ehowton (ehowton) wrote,

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Situational Ethics

Surely we've all had our resolve tested from time to time, and I myself make no bones about always doing the right thing. Unless of course, I disagree with what "the right thing" may be. Just like you, just like everyone. Throw in legal machinations and you've muddled things up well enough that trying to follow the spirit of the law suddenly becomes a battle for trying to decide whether or not the letter breaks it. Or visa-versa. See what I mean?

We're all imperfect beings - but each of us tries to be the best person they can. Granted this doesn't work out, but we try not to play upon the fears of others, and hold true to ourselves in our own way. So few are willing to admit their faults - fewer still who do so without leaning heavily on it, as a crutch. Simply admitting your shortcomings, then purposely playing on them with the excuse that you've previously disclosed them is not a sign of strength. Whatever happened to personal responsibility? I've had the option of lying before to keep myself out of trouble. I didn't. What did I gain? NOTHING! But I kept my self-respect. People notice that. I think the two go hand-in-hand.

And while I'll admit to having caused many a young lady to question her principals in the past, any time I discuss it now its purely for argument's sake - especially as we mature. Things to which we've held sometime seem so very unimportant, other's doubly so as time passes. Our experiences usually help us to overcome the ones which hold us back, and give power to the ones which will help us succeed. And while the things we contemplate privately would speak volumes more than anything we'd ever admit publicly, it always amuses me when I can first discover, then exploit, a known hole in one's resolve. Not for evil purposes, mind you; perhaps just for fun...Knowledge is, after all, power.

Take for instance this one evening when I was discussing YouTube with an old friend. He was orating on the many complex reasons why he eschews the site and would never use it, under any circumstance. He hated it that much. I kept throwing scenarios at him in which he might wish to partake, but he didn't budge. He was wanting to so badly prove to me that he was a man of character. That is, until I tricked him. I gained permission to use someone as bait, and played him a card I knew he couldn't refuse. And so after cursing under his breath, he agreed to "make an exception" with the promise that it would be the last time. THE ONLY TIME I USE THOSE WORDS IS WHEN I'M TRYING TO ILLUSTRATE A POINT.

A month later, or so, to reiterate his resolve, we had this conversation (time stamps re-arranged to help context):

(13:28:28) EricHowton: I made a protected entry
(13:28:39) EricHowton: I'll copy it to you here if you'd like to read it.
(13:29:00) Defeatist: I'd rather you cross posted, but go ahead
(13:29:13) EricHowton: I don't cross-post my protected entries
(13:29:54) EricHowton: And you fought me tooth and nail to be banned.
(13:30:07) Defeatist: so then if I'm banned, I don't have access to the content. Simple as that.
(13:30:13) EricHowton: Correct.
(13:30:24) Defeatist: so then don't offer me the posts. That defeats the purpose.
(13:30:27) EricHowton: But I don't protect them to keep them away from you.
(13:29:31) Defeatist: Why would you want me to read your protected entries?
(13:30:42) EricHowton: Fine - just thought you might be interested in what's going on around here.
(13:30:46) EricHowton: No worries.
(13:31:09) Defeatist: I am interested and I do want to read it, but I would be a coward to not live by my word, right?
(13:31:26) EricHowton: Your logic is fucked up.
(13:31:40) Defeatist: so, until I am back on your FL when I can read like the rest of the word, I don't need to know. I lost the privelage.
(13:32:08) EricHowton: That's retarded thinking again.
(13:32:15) Defeatist: no, it's not.
(13:32:22) EricHowton: If you don't care, or don't want to know, just say so.
(13:32:27) EricHowton: You won't hurt my feelings.
(13:34:33) Defeatist: because I can't partake of it in the forum that you put it in, so you have to make an exception for me and that's not right. It's cheating and you're an accomplice
(13:34:47) EricHowton: That's dumb.
(13:34:54) EricHowton: I mean, really dumb.
(13:34:56) EricHowton: Even for you.
(13:35:19) EricHowton: And that's saying something.
(13:35:30) Defeatist: no Eric
(13:36:23) Defeatist: you say that I can't be unbanned despite the fact that I fought to be banned. So if I brought this on myself but cannot in and of myself reverse the situation, that you aide and abet me when you offer your protected posts as I was also kicked off of your FL.
(13:36:30) Defeatist: surely you understand this.
(13:37:12) EricHowton: I understand what you're saying, and I'm telling you your logic is flawed.
(13:37:23) Defeatist: if it's flawed then unban me
(13:37:29) Defeatist: why can't you do that?
(13:37:33) EricHowton: That would go against your wishes.
(13:37:43) Defeatist: but I'm telling you that my wishes have changed.
(13:38:10) EricHowton: Tough one that, isn't it? I tell my children all the time that sometimes when we make the wrong decisions, they're hard to live with.

This was followed-up with a voice message letting me know that he was sticking by his guns, and he appreciated my position, but its something he just couldn't do and hoped I would understand.


And then I told him about the protected entry where I gave everyone on my FL the where and how to access my iTunes library online. Guess what?

Yup, there was suddenly pause for another "exception."

The years spent in isolation have not equipped him with the tools necessary to judge right from wrong. He's had no context. He's been completely without guidance. Furthermore, his work - the garden sculptures, hairstyles and so forth - indicate that he's a highly imaginative... uh... character. It seems clear that his awareness of what we call reality is radically underdeveloped.

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