Unethical…But Funny!

Signed Copy

How this is unethical, however, is a matter of dispute:

  • It might be a hoax. The guy who put it on Facebook swears he saw it in a book store. If not, he’s lying.
  • If this was done by a book store staff member as a gag, it’s disrespectful to the book’s market. Such irony is misplaced in a book store, when a religious book is the prop. I’d call it a firing offense.
  • If this is false advertising, that is also unethical.

And if someone slapped the sticker on the wrong book and isn’t educated enough to realize that this is one book that can’t have a signed copy, that’s unethical incompetence and ignorance for a book store employee.

34 thoughts on “Unethical…But Funny!

  1. It’s funny. It doesn’t say it’s signed by the author. It could be signed by the anyone. I like it and I do’t think it is unethical.

  2. Well, someone is bound to argue that the sticker saying “signed copy” doesn’t necessarily say who signed it, never mind the cultural expectation that “signed copy” actually means “copy signed by the author of the work in question”.

  3. It’s a ticket to mock and deride those you believe would be gullible and uneducated enough to fall for it (aka religious folk) as well as to mock and deride those religious individuals who would complain about your disrespect since they (A) were unable to take a joke and (B) may phrase their displeasure in such a way that may acknowledge they believe others of their ilk to be just as gullible as you think they are.

    And for good measure, Jesus never existed, even though I can prove he was also married and black, so take that.

    Of course, this would be right at home and perfectly acceptable as a work of satire in an appropriate publication, perhaps illustrated in something like Charlie Hebdo. As a hoax on Facebook, it serves only to provoke and make innocent parties look bad. Unethical. As the work of a bookstore employee, it’s as disrespectful to the bookstore, the employer, as it is to the book’s audience and the bookstore’s customers. Absolutely a firing offense.

    However, I believe texagg04 approaches the most likely reason, that the copy was signed by, for example, translator(s) of this particular edition. Entirely mundane, yes, Quite probable, yes. This opens other interesting ethical questions about the translator(s) and whomever decided to point it out on Facebook.

  4. See, I just think a customer found a sticker on one book, pulled it off and stuck it on the Bible as a joke. Customers do stuff like that. A few years ago, a friend and I were in the toy department of a store, found an action figures that let you record something and play it back (the idea being the hero has YOUR voice saying heroic things) and decided to record, “Buy Me” over and over, then set it back down and hit the replay button.

    • “It’s a ticket to mock and deride those you believe would be gullible and uneducated enough to fall for it (aka religious folk)”

      Nonsense. Although it may sucker some religious folk, this won’t necessarily sucker religious folk. There are plenty of agnostic dumbasses out there who would see that and fall for it also. This would target the gullible, which includes more than just gullible religious folk (especially since not all religious folk are gullible). Your biases are showing.

      “However, I believe texagg04 approaches the most likely reason, that the copy was signed by, for example, translator(s) of this particular edition.”

      I didn’t say that.

      And I actually lean towards AM Golden’s explanation, now.

    • This was my fourth unethical option too. I worked in a small book department, and I was the only one who did at points so no one had access to the unused stickers. It was amazing how many stickers magically changed books, often to try to get an extra discounted price.

  5. Can I try my own rationalization? Let’s see: “God puts his signature on everything in Creation”. Is it any good?

    PS – I hope my pastor does not read this blog.

  6. Perhaps this particular edition was edited, annotated or has commentary by someone notable, who might be known to the buyer. The Bible comes in hundreds of editions and with a wide variety of commentary. I think there’s also quite a market for Bibles favored by famous televangelists and mega-church pastors. “Gift & Award Bible” could also mean something we’are not aware of. Without being able to decipher the fine print in the picture or see the back of the advertising flap, it’s hard to tell. On its face and out of context, it’s pretty funny, but not necessarily malicious.

  7. I think it is a joke or hoax by a customer or employee. Employee trying to joke with other employees for short term fun, I can see the humor, but then remove the sticker. Not good if trying to trick customers (reminds me some of Candid Camera). If real, it might be signed by one of the editors or translators. The original packaging looks untouched so that seems unlikely unless it was signed before it was packaged. Lastly, I suppose it could be a way to emphasize that the Bible has a page for the presenter to inscribe to the recipient though that should be explained on that cover part that isn’t readable. Not the best sticker wording either.

  8. I think this may have been more of as joke about book buyers than about religion. There are people who rank books by first edition/perfect jacket/signed/personalized more than they rank the content.

    • There are no slow ethics days. Just variants on ethics dilemmas.

      It’s easily false advertising, as a material misrepresentation of the product at hand, and the fact that the buyer should know better would not be a defense.

  9. I took this picture and posted to my Facebook page in 2015. I was Barnes & Noble looking at Bibles when I saw this one.🤓

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