People are always telling me I should check Reddit for ethics issues and stories. I wish I could. Whenver I am on that site for any significant amount of time, I become despondent about the state of the ethical comprehension and commitment of the American public, begin to feel like King Canute trying to sweep back the tide, and want to pack it all in and lie in a gutter drinking Woolite. I don’t need more discouragement, thanks. There’s enough to read in the news and on social media to lead me that way already.
Almost invariably, what I read on Reddit shows either participants who have the ethics of zombies, or posted evidence of the rotten ethics pervading society by others. Yesterday some link on the site was producing a lot of traffic on Ethics Alarms, so I tried to trace the links back to find out which post here was drawing interest. I failed, but in the course of a half-hour of scrolling, found a parade of ethics horrors, including one popular tweet in which someone opined that since he had received his pandemic stimulus checks and more were coming, and because he had been vaccinated, he thought it was ridiculous that anyone would complain about President Biden “not having enough press conferences.”
Now there’s a responsible voter: as long as the government sends money, that’s all that matters.
Worse, I saw this alarming text exchange:
My revulsion at such things means I am “privileged,” I suppose. I don’t spend much time with idiots, bigots, sociopaths and ignoramuses. Part of that is because I was fortunate enough to be raised by two ethical parents (well, one ethical parent and my mother) in a community that encouraged ethical values and American core ideals, and part was my choice. I don’t have a lot of patience with stupid people, biased people, and badly educated people, and none at all with socially irresponsible people, so I choose to avoid them as much as possible. In that I have been remarkably successful. Unfortunately, it means that I am not as familiar with the realities of American society as I probably should be.
Fortunately, it keeps me from stuffing my head into the shredder.