Hold on to your skulls…
Social media can spread stupidity like a viral plague. Is there anything ethical and constitutional that can be done to protect the imperiled children addled mothers like this may raise?
Just as we learned about the suicides of two niche celebrities, Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and designer Kate Spade, the news media is reporting a massive increase is self-homicide since 1999, over 25%. “Social isolation, lack of mental health treatment, drug and alcohol abuse and gun ownership are among the factors that contribute to suicide,” says the Times. All of that hasn’t increased 25% in less than two decades, however. What has changed?
1. The decline of religion. In Christianity, for example, suicide is a sin, and if you believe in an after-life, a terribly short term solution. People don’t believe in eternal punishment for suicide any more.
2. The end of shame. Suicide was once considered shameful in this culture. For decades, however, suicide advocates have been promoting it not only as a right, but a reasonable option under certain circumstances. Never mind sin: the culture currently teaches that suicide isn’t even wrong.
3. Reinforced narcissism, selfishness, and cowardice. Suicide is a terrible act of aggression against loved ones and associates. As a member of a family that has suffered through three suicides, I have seen this up close. Suicides leave horrible emotional carnage in their wake. The essence of ethics, which is thinking about the impact of one’s conduct on others, has been gradually eroded in the culture through the dominance and influence of ethics corrupters.
4. Confused and contradictory cultural signals regarding death. Beginning with abortion, through assisted suicide laws in Oregon, our culture is sending strong messages that some people are better off dead. For the unsophisticated, the young and the gullible especially, this new cultural eddy makes suicide far more attractive than it used to be.
5. Celebrity suicides. In a culture that uses performing celebrities as role models, suicide becomes model conduct. Politicians rarely kill themselves, much as we might wish they would.
I don’t see any mystery at all. Suicide rates are increasing because our culture no longer sends the message that suicide is wrong.
In fact, it makes me hate lawyers, and just about everyone I know is a lawyer, including me. I am drowning in self-loathing.
Now pay attention. A class-action lawsuit filed in Fort Lauderdale federal court this month is based on the claims of Cynthia Kissne, and Leonard Werner that they shouldn’t have to pay for the cheese on their McDonald Quarter Pounders if the cheese is removed at their request. The lawsuit, filed by Andrew Lavin of the Miami-based Lavin Law Group, asks for 5 million dollars in damages for this injustice. The logic of the suit is that McDonald’s used to distinguish between the Quarter Pounder and the Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and charged a bit more for the latter. Now, however, the only version sold in the stores is the cheese version, but it is just called a Quarter Pounder. If you don’t want cheese, you say, “no cheese,” but you still pay the same price. The Horror. This is not an unusual practice in the industry, for obvious reasons. Burger King advertised that you could customize your Whopper, but removing stuff didn’t mean you paid less. Oddly, nobody sued. Continue reading
There were an unusual number of superb comments on this topic. This one is a worthy representative of them all.
Here is Sue Denim’s Comment of the Day on the post, Regarding Hormone Restrictions In Women’s Sports:
While I strongly support the use of science and evidence to make these decisions – this stinks to high heaven. The books were cooked, and very obviously so.
”One of the world’s most respected sports lawyers has quit his position on a committee of the governing body of international athletics, slamming the controversial new rule that is believed to target gold medal-winning South African runner Caster Semenya.”
Four months after being appointed to the IAAF’s disciplinary tribunal, Steve Cornelius said “in good conscience” he could not continue in the role.”
Without going into allegations about “real reasons”, let’s just look at the facts.
“A peer-reviewed article co-authored by Dr Bermon and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found female athletes with high testosterone had the greatest advantage in the pole vault and hammer throw, yet these events were not included in the newly created “restricted events” category.
The IAAF’s investigation also found no advantage in the 1,500 metres event but it was included..”
Let’s look at the evidence of advantage. Continue reading
It’s especially good because this is the last day of one of the worst Ethics Alarms months ever, with the lowest daily average of views for an April since 2013. I have no idea why, and I wouldn’t change anything anyway. I have my dark suspicions, though….
1 Pig brain ethics. Researchers at Yale University restored circulation to the brains of decapitated pigs, and kept the organs alive for several hours. Now ethicists are wondering if this was ethical.
2. Human brain ethics. Is we getting dumber? This Facebook quiz claims that “nobody” can get even 5 of these 10 questions right, and that if you get all ten right, you’re a genius. I hope that isn’t true. I would say that anyone who can’t get at least 8 of the 10 right is either under 15 or cognitively damaged. I really want to know what the average score is. If most Americans really can’t answer these, then we need to dismantle the public school system and start from scratch. And any teacher who can’t answer at least nine of the ten questions should be fired. Continue reading
Singing legend Barbra Streisand said a lot of questionable things in a recent interview with Variety. Things like…
Nobody put a gun to her head: stars say “no” to projects all the time.
Google is your friend, Babs. The first commercial films are generally credited to the Lumière brothers‘ who had their short films screened in Paris in 1895 . Nobody has ever claimed Griffith made the first film; some credit him with making the first film with any art to it. But Barbra likes narratives better than facts.
“I really believe she won the election,” Streisand says. “I’ve talked to senators from Michigan and Wisconsin. I do believe, like I believed during Bush, they were playing with those voter machines.”
Yes, Barbra’s a politics-addled idiot these days.
“I think even that shooter was affected because Trump brings out the violence in people. He says, ‘It’s OK — rally, lock her up.’”
None of these cretinous and irresponsible statements bothered anyone too much, though–Barbra has been taking like this most of her life. She also said that she was never sexually harassed in Hollywood. Amazing! This revelation, however, set off ethics alarms: Two of her three Coton de Tulear dogs were cloned from cells taken from the mouth and stomach of her beloved 14-year-old dog Samantha, who died in 2017. The third dog is a distant cousin. The two clones cost $50,000.
“We all want our beloved dogs to live forever, but while it may sound like a good idea, cloning doesn’t achieve that—instead, it creates a new and different dog who has only the physical characteristics of the original. Animals’ personalities, quirks, and very ‘essence’ simply cannot be replicated, and when you consider that millions of wonderful adoptable dogs are languishing in animal shelters every year or dying in terrifying ways when abandoned, you realize that cloning adds to the homeless-animal population crisis. And because cloning has a high failure rate, many dogs are caged and tormented for every birth that actually occurs—so that’s not fair to them, despite the best intentions. We feel Barbra’s grief at losing her beloved dog but would also love to have talked her out of cloning.”
Hey, as long as they don’t clone Barbra…but I digress.
Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz as the week runs out is this…