Friday, May 27, 2011

An Interesting Case in Ethics

There is an interesting case brewing in England that this editorial talks about. Granted, the Politically Correct Militantly Secularist Crowd in England is completely bonkers, but they are much more "mainstream" in terms of public opinion than in the States and also have much more political clout.

Personally, I think this article mingles a some distinct issues that I wish she had presented more clearly. One is the issue of what she labels as the Confessional, though really what she is talking about is patient/client confidentiality, which is similar but different. Also mingled in is the issues of invasion of privacy (which does not really exist in England as England does not have a formal Constitution, though Right to Privacy here is the States is merely a legal fiction not found in the Bill of Rights), actual harm versus offense, and the issue of Public Denunciation.

 Nonetheless, I think her editorial is right though on a few things. In the era of the sound byte, we have descended dangerously close into a culture of "Public Denunciations," both publicly and academically. We have a "Gotcha" culture where as long as we can dig up some dirt somewhere, even if the dirt is 20 years old and has nothing to do with your public policy or opinions, we "gotcha" and therefore your offensive opinions/agenda are rendered moot, not because of formal logic or debate that discredits but because "we gotcha." In other words, emotive polemics overshadow debate.

I think that's something to think about. Certainly Facebook panders to Denunciation groups. I wonder what other social media can be used to smear people?

Food for thought...

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