ethics

Treading Water: “Fair Trade” Certifications

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The western world is in a state of crisis. Each year brings more data on declining soil fertility, loss of fresh water, dangerous swings in global temperature and much else. In light of these truths the conscientious consumer seeks to do good, to participate in saving the planet in the greatest altruistic experiment of them all; to buy green. (more…)

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Ethical Capitalism Is Selfish: Part 1

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Tom’s Shoes will give away a pair to the starving poor in Africa for each you purchase. The rain forest alliance sticker on your bananas claims to be environmentally friendly and conserve wildlife. Across the United States people boycott sweat shop factories in South East Asia, in the hopes that their dollar keeps exploited children from oppressive conditions.

What do all these examples of ‘ethical capitalism’ have in common? First, they underline a deep seated guilt about the way our world operates and so, some form of penance for the sin of our society must be made. Secondly, they underline a desire to satiate the deep seated tendency for control over the lives of others. And finally, like the 1960s ‘great society’ they are all hopelessly naïve about the issues they are attempting to solve. (more…)

The Price of Pride: Charity, Adoption, and Ego

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Meet Jason. He’s a good looking dog with a nice coat, a kind demeanor, a wonderful smile, oh and he’s neutered. Jason is in solid health and loves human attention, it seems like a real shame that he doesn’t have any owners. Because friends, this fine dog is up for adoption, but there is one very special thing about this dog; he’s from Phuket, Thailand.

Some reasonable people may ask the question, (more…)

Charity is a Sin

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Few acts in our society are sheltered from critical thought more than the modern charity. Every grocery store, coffee shop, and corporate environment attempts to blend charitable giving into its sales pitch to levels more perverse than we’ve ever seen; to consume is to be moral. To work long hours under this company is moral because the company gives to charity. It is OKAY to buy more, because with every purchase you are buying yourself a small piece of a Papal Indulgence of the modern era, a free pass to the gates of cognitive dissonance. (more…)

Slavery and Slaughter: Animal Ethics

indexWe kill animals, insects, bacteria, plants, and more without remorse or care. No tears are shed for the wanton slaughter of insects or the mass extermination of trees. Every season we harvest our genetically engineered (or selectively bred) animals and plants. No one has nightmares over the death of a spider who was stepped on; a casualty of coincidence. And I don’t see media decrying the abject domestication and persistent war against dangerous and helpful bacterium. As every day we wash our hands at the sink we are obliterating countless cellular and complex organisms. (more…)