Comment of the Day: Ethics Blindness at Joe Pa’s Memorial Service

Paterno's inaction: bliviousness...or willful blindness?

In the ongoing debate among Joe Paterno sympathizers (and I don’t mean that pejoratively) and those who believe the late Penn State icon failed his ethical obligations miserably and deserved all the criticism he received, several interesting themes have arisen, including whether “obliviousness” is an excuse, whether critics are engaging in “wahlberging”–that is, claiming that they would have handled a difficult situation better when it costs them nothing to make the claim—and whether the Sandusky incident should be permitted to cloud Paterno’s legacy at Penn State, or should be over-shadowed by it. In this Comment of the Day, Proam covers these topics in response to a commenter who wrote, “Other posters who have tried to in any way justify Paterno’s actions/lack of action – GET REAL!”  Here is his comment, to the post, “Ethics Blindness at Joe Pa’s Memorial Service.” I’ll have some reactions at the end. Continue reading

The Runway and The Snowy Owl: An Ethics Conflict Tale

“One showed up at the airport in Hawaii, and they shot it,” Denver Holt, director of the Owl Research Institute in Montana, told the New York Times.“It’s the first ever in Hawaii and they shot it!” Holt was expressing his dismay at the sad news that a snowy owl, one of the most magnificent of all American birds, had journeyed from its Arctic home all the way to Hawaii and been shot dead for its effort. He was quoted in a Times story about the sudden, mysterious surge in snowy owl sightings all over the country, giving people a chance to see the huge, white predators in places where they had never appeared before. Like Hawaii.



Here is a lesson in the value of waiting to get the full story before making assumptions. I saw the Times story, and had sketched out a post on the doomed Hawaii visitor, something about mankind’s unethical impulse to destroy beautiful living things to make beautiful dead things like fur coats, trophies and stuffed snowy owls. But my travel travails made it impossible for me to finish it, and it’s a good thing. Honolulu Civil Beat had the rest of the story. Continue reading