep him from starving, and to keep him in living quarters. Saying you're accepting money from your coworkers in order to keep yourself in room and board, then running off and spending it on recreational substances, be they marijuana, a chocolate bar, or an XBox game, is stealing from his coworkers under the guise of charity. It is dishonest and wrong. He may not even spend all of it on drugs. It's still wrong.

RandomNPC
2010-02-22, 05:59 AM
Good points all around. I understand the lie by ommission, and I stand by the points ive made about the job market and that the guy, while slower, does do his job. I don't beleive telling the boss would be good for his employment.

A large number of people on the list know of his addiction, like I said he buys some from a co-worker and has asked others to buy for him.

Thank you all, I feel a bit more secure in how I feel about this talking with you all, and while I have to go to work now, I'll come back with more to say later if more questions/comments come up.

Seffbasilisk
2010-02-22, 01:56 PM
First let me preface this by saying that I've developed a bit of a bias against those with Crones, by the simple arrangement of every person I've met or heard tale of with the disease seems to use it as an excuse to take personal 'liberties' with others resources/time/sympathies.

That said, your decision is sound. The $10 a month setup may be nice, and you'll get some odd looks and maybe a whisper or two about how you're not being part of familial workplace that some businesses seem to strive for, but your roof dilemma more than compensates for that.

If the guy was a friend of mine, I'd try talking to them, seeing if I could help personally, but then again, I've quite a Hero Complex.

If you think that this fellow will be damaging the company, or that the program setup will garner further sympathies with a bigger payout, then I'd understand the implied urgency of speaking out. If you do decide to speak out, sooner is far better than later, and I'd go with the condition of anonymity (speak to the boss privately.)

Also, if I recall correctly, pizza and wings will actually end up gucking up his gut more.

Umael
2010-02-22, 03:43 PM
Personal thoughts:

If the roof leaking is enough of a reason to warrant exiting the pool, it is reason enough to not get hit with a "Lying by Omission". If it is not enough of a reason to warrent exiting the pool, then it is "Lying by Omission".

Either way, I have no problem with the idea hiding the complete truth when a partial one will do just fine and the complete truth will cause unnecessary drama.

Apparently, the boss does not know about this person's drug habits, but several others do. Makes me wonder about why there is this neglect to inform the boss. I also wonder if the drugs are enough to interfere with this person's job performance.

...

I see no major problems with how this was handled.

truemane
2010-02-22, 03:53 PM
Personally I would have lobbied to have him removed from the list. Because that's the issue. His misued of communal funds.

I would have started by telling him that I don't think he should be a part of it, Crone's Diease or not, and if he didn't leave it voluntarily, I'd make a written report to the Proper Authorities describing the reasons why I think he should be removed. I might also start a petition if such a thing were possible.

I would personally find it unacceptable for me to miss out on a program that can benefit me, my family and my friends because one person misuses it. I would also find it unacceptable for someone else to miss out on the program for the same reason. The fact that you seem to be the only one with an issue is surprising to me.

But, you've chosen, effectively, the opt-out clause. And I can dig that. And I can further dig your choice to obscure the fact. If you're not going to take steps to change the situation, there's no real value to be had in making a big stink about it. I hate it when people do that. "I don't mean to complain, but..." Drives me nuts.

So, not what I would have done, but a reasonably decision all the same.

Edric O
2010-02-23, 02:12 PM
Telling the boss and getting him fired would not make the drug problem worse. The coworker would make the drug problem worse. He is, in fact, responsible for his own actions.
That's like saying that if you dig a whole in the middle of the road, it's not your fault when people fall into it, because they could have gone around it. Or like saying that if you offer a drink to an alcoholic, you're not responsible for making his condition worse, because he could have refused your drink.

When you put obstacles in the path of other people, and those people suffer because of those obstacles, then it is your fault. The fact that it would have been possible for them to avoid the obstacles is not a sufficient excuse.

Personal responsibility does not mean "As long as I leave you a small chance of getting out of the trouble I caused, it's all your fault if you don't." That's trying to lawyer your way out of the blame for hurting someone.

Solaris
2010-02-23, 04:37 PM
That's like saying that if you dig a whole in the middle of the road, it's not your fault when people fall into it, because they could have gone around it. Or like saying that if you offer a drink to an alcoholic, you're not responsible for making his condition worse, because he could have refused your drink.

Humans are equipped with free will. If they choose to subvert it, that's their choice. The hole in the road metaphor is disingenuous, the alcoholic example is mistaken. At worst, I'm removing the person from the job. If he turns further into drugs, that is his fault. I'm not giving him drugs. I'm making it harder for him to get drugs. If he desires them all the more, then that's his fault. There are thousands of people, if not millions, who have lost their jobs and somehow, someway, managed to not get high in response. It is therefore perfectly reasonable to expect this child to start manning up and quit getting high.


When you put obstacles in the path of other people, and those people suffer because of those obstacles, then it is your fault. The fact that it would have been possible for them to avoid the obstacles is not a sufficient excuse.

I'm not putting the obstacle there. I'm simply not going out of my way to help him out of the hole he dug for himself.


Personal responsibility does not mean "As long as I leave you a small chance of getting out of the trouble I caused, it's all your fault if you don't." That's trying to lawyer your way out of the blame for hurting someone.

Again. Him getting fired for drug abuse would not, in any way, be my fault. I didn't make him take the drugs. He chose to take them. I'm not trying to claim personal responsibility for this guy. That's why I'm saying not to help him out at all, in any way, shape, or form. I've seen what drugs do to people. If it's a serious enough concern that the OP decided to withdraw funding, then this guy's beyond help. Sure, I could hold his hand, help him through every little problem that came his way, but that's not my style. I've found that if you do that, people will never take responsibility for their own actions. Why should he? He's got someone else to do it for him.
Note that I didn't say he was beyond hope. He simply has to come to the realization on his own that he's screwing up his life and that nobody else is going to come save him. At best you could show him the door, but you can't walk him through it.

Riffington
2010-02-23, 05:07 PM
That's lawyering your way out of it. Loopholes don't work outside of a television courtroom and you know it. The money has the express and intended purpose of alleviating a loss of income: To keep him from starving, and to keep him in living quarters. Saying you're accepting money from your coworkers in order to keep yourself in room and board, then running off and spending it on recreational substances, be they marijuana, a chocolate bar, or an XBox game, is stealing from his coworkers under the guise of charity. It is dishonest and wrong. He may not even spend all of it on drugs. It's still wrong.

I think you are incorrect. The coworkers already have enough to eat and keep a roof over their heads. The money has the purpose of alleviating a loss of income: so the person can have luxuries such as chocolate, kids' music lessons, and XBox games. Whether pot is to be included is (presumably) never to be discussed because of its illegality.

Random has two plausibly-competing obligations:
1. to fulfill the agreement (with regard to the pool).
2. to avoid harming this person by fulfilling or failing to fulfill this agreement.


If he is sufficiently certain that fulfilling the agreement is more likely to harm this person than failure to fulfill the agreement: obligation 2 takes precedence over obligation 1, and he should indeed withdraw from the pool. As a minor point, it makes him look like a jerk to all his coworkers - but if he's sufficiently sure that the money would harm this man, that's a sacrifice he needs to make.

Alyss
2010-02-23, 05:13 PM
Doing the right thing is what we should all strive for

I believe a definition for that is in order.

Solaris
2010-02-23, 08:14 PM
I think you are incorrect. The coworkers already have enough to eat and keep a roof over their heads. The money has the purpose of alleviating a loss of income: so the person can have luxuries such as chocolate, kids' music lessons, and XBox games. Whether pot is to be included is (presumably) never to be discussed because of its illegality.

I think we'd need Random to clarify on this point. I'm not seeing how the office would be putting in a pool just to help a guy keep buying toys, whereas a pool to help keep him in his house would make a good deal more sense. Being out of work for three weeks hurts most anybody a whole lot, especially if he already has a chronic medical condition.


Random has two plausibly-competing obligations:
1. to fulfill the agreement (with regard to the pool).
2. to avoid harming this person by fulfilling or failing to fulfill this agreement.


If he is sufficiently certain that fulfilling the agreement is more likely to harm this person than failure to fulfill the agreement: obligation 2 takes precedence over obligation 1, and he should indeed withdraw from the pool. As a minor point, it makes him look like a jerk to all his coworkers - but if he's sufficiently sure that the money would harm this man, that's a sacrifice he needs to make.

I do agree with this. Obviously, I think Random giving money to this man-child (here I am, insulting him without even knowing his name, such arrogance!) would hurt more than help due to the drug addiction. If he hasn't spent money on recreational drugs in the three weeks he's been out of work, I'll happily eat my words. Somehow, I doubt it.


I believe a definition for that is in order.

We've been working on it for the last few thousand years. I don't think this forum is gonna agree on any one definition at any point soon.

Pocketa
2010-02-23, 08:56 PM
It's $10 a week, and you wouldn't want somebody else to judge you. It's not like it's too expensive. I'd chip in but talk to someone about it. If it's a verifiable fact, provide evidence, and talk to somebody about it. If he's not coming into work due to the addiction and whatnot, and is basically getting paid to do nothing, that'll be a valid concern. You do not know what he'll spend it on or not spend it on, and whether your money would be involved, physically, in the transaction.

Let he who be without sin...

Escef
2010-02-23, 09:10 PM
... and you wouldn't want somebody else to judge you.

We all make judgments. Even if we aren't aware of them. I find it amazing that people will say how wrong it is to judge people, but it is socially acceptable. What is a first impression, if not a judgment? Yet, not only is it accepted, we are told to exploit it.

Judgment is a necessary tool for living. I use it and make no apologies for that.

snoopy13a
2010-02-23, 09:20 PM
From a fairness standpoint, you promised to pay $10 a week if one of your co-workers fell ill for three weeks. Likewise, if you fell ill then your co-workers would do the same for you. Thus, you and your co-workers entered into a contract. There was no provision of how your co-worker was expected to spend the money nor is there any guarantee of what he will spend it on.

My take is that you were morally and legally wrong by breaching the promised contract and by not paying the $10 a week as promised.

arguskos
2010-02-23, 09:22 PM
From a fairness standpoint, you promised to pay $10 a week if one of your co-workers fell ill for three weeks. Thus, you and your co-workers entered into a contract. There was no provision of how your co-worker was expected to spend the money nor is there any guarantee of what he will spend it on.

My take is that you were morally and legally wrong by breaching the promised contract and by not paying the $10 a week as promised.
To be fair, he DID pay it for some time (or so it was implied), and then he exited the contract as was permitted (since nowhere was it said he could not leave this arrangement), since he had reasons to back out (roof leaking and whatnot). Claiming he broke the law is a bit extreme though, I gotta say.

snoopy13a
2010-02-23, 09:29 PM
To be fair, he DID pay it for some time (or so it was implied), and then he exited the contract as was permitted (since nowhere was it said he could not leave this arrangement), since he had reasons to back out (roof leaking and whatnot). Claiming he broke the law is a bit extreme though, I gotta say.

Not criminally, but the ill employee may be able to sue for the missed payments (in theory of course, no one is going to sue for $10). The backing out seemed to be after the person qualified for the $10.

THAC0
2010-02-23, 09:31 PM
Not criminally, but the ill employee may be able to sue for the missed payments (in theory of course, no one is going to sue for $10). The backing out seemed to be after the person qualified for the $10.

To be fair, the ability to sue in this country has absolutely nothing to do with morals.

Case in point: burglars and other criminals who have successfully sued the people they were committing crimes against when they injured themselves in the other people's homes.

ETA: Also, unless the contract specifically said that he could not exit after someone qualified, that point is void as well.

Thajocoth
2010-02-23, 09:34 PM
I believe a definition for that is in order.

The option on one's right. Like, if you have to pick which of two doors to open, always pick the door on the right.

wojonatior
2010-02-23, 09:38 PM
I would either say to remove yourself from the situation, which you did quite well, or find another way to help him out without giving him a direct line to the money, at least in the case of your $10, such as getting him some food(healthier probably), or similar amenities he may be needing. Overall though, I think it is morally incorrect to have somebody use community funds for them towards a cause they were not intended for, in this case, food or other day to day needs. I think you should inform your boss of the problem anonymously and let him deal with the situation.

Riffington
2010-02-23, 09:40 PM
We all make judgments. Even if we aren't aware of them. I find it amazing that people will say how wrong it is to judge people, but it is socially acceptable. What is a first impression, if not a judgment? Yet, not only is it accepted, we are told to exploit it.

Judgment is a necessary tool for living. I use it and make no apologies for that.

I've never thought the exhortation not to judge meant "don't assess". Rather, I thought it meant "don't be an instrument of punishment* but instead assist your fellow to become better". Assessment is fine: you can realize that a person is stupid or tends to steal or is lazy or whatever, and take that into consideration. But you can't judge and say "as a lazy person I wash my hands of you". You can certainly decide that a job opportunity (or failing that, a smile) is more helpful than a handout. But you can't give up.

Put another way, you can name multitudes of deeds Hitler did that were wrong, but you can't say with certainty what kind of afterlife he has.

*punishment belonging to deities and/or properly-constituted courts; they certainly can use punishments.

/anyway, that's how I understand it; my own tradition has a similar but nonidentical concept.

deuxhero
2010-02-23, 09:51 PM
You can only save the savable, if someone rejects help, it is best to not waste the effort.

Edric O
2010-02-24, 12:43 AM
Humans are equipped with free will. If they choose to subvert it, that's their choice. The hole in the road metaphor is disingenuous, the alcoholic example is mistaken. At worst, I'm removing the person from the job. If he turns further into drugs, that is his fault. I'm not giving him drugs. I'm making it harder for him to get drugs. If he desires them all the more, then that's his fault.
Generally, people turn to drugs to cope with problems in their life. Causing more problems for them will only reinforce their addiction. The hole in the road metaphor stands (even if the alcohol one does not).


There are thousands of people, if not millions, who have lost their jobs and somehow, someway, managed to not get high in response.
Those people were not addicted to drugs to begin with.


It is therefore perfectly reasonable to expect this child to start manning up and quit getting high.
You would do well not to pass judgment on people that you know nothing about, except from a very brief description by a third party.


I'm not putting the obstacle there. I'm simply not going out of my way to help him out of the hole he dug for himself.
Reporting him to the boss in order to get him fired is going out of your way. It's going out of your way to cause him problems. So, you are putting an obstacle there.


Again. Him getting fired for drug abuse would not, in any way, be my fault. I didn't make him take the drugs. He chose to take them.
This is ridiculous. If you tell the boss something that will lead to a worker being fired, then yes, it is your fault that he got fired. How could it not be? You directly caused the firing to take place. In your absence, the firing would not have taken place. The causality is pretty clear here.


I've seen what drugs do to people.
And you advocate hitting them while they're down?


If it's a serious enough concern that the OP decided to withdraw funding, then this guy's beyond help. Sure, I could hold his hand, help him through every little problem that came his way, but that's not my style.
Then perhaps morality is not your style. Let me clarify: I am a firm believer in utilitarianism. Moral action is that which increases the total happiness of Humanity. As such, helping people is usually a good moral action, and refusing help is either immoral or neutral.

Now, we can disagree about the best course of action for helping someone, but I hope we do not disagree that help (of some kind) is good.

THAC0
2010-02-24, 01:46 AM
This is ridiculous. If you tell the boss something that will lead to a worker being fired, then yes, it is your fault that he got fired. How could it not be? You directly caused the firing to take place. In your absence, the firing would not have taken place. The causality is pretty clear here.


Only if you operate on the premise that "you informing the boss" is the cause of the firing. Some of us are operating on the premise that "doing something illegal" is the cause of the firing.

Solaris
2010-02-24, 02:30 AM
Generally, people turn to drugs to cope with problems in their life. Causing more problems for them will only reinforce their addiction. The hole in the road metaphor stands (even if the alcohol one does not).

Yeah. Everybody's got problems. He doesn't get sympathy from me for choosing to cope with them by creating more problems.


Those people were not addicted to drugs to begin with.

That, in my mind, is not an excuse for the addicts. Most drug-abusers aren't born addicted to drugs. They choose to start using.


You would do well not to pass judgment on people that you know nothing about, except from a very brief description by a third party.

He's a drug addict. That already tells me he lacks in maturity, self-discipline, and self-control.


Reporting him to the boss in order to get him fired is going out of your way. It's going out of your way to cause him problems. So, you are putting an obstacle there.

Touche. Unfortunately, to stretch the metaphor, I'm not the one who built the barriers in the first place - I'm just the one sliding them into place. If he hadn't decided to start abusing in the first place, then there wouldn't be anything objectionable to the OP helping him with his bills.


This is ridiculous. If you tell the boss something that will lead to a worker being fired, then yes, it is your fault that he got fired. How could it not be? You directly caused the firing to take place. In your absence, the firing would not have taken place. The causality is pretty clear here.

Only if you operate on the premise that "you informing the boss" is the cause of the firing. Some of us are operating on the premise that "doing something illegal" is the cause of the firing.
If he were not doing anything illegal, then there would be nothing to inform on.


And you advocate hitting them while they're down?

I advocate standing by and letting them do to themselves what they will. You can't save someone from themselves, no matter how much you want to. I've seen people I care about go down this road and had to learn this the hard way. It was not an easy lesson.


Then perhaps morality is not your style. Let me clarify: I am a firm believer in utilitarianism. Moral action is that which increases the total happiness of Humanity. As such, helping people is usually a good moral action, and refusing help is either immoral or neutral.

I really haven't studied philosophy, so I don't particularly know what someone would label my moral structures. I know them, and that's good enough for me. I'm just not seeing how pissing away money so someone can get high is helping the total happiness of humanity. There are so many other, more worthwhile efforts. Efforts that have a more lasting impact than one person's momentary euphoria.


Now, we can disagree about the best course of action for helping someone, but I hope we do not disagree that help (of some kind) is good.

No, we don't. Not in the least. The problem is that few people will listen to someone else telling them that they're hurting themselves until they've hit rock bottom, and most try getting out blasting charges before getting help.

Escef
2010-02-24, 03:01 AM
But you can't judge and say "as a lazy person I wash my hands of you".

Would you like to make a wager on that? :smallamused: It is neither illegal, nor immoral, to treat a lazy person as such. Same for a thief, drug abuser, or a bunch of other things. Is it generous to give these people a chance? Absolutely. Not smart, but generous.

That just reminds me of all the people who say such foolish things as, "You can't do that!" It is foolish because they are saying it because the person in question just did do that. Something about keeping up with current events.

Riffington
2010-02-24, 05:03 AM
Would you like to make a wager on that? :smallamused:

A wager? Like "I bet that a mainstream well-read cleric of a faith whose text states 'judge not' agrees with my assessment"?

I certainly wasn't saying that it's impossible to do a thing that a certain set of religions forbid. If it were, why would they bother to forbid it?

Ah: I see what you mean.
It is that "you can't do that" can mean one of two things:
a. It is actually impossible for you to do the thing you believe you are doing (i.e. the knowledge you now believe yourself to have is actually uncertain)
b. You cannot do that while remaining within the rules (the consequences of breaking the rules here being unspecified) - but perhaps there is time for you to disavow your action/repent/etc in order to avoid those consequences.

Edric O
2010-02-24, 05:05 AM
Only if you operate on the premise that "you informing the boss" is the cause of the firing. Some of us are operating on the premise that "doing something illegal" is the cause of the firing.
Ok, you have three events: A, B and C.

A, by itself, does not result in C.
A and B together do result in C.
In this situation, is B a cause of C? Of course it is.

Now suppose you are aware that A has taken place. You can choose to perform B, or not. If you perform B, then C will happen. If you don't perform B, then C won't happen.
So, if you perform B, are you responsible for C? Of course you are.

A = co-worker taking drugs
B = informing the boss
C = co-worker getting fired

hamishspence
2010-02-24, 06:42 AM
Its a bit difficult to avoid judging- we judge all our lives-

we "judge what is the right thing to do"- and do it. Or "judge what is the wrong thing to do"- and not do it.

Personally I prefer "Judge- and expect to be judged in return"

Scorpina
2010-02-24, 06:49 AM
There's a difference between using the faculty of judgement and sitting in judgement over other people. The whole 'judge not lest ye be judged' thing is about the latter, I believe.

Personally, I'd say that not funding the drug use is fine, but reporting it is kind of shaky. Not in a 'you're a tattle-tale' sort of way, but in a 'have sympathy for your fellow man' kind of way. If this guy is in a bad way as it is, getting him fired is most definately going to make things worse for him. Your mileage may vary, but I know I wouldn't want that on my conscience.

On another note, 'Moral Oddity' would be a good band name.

Alyss
2010-02-24, 08:42 AM
We've been working on it for the last few thousand years. I don't think this forum is gonna agree on any one definition at any point soon.

Which is precisely the problem. I can't see how people can be so judgemental with no moral authority whatsoever. And no drugs in your life, OP? Sounds pretty damn boring.

Anuan
2010-02-24, 09:06 AM
Which is precisely the problem. I can't see how people can be so judgemental with no moral authority whatsoever. And no drugs in your life, OP? Sounds pretty damn boring.

Wow, I can't see how people with no authority on what's officially fun for every single person in the world, ever, can be so judgemental when it comes to how people enjoy themselves or what they need so they can have fun.

Shakes my brain somethin' awful, it does.

...A-hurr-hurr-hurr.

Alyss
2010-02-24, 10:30 AM
Wow, I can't see how people with no authority on what's officially fun for every single person in the world, ever, can be so judgemental when it comes to how people enjoy themselves or what they need so they can have fun.

Shakes my brain somethin' awful, it does.

...A-hurr-hurr-hurr.

Your wit exceeds all expectations - why, you should be on the stage! I'm not the one giving a guy ethical advice here.

hamishspence
2010-02-24, 10:31 AM
Might be interesting to list the major factors:

Paying money for someone else to indulge in something you have a moral objection to.

Paying money for someone to harm themselves by indulging in addictive substances.

Paying money for someone to commit illegal acts.

I don't see any moral reason why the person should not withdraw from the pool.

The needs of the other participants in the pool, and the needs of the user, however, make the decision to report, or not to report, more complicated- if you subscribe to the view that inaction has as much moral weight as action.

Solaris
2010-02-24, 11:32 AM
Ok, you have three events: A, B and C.

A, by itself, does not result in C.
A and B together do result in C.
In this situation, is B a cause of C? Of course it is.

Now suppose you are aware that A has taken place. You can choose to perform B, or not. If you perform B, then C will happen. If you don't perform B, then C won't happen.
So, if you perform B, are you responsible for C? Of course you are.

A = co-worker taking drugs
B = informing the boss
C = co-worker getting fired

Yes, yes, yes. But you must understand that what we're trying to say is... If he did not use the drugs, then there would be nothing to report. I am responsible for informing, but he is responsible for the wrongdoing. We are each responsible for our own actions.
We're sounding like broken records, here.


There's a difference between using the faculty of judgement and sitting in judgement over other people. The whole 'judge not lest ye be judged' thing is about the latter, I believe.

Personally, I'd say that not funding the drug use is fine, but reporting it is kind of shaky. Not in a 'you're a tattle-tale' sort of way, but in a 'have sympathy for your fellow man' kind of way. If this guy is in a bad way as it is, getting him fired is most definately going to make things worse for him. Your mileage may vary, but I know I wouldn't want that on my conscience.

On another note, 'Moral Oddity' would be a good band name.

Yes, it is. It never ceases to amaze me how very little people understand quotes they throw around.

Reporting it is unsympathetic? Failing to do so is helping to enable his drug use, and that's something I cannot allow myself to do.
I'm currently dealing with a buddy of mine who had a rough go of it in Iraq. He's taken up alcoholism again. We tried telling him that drinking would get him hemmed up. He continued to do so. Someone in the unit continued getting him alcohol, and if I knew who it was I'd break his kneecaps with a six-pound sledgehammer. He eventually reached the point where he was drinking mouthwash for the alcohol content. We continued telling him that he was going to end up in a bad position. We also tried talking to him, tried to help him with his problems. He refused on both counts, until he wound up getting the piss pounded out of him last Sunday after picking fights with just about everybody in the barracks. Now he admits he needs help. If we had done a better job of intercepting the alcohol, then perhaps he would not have gotten hurt - but he would have continued being an addict. As soon as we let down our guard, he would've gone right back to drinking. This is not my first such experience.


Which is precisely the problem. I can't see how people can be so judgemental with no moral authority whatsoever. And no drugs in your life, OP? Sounds pretty damn boring.

I somehow manage just fine. He's violating my sense of right and wrong, so I'm sayin' something about it.
Mind-altering substances are a crutch. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't use drugs, and yet I somehow manage to handle my problems and enjoy myself. Nobody needs to smoke pot to have fun. There's sufficient evidence to cite that it has a detrimental effect on yourself and those around you for me to say that its abuse would be morally wrong.
Medicinal marijuana, of course, is a bird of a different color when used as directed.


Wow, I can't see how people with no authority on what's officially fun for every single person in the world, ever, can be so judgemental when it comes to how people enjoy themselves or what they need so they can have fun.

Shakes my brain somethin' awful, it does.

...A-hurr-hurr-hurr.

Your wit exceeds all expectations - why, you should be on the stage!

While I agree with Anuan, let's all cut back on the sarcasm. Making fun of each other contributes nothing.

[QUOTE=Alyss;7954732]I'm not the one giving a guy ethical advice here.

Yes you are. You're implying that the OP shouldn't inform because he has no moral authority. Not as stridently as some of us, but you are giving advice.

THAC0
2010-02-24, 11:39 AM
Ok, you have three events: A, B and C.

A, by itself, does not result in C.
A and B together do result in C.
In this situation, is B a cause of C? Of course it is.

Now suppose you are aware that A has taken place. You can choose to perform B, or not. If you perform B, then C will happen. If you don't perform B, then C won't happen.
So, if you perform B, are you responsible for C? Of course you are.

A = co-worker taking drugs
B = informing the boss
C = co-worker getting fired

I'm with Solaris, clearly, but here's my own two cents.

A, by itself, CAN cause C. B, by itself, CANNOT cause C (without actual lying, framing, etc). A and B together can also cause C.

If I perform B, I am responsible for performing B. If dude performs A, he's responsible for performing A.

There's nothing in my moral compass that says reporting illegal activity is immoral. I have no problems performing B if I am confident that A is occurring.

From another viewpoint, you view firing as unhelpful to the person. What's to say though that getting fired for drug use isn't just the wake-up call this person needs?

Adlan
2010-02-24, 11:49 AM
I would talk to the guy first. If you want to inform on him feel free.

I will however suggest investigating the exact truth of the situation.

My little sister had crone's, and even after surgery, and was able to eat again, didn't have much of an appitite. Luckily, it returned, but for some people it may not. I was actually prepared to go to my parent's and suggest obtaining medicinal usage of a certain appetite stimulant drug if her appetite had not improved.

It might be that this individual is doing so. Or it might be that he's taking others money and wasting it.

If you don't like what someone is doing with money you provide, you have every moral right to refuse to give it to them.

Edric O
2010-02-24, 12:48 PM
Yes, yes, yes. But you must understand that what we're trying to say is... If he did not use the drugs, then there would be nothing to report. I am responsible for informing, but he is responsible for the wrongdoing. We are each responsible for our own actions.
We're sounding like broken records, here.
Right, so let me clarify: I do not see his actions as wrongdoing. Nor do I see them as good. I see them as morally neutral.

I suspect that's where the real disagreement between us comes from. You see the issue as reporting someone for doing something wrong. I see the issue as causing trouble for someone who has done nothing wrong. I think taking drugs is stupid, but not wrong. I view it in the same way as, for example, spending an enormous amount of time playing WoW, to the exclusion of all other social interaction (I know someone like that).

Is it stupid? Yeah. Is it bad for the people who do it? Yeah. Should they get in trouble for it? No. Addiction is its own punishment.


Reporting it is unsympathetic? Failing to do so is helping to enable his drug use, and that's something I cannot allow myself to do.
Err, the thing is, only part of the money from his job goes to buy drugs. The other part goes to buy food and pay the bills. If I have to choose between (a) enabling someone to buy both food and drugs, or (b) denying them both of those things, then I will always choose (a).

Of course, it would be great if you could deny them the drugs and not the food, but that doesn't seem to be an option here.


I somehow manage just fine. He's violating my sense of right and wrong, so I'm sayin' something about it.
Mind-altering substances are a crutch. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't use drugs, and yet I somehow manage to handle my problems and enjoy myself.
Same here. I despise mind-altering substances, and I'm quite proud of the fact that I never touched tobacco or any illegal drugs. If I could press a button and make all alcohol, tobacco and other drugs vanish from the face of the Earth, I would do it without any hesitation.

But I don't think the people who are addicted to these things need any more punishment. I think they need help (and I am totally in favor of getting them medical help whether they like it or not - forced rehab is perfectly fine).


A, by itself, CAN cause C.
Apparently not, since there seems to be widespread knowledge about this guy's drug addiction among his co-workers, yet the boss is completely oblivious. I see good reason to believe that the boss will never find out unless someone tells him.

Of course, it might be different with a different boss or a different workplace. But, in the case on hand, A does not seem to be able to cause C.


If I perform B, I am responsible for performing B. If dude performs A, he's responsible for performing A.
Ok, so who's responsible for C, then?


There's nothing in my moral compass that says reporting illegal activity is immoral.
The legal or illegal status of something is completely irrelevant to my moral compass. I don't care what the law says. I only care about what I believe to be right. If the law happens to agree with me, great. If not, I will disobey the law (or fail to enforce it) whenever I think I can get away with it.

Chaotic Good ftw. :smallcool:


From another viewpoint, you view firing as unhelpful to the person. What's to say though that getting fired for drug use isn't just the wake-up call this person needs?
You may be correct - but we really need more information about this person before we can draw any conclusion like that. In the absence of more information, I prefer to err on the side of caution and assume that getting fired is bad.

Besides, in this economic climate, even if getting fired was a wake-up call, it would be like waking up to see that you've just jumped out of a plane without a parachute.

Syka
2010-02-24, 01:47 PM
And no drugs in your life, OP? Sounds pretty damn boring.

I can list the drugs in my life on one hand: hormonal birth control (for cramps), inhaler (for asthma, my last prescription actually expired a few years back, mostly full, and I have yet to renew it), and ibuprofen (see above, for cramps). Oh, and on the rare occasion I have a bad cold, some Nyquil.

No alcohol, cigarettes, or non-prescription drugs. Hell, I refuse to take any sort of prescription drug with mind-altering effects. After taking Valium once (night before getting my wisdom teeth out), I decided I never again want to be on a substance like that. I did not like how it effected me.

I have plenty of fun. Don't get me wrong, I think pot should be legal (or cigarettes and alcohol illegal), and I have plenty of friends who drink and smoke, but I don't. It's my choice and it's never limited the fun I have.



Just sayin' that you don't need drugs to have fun- licit or illicit.




OP, I think you handled the situation in an appropriate manner. Chances are the boss knows, especially if everyone else knows, and since it doesn't effect his work, he doesn't say anything about it. However, this doesn't mean you have to support something you personally disagree with.

Alyss
2010-02-24, 02:21 PM
...While I agree with Anuan, let's all cut back on the sarcasm. Making fun of each other contributes nothing...

...Yes you are. You're implying that the OP shouldn't inform because he has no moral authority. Not as stridently as some of us, but you are giving advice...

Noted and noted, though, in my defence to the former, I didn't start it.


Mind-altering substances are a crutch. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't use drugs, and yet I somehow manage to handle my problems and enjoy myself. Nobody needs to smoke pot to have fun. There's sufficient evidence to cite that it has a detrimental effect on yourself and those around you for me to say that its abuse would be morally wrong.
Medicinal marijuana, of course, is a bird of a different color when used as directed.
I think that's a terrible attitude. I am an occasional, recreational user, and it always niggles me when people use this line of argument. See, it's not at all about having a crutch, it's about having a good time, and the two do not go hand in hand. Of course nobody needs to smoke weed to have fun, but I don't need to watch films to have fun either. Is that a crutch too? Like anything, it matters not what you use, but how often you use it.

GoC
2010-02-24, 02:59 PM
Bah. The number of fallacies in this thread hurts my brain.:smallannoyed:

Emlyn
2010-02-24, 03:29 PM
I think that's a terrible attitude. I am an occasional, recreational user, and it always niggles me when people use this line of argument. See, it's not at all about having a crutch, it's about having a good time, and the two do not go hand in hand. Of course nobody needs to smoke weed to have fun, but I don't need to watch films to have fun either. Is that a crutch too? Like anything, it matters not what you use, but how often you use it.

Please explain to me how you can justify using illegal drugs as morally right? Teleological ethics says that it's wrong because you don't produce an overall good consequence. You harm yourself and others for a temporary good feeling. Deontological ethics says it's wrong because doing something illegal is inherently wrong. Relativism says it's wrong because you are breaking societies laws which doesn't contribute to the overall good. Contextualism would only say it's right if it never affected anyone but you. So if you have some philosophical insight as to why it's morally right I'd love to hear it.

Escef
2010-02-24, 03:33 PM
A wager? Like "I bet that a mainstream well-read cleric of a faith whose text states 'judge not' agrees with my assessment"?

Using your own words you said "you". That either meant a person you were speaking to, in this case me, or you meant a generic "you". You said nothing of a cleric. I'd also wager they'd just as soon be rid of a scumbag as I would, but tolerate such individuals only because they have obligated themselves to church law.

And, yes, I can and will write off a person who has no desire to help themselves, or even does not see their status as a problem. A druggie who enjoys being a druggie is not redeemable. Maybe after they hit rock bottom they will be, but until then, no. I've learned the hard way that you can't help someone who likes their problem.

As for, "You can't do that!", back when I worked at gas stations and convenience stores for a company based out of Plymouth, I heard that one a few times. Mostly because I told someone to leave and denied them service. And they'd say stuff like, "You can't do that!", and I'd respond with, "I just did."

hamishspence
2010-02-24, 04:41 PM
Deontological ethics says it's wrong because doing something illegal is inherently wrong.

Not strictly true- you only have a duty to not break the law if its a good law.

For a sufficiently immoral law, deontological ethics would say you might a duty to break that law.

So we can't simplify it as "doing something illegal is inherently wrong according to deontological ethics"

Emlyn
2010-02-24, 04:52 PM
True, but summarizing is far easier then writing out a proof. But I do appreciate you pointing it out. That's why philosophy is fun, you make a claim and others criticism helps you adjust your claim to become more accurate.

As for whether is a good law, it's designed to keep people from doing something that not only harms them but others. I believe that makes it good.

arguskos
2010-02-24, 04:55 PM
As for whether is a good law, it's designed to keep people from doing something that not only harms them but others. I believe that makes it good.
And that's the crux of this argument. You feel X, someone else feels Y, neither is an absolute right or absolute wrong. You may disagree, you may try your hardest to convince them they are in the wrong and you aren't, but in the end, if they feel their actions are alright, then there's nothing you can do about it.

This is about belief, not fact. We would all do well to remember that.

hamishspence
2010-02-24, 04:59 PM
Makes sense.

Still, laws on mind-altering substances vary a great deal- in some places they're legal, in others, they aren't.

For some people, excessive legalization against "acts that harm the self" is an unacceptable infringement on freedom.

Suppose it was legal- is it reasonable for someone to say "I don't want to pay for someone else to participate in activities I object to- they can pay on their own dime"?

I think it is reasonable.

Emlyn
2010-02-24, 05:04 PM
Yes they do vary, but in general I'm talking about National United States law.
As for "I believe", that was a hasty and ill use of word choice on my part. A better way of putting it would be since Deontological ethics is concerned with following rules breaking a rule that protects f people is wrong.

That better?

hamishspence
2010-02-24, 05:07 PM
I think the signature word for Deontological ethics is duty.

You have a duty to yourself
You have a duty to your co-workers
You have a duty to your boss
You have a duty to your society as a whole.

The hard part, is priorities. Sometimes one duty conflicts with another.

And, of course, following a duty, might mean breaking a rule.

Emlyn
2010-02-24, 05:15 PM
Alright, you have me convinced there is nothing more I can add without getting into a discussion about what is "good". Despite the fact it would be fun it would be taking this thread in a whole new direction.

hamishspence
2010-02-24, 05:21 PM
Ethics is always fun to discuss-

the rights of the individual vs the needs of the collective-

whether "indulgence" in activities that mildly or moderately harm the self is immoral (violation of Duty To Self, for example),

whether banning all kinds of "harmful self-indulgence" is even more immoral,

etc- but probably beyond the scope of this thread.

It looks like most of what needs to be said has already been said, anyway.

snoopy13a
2010-02-24, 05:34 PM
Suppose it was legal- is it reasonable for someone to say "I don't want to pay for someone else to participate in activities I object to- they can pay on their own dime"?

I think it is reasonable.

That's reasonable but I don't think that's the issue.

I think the issue is:

I promised to contribute to a fund for ill co-workers. In return, my co-workers promised to contribute toward me if I fall ill. My ill co-worker abuses drugs. Is it reasonable to break my promise (and possibly a legally binding contract) because I believe my contribution will go towards towards objectionable activities?

My opinion is no because I believe the person has a moral obigation (and possibly even a legal obligation) to fulfill the promise. Now, the person can tell the boss about the coworker but I think that they they should contribute as promised first.

hamishspence
2010-02-24, 05:40 PM
Ceasing to contribute- ceasing to benefit.

Now if the person had been sick, and benefitted, and not paid enough to be equivalent to the benefit it might be different, but as it stands, its a case of a mutual agreement, and asking to sever the agreement, in full awareness that severance goes both ways.

"I wish to be released from this mutual commitment" not

"I am unilaterally breaking this mutual commitment."

For an example- its more like contributing to a lottery ticket as part of a group, weekly, then joining an organization that forbids gambling- then saying to the group- "I don't wish to do this any more"

Riffington
2010-02-24, 07:56 PM
Ceasing to contribute- ceasing to benefit.

Now if the person had been sick, and benefitted, and not paid enough to be equivalent to the benefit it might be different, but as it stands, its a case of a mutual agreement, and asking to sever the agreement, in full awareness that severance goes both ways.

"I wish to be released from this mutual commitment" not

"I am unilaterally breaking this mutual commitment."

For an example- its more like contributing to a lottery ticket as part of a group, weekly, then joining an organization that forbids gambling- then saying to the group- "I don't wish to do this any more"

This is quite true, had he left the group a week earlier. Leaving then would have been fine with no reason given. Leaving at the very moment you are asked to pay out is a little different story. If he's going to leave the group once he's asked to pay, he needs to have a very good reason. Supporting a drug habit may (if that's what's going on) be a sufficient reason.



You said nothing of a cleric.
Who else better to interpret a religious law than a mainstream learned cleric of that faith? Feel free to suggest a better interpreter of the maxim.



And, yes, I can and will write off a person who has no desire to help themselves, or even does not see their status as a problem.

And would fall afoul of the "judge not" prohibition. I would be happy to wager that most mainstream clerics of faiths that include "judge not" would fault you for your stance.


As for, "You can't do that!", back when I worked at gas stations and convenience stores for a company based out of Plymouth, I heard that one a few times. Mostly because I told someone to leave and denied them service. And they'd say stuff like, "You can't do that!", and I'd respond with, "I just did."

Ah, but the difference was that they were factually incorrect. You did have the right to deny service. Had they taken some of your convenient snacks on their way out, you would have been right to exclaim "you can't do that", and to call the cops if they responded "I just did".

In both cases, there is a hidden "or else you are violating the social contract inherent in this situation"; the difference is that they were mistaken in that claim.

SensFan
2010-02-24, 08:32 PM
Let's pretend you're a seasoned camper, and I've never left the big city in my life. You're looking to go on a big canoe trip, and you convince me to go with you. For the first couple days, I watch as you cook the food, boil the water, etc. I've never seen anyone boil drinking water before, so I ask you why you always boil the water we drink. Your response is that you don't like drinking cold water when its already fairly cool outside, an answer which is technically correct.
The next day, you go off on a hike, and I'm thirsty. So I fill up my bottle in the river and drink it. I end up getting incredibly sick for dinking contaminated water.

Are you telling me that you would have done nothing wrong, since you gave truthful reason for why you always boil the water? Because that's exactly what you're doing if you're using an excuse to avoid giving 10$ to the pool and not telling anyone the reason why.

RandomNPC
2010-02-24, 08:40 PM
Lots to comment on from my last post on... I enjoy the banter back and forth, everyone's making good points from their chosen point of view, and it's still possible i'll start ranting here even though i wrote out my thoughts before i started posting.

Seffbasilisk
being biased against people with this disease? he fits everything you said. Pizza and wings are bad for him, and they are his main source of solid food intake.

Umael
plenty of people around the shop know, one even deals to him.

Solaris
Telling on him would be my fault, If you don't think so the thought occours to me that you may have some guilt over a simmilar situation and you're trying to trick yourself out of feeling the guilt.
also: This money, combined with any dissability/unemployment, is less than a paycheck, and is only received when there is no paycheck. This money is meant for living costs, rent food, and whatnot.

Dr.Epic
You're the epic doctor, go figure out what the right thing is. I ask myself quite often and have yet to get a solid answer.

Pocketa
As for not playing the part of a judge, I try instead to judge fairly, and hope others do the same to me. I posted here because I was unsure of my judegemnt and wanted others input, I got lots of excelent input, imagine what I would have got if I asked some other message boards out there...

Snoopy
I paid four other people for a few weeks each, I signed off on it that I can not get back on the list at a later time, none of those pay this guy but not that guy shenanagins.

Scorpina
You start the band, I'll come to the shows.

Adlan
This guy has a good appetite, he needs no munchies to help him. This guy is an eating machine, mostly the stuf thats not good for people in his position.

Edric
2kuddos, one for no drugs, one for the parachute comparison. That's why I didn't turn him in on the spot, and as I've been thinking about it I feel better about the decision. He's marginally slower at his job, but the boss has told other people to pick it up, so at what they do they are slower than he is at what he does. (i think)

SensFan
I'm trying to keep him a job because he doesn't actually cause harm (yet) and I don't care what he does as long as it's not my money or rescources going into it.

Everyone
Here's a few more thoughts. I'll try to explain my thought process a bit.
This guy's in production, if we do get rid of people who use drugs we will cut out him, and three others I know of in his department, as well as four more in finishing. That's just what I know of, and it would mean a promotion for me.
I would love the promotion, and would like the workplace better as some of the drug users are the more offensive people just personallity wise.
I don't turn them in because they do the job they get paid to, and they aren't doing anything to me directly. When they don't do the job they get in troubble, if they start affecting me, I'll do what I can (like not giving them $10)
I'm 100% sure that they have dumped some work on me because the drugs stopped them from working as good as they can, and I'm 100% sure they got written up then for not doing the work. They got what they deserved for dumping work on me regardless of reason and it hasn't happened again.
If things get to that point again I've decided I will ask the boss to drug test the entire shop, including the office. I'm fairly certain more than the 8 people I know of would be fired, and I'd feel really bad about it with the way job hunting is now, but I need to draw the line somewhere.

Escef
2010-02-24, 09:03 PM
Who else better to interpret a religious law than a mainstream learned cleric of that faith? Feel free to suggest a better interpreter of the maxim.

I don't much care for religious law. Besides, I thought the topic of this thread was morals? Given that areligious people can be moral, it is obvious that religion has all of jack and squat to do with morals.



And would fall afoul of the "judge not" prohibition. I would be happy to wager that most mainstream clerics of faiths that include "judge not" would fault you for your stance.

I don't care if they would fault me or not. How about making a sensible argument? Oh, no, a cleric of a major faith said I did something wrong, boo, hoo. Two words for their so-called moral high ground: Bernard Law.


Had they taken some of your convenient snacks on their way out, you would have been right to exclaim "you can't do that", ..

No, I would not have been right, I'd have been an idiot. Because they quite obviously could, proven by the fact that they did. Just as I could have taken a 4-way tire iron to their brain boxes. (I wouldn't, but that isn't the point.)

Riffington
2010-02-24, 09:36 PM
I don't much care for religious law. Besides, I thought the topic of this thread was morals?
Read a little more carefully. You are responding to my explanation of an injunction common to many religions. If you think I am incorrectly explaining that injunction feel free to continue discussing. If you just want to say "ha, ha, some expressions are not literally true!", then simmer down.

THAC0
2010-02-24, 09:47 PM
Apparently not, since there seems to be widespread knowledge about this guy's drug addiction among his co-workers, yet the boss is completely oblivious. I see good reason to believe that the boss will never find out unless someone tells him.

Not being specific. If A is, by itself, grounds for being fired, then A can cause C. Getting technical, you'd need a B in there, I suppose, for acquiring the knowledge. So let's ask a different question - if the boss found out on their own and then fired the person, is that wrong?



Ok, so who's responsible for C, then?

I don't know for certain, but I'd guess the employment contract. Every one I've signed at least has had a morality clause. I'm sure most include grounds for firing.




The legal or illegal status of something is completely irrelevant to my moral compass. I don't care what the law says. I only care about what I believe to be right. If the law happens to agree with me, great. If not, I will disobey the law (or fail to enforce it) whenever I think I can get away with it.

Chaotic Good ftw. :smallcool:

We'll have to agree to disagree. Not that I believe the law to be the be-all and end-all, but I do believe in 1) being aware of laws and 2) accepting the consequences should you be caught breaking them. Which seems to be the case here.




You may be correct - but we really need more information about this person before we can draw any conclusion like that. In the absence of more information, I prefer to err on the side of caution and assume that getting fired is bad.

Besides, in this economic climate, even if getting fired was a wake-up call, it would be like waking up to see that you've just jumped out of a plane without a parachute.

You have to let people fall sometimes. Just like learning how to ride a bike. Sometimes people can't learn unless they fall, and all you can do is be waiting there to help them back up if they haven't hurt themselves too badly.

GoC
2010-02-24, 10:12 PM
Please explain to me how you can justify using illegal drugs as morally right? Teleological ethics says that it's wrong because you don't produce an overall good consequence. You harm yourself and others for a temporary good feeling.
Certain drugs produce a sufficiently small amount of harm that the good feeling offsets the negatives.


We'll have to agree to disagree. Not that I believe the law to be the be-all and end-all, but I do believe in 1) being aware of laws and 2) accepting the consequences should you be caught breaking them. Which seems to be the case here.
I presume these are guidelines not absolutes, right? In which case I'm pretty sure that 90% of the population agrees with you.

THAC0
2010-02-24, 10:19 PM
Certain drugs produce a sufficiently small amount of harm that the good feeling offsets the negatives.


I presume these are guidelines not absolutes, right? In which case I'm pretty sure that 90% of the population agrees with you.

Clearly you've never heard people complaining about traffic tickets. :smallwink:

Emlyn
2010-02-24, 10:51 PM
Certain drugs produce a sufficiently small amount of harm that the good feeling offsets the negatives.


Missing the point that they affect others outside of the user. As in the original question, the man's drug use is hurting others by:

A: Using money that is donated for a specific purpose and using it another. Basically the people who donate trust he will use it on necessitates while instead he uses it on drugs.

B: Indirectly hurting RandomNPC by having his co-workers loose respect/opinion/whatever you wish to call it. RandomNPC's actions are a direct result of the man's choices, if he didn't use drugs RandomNPC wouldn't be placed in this situation.

SensFan
2010-02-24, 11:17 PM
B: Indirectly hurting RandomNPC by having his co-workers loose respect/opinion/whatever you wish to call it. RandomNPC's actions are a direct result of the man's choices, if he didn't use drugs RandomNPC wouldn't be placed in this situation.
That's ridiculous. RandomNPC is not a victim in any way; if anything, he's contributing to the problem(s) that the drug-user has.

BlueWizard
2010-02-24, 11:22 PM
Marijuana is a medical drug and should be accepted as one. Often it is the best cure for many things.

Don't jump to conclusions. Even cocaine has a medical use.

At least he's eating cheap pizza, and not fancy pizza.

Emlyn
2010-02-24, 11:26 PM
That's ridiculous. RandomNPC is not a victim in any way; if anything, he's contributing to the problem(s) that the drug-user has.

Really? Because of the man's action he has a moral decision to make: whether or not to support the man's actions. He choose not to and as a result his peers have lost respect for him despite him making what he considers the morally correct action.

Supporting the man enables him, removing the monetary contribution removes the enabling. Please explain how RandomNPC is now enabling.


Marijuana is a medical drug and should be accepted as one. Often it is the best cure for many things.

Don't jump to conclusions. Even cocaine has a medical use.


Excellent point. Marijuana can be used for medical purpose and if California is any indication it is accepted as one. I would disagree that it's(drugs) the "best cure" but it can be effective. Now that doesn't make it automatically morally right however. Not all states allow it's use medically (I believe). Also the general portrayal RandomNPC has given is that the man is abusing the drug. Then he is no longer using it within the boundaries of the law.

SensFan
2010-02-25, 12:04 AM
Really? Because of the man's action he has a moral decision to make: whether or not to support the man's actions. He choose not to and as a result his peers have lost respect for him despite him making what he considers the morally correct action.

Supporting the man enables him, removing the monetary contribution removes the enabling. Please explain how RandomNPC is now enabling.
Let's say you're witnessing a burly teenager mugging an elderly lady. Are you really saying that you're not enabling anything if you just stand by and watch it happen?

Lamech
2010-02-25, 12:46 AM
Let's say you're witnessing a burly teenager mugging an elderly lady. Are you really saying that you're not enabling anything if you just stand by and watch it happen?

No. Your not. Well, watching it might say encourage it, but going about your daily life, and ignoring it is not enabling it. You are not required to risk your life and intervene, and you are not required to spend time contacting the police. (Your an ass if you don't do the latter though.) On a similar note, ignoring the starvation in Africa, the lack of clean drinking water, the spread of malaria, the spread of polio or the kidney shortage is not enabling them. I don't believe that proximity makes one more responsible for something.


There's nothing in my moral compass that says reporting illegal activity is immoral. I have no problems performing B if I am confident that A is occurring. What if the "illegal activity" is a moral one? (Hiding people from Nazi soldiers.) What if said activity is neither moral nor immoral? (Tap-dancing in a world were it is illegal)

I also note that addiction is a powerful thing according to many, and not all drugs that one can get addicted to are non prescribable by doctors. But they do become illegal once the prescription runs out. What drugs was he addicted to anyway?

SensFan
2010-02-25, 01:10 AM
No. Your not. Well, watching it might say encourage it, but going about your daily life, and ignoring it is not enabling it. You are not required to risk your life and intervene, and you are not required to spend time contacting the police. (Your an ass if you don't do the latter though.)
If you see nothing wrong with doing nothing to try and prevent the mugging (even something as simple as calling for help), then I don't think there's any point in continuing to discuss moral issues, since its clear we will never come close to seeing eye to eye. As far as I'm concerned, the bystander shares blame close to that of the perpertrator.

Emlyn
2010-02-25, 01:15 AM
If you see nothing wrong with doing nothing to try and prevent the mugging (even something as simple as calling for help), then I don't think there's any point in continuing to discuss moral issues, since its clear we will never come close to seeing eye to eye. As far as I'm concerned, the bystander shares blame close to that of the perpertrator.

See I agree with you on that. Now it is a valid point that if it would cause the person harm (i.e death or serious injury) then he could morally do nothing.

Since we both agree on this point I'm slightly confused as to why we disagree. I'm saying that knowing about the man's drug abuse and continuing to give is taking no action. Didn't you just say that morally it's wrong to take no action?

SensFan
2010-02-25, 01:25 AM
See I agree with you on that. Now it is a valid point that if it would cause the person harm (i.e death or serious injury) then he could morally do nothing.

Since we both agree on this point I'm slightly confused as to why we disagree. I'm saying that knowing about the man's drug abuse and continuing to give is taking no action. Didn't you just say that morally it's wrong to take no action?
He's not taking any action. He's just keeping 10$ in his pocket.
Taking action would be stopping this guy from getting anyone's money, or better yet getting him fired so someone better suited gets a job.

Note that I base my judgements on this person's character entirely on Random's description. I do not know if he is or isn't suited to hold a job.

Dirk Anger
2010-02-25, 02:44 AM
I am very surprised by the number of assumptions in this thread, some of which directly contradict information the OP has given us.

The 'man-child' as he has been referred to several times is not the best and not the worst employee at his place of work. This has been made clear. What the money his peers have been giving him to spend is for is less clear, but I believe it was said that the money is a supplement for a paycheck (while one is unable to put in hours).

In no way would that establish some kind of moral obligation to set the money aside for rent, food and water only. Someone asserted earlier that he may as well have bought a chocolate bar with this charity; it is equally recreational.

Denying him his money on the suspicion that this will enable him to 'feed his addiction' makes a presumption that he is hopelessly addicted to pot, as if he is a character out of Reefer Madness. Pot and it's status are controversial, but it is not generally considered addictive.

Calling someone with a habit an addict, and then refusing to lend him ten dollars one had previously promised follows the same logic that people use when they can't be bothered to scrape some change together for a homeless man on the street. It assumes and it is judges.

All that being said, I don't have a problem with the OP's response. He has a dislike (I might say prejudice, but that's a reach on my part) for drugs of kind, legal or illegal, and would rather remove himself from the program then support their purchases.

It's when posters say that this man should lose his job during a recession because he dabbles in pot (or hell, is "addicted" to pot), and is only a drain on those around him that I worry. We are one decade in to the twenty first century, and there is still widespread hatred of an herb that has one-hundredth the destructive potential of alcohol.

Trying to make someone lose their job when they are as functional as anyon is an incorrect position to take.



TL;DR OP didn't do anything wrong and neither did his coworker with Crone's.

Escef
2010-02-25, 02:50 AM
Read a little more carefully. You are responding to my explanation of an injunction common to many religions. If you think I am incorrectly explaining that injunction feel free to continue discussing. If you just want to say "ha, ha, some expressions are not literally true!", then simmer down.

Mayhaps you haven't seen how the whole "Don't judge me" routine is used in the modern sense? Which is what I responded to. And then you started to debate it. And you have yet to make any case for judgment being bad or immoral. Or anything other than what it is in and of itself.

Simmer? What? Am I pasta sauce now or something? You seem to be ascribing some kind of anger to me. I know I tend to come off as hostile at times. Despite the fact that you moved the goal posts, I have nothing against you. If I was actually angered or disgusted by you I wouldn't even be responding.

GoC
2010-02-25, 03:12 AM
Missing the point that they affect others outside of the user. As in the original question, the man's drug use is hurting others by:

A: Using money that is donated for a specific purpose and using it another. Basically the people who donate trust he will use it on necessitates while instead he uses it on drugs.

B: Indirectly hurting RandomNPC by having his co-workers loose respect/opinion/whatever you wish to call it. RandomNPC's actions are a direct result of the man's choices, if he didn't use drugs RandomNPC wouldn't be placed in this situation.
A. What makes you think he uses that money on drugs? It could quite easily be spend on housing and he uses his own money for drugs.

B. ... yeah, that ain't gonna fly. That definitely falls under RandomNPCs "responsability" not the dude's.

So many potential effects of an action... so many people we can punish for everything that goes wrong...

Escef
2010-02-25, 05:04 AM
A. What makes you think he uses that money on drugs? It could quite easily be spend on housing and he uses his own money for drugs.

And if he didn't get this money he'd be more likely to use his drug money on things he actually needs. Unless his priorities are screwed up, which is true of many druggies. In which case, the additional money makes it easier for the druggie to ignore the financial impact of his habit. Would you donate $10 a week to an organization that pays people to commit rape, so long as the money goes for office supplies? Because either way you are enabling.

Riffington
2010-02-25, 05:28 AM
Mayhaps you haven't seen how the whole "Don't judge me" routine is used in the modern sense? Which is what I responded to.

Don't quote me if you're responding to someone else other than me. I was explaining its meaning, not its modern usage patterns.


And then you started to debate it.

You (bizarrely) replied to my explanation of its meaning with "wanna bet?" thus implying that I'm incorrectly interpreting the religious law from the religions' points of view.



And you have yet to make any case for judgment being bad or immoral.

Nor will I, since I don't believe that specific statement. If you recall, I said that my tradition had a related but nonidentical injunction. I believe judgment is appropriate under certain limited circumstances.

Escef
2010-02-25, 05:31 AM
<snip>

In the words of Tai Mai Shu, "Yeah, whatever dude, just get me a ******* Marlboro Light."

Lamech
2010-02-25, 08:21 AM
If you see nothing wrong with doing nothing to try and prevent the mugging (even something as simple as calling for help), then I don't think there's any point in continuing to discuss moral issues, since its clear we will never come close to seeing eye to eye. As far as I'm concerned, the bystander shares blame close to that of the perpertrator.

Stopping the mugging costs you something; if the mugger finds out you could be in danger. And thats of course your in even bigger danger if the mugger (or an ally of his) sees you dial the phone. If you get the facts wrong you could find yourself in legal trouble. If someone else gets the facts wrong you could find yourself in legal trouble. So to ensure there is no risk to you, you must, dial the phone where no one can see you, and make sure your phone can not be traced, and finally ensure that you provide no details that could be traced back to you. And ensure that your good enough at all these things to make sure you didn't screw up.

Therefore I see this as no different than not giving all you can to charities that fight hunger and disease. You help someone at a cost to yourself. I argue that morally one is not required to sacrifce something to help someone. Your proximity does not make you obligated.


Taking action would be stopping this guy from getting anyone's money, or better yet getting him fired so someone better suited gets a job.
Note when I say "illegal", I mean "illegal with out a doctor's prescription".

There are countless factors that go into deciding how good someone is at a job. What makes you assume that simply because he takes drugs of questionable legality, he is not up to par? Are you arguing that someone using a drug that is "illegal", makes them not capable of doing their job?

P.S. Where has random said what drug this guy is taking? I can't find it.

SensFan
2010-02-25, 10:11 AM
Stopping the mugging costs you something; if the mugger finds out you could be in danger. And thats of course your in even bigger danger if the mugger (or an ally of his) sees you dial the phone. If you get the facts wrong you could find yourself in legal trouble. If someone else gets the facts wrong you could find yourself in legal trouble. So to ensure there is no risk to you, you must, dial the phone where no one can see you, and make sure your phone can not be traced, and finally ensure that you provide no details that could be traced back to you. And ensure that your good enough at all these things to make sure you didn't screw up.
We disagree, then. As I've said before, a bystander that does nothing to help isn't much better than the mugger, in my books.


There are countless factors that go into deciding how good someone is at a job. What makes you assume that simply because he takes drugs of questionable legality, he is not up to par? Are you arguing that someone using a drug that is "illegal", makes them not capable of doing their job?
Well, first of all, he's stealing from an office program. In addition, Random has said that he knows the drugs this person is taking has affected his job, and that he is not doing as good a job as someone who isn't addicted to drugs.

I have no problem if anyone wants to use drugs, its their life. My problem comes when they steal money and jobs from others because of their drug habits.

Lamech
2010-02-25, 10:24 AM
Well, first of all, he's stealing from an office program. Stealing from an office program? Unless the programs says that you may only use this money for certain uses*, by joining the program you agree to the rules and drug use is not covered, he couldn't possibly be stealing. Secondly, he would have to actually be spending that money on the drugs, which would mean he would need to be spending more money on non-approved activities than he has from all his other sources, or to look at the other way, the money he spends on the approved activities has to be less than the amount the office gives him.

*This different from what the programs intention is.


Random has said that he knows the drugs this person is taking has affected his job, and that he is not doing as good a job as someone who isn't addicted to drugs.
Is this what your refering too?

He's marginally slower at his job, but the boss has told other people to pick it up, so at what they do they are slower than he is at what he does.So he is better than some people. Therefore if they are qualified, then so is he. Or are you saying that Random is doing something to hurt his job preformance, and therefore he is disqualified? If I go swimming and end up with a sore body, I have degraded my preformance, does that mean I'm not qualified to work?

SensFan
2010-02-25, 10:45 AM
Stealing from an office program? Unless the programs says that you may only use this money for certain uses*, by joining the program you agree to the rules and drug use is not covered, he couldn't possibly be stealing. Secondly, he would have to actually be spending that money on the drugs, which would mean he would need to be spending more money on non-approved activities than he has from all his other sources, or to look at the other way, the money he spends on the approved activities has to be less than the amount the office gives him.

*This different from what the programs intention is.


Is this what your refering too?
So he is better than some people. Therefore if they are qualified, then so is he. Or are you saying that Random is doing something to hurt his job preformance, and therefore he is disqualified? If I go swimming and end up with a sore body, I have degraded my preformance, does that mean I'm not qualified to work?
Random said "he is using the money to buy drugs, and I don't want my 10$ to go to that". He also said that the program was designed to help cover room and board, not luxury items like drugs or Xbox games.

As far as him not working well, Random said that he has had to pick up slack from this guy because of this guy's drug habits.

Dirk Anger
2010-02-25, 11:29 AM
Random said "he is using the money to buy drugs, and I don't want my 10$ to go to that". He also said that the program was designed to help cover room and board, not luxury items like drugs or Xbox games.

As far as him not working well, Random said that he has had to pick up slack from this guy because of this guy's drug habits.

Surely he won't let himself go homeless.

First he will settle his rent, and then leftover money will fuel his oh so evil habit. Just because he got this money is he disallowed from spending anything on anything until he gets back to work?

Random never said that he was picking up this dude's slack.

SensFan
2010-02-25, 11:39 AM
Surely he won't let himself go homeless.

First he will settle his rent, and then leftover money will fuel his oh so evil habit. Just because he got this money is he disallowed from spending anything on anything until he gets back to work?

Random never said that he was picking up this dude's slack.
If he doesn't need the money to live (room, board), then don't take it. The point of the pool is that you're not getting paid for a month, so you may need some money to pay for necessities.

And don't get sarcastic with me, I've already said I have no problem with anyone doing drugs with their money.

THAC0
2010-02-25, 11:42 AM
What if the "illegal activity" is a moral one? (Hiding people from Nazi soldiers.) What if said activity is neither moral nor immoral? (Tap-dancing in a world were it is illegal)


If you read further, I've also said that I don't have problems with people breaking the law, as long as they are aware of the law and aware of the consequences.

Obviously there are exceptions to everything. In the situation given though, I see nothing immoral about reporting the behavior, nor do I see anything immoral about not reporting the behavior.

Emlyn
2010-02-25, 12:57 PM
He's not taking any action. He's just keeping 10$ in his pocket.
Taking action would be stopping this guy from getting anyone's money, or better yet getting him fired so someone better suited gets a job.

Note that I base my judgements on this person's character entirely on Random's description. I do not know if he is or isn't suited to hold a job.

Now that makes sense. We don't disagree, you just feel he should take further action. Assuming RandomNPC has proof and the man's drug habit is adversely affecting his job (i.e making others have to work more to pick up his slack) then I would share the same opinion.


A. What makes you think he uses that money on drugs? It could quite easily be spend on housing and he uses his own money for drugs.

B. ... yeah, that ain't gonna fly. That definitely falls under RandomNPCs "responsability" not the dude's.

So many potential effects of an action... so many people we can punish for everything that goes wrong...

A: Already answered better by people before me.

B: Actions have consequences, it's just rare that we all the consequences. RandomNPCs "responsibility" is to act on the knowledge he has of his co-worker. He is morally obligated to act, to what extent is debatable.

As for the second part that's only true if you can establish they are at fault. And at some point the circle of blame becomes so large that in truth no-one is at fault enough to be blamed.

SDF
2010-02-25, 02:16 PM
I think the real problem here is the office group fund. Anything serious enough to need extra money is going to be covered by insurance. I doubt ANYONE is using that money on being sick. Once you give someone the money it is theirs. They can spend it on drugs, gamble it away, or donate it to charity - any number of things its not intended for. And, at that point it is their money so they can do whatever they want with it.

My advice: Get rid of the fund, forget the rest.

Alyss
2010-02-25, 04:42 PM
Not strictly true- you only have a duty to not break the law if its a good law.

For a sufficiently immoral law, deontological ethics would say you might a duty to break that law.

So we can't simplify it as "doing something illegal is inherently wrong according to deontological ethics"

Yeah, this. I don't feel that the laws against certain drugs are justified.

hamishspence
2010-02-25, 04:48 PM
I'm not sure whether that topic can be easily discussed on this site though- might fall into Politics, or Illegal Activities, which can't be discussed.

Either way- I lean to the view that if somebody has a moral objection to an activity, even if it is legal, they are entitled to take steps to ensure their money does not pay for other people to indulge in the activity- they can withdraw it.

If its illegal- the appropriate action may depend on other issues.

Emlyn
2010-02-25, 05:42 PM
Yeah, this. I don't feel that the laws against certain drugs are justified.

And we come right back to the question of "good". To say that a law is not justified requires you prove that the law is not "good". As I've already stated that is not a discussion I wish to start as it's way off topic from the original intention.

To re-stat then:
"Doing something illegal is inherently wrong according to deontological ethics as long as the law is good"

Dirk Anger
2010-02-25, 06:45 PM
If he doesn't need the money to live (room, board), then don't take it. The point of the pool is that you're not getting paid for a month, so you may need some money to pay for necessities.

And don't get sarcastic with me, I've already said I have no problem with anyone doing drugs with their money.

Apologies.

Where has it been said this money is for necessities only? It's to supplement an employee's paycheck while he or she is out sick, and that is both housing and Xbox games/narcotics.

Thajocoth
2010-02-25, 10:38 PM
It was stated earlier in the thread, after I asked for clarification, that the person is doing these drugs self-detrimentally:


C - Person spends money on drugs that should be spent on other things, like food or their child's medical care.

D - Person shows up to important tasks, like work or driving, while under the effect of drugs, impairing their ability.


Edit: Thajocoth, he has no children, but otherwise C, I suspect but have no proof of D.

Regardless of one's views on the recreational use of drugs, RandomNPC doesn't want to continue to contribute to somebody harming themselves, and that is the situation he sees. He also seems to feel that getting him fired would be worse than getting others to stop supporting him. So his decision makes perfect sense as it fulfills the goals brought forth from his opinion of what he sees. That's really the best anyone can do, so with as much clarification as has been given on it, I don't see how that's realistically still being debated. None of us were there to be able to see anything different than what RandomNPC said, and his motives are clear.

As for the side-discussion also taking place; personally, I would never use drugs. Not because of any moral or legal reasons... It's just not for me. I remember, back when I had my wisdom teeth removed, I was prescribed Vicodin. Took 1 pill. After realizing that Mario had been standing still in Rogueport for the last 20 minutes or so, I couldn't take another pill. My mouth still hurt, but that wasn't as bad as not being able to do other things, like playing video games. A week later, when they drilled roots into the front of my mouth, they gave me another prescription, but I didn't get it filled.

I do recognize, despite the fact that I don't and wouldn't partake, that someone who does enjoy that sort of thing, and doesn't let themselves get too hooked on it, is fine. It can be no different than any other activity. Most other hobbies cost money as is, so spending money itself is not necessarily a detriment. The stigma against it comes from the fact that a lot of people DO become dependent, and when they do, they start hurting themselves and those around them for another dose. It's the difference between recreational use and abuse, and I've known people who've done both. They are VERY different about it, but I am not articulate enough to elaborate.

SensFan
2010-02-25, 10:48 PM
Where has it been said this money is for necessities only? It's to supplement an employee's paycheck while he or she is out sick, and that is both housing and Xbox games/narcotics.
I interpret the following as meaning necessities only.

This money, combined with any dissability/unemployment, is less than a paycheck, and is only received when there is no paycheck. This money is meant for living costs, rent food, and whatnot.

Thajocoth
2010-02-25, 10:54 PM
I interpret the following as meaning necessities only.

"whatnot" can, realistically, be anything they spend their normal paycheck on. Or, really, anything they don't... It's not at all specific. Like "Bed, Bath and Beyond". Really, "Beyond" can mean anything that isn't covered by "Bed" or "Bath", and so the store's name becomes less useful than a more specific name would. Same for "Linens 'n Things". What sorts of things?

Dirk Anger
2010-02-25, 10:58 PM
I interpret the following as meaning necessities only.

Point. I clearly had some memory bias going on there.

The thing I can't get over is that even considering housing, food, etc., this man will want to do more than stare at his wall or re-read books. He might go out to the movies, check out the new soft-covers at Barnes and Noble, or get high.

Would OP really have made this thread if the guy saw the new Scorsese film after paying for his rent and groceries? (Not dissing OP for making a personal choice re: the list, just trying to defend the guy's right to keep his job and right to not be called a man/child.)

SensFan
2010-02-25, 11:10 PM
Point. I clearly had some memory bias going on there.

The thing I can't get over is that even considering housing, food, etc., this man will want to do more than stare at his wall or re-read books. He might go out to the movies, check out the new soft-covers at Barnes and Noble, or get high.

Would OP really have made this thread if the guy saw the new Scorsese film after paying for his rent and groceries? (Not dissing OP for making a personal choice re: the list, just trying to defend the guy's right to keep his job and right to not be called a man/child.)
I'll be the first to admit that I've never been in the position of being addicted to drugs, or had a chronic illness that made me unable to work for long stretches, so this is all speculation, but I have to think that if you're taking money from other people because you can't work, that you make do without spending excess on luxuries. I'm a student right now, and so I do know firsthand that you don't need to be spending tons of cash to enjoy life. I can't afford to spend too much on luxuries, but I make do. Granted, I have internet and cable TV, which this man may not, but there's tons of things to do for free. Borrow a book/movie from a friend, etc...

To me, there's two options. Either the money from the pool can go towards luxuries like junk food and Xbox games, and then the OP has no right to opt out when it comes time to pitch in 10$; or else the money form the pool is to pay for costs of living, and then the OP has a duty to ensure no one else is supporting this man who doesn't need the money.

In my opinion, whatever the case is, the only thing the OP is accomplishing is not forking out 10$ when the time came to pay. Either everyone pays for his drugs, or no one does.

Dirk Anger
2010-02-25, 11:24 PM
I'll be the first to admit that I've never been in the position of being addicted to drugs, or had a chronic illness that made me unable to work for long stretches, so this is all speculation, but I have to think that if you're taking money from other people because you can't work, that you make do without spending excess on luxuries. I'm a student right now, and so I do know firsthand that you don't need to be spending tons of cash to enjoy life. I can't afford to spend too much on luxuries, but I make do. Granted, I have internet and cable TV, which this man may not, but there's tons of things to do for free. Borrow a book/movie from a friend, etc...

To me, there's two options. Either the money from the pool can go towards luxuries like junk food and Xbox games, and then the OP has no right to opt out when it comes time to pitch in 10$; or else the money form the pool is to pay for costs of living, and then the OP has a duty to ensure no one else is supporting this man who doesn't need the money.

In my opinion, whatever the case is, the only thing the OP is accomplishing is not forking out 10$ when the time came to pay. Either everyone pays for his drugs, or no one does.

It's not expensive at all to purchase marijuana. This man does not have an obligation to spend no money beyond survival while on charity, especially if two portions of money out of [however many people are on the list] support his 'habit'. If he needs the money for rent and groceries and then he has some change, is he supposed to give the remainder back and buy everyone in the office a coke or something? No, because times are tight for him. But not so tight that he is broke.

SensFan
2010-02-25, 11:33 PM
It's not expensive at all to purchase marijuana. This man does not have an obligation to spend no money beyond survival while on charity, especially if two portions of money out of [however many people are on the list] support his 'habit'. If he needs the money for rent and groceries and then he has some change, is he supposed to give the remainder back and buy everyone in the office a coke or something? No, because times are tight for him. But not so tight that he is broke.
Either:
1) He needs to only use the funds for necessities
*In this case, he needs to be cut off the fund
2) He can use the funds for whatever he sees fit
*In this case, Random is no different than someone who puts himself on the list than doesn't pay up because he doesn't feel like it, and so he's in the wrong

Dirk Anger
2010-02-26, 12:02 AM
Either:
1) He needs to only use the funds for necessities
*In this case, he needs to be cut off the fund
2) He can use the funds for whatever he sees fit
*In this case, Random is no different than someone who puts himself on the list than doesn't pay up because he doesn't feel like it, and so he's in the wrong

What if he had 20$ or so after necessities. What should he do, invest it?

He took himself off a voluntary list, doesn't matter why.

Lamech
2010-02-26, 12:31 AM
Either:
1) He needs to only use the funds for necessities
*In this case, he needs to be cut off the fund
2) He can use the funds for whatever he sees fit
*In this case, Random is no different than someone who puts himself on the list than doesn't pay up because he doesn't feel like it, and so he's in the wrong

I would posit a third situation (although we could group this into one); If we for the sake of argument assume drug use is harmful to the user, and one should not support self-harm, and taking away the drug money is the ideal choice. But for practical reasons the money can not be taken away with out costing the person his job which would be even worse.

Also the list is voluntary, he is free to change his mind at any time. It is in fact very similar to an insurence deal, which you don't have any obligation to continue.

SensFan
2010-02-26, 12:35 AM
The list is voluntary, this is true. But there's no way its at all right (or should even have been allowed, in my mind) to be put on the list so that others will help you out if you need it, but then opt out as soon as its your turn to fork out the cash.

Solaris
2010-02-26, 12:37 AM
Either:
1) He needs to only use the funds for necessities
*In this case, he needs to be cut off the fund
2) He can use the funds for whatever he sees fit
*In this case, Random is no different than someone who puts himself on the list than doesn't pay up because he doesn't feel like it, and so he's in the wrong

Ooh, now we've wandered into something else. And here I'd gotten bored with this thread.

2: Does not compute. Random had been paying into it beforehand and cut out because someone else was drawing, not cutting out after he'd drawn from it.

THAC0
2010-02-26, 12:57 AM
The list is voluntary, this is true. But there's no way its at all right (or should even have been allowed, in my mind) to be put on the list so that others will help you out if you need it, but then opt out as soon as its your turn to fork out the cash.

Why? The OP hasn't received anything from the fund, but has - I believe - previously paid into it.

SensFan
2010-02-26, 12:57 AM
Ooh, now we've wandered into something else. And here I'd gotten bored with this thread.

2: Does not compute. Random had been paying into it beforehand and cut out because someone else was drawing, not cutting out after he'd drawn from it.
It doesn't matter how many times he paid others, or if he did or didn't get paid. What if when his turn (hypothetically) came to get sick and be in need of money, everyone else on the list just decided not to pay him anymore, because, say, they didn't want to pay for his roof?

THAC0
2010-02-26, 12:59 AM
It doesn't matter how many times he paid others, or if he did or didn't get paid. What if when his turn (hypothetically) came to get sick and be in need of money, everyone else on the list just decided not to pay him anymore, because, say, they didn't want to pay for his roof?

That's their choice. It's a voluntary fund. Unless there is something in writing stating how and for what reasons one can withdraw from it, there's no real problem here.

SensFan
2010-02-26, 01:14 AM
That's their choice. It's a voluntary fund. Unless there is something in writing stating how and for what reasons one can withdraw from it, there's no real problem here.
My understanding of the system, based largely on common sense, is that if you're on the list, once someone doesn't work for 3 weeks, you pay them. Its not that once someone doesn't work for 3 weeks, you pay them unless you decide not to.

Thajocoth
2010-02-26, 01:44 AM
My understanding of the system, based largely on common sense, is that if you're on the list, once someone doesn't work for 3 weeks, you pay them. Its not that once someone doesn't work for 3 weeks, you pay them unless you decide not to.

Which is why, after removing himself from the list, he will not be able to re-join the list (as he's stated earlier). He no longer can pay $10 if someone else needs it, nor can he receive money if he needs it.

Zincorium
2010-02-26, 02:12 AM
A key point is that the entire idea of the opt out is to discourage actions like RandomNPC's.

Unless the guy he knows was not making his 10$ payment when it was time to contribute- and that's important enough I'd think he'd have mentioned it by now if he wasn't- then he is holding up his end of the bargain as far as everyone else is concerned. He is not excluding anyone for any personal reasons.

RandomNPC has a specific personal aversion to drug use, even that of other people. So he is opting out of the deal, specifically to avoid paying someone who is a valid contributor.

That's why it's a gray area morally- as far as the program is concerned, the individual has done nothing wrong, RandomNPC is bringing in other factors.

Factors that I individually disagree with, and apparently others do as well. Legality was brought up, but simply being a law does not make something wrong- see the 'Jim Crow' laws in the south for examples.

hamishspence
2010-02-26, 07:23 AM
Personally, I don't see opting out as "gray" at all- its an attempt to avoid hypocrisy.

If you have a moral objection to something- you should not be paying for other people to indulge in that something.

That doesn't mean you are obliged to stop them paying for it with their money.

But it does mean, you should ensure they are not paying for it with your money.

Whether or not that moral objection is right is irrelevant- the important thing, is behaving consistantly with your own morality.

SensFan
2010-02-26, 09:42 AM
Personally, I don't see opting out as "gray" at all- its an attempt to avoid hypocrisy.

If you have a moral objection to something- you should not be paying for other people to indulge in that something.

That doesn't mean you are obliged to stop them paying for it with their money.

But it does mean, you should ensure they are not paying for it with your money.

Whether or not that moral objection is right is irrelevant- the important thing, is behaving consistantly with your own morality.
Except he already (indirectly) told this person "If you ever can't work for 3 weeks, I will be giving you some money to help out". The whole system is a joke if you can choose to remove yourself from the list after someone else qualifies for some cash. That's like an insurance company telling you your plan is cancelled due to medical concerns right after you got hit by a car.

Thajocoth
2010-02-26, 09:49 AM
Except he already (indirectly) told this person "If you ever can't work for 3 weeks, I will be giving you some money to help out". The whole system is a joke if you can choose to remove yourself from the list after someone else qualifies for some cash. That's like an insurance company telling you your plan is cancelled due to medical concerns right after you got hit by a car.

In your example, the insurance company already received money. RandomNPC has never received money from this system. Your example is also a contractual agreement. It sounds like this list is not. No one can sue him. Also, car insurance is legally required of all drivers. This list is not required of anyone. It's simply meant as a friendly thing to help one another out in times of need. Also, the car insurance company in your example is still able to sell insurance to other people. This is the opposite of what occurs with this list.

As a matter of fact, I fail to see any similarities at all with your example and what happened, except that both fall into the category of "agreements of some sort that involve money".

SensFan
2010-02-26, 09:57 AM
In your example, the insurance company already received money. RandomNPC has never received money from this system. Your example is also a contractual agreement. It sounds like this list is not. No one can sue him. Also, car insurance is legally required of all drivers. This list is not required of anyone. It's simply meant as a friendly thing to help one another out in times of need.

As a matter of fact, I fail to see any similarities at all with your example and what happened, except that both fall into the category of "agreements of some sort that involve money".
It really doesn't matter at all if Random has or has not received money. He entered in an agreement to pay up if someone falls ill, and now that someone fell ill, he's not paying. As I've said before, if the money is allowed to be used on movies and XBox games, then Random is choosing not to pay because of a personal grudge, which is presumably against the rules of the system. If the money is to be used for essentials only, then Random is allowing this person to steal from everyone else.

I wonder how Random would have felt if he got sick for a month, had no money coming in, and then was told that no one on the list felt like paying him, since they 'knew he would waste his money on his roof'.

Thajocoth
2010-02-26, 10:14 AM
I wonder how Random would have felt if he got sick for a month, had no money coming in, and then was told that no one on the list felt like paying him, since they 'knew he would waste his money on his roof'.

This is precisely what will happen if RandomNPC gets sick now though. That was the tradeoff for being removed from the list. He may never in the future benefit from the list.

hamishspence
2010-02-26, 10:21 AM
Even if he had benefitted in the past, choosing to withdraw does not count as defrauding the others in any moral sense.

Say you bought insurance, from a big company that sells insurance, among other things. You had an accident. The insurance company paid big bucks. At some later point, the insurance company goes into a business that you have a moral objection to. You choose to end your insurance policy.

There is nothing wrong with this- the fact that you benefitted from the policy is irrelavent to the fact that now- the insurance company is committing actions you object to.

You can't stop them- but you can refuse to aid them.

BSW
2010-02-26, 11:41 AM
Yeah, this. I don't feel that the laws against certain drugs are justified.

/delurk

Ok, I have to come out of lurk-mode to address this. Are you seriously suggesting that use of recreational narcotics is justified as civil disobedience? Really?

It's morally just to disobey a law that is fundamentally unjust. That means that the law is, itself, morally wrong. It does NOT mean that you think it's an unwise law.

I highly doubt that anyone can make an even remotely plausible argument that the laws prohibiting marijuana are morally wrong... and that's coming from someone who's taking a break from writing a journal article arguing for legalization to write this post.



On the actual topic... the if the OP doesn't want his contribution being used on illegal activities, then he's perfectly justified in removing himself from the pool. It's certainly not immoral.

As to the question of blowing the whistle... well, to be honest, I view that as what I'd call a morally neutral action. Personally, I probably wouldn't blow the whistle unless the co-workers addiction was affecting his work in a meaningful way.

Thajocoth
2010-02-26, 11:54 AM
/delurk

Ok, I have to come out of lurk-mode to address this. Are you seriously suggesting that use of recreational narcotics is justified as civil disobedience? Really?

It's morally just to disobey a law that is fundamentally unjust. That means that the law is, itself, morally wrong. It does NOT mean that you think it's an unwise law.

I highly doubt that anyone can make an even remotely plausible argument that the laws prohibiting marijuana are morally wrong... and that's coming from someone who's taking a break from writing a journal article arguing for legalization to write this post.

He said he doesn't think the laws are justified, which simply means he doesn't think there's enough justification to have the laws. Not enough reason for them. Did he say anything about civil disobedience or the laws being fundamentally unjust?

Also, some people have the view that any law that isn't explicitly necessary is morally unjust. That's one of the things about morals... They're ultimately opinions, and different people see things differently. With opinions, anyone can argue anything, and, ultimately, no one's wrong.

hamishspence
2010-02-26, 11:57 AM
I highly doubt that anyone can make an even remotely plausible argument that the laws prohibiting marijuana are morally wrong... and that's coming from someone who's taking a break from writing a journal article arguing for legalization to write this post.

One argument: If the two primary purposes of law are to protect people's freedom (and to protect people from other people), then a law which sufficiently infringes on this is an unjust law.

Alternatively, from a morally utilitarian point of view, if more harm results from a law, than the amount of harm the law prevents, that law is morally wrong.

This really depends on what moral standard you're using though.

Should "the right to harm oneself" be considered a right that must not be infringed?

Is it possible to believe, both, that harming yourself is immoral, and, that people have the right to commit certain immoral acts, because forbidding them to do this by law, is even more immoral?

Emlyn
2010-02-26, 12:16 PM
He said he doesn't think the laws are justified, which simply means he doesn't think there's enough justification to have the laws. Not enough reason for them. Did he say anything about civil disobedience or the laws being fundamentally unjust?

Also, some people have the view that any law that isn't explicitly necessary is morally unjust. That's one of the things about morals... They're ultimately opinions, and different people see things differently. With opinions, anyone can argue anything, and, ultimately, no one's wrong.

Our system of laws is designed to promote the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Drug use does hurt those who use at as well as other people who don't. That justifies the law, without it there is no recourse for those hurt by something outside of there control.

As for morals just being opinions that's kind of true. Yes morals differ for everyone but if you have no reasoning for your morals then they are wrong. Also if your justification is wrong then the morals are also wrong. This all ignoring the branch of philosophy that says there are absolute morals.




Is it possible to believe, both, that harming yourself is immoral, and, that people have the right to commit certain immoral acts, because forbidding them to do this by law, is even more immoral?

Yep that's an entirely valid viewpoint if you subscribe to the right view of philosophy. Of course Utilitarian would probably say that one man's actions that harm others would be wrong as it is worse for the greater good then to let the one do as he pleases.

hamishspence
2010-02-26, 12:35 PM
Hence it tends to crop up in more individualistic, less collectivist philosophies.

Dervag
2010-02-26, 12:51 PM
I highly doubt that anyone can make an even remotely plausible argument that the laws prohibiting marijuana are morally wrong... and that's coming from someone who's taking a break from writing a journal article arguing for legalization to write this post.What about consequentialist morality? The argument would go as follows:

Assume that acts which have bad consequences are immoral.

Laws banning marijuana have relatively small good consequences, because marijuana isn't really all that harmful.
Laws banning marijuana have large negative consequences- in particular, people getting thrown in jail over marijuana possession, and a large black market in marijuana that strengthens organized crime.

Therefore, all told, laws banning marijuana have bad net consequences, have had bad consequences for some time, and will continue to have them in the future.

Therefore we should repeal the laws, because it is immoral to do something you know will have bad consequences.

Is this a flawed argument?


On the actual topic... the if the OP doesn't want his contribution being used on illegal activities, then he's perfectly justified in removing himself from the pool. It's certainly not immoral.I agree; the OP has a right to withdraw himself from the voluntary pool, since he's taking the same risk as nearly anyone else. However, I don't think the OP has sufficient reason to do so- he has a right to make the decision, but that doesn't make it the right decision.


As to the question of blowing the whistle... well, to be honest, I view that as what I'd call a morally neutral action. Personally, I probably wouldn't blow the whistle unless the co-workers addiction was affecting his work in a meaningful way.I'd say that no moral law requires that he blow the whistle or not blow the whistle. But I think it would be more merciful to not blow the whistle, as long as the guy's drug use doesn't affect his work. And I think it's generally a good idea to be as merciful as practical in situations where you aren't morally obliged to do something harsh.

hamishspence
2010-02-26, 12:59 PM
What about consequentialist morality? The argument would go as follows:

Assume that acts which have bad consequences are immoral.

Laws banning marijuana have relatively small good consequences, because marijuana isn't really all that harmful.
Laws banning marijuana have large negative consequences- in particular, people getting thrown in jail over marijuana possession, and a large black market in marijuana that strengthens organized crime.

Therefore, all told, laws banning marijuana have bad net consequences, have had bad consequences for some time, and will continue to have them in the future.

Therefore we should repeal the laws, because it is immoral to do something you know will have bad consequences.

Is this a flawed argument?

I gave a similar example- but not very clearly, under utilitarianism rather than consequentialism:



Alternatively, from a morally utilitarian point of view, if more harm results from a law, than the amount of harm the law prevents, that law is morally wrong.


I agree; the OP has a right to withdraw himself from the voluntary pool, since he's taking the same risk as nearly anyone else. However, I don't think the OP has sufficient reason to do so- he has a right to make the decision, but that doesn't make it the right decision.

I'm not sure about whether there needs to be sufficient reason- the point I was trying to make earlier was- its not a case of "morally wrong- because it's breaking a promise"

Emlyn
2010-02-26, 01:02 PM
What about consequentialist morality? The argument would go as follows:

Assume that acts which have bad consequences are immoral.

Laws banning marijuana have relatively small good consequences, because marijuana isn't really all that harmful.
Laws banning marijuana have large negative consequences- in particular, people getting thrown in jail over marijuana possession, and a large black market in marijuana that strengthens organized crime.

Therefore, all told, laws banning marijuana have bad net consequences, have had bad consequences for some time, and will continue to have them in the future.

Therefore we should repeal the laws, because it is immoral to do something you know will have bad consequences.

Is this a flawed argument?


I will refrain from taking a different method as that isn't your question. The crux in your argument is "marijuana isn't really all that harmful". However since you don't give evidence to support this it becomes simply an opinion. A moral argument cannot be based of an opinion. Now if you cite research or some other fact that can prove this then you have a valid argument to a point. The main issue is that once again we must define what "good" is. It gets worse when we must now rank how good or bad something is.

To summarize Consequentialist morality requires a definition for both of those if your argument is to debated as valid. If those are defined your view could be considered valid.

Once again I must stress that I don't think we should debated what "good" is as I believe it's outside the scope of this topic. Of course since that's the third (or fourth) time it's come up I'm not so sure anymore.

Riffington
2010-02-26, 03:00 PM
I don't understand those of you who are claiming you can "leave any time, no moral issue". That's clearly incorrect. The justification for leaving must be a real one (and preventing a guy from buying drugs could plausibly be big enough), but you may not leave "just because".

All of you sitting in the pool are incurring a "risk of payout" every day. In a real sense, every one of them is contributing. They are putting in the chance of having to pay physical money; that risk has a value that an actuary could count. So at the moment that a member injures herself, she'd paid a fair bit of value (in the form of risk of having to pay) in; she now collects. If the other members withdraw, they are in the position of an insurance company saying "well, it was worth offering you this auto insurance previously, but now that you have actually crashed your car we wish to terminate our agreement. You can stop paying us your premium, as we will not cover this crash".
Think of it this way: if people were genuinely free to leave at any moment, the moment one person were injured, everyone else should immediately leave. Even if you suspect you'll be injured another day, you're still better off (financially speaking) saving the money you're now paying into the pool or spending it on supplemental disability insurance than staying in the pool. So the pool would be worthless. The only reasons people stay in the pool when a coworker is injured are:
1. they recognize they have incurred the moral obligation to stay in.
2. they know that if they leave the other coworkers will think they are untrustworthy and exploitative.

Now, "I don't want to contribute to a drug habit" may plausibly outweigh the usual moral obligation (and the loss of face the defaulter will suffer). But a mere "I stopped being interested" certainly does not.

Thajocoth
2010-02-26, 03:11 PM
I don't understand those of you who are claiming you can "leave any time, no moral issue". That's clearly incorrect. The justification for leaving must be a real one (and preventing a guy from buying drugs could plausibly be big enough), but you may not leave "just because".

The list says they can. But it also says that they can't rejoin the list. That's the punishment.

Saving your money, while it looks better by pure numbers, isn't. When you have money, you are more likely to use it and not have it later. Receiving a small amount of money when you need it after paying more money earlier when you weren't as hurt for cash is actually very beneficial. Most people aren't accountants. Also: I have no idea what an actuary is, but the whole "paying risk" thing makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. When no one's sick, no one is paying anything. Nothing changes hands. It's most likely that no one even thinks about the list until someone's out for a few days.

It sounds to me like the sort of thing where, someone was sick for a few weeks, and their co-workers decided to help them out, and then it was eventually standardized. Not so much a "Help me when I need it" thing as a "Help co-workers when they need it" sort of thing. If everyone in an office wanted to pitch in and buy a coffee maker or something, and one guy would never use it and doesn't care about having a coffee maker, should he be required to help pay for it? It's the other workers that want it, not him.

SensFan
2010-02-26, 03:14 PM
I don't understand those of you who are claiming you can "leave any time, no moral issue". That's clearly incorrect. The justification for leaving must be a real one (and preventing a guy from buying drugs could plausibly be big enough), but you may not leave "just because".

All of you sitting in the pool are incurring a "risk of payout" every day. In a real sense, every one of them is contributing. They are putting in the chance of having to pay physical money; that risk has a value that an actuary could count. So at the moment that a member injures herself, she'd paid a fair bit of value (in the form of risk of having to pay) in; she now collects. If the other members withdraw, they are in the position of an insurance company saying "well, it was worth offering you this auto insurance previously, but now that you have actually crashed your car we wish to terminate our agreement. You can stop paying us your premium, as we will not cover this crash".
Think of it this way: if people were genuinely free to leave at any moment, the moment one person were injured, everyone else should immediately leave. Even if you suspect you'll be injured another day, you're still better off (financially speaking) saving the money you're now paying into the pool or spending it on supplemental disability insurance than staying in the pool. So the pool would be worthless. The only reasons people stay in the pool when a coworker is injured are:
1. they recognize they have incurred the moral obligation to stay in.
2. they know that if they leave the other coworkers will think they are untrustworthy and exploitative.

Now, "I don't want to contribute to a drug habit" may plausibly outweigh the usual moral obligation (and the loss of face the defaulter will suffer). But a mere "I stopped being interested" certainly does not.
I pretty much agree with everything said here, except I think that if the fact that drugs are being bought with the money is sufficient reason to break the agreement Random had with this man, then it means this man should be kicked out of the pool.

If you and a bunch of friends are storing bags in a room that you happen to be in, and someone comes in to steal all the bags, I'd say its morally wrong to just take your bag and leave. That's what Random is doing; he's keeping 10$ in his pocket and letting this man take money from everyone else.

Thajocoth
2010-02-26, 03:16 PM
I pretty much agree with everything said here, except I think that if the fact that drugs are being bought with the money is sufficient reason to break the agreement Random had with this man, then it means this man should be kicked out of the pool.

If you and a bunch of friends are storing bags in a room that you happen to be in, and someone comes in to steal all the bags, I'd say its morally wrong to just take your bag and leave. That's what Random is doing; he's keeping 10$ in his pocket and letting this man take money from everyone else.

It's enough reason for RandomNPC to leave the pool. Some others in the pool, from what RandomNPC said, also know about the drugs, and they don't seem to care. They have different moral standards.

SensFan
2010-02-26, 03:25 PM
It's enough reason for RandomNPC to leave the pool. Some others in the pool, from what RandomNPC said, also know about the drugs, and they don't seem to care. They have different moral standards.
But morals are completely irrelevant.

There's 2 options here:
Option 1: Drugs (like chocolate or XBox games) is not what the money was intended for, and so the man is thrown out of the pool and no one pays him
Option 2: The money is for whatever the person wants/needs it for, and so Random is still bound by the verbal contract and needs to pay him

If there's another option, let me know, and I'll sign up for this pool right now. If I get sick, I get money. If someone else does, I come up with a reason to avoid paying them. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Riffington
2010-02-26, 03:32 PM
Also: I have no idea what an actuary is, but the whole "paying risk" thing makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. When no one's sick, no one is paying anything. Nothing changes hands.

Well, an actuary is someone who can understand the value of the risk :smalltongue:
Let me simplify: suppose on average someone becomes sick twice per year. And suppose the average illness lasts 5 weeks, for a cost of $50 per member of the pool. This means that sitting in the pool has an average cost of $100/year [this is a vast oversimplification]. So sitting in the pool incurs a risk valued at about 28cents/day. It may be worth that 28cents/day either for social reasons (as you astutely pointed out above) or because of the benefit if you are injured. You could theoretically pay me $.29 per day to "cover your risk" (and pay out your share whenever someone got sick). Now, you don't bother doing this, for a variety of reasons; that simply means you are self-insuring, by keeping the risk yourself; the fact that no money changed hands doesn't change the fact that that risk is worth $.28/day.

Emlyn
2010-02-26, 03:41 PM
But morals are completely irrelevant.

There's 2 options here:
Option 1: Drugs (like chocolate or XBox games) is not what the money was intended for, and so the man is thrown out of the pool and no one pays him
Option 2: The money is for whatever the person wants/needs it for, and so Random is still bound by the verbal contract and needs to pay him



Actually morals are the entire crux of that argument. The man has broken the terms set up for the pool. RandomNPC morally objects to that and has made what he believes is the correct morale decision. If other people stay and know about it then I'd actually say (from the perspectives I've already outlined) are making the immoral decision. Of course from their standards it's entirely possible they feel it is the right thing to do. But I must add that even when you know what the morally right thing to do that doesn't imply it's what's actually done.

Now for your options I'd say you are missing an important point. The only reason RandomNPC is objecting is because the money is being spent on an illegal substance. He is not withdrawing because it is a non-necessity, rather it is illegal and he does not wish to support an illegal activity.



If there's another option, let me know, and I'll sign up for this pool right now. If I get sick, I get money. If someone else does, I come up with a reason to avoid paying them. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.


If you went into the pool with that mindset I'd say that is morally wrong. In fact it's stealing.

faceroll
2010-02-26, 03:42 PM
If you don't want to give someone your money, then don't do it.

Escef
2010-02-26, 04:15 PM
As far as we know, the OP never benefited from the pool. And he hasn't gotten his money back either. I could understand people being butt-hurt if he benefitted and then pulled out, or even if he pulled out and took all his money back. But as far as we can tell, he didn't. He cut strings and backed out.

There is nothing morally wrong with leaving. What if he had changed jobs or moved away? Would he be morally wrong to live his own life because he obligated himself to this pool? I thinking answering yes is pretty freakin' tapped. Is it morally right to have no opt out clause? Is it morally right to force someone to continue contributing? Everyone is talking about how moral or immoral (or amoral) it is to leave the pool, but how moral is it on the pool's part to not allow anyone to leave? Because if you offer him no moral way out, that is effectively what the pool has done. Or does he need to change jobs to get out of the pool? Is it moral to force him to do that?

hamishspence
2010-02-26, 04:18 PM
But morals are completely irrelevant.

There's 2 options here:
Option 1: Drugs (like chocolate or XBox games) is not what the money was intended for, and so the man is thrown out of the pool and no one pays him
Option 2: The money is for whatever the person wants/needs it for, and so Random is still bound by the verbal contract and needs to pay him


Actually- there is the third option- that what the person is buying with the money is morally offensive- to Random, but to no-one else- thus, Random doesn't want his money to be spent that way:



As to why I dislike mind altering drugs, not counting the legal trouble one can get into. They are mind altering, I see my mind as the core of who I am, all my thoughts, impulse control, decision making, everything. I see mind altering drugs as willingly altering the core of who you are. To be blunt, I've been understating my dislike of them quite a bit.

Its not because the subtances are not what the monay is for- its because the use of them is morally offensive to Random.

Say it took place in Holland, and the other guys actions were entirely legal- it would not matter. If your money is being spent on something offensive to you- you have the right to stop giving it out.

Apparently its not offensive to the others- that's their prerogative. Random's prerogative is- to withdraw his money and membership in the pool, and take the consequences.

RandomNPC
2010-02-26, 04:26 PM
I'm going to stop replying to everyone because there are about five conversations going on now. However I've got a few comments.



If there's another option, let me know, and I'll sign up for this pool right now. If I get sick, I get money. If someone else does, I come up with a reason to avoid paying them. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Yea, if you're on the list and you get sick you get money, that's the deal. If you come up with a reason to not pay, as I did, you are off the list, and can not receive any money from it ever again.

Do people keep missing that or is it selective memory? I've outlined the deal at least twice now.

Being out for three weeks is generally a doctors orders thing, not an "I'm calling off, I don't feel good, wow I haven't felt good for three weeks" thing. If you could find a place that does something like this list, sign up, and be the next one to get money on purpose, just to drop off the list when you get better, more power to you, also, shame on you.



Also, the point was recently made that others on the list know of the drug use and are still on the list, this is true. I beleive they value being on the list for themselves more than they morally object the drug use.

Riffington
2010-02-26, 04:33 PM
As far as we know, the OP never benefited from the pool.
He benefited unless he can truthfully say that he'd have rejected the payout had he been injured. Just because he was never injured does not mean that he received nothing of value. Similarly: if you take a $2 lottery ticket, you've taken $2. If it turns out that the ticket wins or loses, it's still $2 that you took.



What if he had changed jobs or moved away?

If he'd done so prior to a guy being injured he is clear. Once the guy's injured, he should pay the agreed-sum. [unless there is an overwhelming reason not to.*]
I don't see how that's complicated: the standard way to operate an insurance pool is: you can leave at any time, you still have a moral obligation to pay for any existing claims at the time of departure, but you don't have to pay for any new claims after departure. This specific pool seems to have a additional opt-out clause of "if you can think of a decent reason you can leave without paying existing claims", liberal enough to include a leaky roof.



Do people keep missing that or is it selective memory? I've outlined the deal at least twice now.


There's a reason people keep missing that: it's really weird, and probably makes your pool untenable. If "any reason" is sufficiently liberal, Sensfan is absolutely right: just join the pool, collect if you get injured, leave the first time anyone else gets injured. It's the optimal strategy in that situation, and it makes the pool a sucker's game. Therefore "any reason" must be more limited than that. Apparently, it includes "my roof is leaking", but hopefully doesn't include much more than that.

*clearly, "the guy is spending the money on a weapon to kill someone with" is a good enough reason to renege on the deal. Just as clearly, "the guy will spend it at a store whose owner I dislike" is insufficient. Whether "the guy will probably spend the money on drugs" is a sufficient reason is debatable.

Escef
2010-02-26, 04:42 PM
Whether "the guy will probably spend the money on drugs" is a sufficient reason is debatable.

So, being an enabler may be morally ok? If so, I would gladly count myself as immoral. :smallyuk:

faceroll
2010-02-26, 04:47 PM
*clearly, "the guy is spending the money on a weapon to kill someone with" is a good enough reason to renege on the deal. Just as clearly, "the guy will spend it at a store whose owner I dislike" is insufficient. Whether "the guy will probably spend the money on drugs" is a sufficient reason is debatable.

Actually, seeing as there is no contractual obligation, and thus no threat of coercive force, "I want to stop giving my money away" is sufficient reason.

Riffington
2010-02-26, 04:47 PM
So, being an enabler may be morally ok? If so, I would gladly count myself as immoral. :smallyuk:

If you think a waiter uses drugs, do you think it's immoral to tip them?
If a survey reveals that the majority of waiters use drugs, will you stop tipping entirely?



Actually, seeing as there is no contractual obligation, and thus no threat of coercive force, "I want to stop giving my money away" is sufficient reason.
You believe that there is no moral obligation to keep your promises unless there's a signed contract? Really?

faceroll
2010-02-26, 04:48 PM
If you think a waiter uses drugs, do you think it's immoral to tip them?
If a survey reveals that the majority of waiters use drugs, will you stop tipping entirely?

I tip waiters so they don't jerk off in my food, not because I am trying to help them cover bills while they are out sick.


You believe that there is no moral obligation to keep your promises unless there's a signed contract? Really?

The only reason to keep a promise is if the costs of breaking it outweigh the cost of keeping it.

SensFan
2010-02-26, 04:52 PM
Yea, if you're on the list and you get sick you get money, that's the deal. If you come up with a reason to not pay, as I did, you are off the list, and can not receive any money from it ever again.

Do people keep missing that or is it selective memory? I've outlined the deal at least twice now.
I'll join the list, then. I'll let you all know if I get sick in the near future. If one of you gets sick, then I'll take myself off the list since I'm a student and don't feel like giving away 10$.

Escef
2010-02-26, 04:54 PM
If you think a waiter uses drugs, do you think it's immoral to tip them?
If a survey reveals that the majority of waiters use drugs, will you stop tipping entirely?

There's a difference between suspicion and knowledge.

SensFan
2010-02-26, 04:59 PM
Actually- there is the third option- that what the person is buying with the money is morally offensive- to Random, but to no-one else- thus, Random doesn't want his money to be spent that way:
Let's form a pool on Giantitp. Everyone picks what they think the first word will be in the next comic. We all chip in 10$, and the winner takes the cash. I'm going to pick the word 'McDonalds'. If I'm right, I'll be rich. If I'm wrong, then I think that whoever won the money will use it for something I find morally offensive, so I won't pay.

RandomNPC
2010-02-26, 04:59 PM
If you think a waiter uses drugs, do you think it's immoral to tip them?
If a survey reveals that the majority of waiters use drugs, will you stop tipping entirely?


If I beleive food servers in general are on drugs I avoid food despensing location, I haven't had Chipoltle in about a year and a half, thats a (related but long) story for later. I'll go back after a good deal of time to see if things have changed.



You believe that there is no moral obligation to keep your promises unless there's a signed contract? Really?

I know this was not directed at me but here's my take on it.
I will keep by what I say unless I find a moral oddity or a contradiction. In case of a moral oddity I will withdrawl myself, as we have all witnessed. In case of contradiction, I will do what I can to make things right by me, with an appology to any I feel I owe one.

Sorry, couldn't help but use my new phrase "Moral Oddity" in there somewhere.

Riffington
2010-02-26, 05:01 PM
There's a difference between suspicion and knowledge.

Fair nuff. That was a question, btw, not an argument. I honestly have no idea whether it's moral/immoral to give money to a particular drug-user. It presumably depends on factors like How much of the extra money is going to drugs? How harmful are those drugs to him? How harmful are they to others around him? How much of the extra money is going to other important needs? etc.




I know this was not directed at me but here's my take on it.
I will keep by what I say unless I find a moral oddity or a contradiction. In case of a moral oddity I will withdrawl myself, as we have all witnessed. In case of contradiction, I will do what I can to make things right by me, with an appology to any I feel I owe one.

Sorry, couldn't help but use my new phrase "Moral Oddity" in there somewhere.

Right, and I agree with you. What I find distressing are the people who believe that the situation is really one with "no excuse required"

hamishspence
2010-02-26, 05:22 PM
Saying "I've changed my mind about being a member of the pool" doesn't seem like breaking promises to me- especially not given the motivation.

Its not a case of making up a reason to not pay- the reason probably predates the pool entirely.

Once you find out that the circumstance mean that paying, here, will result in a breach of long-standing moral principles (never pay for mind-altering drugs for anyone- not himself, not others) it makes moral sense to leave the pool.


Right, and I agree with you. What I find distressing are the people who believe that the situation is really one with "no excuse required"

As to "no excuse needed" maybe that was a case of modern perspective on voluntary agreements.

If the pool is equivalent to a marriage- "no excuse needed" is the equivalent of "no-fault divorce"- you just choose to sever it.

The view that you are required to have a very strong reason to leave the pool- that's a bit like the belief that a marriage should never be ended unless one side or the other is committing serious offenses.

Which seems a little extreme.

Especially since The Pool is not nearly as serious a commitment.

Riffington
2010-02-26, 05:44 PM
If the pool is equivalent to a marriage- "no excuse needed" is the equivalent of "no-fault divorce"- you just choose to sever it.

No-fault divorce does not mean that you can morally divorce your spouse without a good reason. It means that you don't have to show a judge legal proof of legally-defined "cause". Modern people are not more pro walking-away-from-commitments. They are more skeptical of the courtroom's role in divorce.

hamishspence
2010-02-26, 05:53 PM
The difference being that it's seen as less binding than it was.

"Irreconcilable differences" rather than:

"The other person has violated the rules"

becomes a valid reason.

Here, there are "irreconcilable differences" between Random and co-worker. :smallamused:

Maybe we should list the major arguments?

So far I've seen:

"Obligations are important than personal moral objections- you should finish paying, before you try to leave the pool"

"Personal moral objections are more important than obligations- no obligation should force you to violate your own morality"

"Duty to society is more important than the needs of the co-worker"

"The needs of the co-worker are more important than duty to society"

And so on.

Riffington
2010-02-26, 06:13 PM
The difference being that it's seen as less binding than it was.

"Irreconcilable differences" rather than:

"The other person has violated the rules"

Not exactly. It was always understood that the marriage would end as a marriage due to irreconcilable differences. But marriage was an economic arrangement in addition to just being a marriage. The woman supported the man in various ways, and this helped him to make lots of money to support the woman economically. Ending the economic arrangement would condemn the woman to poverty or the man to paying alimony. Either of these are quite extreme and to create that situation, you want the partner getting hosed to have done something wrong.
Today, women can work just fine, and ending a marriage doesn't have to mean either person is economically hosed. So a no-fault divorce is much more reasonable.

Dirk Anger
2010-02-27, 12:55 AM
So, being an enabler may be morally ok? If so, I would gladly count myself as immoral. :smallyuk:

Well, it depends on what's being enabled, which in this case is something people are going to feel differently about depending on who they are and what they believe. Enabling violence is something most people would agree is bad, but pot? That's more personal.

Escef
2010-02-27, 01:56 AM
Well, it depends on what's being enabled, which in this case is something people are going to feel differently about depending on who they are and what they believe. Enabling violence is something most people would agree is bad, but pot? That's more personal.

See, I see nothing intrinsically wrong with violence. It's a tool. What may or may not be wrong is what that tool gets used for.

Solaris
2010-02-27, 02:05 AM
See, I see nothing intrinsically wrong with violence. It's a tool. What may or may not be wrong is what that tool gets used for.

I'm inclined to agree. Violence has gotten us both wonderful and terrible things. It's kinda the whole founding concept of our jobs, after all, that you can work violence for good.

THAC0
2010-02-27, 02:07 AM
See, I see nothing intrinsically wrong with violence. It's a tool. What may or may not be wrong is what that tool gets used for.

Indeed. Unfortunately, many people disagree with this. Which is a viewpoint I am incapable of comprehending.

Partof1
2010-02-27, 02:12 AM
Indeed. Unfortunately, many people disagree with this. Which is a viewpoint I am incapable of comprehending.

I think it's because of the common misconception that all violence is mindless violence. When actually used as a tool, it can work beneficially, but people often only see the barbaric desire to hurt people.

THAC0
2010-02-27, 02:21 AM
I think it's because of the common misconception that all violence is mindless violence. When actually used as a tool, it can work beneficially, but people often only see the barbaric desire to hurt people.

Yes. Also, I think the entitlement mindset plays into things, especially as far as violence related to self-defense goes. Either "I can't" or "I shouldn't" use violence to protect myself, "that's what the police are for."

golentan
2010-02-27, 02:31 AM
See, I'm inclined to view violence as intrinsically wrong. If there is any other solution, it is ALWAYS the best solution. I can't divorce myself from knowing what the other person will suffer, and knowing they have a family somewhere who will feel more pain, and possibly then beget further violence in retribution, and the cycle continues. Every night, I cry myself to sleep with the faces of all the people I've hurt or killed, and know they were (for the most part) no more deserving of that fate than myself or my allies.

That said, when violence is the best option, it is the best option, and it can't be shied away from. It's a sick, twisted tool, but that doesn't mean it can't be used for vast good, and if the benefits outway the downsides...

And of course, if it's you or them, very few people would choose someone they hadn't met who's attacking them over their own life, and that's as it should be, and nobody should feel guilty for making that choice. I'm an unusual case that way, but I'm just so... tired...:smallfrown:

THAC0
2010-02-27, 02:35 AM
See, I'm inclined to view violence as intrinsically wrong. If there is any other solution, it is ALWAYS the best solution. I can't divorce myself from knowing what the other person will suffer, and knowing they have a family somewhere who will feel more pain, and possibly then beget further violence in retribution, and the cycle continues. Every night, I cry myself to sleep with the faces of all the people I've hurt or killed, and know they were (for the most part) no more deserving of that fate than myself or my allies.

That said, when violence is the best option, it is the best option, and it can't be shied away from. It's a sick, twisted tool, but that doesn't mean it can't be used for vast good, and if the benefits outway the downsides...

And of course, if it's you or them, very few people would choose someone they hadn't met who's attacking them over their own life, and that's as it should be, and nobody should feel guilty for making that choice. I'm an unusual case that way, but I'm just so... tired...:smallfrown:

Not to open a whole 'nother can of worms, but are you a vegetarian? Or do you define "violence" as "only against humans"?

golentan
2010-02-27, 02:48 AM
Not to open a whole 'nother can of worms, but are you a vegetarian? Or do you define "violence" as "only against humans"?

Other. I care mostly about sapience, but that's not a line, more a big marshy field. I was vegetarian, but had health problems that made it too hard to maintain. I will go back to it when I'm able, and never ever eat anything that is unambiguously sapient.

THAC0
2010-02-27, 02:54 AM
Other. I care mostly about sapience, but that's not a line, more a big marshy field. I was vegetarian, but had health problems that made it too hard to maintain. I will go back to it when I'm able, and never ever eat anything that is unambiguously sapient.

So your view isn't that violence is intrinsically wrong, but that violence against sapients is intrinsically wrong. But can be morally justified on a situational basis, correct?

I can get behind that. In fact, that was my position several years ago. I've since changed to the basic "violence is morally neutral" stance. I think the morality comes entirely from the situation.

golentan
2010-02-27, 02:57 AM
So your view isn't that violence is intrinsically wrong, but that violence against sapients is intrinsically wrong. But can be morally justified on a situational basis, correct?

I can get behind that. In fact, that was my position several years ago. I've since changed to the basic "violence is morally neutral" stance. I think the morality comes entirely from the situation.

Basically. I was were you are a few decades ago, and am now at a point where I'm questioning my assumptions about sapience for the past several years.

Solaris
2010-02-27, 03:49 AM
See, I'm inclined to view violence as intrinsically wrong. If there is any other solution, it is ALWAYS the best solution. I can't divorce myself from knowing what the other person will suffer, and knowing they have a family somewhere who will feel more pain, and possibly then beget further violence in retribution, and the cycle continues. Every night, I cry myself to sleep with the faces of all the people I've hurt or killed, and know they were (for the most part) no more deserving of that fate than myself or my allies.

That said, when violence is the best option, it is the best option, and it can't be shied away from. It's a sick, twisted tool, but that doesn't mean it can't be used for vast good, and if the benefits outweigh the downsides...

And of course, if it's you or them, very few people would choose someone they hadn't met who's attacking them over their own life, and that's as it should be, and nobody should feel guilty for making that choice. I'm an unusual case that way, but I'm just so... tired...:smallfrown:

I disagree, but I can respect and see where you're coming from.

Let me put it this way: I've only seen one man killed, but it's not something that'll leave me. I've only listened to one heart's agonal beats, but I'll never forget that sound. I've seen only three men blown in half, but the events of that day will stay with me - and they haunt the nightmares of those who weren't so fortunate as I. Violence is an ugly thing. Anyone who doesn't realize that is damaged.
But that man dying meant more life's survival, as he intended the deaths of those sworn to protect and preserve life. The only reason I say I saw him killed instead of saying I killed him was because he was already shot and going down by the time I was out the door and had my weapon charged (hey, it's never a bad idea to take the four seconds needed to don your armor when people might be playing with suicide bombs). It's like surgery, only the tumors are sapient. Sometimes we must cut out cancers lest they doom the whole. There'll be blood and pain, but there's no other way for it.

Which war were you in, by the way?

GoC
2010-02-27, 07:27 AM
I'm inclined to agree. Violence has gotten us both wonderful and terrible things. It's kinda the whole founding concept of our jobs, after all, that you can work violence for good.

PLLEASE tell me you're in the police force and not in the army.:smallsigh:

EDIT: That question answered. Naturally as I'm not a US citizen I will be opposed to activities taken to further it's interests at the expense of the rest of the world.

Riffington
2010-02-27, 11:00 AM
Naturally as I'm not a US citizen I will be opposed to activities taken to further it's interests at the expense of the rest of the world.

This would be a discussion better suited for a different board. Shame, as there's reasonable people here, but I really don't see any way to do it within the rules.

golentan
2010-02-27, 12:00 PM
I disagree, but I can respect and see where you're coming from.

Let me put it this way: I've only seen one man killed, but it's not something that'll leave me. I've only listened to one heart's agonal beats, but I'll never forget that sound. I've seen only three men blown in half, but the events of that day will stay with me - and they haunt the nightmares of those who weren't so fortunate as I. Violence is an ugly thing. Anyone who doesn't realize that is damaged.
But that man dying meant more life's survival, as he intended the deaths of those sworn to protect and preserve life. The only reason I say I saw him killed instead of saying I killed him was because he was already shot and going down by the time I was out the door and had my weapon charged (hey, it's never a bad idea to take the four seconds needed to don your armor when people might be playing with suicide bombs). It's like surgery, only the tumors are sapient. Sometimes we must cut out cancers lest they doom the whole. There'll be blood and pain, but there's no other way for it.

Which war were you in, by the way?

I wasn't. :/

I was a civilian contractor for the DoD for several years on a Red Team group for JIEDDO (some of your counter-IED and EFP training was probably written by me, or rather by someone I worked with in response to me). And I've done some stuff in my life that resulted in peoples deaths, which I really don't want to talk about. And I'm (probably) delusional on the rest of it, which weirdly enough doesn't make it less real to me.

Escef
2010-02-27, 12:48 PM
I wasn't. :/

I was a civilian contractor for the DoD for several years on a Red Team group for JIEDDO (some of your counter-IED and EFP training was probably written by me, or rather by someone I worked with in response to me). And I've done some stuff in my life that resulted in peoples deaths, which I really don't want to talk about. And I'm (probably) delusional on the rest of it, which weirdly enough doesn't make it less real to me.

I worked intel in Iraq last year. Do you know how awesome it is to be putting together an immanent threat package on someone, and the package doesn't get approved until after the SOB blew up an IED on us?

Solaris
2010-02-27, 02:52 PM
I wasn't. :/

I was a civilian contractor for the DoD for several years on a Red Team group for JIEDDO (some of your counter-IED and EFP training was probably written by me, or rather by someone I worked with in response to me). And I've done some stuff in my life that resulted in peoples deaths, which I really don't want to talk about. And I'm (probably) delusional on the rest of it, which weirdly enough doesn't make it less real to me.

Counterpoint, you've done stuff that's resulted in guys still being alive. Myself, for example. We knew what to look for, so we spotted the EFP before it went boomie.


I worked intel in Iraq last year. Do you know how awesome it is to be putting together an immanent threat package on someone, and the package doesn't get approved until after the SOB blew up an IED on us?

I worked combat patrols in Iraq last year. You tell me.

Oh, GoC, I sent you a PM. Honest, it's not doggie poo in a paper bag. It's just a few things I think everyone ought to know.

EDIT: So... this thread's been thoroughly derailed. Another notch in mah belt.

hamishspence
2010-02-27, 04:15 PM
Going back to the original topic- one could say that the pool itself is the problem.

Making a commitment to give people money, regardless of what that money will be spent on, is a little problematic.

Thus- a better way of doing things might be to only give money as a gift- not to get into a position where giving money is a "duty"

Thus- you can ensure that money doesn't go to people who will spend it on things you disapprove of.

Escef
2010-02-27, 07:39 PM
I worked combat patrols in Iraq last year. You tell me.

If O-4's and up shut up and listened to their E-4's and E-5's in intel you fellas doing the patrols wouldn't get hit as often. What area of Iraq were you working? I was working out of an office in Diyala Province.

Solaris
2010-02-27, 09:13 PM
Going back to the original topic- one could say that the pool itself is the problem.

Making a commitment to give people money, regardless of what that money will be spent on, is a little problematic.

Thus- a better way of doing things might be to only give money as a gift- not to get into a position where giving money is a "duty"

Thus- you can ensure that money doesn't go to people who will spend it on things you disapprove of.

Alternatively, just provide the guy with necessities directly.


If O-4's and up shut up and listened to their E-4's and E-5's in intel you fellas doing the patrols wouldn't get hit as often. What area of Iraq were you working? I was working out of an office in Diyala Province.

I have nothing good to say about our LTC, that's for sure. It strikes me that the longer someone is in a position of command, the harder it is for them to grasp that other people have good ideas and that they have bad ideas.

We were the artillertards hanging out in Malallah. I can actually say that now 'cause we've turned the COP over to the IPs - before it was OPSEC, natch. The Stryker Brigade out of Alaska. It was really depressing to come back a week after the handover and discover they'd turned our neat, tidy little outpost into a... well, I'm sure you can imagine how unpleasant and dirty it was.

Escef
2010-02-27, 09:17 PM
The Stryker Brigade out of Alaska. It was really depressing to come back a week after the handover and discover they'd turned our neat, tidy little outpost into a... well, I'm sure you can imagine how unpleasant and dirty it was.

I heard stories filter back from the 1-25 guys I worked with.

Solaris
2010-02-28, 12:31 AM
I heard stories filter back from the 1-25 guys I worked with.

Yeah. Our 'terps explained it to us that the Diyala locals were basically the hicks of Iraq. Everyone's got horror stories about the war, then even worse ones about the native hygiene... or lack thereof. There are a lot of villages that have yet to update to the fourteenth century.

As for the command... well, just watch the last scenes of Stripes.

Riffington
2010-02-28, 09:49 AM
Going back to the original topic- one could say that the pool itself is the problem.

Making a commitment to give people money, regardless of what that money will be spent on, is a little problematic.

Thus- a better way of doing things might be to only give money as a gift- not to get into a position where giving money is a "duty"

Thus- you can ensure that money doesn't go to people who will spend it on things you disapprove of.

Does your concern apply to all instances of "giving people money"?
For instance, is it equally problematic to give an umbrella salesman $10 for an umbrella, not knowing what he'll spend the money on? If so, is that an indictment of all commerce?
Or is your concern purely that this has some element of "charity" in it, and you're saying charity should be paternalistic whereas commerce need not be?

Solaris
2010-02-28, 02:35 PM
Does your concern apply to all instances of "giving people money"?
For instance, is it equally problematic to give an umbrella salesman $10 for an umbrella, not knowing what he'll spend the money on? If so, is that an indictment of all commerce?

It's not equally problematic, but I do keep a mind to who I'm buying from. I won't buy something made in a country known for questionable labor practices, for example, nor will I buy from a merchant I know to traffic in stolen goods.


Or is your concern purely that this has some element of "charity" in it, and you're saying charity should be paternalistic whereas commerce need not be?

Charity is inherently paternalistic. You're giving them money, looking after them. It doesn't give you the right to dictate their life, but you do retain the right to decide not to give charity to someone who engages in practices you disagree with.

Riffington
2010-02-28, 04:03 PM
It's not equally problematic, but I do keep a mind to who I'm buying from. I won't buy something made in a country known for questionable labor practices, for example, nor will I buy from a merchant I know to traffic in stolen goods.
Neither of those are really in the same category, because they reflect a problem that you are specifically exacerbating by your purchase itself (not just by them having more money). A more perfect analogy would be refraining from buying from a person who in turn sometimes buys from a merchant who traffics in stolen goods.




Charity is inherently paternalistic. You're giving them money, looking after them. It doesn't give you the right to dictate their life, but you do retain the right to decide not to give charity to someone who engages in practices you disagree with.
Absolutely. So if you see a problem here, it is that you see the pool as being half-charity and half-contract; to the extent that it's a charity you want to be paternalistic and to the extent that it's a contract you have to fulfill that contract, which may conflict with your paternalistic motive.

hamishspence
2010-02-28, 04:10 PM
Whether charity or commerce- people should generally be careful who they deal with.

If you have really strong objections to someone- you simply don't buy from, or sell to, them.

The problem with the pool- was that it placed person's needs, over the morals of the people in the pool.

Thus- people end up "forced by contract" to give money to others that they know will spend it on things they morally object to.

By contrast, if they simply donated money or food at their own discretion, they could ensure that when dealing with an addict- the addict only gets food, not money- if they get anything.

Dirk Anger
2010-02-28, 06:09 PM
By contrast, if they simply donated money or food at their own discretion, they could ensure that when dealing with an addict- the addict only gets food, not money- if they get anything.

Then they have that much extra cash, since they're on a full stomach. If one is really morally opposed to other people spending charity in illicit ways, then helping them is out of the question.

(Not counting detox, which may or not be applicable based on how hard the drugs are. And how comfortable one feels forcing the person into it).

Riffington
2010-02-28, 06:41 PM
Whether charity or commerce- people should generally be careful who they deal with.

How careful do you have to be? Can you just buy a dinner at a restaurant, or do you have to first investigate the restaurant's labor practices/figure out what the owner spends her money on/figure out what the waitstaff and busboys do with their tips?

Solaris
2010-02-28, 08:43 PM
Then they have that much extra cash, since they're on a full stomach. If one is really morally opposed to other people spending charity in illicit ways, then helping them is out of the question.

(Not counting detox, which may or not be applicable based on how hard the drugs are. And how comfortable one feels forcing the person into it).

If they have that much extra cash, then they don't need charity to begin with.


How careful do you have to be? Can you just buy a dinner at a restaurant, or do you have to first investigate the restaurant's labor practices/figure out what the owner spends her money on/figure out what the waitstaff and busboys do with their tips?

Spoilered for sarcasm with a dash of hypocrisy.
Full-on background checks on everybody. Ever. Including all known business dealings with all parties involved (including myself, can't be too careful) and hiring private investigators to tail them around. Also private investigators to tail those private investigators. And spy satellites. UAV recon drones if I can sneak them out of the hangar. I compile thorough dossiers of everyone on the planet and every activity they engage in at every single moment of the day.
Eww. I didn't want to see that, golentan.
Alternatively, we could just go with the option of being reasonably careful. Mostly just pay attention to things going on. If you're in a shop and you hear whips and children crying, it'd better be a brothel 'cause otherwise you're patronizing the wrong sweat-shop. It's an inane question, "How careful do you have to be?"

GoC
2010-02-28, 09:29 PM
It's an inane question, "How careful do you have to be?"
It's an important question with no easy answer.

Dirk Anger
2010-02-28, 09:42 PM
If they have that much extra cash, then they don't need charity to begin with.

If you've saved someone five dollars by buying them dinner (or just 5$ of cheap food for their survival) that's five dollars they can put down for a vial.

Riffington
2010-03-01, 02:27 AM
Alternatively, we could just go with the option of being reasonably careful. Mostly just pay attention to things going on. If you're in a shop and you hear whips and children crying, it'd better be a brothel 'cause otherwise you're patronizing the wrong sweat-shop. It's an inane question, "How careful do you have to be?"

It wasn't addressed to you. You weren't the one who thought the idea of a pool was morally problematic.

golentan
2010-03-01, 02:55 AM
Eww. I didn't want to see that, golentan.

Hey, a Krynch's Ganglionic tentacle is a beautiful, natural thing. And that bull totally consented, after I ran it down, pinned it, and eviscerated it.

What? You people use incubation too. At least mine don't grow inside me, sucking away at my blood for sustenance like some sort of hideous, malformed cannibal. Tiny little vampires, and you think they're cute...

hamishspence
2010-03-01, 03:39 AM
If you've saved someone five dollars by buying them dinner (or just 5$ of cheap food for their survival) that's five dollars they can put down for a vial.

The difference being that this, is their money.

You can't stop them spending their money. You can stop them spending your money.

If you have a friend on drugs- you'll probably want to help them- but not to buy drugs for them- if you object to what drugs are doing to them.

The same would apply if it's a colleague you like and if you feel you owe it to them to help them when they are in need (but not, to help them by just giving them cash which you know they will spend on drugs)

GoC
2010-03-01, 05:49 AM
The difference being that this, is their money.
Any given unit of money is indistinguishable from any other unit. It's only quantities that count.
ie. that's a sucky argument and the only difference is that it makes you feel a bit better about yourself (though only if you can't see the hole in it).

hamishspence
2010-03-01, 07:52 AM
What hole?

The point I'm trying to make is- its similar to the problem of giving charity to a poor country with corrupt leaders- who will spend money given on things like weapons, or local drugs industries, or similar.

So- you don't give them money. You give them goods- food, seeds, farming equipment, water, etc.

Yes- in theory, that's freeing up the money of the corrupt leaders, to be spent on weapons and other things.

So what? The important thing is helping the people who need helping- without directly empowering the corrupt leaders.

Same principle applies here- if you're going to give someone something- try not to just give them money- if you think they will spend it inappropriately.

GoC
2010-03-01, 10:20 AM
What hole?

The point I'm trying to make is- its similar to the problem of giving charity to a poor country with corrupt leaders- who will spend money given on things like weapons, or local drugs industries, or similar.

So- you don't give them money. You give them goods- food, seeds, farming equipment, water, etc.

Yes- in theory, that's freeing up the money of the corrupt leaders, to be spent on weapons and other things.
No it's not and that's the difference between the drug guy and third world charity (which has it's own set of problems).
I seriously doubt that the corrupt leaders would have spent anywhere near the amount on "food, seeds, farming equipment, water, ect." as was given to them via charity.
But on the other hand drug dude can and does attend to his housing and food needs. If drug dude has insufficient resources to satisfy his drug needs then you would be correct.

RandomNPC
2010-03-01, 04:47 PM
again jumping in for a moment, drug guy has, on occasion (not every month) borrowed money to pay his bills.

GoC
2010-03-01, 06:48 PM
again jumping in for a moment, drug guy has, on occasion (not every month) borrowed money to pay his bills.
Does he pay it back?
How much does he spend on drugs?
Is borrowing money normal in your culture?
Is this borrowing the result of random events?
Does he have a nicer house/car/vacation than he can afford?

Solaris
2010-03-02, 01:20 AM
Does he pay it back?
How much does he spend on drugs?
Is borrowing money normal in your culture?
Is this borrowing the result of random events?
Does he have a nicer house/car/vacation than he can afford?

Seconded the questions, emphasis mine. If he borrows but pays back, that's cool. If he borrows but it's a pain getting him to pay back, that's not cool.