Sunday, September 18, 2016

Dishonesty And The Collapse of Moral Authority

Earlier in the week, Margaret posted about the loss of privacy in the internet age, and I happened to read her post  while I was outraged by a breach of my own privacy.

There's no turning off or opting out of the online spying by Google and Facebook, but their "targeted" and "interest-related" advertisements go too far (IMHO) when those adverts suggest that an individual is a liar, a cheat, a fraud. It is almost defamatory, isn't it?

To digress....On the other hand, there is little civility on the internet, because one has the illusion of anonymity when one can adopt an alphanumerical nickname, and can write mean-spirited remarks that one would never say to someone's face. That may be an illusion. Just yesterday, a retired spook advised everyone to put a piece of tape over the camera hole on ones computer. It's not just Big Brother who is watching you!

What kind of mindset exists in America when students cheat routinely, and businesses set up shop blatantly to facilitate cheating? Apparently, this sort of thing is tolerated, expected even. How, then, can we ever be sure that anyone is qualified for anything?

What kind of future world will we see, if humankind continues on this path? This path where the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that it would be an intolerable hardship if politicians could be punished for lying to
the electorate?

(The Obama administration allegedly presented a friend of the court brief that for candidates to lie to get themselves elected is protected speech

How 1984 is that?

No wonder so many science fiction novels are dystopian. Do we really want a dystopian future? Is there a non-totalitarian way to turn the tide of moral decay? Could honest people wear a futuristic version of a Mood Ring that would change color when one lies? Would it be possible to turn those podiums that political candidates grasp into lie detectors?
All the best

Rowena Cherry


This is an older account by someone claiming to be of immigrant descent, who has seen everything from roofers, to auto repair shops, to dentists.... all cheating customers, and even to hateful food workers spitting into the food of restaurant diners.

A discussion of tolerance of dishonesty in American society.

An expose of the cheating crisis in schools

and the names of businesses that profit from helping people cheat.
Scientific American has a copyrighted article describing some experiments to study the thoughts that occur before one makes an honest or dishonest decision.

In the words of Warren Buffett, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it."

PS.  I apologize for the size of the print.

1 comment:

  1. I would be uneasy with an attempt to make lying as such illegal, except in cases of clear harm that are already crimes, such as fraud, libel, and slander -- speech-acts that cause specific harm to identifiable individuals or groups. Not everything that's sinful should be illegal. (For instance, I don't believe it would be progress to go back to making adultery a criminal act under the law.) And who'd have the authority to pronounce whether a given statement is a lie? Slippery slope on the way to thought control....