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The Alligator River Story.

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#1
Mammon

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This is an ethics assignment I did in class today. It produced some pretty interesting results and debates, so I thought I'd post it and see if my choices alligned with other Objectivists.

THE ALLIGATOR RIVER STORY


Instructions: Please read the following story. After reading the story, rank the five characters in the story in the space provided below it, beginning with the one you consider as most offensive, and ending with the one you consider as least objectionable. Also, briefly note your reasons as to why you ranked them in that order.



There lived a woman named Abigail who was in love with a man named Gregory. Gregory lived on the shore of a river. Abigail lived on the opposite shore of the same river. The river that separated the two lovers was teeming with dangerous alligators. Abigail wanted to cross the river to be with Gregory. Unfortunately, the bridge had been washed out by a heavy flood the previous week. So she went to ask Sinbad, a riverboat captain, to take her across. He said he would be glad to if she would consent to go to bed with him prior to the voyage. She promptly refused and went to a friend named Ivan to explain her plight. Ivan did not want to get involved at all in the situation. Abigail felt her only alternative was to accept Sinbad’s terms. Sinbad fulfilled his promise to Abigail and delivered her into the arms of Gregory.

When Abigail told Gregory about her amorous escapade in order to cross the river, Gregory cast her aside with disdain. Heartsick and rejected, Abigail turned to Slug with her tale of woe. Slug, feeling compassion for Abigail, sought out Gregory and beat him brutally. Abigail was overjoyed at the sight of Gregory getting his due. As the sun set on the horizon, people heard Abigail laughing at Gregory.



I ranked them as (most morally repulsive first)

Abigail

Slug

Sinbad

Gregory

Ivan

Edited by Mammon, 20 December 2007 - 08:24 PM.

"It's not about where you were born. Or what powers you have. Or what you wear on your chest. It's about what you do... It's about action." -- Superman.

"[T]rue innovators are never bound by what is: instead they dream of what could be" -- Gary Hamel.

"Society cannot contribute anything to the breeding and growing of ingenious men. A creative genius cannot be trained. There are no schools for creativeness. A genius is precisely a man who defies all schools and rules, who deviates from the traditional roads of routine and opens up new paths through land inaccessible before. A genius is always a teacher, never a pupil; he is always self-made. " -- Ludwig von Mises.

“Precisely because of their pretense, the conservatives are morally lower than the liberals; they are farther removed from reality – and, therefore, they are more harmful in practice. Since they purport to be fighting “big government,” they are the main source of political confusion in the public mind; they give people the illusion of an electoral alternative without the fact. Thus the statist drift proceeds unchecked and unchallenged.” – Leonard Peikoff

#2
DavidOdden

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Well, you know, if you want to make the story relevant for modern ethics classes, you need to work in some additional characters, like Snert the evil industrialist who prevented The People's Committee from building a bridge, Clyve, the evil racist real estate developer who prevented Abigail from living in affordable housing with Gregory, Delmont the evil homophobic school administrator who kept Abigail from her true love Tina, and Lamar, the evil pharmaceutical imperialist who somehow had something to do with forcing Slug to beat that sexist pig Gregory although I'm not sure what.

Is your ranking of the top two based on your greater personal knowledge of Abbie? My understanding of her, admittedly based on only a couple of interviews, is that she had an emotional freakout when she realized what she had actually done with Mr. Boat Guy, but at least she kept her impulse control online, unlike Slug who was just a punk. So I don't get your two two pick.

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#3
Mammon

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Well, I reasoned that she basically caused all the trouble. The story doesn't even clarify if Gregory likes her or not. And she didn't have to sleep with Sinbad, who is just a nihilist. Even if it was for romantic love, she basically forfeited in by sleeping with another guy so easily. Instead of taking it rationally, she approves of the guy getting beat up.


Also, I just realized, the version we got said "most despicable (sp?)" ... I thought Abigial was the most morally replusive.
"It's not about where you were born. Or what powers you have. Or what you wear on your chest. It's about what you do... It's about action." -- Superman.

"[T]rue innovators are never bound by what is: instead they dream of what could be" -- Gary Hamel.

"Society cannot contribute anything to the breeding and growing of ingenious men. A creative genius cannot be trained. There are no schools for creativeness. A genius is precisely a man who defies all schools and rules, who deviates from the traditional roads of routine and opens up new paths through land inaccessible before. A genius is always a teacher, never a pupil; he is always self-made. " -- Ludwig von Mises.

“Precisely because of their pretense, the conservatives are morally lower than the liberals; they are farther removed from reality – and, therefore, they are more harmful in practice. Since they purport to be fighting “big government,” they are the main source of political confusion in the public mind; they give people the illusion of an electoral alternative without the fact. Thus the statist drift proceeds unchecked and unchallenged.” – Leonard Peikoff

#4
DavidOdden

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Well, I reasoned that she basically caused all the trouble.

Does that imply that being a jerk is morally worse than initiating force?

Dave Odden


#5
West

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This is how I ranked it:

Slug
Abigail
Sinbad
Ivan
Gregory

Slug was the most morally repulsive because he initiated the use of force. Abigail is an obvious second to me, Sinbad the nihilist as you correctly put it is in third, Ivan who abstains from the situation is fourth. Gregory is the best of the five because I thought his choice to reject Abigail was a greater moral decision than Ivan's.

#6
intellectualammo

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The story doesn't even clarify if Gregory likes her or not.


I think it sure did state it, but more: love not like. Read this line:

The river that separated the two lovers


I think "two lovers" means that both were in love with one another, right?

And she didn't have to sleep with Sinbad, who is just a nihilist.


Is he?

Slug is the most despicable, morally repulsive one of them all, for having initiated force against Gregory. Abigail comes in second.
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#7
Kori

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Okay, most morally repulsive is Slug, who 'initiated force.' Second morally repulsive is Abigail for laughing at the sight of that initiated force.

As for the others, it's more difficult to rank. Sinbad, to me, is not up with Slug and Abigail. Abigail asked him for a service and he named a price. Abby paid the price and he gave her the service in return. Gregory is not morally repulsive. He has standards, Abby doesn't conform to those, so away with Abby. As for Ivan, the story doesn't state that he doesn't make a judgment, it just says he doesn't want to get involved. I wouldn't get involved in this stupid mess either, since it wouldn't concern me. He is not morally repulsive.
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#8
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Slug would be at the top of the "go to jail" list, but I don't know if I'd put Slug at the top of the morally offensive list.

I think Gregory is getting of too easily. Something morally wrong with him, if he actually does claim to love Abigail, and is making her jump through these hoops to get to him. I think Slug should have given him a talking to, instead of beating him up.

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#9
KendallJ

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Slug would be at the top of the "go to jail" list, but I don't know if I'd put Slug at the top of the morally offensive list.

I think Gregory is getting of too easily. Something morally wrong with him, if he actually does claim to love Abigail, and is making her jump through these hoops to get to him. I think Slug should have given him a talking to, instead of beating him up.


I'd have to agree with Snerd here. Gregory is hardly a gentleman. His rejection of Abigail's expression of value (which is what I read her) is unjustified, and he deserved (i.e. he earned something). I don't think that Abigail's satisfaction at the justice delivered to Gregory is unwarranted. I also think the persepctive that Sinbad is somehow simply asking a voluntary price for his services belies the fact that the trader principle has be to integrated into the rest of ethics and any price asked does not make them all morally equal. One could debate if Abbigail should sell herself in order to simply get to gregory, but assuming it is a sincere value judgement, it is viable (I am thinking a Monna Vanna-esque sort decision, but again, just getting across the river seems like a small goal). My particular order (worst to best):

Slug
Sinbad
Gregory
Abbigail
Ivan

Everyone seems to think that Slug and Sinbad are pretty bad guys, but I'm surprised at the disparity in judgements made between Abbigail and Gregory. I placed them close together.
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#10
KendallJ

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And she didn't have to sleep with Sinbad, who is just a nihilist. Even if it was for romantic love, she basically forfeited in by sleeping with another guy so easily.


That she doesn't have to sleep with him is certainly the debateable part, but the fact that she slept with him in order to get to Gregory says something about her value judgements. Explain to me the "forfeited in by sleeping with another guy so easily". If Abigail simply went out to the pub and let some guy hit on her, and ended up in bed with him then that statement makes perfect sense to me. However, one could claim that as described it is a proper value trade.

Are you implying that sleeping with another man forfeits her love for him? under any case? How about if you up the expression of value. Maybe sleeping with him to save Gregory's life? Does that forfeit her love for him?
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#11
lex_aver

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Slug - for acting cruelly for the sake of acting cruelly (there was no justice in beating Gregory).
Abigail - for enjoying Gregory's suffering and poor value-judgement.
Sinbad - for desiring unearned (possibly as a result of poor value-judgement).
Ivan - his case is quite contextual, depending on what he could have done and would it be a sacrifice. In worst case he is on par with Sinbad.
Gregory - for rejecting a whore.

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#12
JMeganSnow

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Sinbad and Ivan are, by far, the least reprehensible. They didn't demand help from anyone or rely on anyone else to solve their problems, neither did they injure or attack anyone.

Slug is most reprehensible, by far.

I think Gregory is the next most reprehensible because it should be the GUY'S job to do the crossing of any alligator-infested rivers if such should prove to be necessary. Why didn't this guy build a raft or something? Abigail should have made a slingshot and sent him a note: "Hey you, get your punk ass over here!" and then went about her life content in the knowledge that if he couldn't be bothered, he didn't love her anyway.
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#13
KendallJ

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I think Gregory is the next most reprehensible because it should be the GUY'S job to do the crossing of any alligator-infested rivers if such should prove to be necessary. Why didn't this guy build a raft or something? Abigail should have made a slingshot and sent him a note: "Hey you, get your punk ass over here!" and then went about her life content in the knowledge that if he couldn't be bothered, he didn't love her anyway.


'bout time somebody said it!!!
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#14
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^Why is it the man's job? Maybe he didn't love her as much as she loved him...is that morally reprehensible?
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#15
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This is my list (worst to best):

Abigail
Slug
Ivan
Sinbad
Gregory

I like this exercise, it provides a lot of food for thought, but because there are some important (to my reasoning, anyway) details left out, I made some assumptions, which I will include with my reasoning...

Abby is by far the worst. She does not respect others nor command respect for herself. Assuming that she and Gregory had an intense, long-term romance, she committed an act of grievous wrong against Gregory. She should have placed the value of their continued relationship, based upon mutual exclusive commitment to each other, above the short-term gain of seeing him. If they were really in it for the long haul, she had time to find solutions beyond just Sinbad's offer. She could have had a little initiative. Instead, she took the easy way out, basically the moral equivalent of killing the goose that laid the golden egg to get out all the gold at once. And then, when confronted with the consequences of her poor judgment, she chose to blame and hide behind others.

People seem to have it in for Slug a lot worse than I do. He is still bad, but I think it depends on some things. Was he friends with Abby, did he genuinely care for her (granted she is reprehensible, but it could be an honest mistake on his part)? If so, and he had reason to believe SHE was the wronged party (because who knows what lies she told him), he may have beaten Gregory as equal punishment for the emotional torture he supposedly caused her. Still wrong? Yup. But to me, accepting that he may be making judgments based on incorrect information cuts him some slack and puts him behind Abby.

I'm not as willing to cut Ivan slack as some seem to be for one reason. It says he is Abby's friend. If he is Abby's friend than choosing not to get involved implies that he is not being a good friend. Remember that friendship is an entirely voluntary obligation. Choosing not to get involved is not the action of a friend. At the very least, he could have talked with her and helped her think her situation through, which would require nothing but him taking some time. That's not exactly a huge expense. If he doesn't care about her or her problems, he should do the honest thing and tell her they are not friends. Refusing to help her but expecting her to maintain a friendship with him is expecting the unearned.

Sinbad didn't really do anything wrong, as he had no obligation to Abby and she was free to refuse his offer. His biggest mistake was confusing a lesser value (getting a quick piece) for a greater one (doing some work and winning the affection of a good person). Of course, this assumes that he is merely ignorant in not valuing himself enough. If he is deliberately setting out to destroy values (i.e. wouldn't even enjoy sleeping with her but just wants the satisfaction of knowing he destroyed a romance), then he should be higher than Ivan and maybe even Slug on the list.

I hold Gregory blameless.

Kat

I think Gregory is the next most reprehensible because it should be the GUY'S job to do the crossing of any alligator-infested rivers if such should prove to be necessary. Why didn't this guy build a raft or something? Abigail should have made a slingshot and sent him a note: "Hey you, get your punk ass over here!" and then went about her life content in the knowledge that if he couldn't be bothered, he didn't love her anyway.


I find this sentiment strange. I don't think either has more responsibility for crossing the river than the other. And how do we know he didn't have something in the works, if Abby had just been a little patient? Even if he didn't, I think it's ridiculous to put all the onus of reaching out to her on him just because he's got a schlong.

Then again, I don't really agree with Rand's conception of gender roles, so maybe that's the issue. Hero-worship has never played any role in my romantic desires and in fact I find it a little childish.

Kat

#16
KendallJ

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Sinbad didn't really do anything wrong, as he had no obligation to Abby and she was free to refuse his offer. His biggest mistake was confusing a lesser value (getting a quick piece) for a greater one (doing some work and winning the affection of a good person). Of course, this assumes that he is merely ignorant in not valuing himself enough. If he is deliberately setting out to destroy values (i.e. wouldn't even enjoy sleeping with her but just wants the satisfaction of knowing he destroyed a romance), then he should be higher than Ivan and maybe even Slug on the list.


It is always stunning to me how the prostitute gets the moral indignation for being a prostitute and the John gets off scott free. At worst Abby compromised principles, but Sinbad never had any.

This whole libertarian, ethics stops at the trader principle stuff stuns me. How exactly did it become ok to buy a piece of a**, but not to sell it?

One could say that Abby's biggest mistake was confusing a lesser value for a greater one. There is some intrinsicism afoot with regard to the sexual act and Miss Abigail.

Edited by KendallJ, 21 December 2007 - 12:36 PM.

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#17
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Come to think of it, after beating up "non-effort Gregory", Slug should have called "sleazy Sinbad" over for a ride, and beaten him up too. Then, he could have taken the boat back to Abigail's side, and beaten up "inaction Ivan". :D None of those three appear to be moral giants!

Seriously though, such puzzlers/problems are good only to get discussion going, not to really some up with a "correct" list. Since they leave out a lot of context, they invite a discussion of what types of previous context might justify (or not justify) each action. One cannot make a judgement based on this scenario alone; one has to ask how and why each of the people found themselves in this situation. Context is everything.

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#18
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Are you implying that sleeping with another man forfeits her love for him? under any case? How about if you up the expression of value. Maybe sleeping with him to save Gregory's life? Does that forfeit her love for him?


Not under any case but to me it is significant that Gregory's life was not in danger, that there was no sense of urgency.

To me it is not significant weather or not their relationship was serious or not because her actions should have been directed by her values and not his reciprocation. She should have gone about it the right way.
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The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings;
but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause,
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#19
intellectualammo

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I don't think that Abigail's satisfaction at the justice delivered to Gregory is unwarranted.


"the justice delivered to Gregory"? Kendall? Even if the rejection was warranted, which I am not saying it is or isn't, since I do not know for sure do to lack of a fuller context, that brutal beating, could never, and should never be warranted, in my opinion. Her satisfaction of this brutal act, is why I listed her second. Slug could have said something like this to her, instead of brutally beating Gregory, "Who gives a fuck if Gregory rejected you. What you did to see him, we both think was right. Too bad you did give a fuck..." Abby is heard laughing...

I think Gregory is getting of too easily. Something morally wrong with him, if he actually does claim to love Abigail, and is making her jump through these hoops to get to him.


"making her"? Where do you get that from?

Edited by intellectualammo, 21 December 2007 - 01:46 PM.

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#20
KendallJ

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"the justice delivered to Gregory"? Kendall? Why would anyone have any satisfaction in seeing someone, in a situation like this, being brutally beaten, over rejection? Even if the rejection was warranted, which I am not saying it is or isn't, since I do not know for sure do to lack of a fuller context, that brutal beating, could never, and should never be warranted, in my opinion. Slug could have said something like this to her, instead of brutally beating Gregory, "Who gives a fuck if Gregory rejected you. What you did to see him, we both think was right. Too bad you did give a fuck..." Abby is heard laughing...


Hi Steve,

If you'll notice I did put Slug at the top of the reprehensible list for his initiation of force. My comment is not regarding the nature of the brutal beating as such. But it does relate to the nature of the extreme difference many want to paint Gregory's status with Abby's. THis all hinges on the moral evaluation of Abby's act. If Abby is very immoral, then Gregory's rejection is just, and his subsequent beating has in no way any justice associated with it. If Abby's is moral (even if albeit mistaken), then Gregory's rejection is an unjust judgement. That certainly doesn't mean he should get a beating, but he deserves something. I agree with Snerd in that Slug ought to have given him a talking to instead. All I'm trying to suggest is that if Abby's act has a different moral evaluation on it, then the scales tip and Gregory's rejection also has a new less moral connotation.

What's reeally interesting to me is the basis by which Abby's act is judged immoral. In that most people who judged Abby highly immoral also judged Sinbad as fairly neutral.

Not under any case but to me it is significant that Gregory's life was not in danger, that there was no sense of urgency.


And that is certianly the basis by which we could judge Abby has having failed in some way. I wonder how you compare Sinbad and Abby?

To me it is not significant weather or not their relationship was serious or not because her actions should have been directed by her values and not his reciprocation. She should have gone about it the right way.


I'm not sure what you mean here.
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#21
~Sophia~

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I wonder how you compare Sinbad and Abby?


They are both immoral but I think I judge her worse. I think it is a combination of her feelings for Gregory and the nature of a sexual act for a woman. Things are not equal and a woman, by nature, ought to be more careful, less likely to agree.

This was not an emergency situation and the bridge was gone only for a few days (it broke last week). Due do the timing (they probably saw each other not long ago) I don't fault Gregory for not getting to her at this time. It was not months and months and months of no effort from him. Thus Gregory was right to dump her.

I'm not sure what you mean here.


I was responding to themadkat commets re: exclusivity, commitment. I was drawing the attention to the fact that her immorality (by my judgment) comes from commiting an act against herself. It was secondary that it was also against Gregory.

Edited by ~Sophia~, 21 December 2007 - 04:12 PM.

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—Thomas Jefferson

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings;
but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause,
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.
So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt
Citizenship in a Republic, Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910


"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours." - Ayn Rand

#22
Inspector

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Gregory is hardly a gentleman. His rejection of Abigail's expression of value (which is what I read her) is unjustified, and he deserved (i.e. he earned something). I don't think that Abigail's satisfaction at the justice delivered to Gregory is unwarranted.


What?!? Are you deliberately trolling here, Kendall?

No, no no. Abbigail sold her highest value waaaay too easily and as Mammon said, completely undercut the entire point of what she was doing. It's like if she had been in an egg race and had used a syringe to suck out the yolk of the egg in order to buy some running shoes that let her win the race with the "intact" egg. She's entirely missing the point. The example didn't say that she tried for years and years to find other ways across the river and finally in total desperation decided to do what was necessary. It just said that he "felt" that her only alternative was to accept Sinbad's terms. Not to walk downriver to the next bridge. Not to walk to where the river ends. Not to ask more than two neighbors.

She felt that it was her only alternative. Well, la dee da.

We're dealing with a woman who is an idiotic, psychopathic whore here. She sold herself cheaply, expected an upstanding gentleman to love her for it, and then laughed at him being unjustly beaten - the man she supposedly loved. To judge Gregory negatively for rejecting such a woman is completely incorrect.

If you want my take on this, here it is:

Slug
Abigail
Sinbad
Ivan
Gregory

Slug is at the top, for the beating - but he would switch places with Abigail if she had in fact put him up to it. The narrative is unclear on that point, but assuming she didn't she is still a very, very close second. She just does horrible things all around. Sinbad is a nihilistic whoremongering sleazebag - I'm as nonplussed as Kendall on peoples' use of the libertarian ethics here. Ivan, as themadkat pointed out, was Abbigail's friend, so he wasn't just some stranger who refused a beggar, which would be perfectly okay. (I missed that the first reading) Why did he refuse to be involved with helping a friend? We don't know. Maybe it's because Abbigail is a psycho and he knows it; but then why is he a friend? Maybe, on the other hand, he's leaving right away to go see his lover, and needs to actually walk around the long way instead of being a whore. His reason for not helping would determine how far from Gregory he is - he could be a far second or a close second, depending.

Gregory might have earned some blame for not crossing the river himself, but we don't have any information about what he was doing. Was he rebuilding the bridge? Was he packing up his belongings to hike downriver to where another bridge was? Was he willing to wait more than ten minutes to come up with a better solution before whoring himself out? We don't know. And besides, it's not like in the end Abbigail was worth the effort, it seems. Yeah, okay, maybe he didn't have any way of knowing that. If he had no excuse and Ivan had a good one, it's possible they might switch places.

#23
KendallJ

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What?!? Are you deliberately trolling here, Kendall?

No, no no. Abbigail sold her highest value waaaay too easily and as Mammon said, completely undercut the entire point of what she was doing. It's like if she had been in an egg race and had used a syringe to suck out the yolk of the egg in order to buy some running shoes that let her win the race with the "intact" egg. She's entirely missing the point. The example didn't say that she tried for years and years to find other ways across the river and finally in total desperation decided to do what was necessary. It just said that he "felt" that her only alternative was to accept Sinbad's terms. Not to walk downriver to the next bridge. Not to walk to where the river ends. Not to ask more than two neighbors.

She felt that it was her only alternative. Well, la dee da.

We're dealing with a woman who is an idiotic, psychopathic whore here. She sold herself cheaply, expected an upstanding gentleman to love her for it, and then laughed at him being unjustly beaten - the man she supposedly loved. To judge Gregory negatively for rejecting such a woman is completely incorrect.

If you want my take on this, here it is:

Slug
Abigail
Sinbad
Ivan
Gregory

Slug is at the top, for the beating - but he would switch places with Abigail if she had in fact put him up to it. The narrative is unclear on that point, but assuming she didn't she is still a very, very close second. She just does horrible things all around. Sinbad is a nihilistic whoremongering sleazebag - I'm as nonplussed as Kendall on peoples' use of the libertarian ethics here. Ivan, as themadkat pointed out, was Abbigail's friend, so he wasn't just some stranger who refused a beggar, which would be perfectly okay. (I missed that the first reading) Why did he refuse to be involved with helping a friend? We don't know. Maybe it's because Abbigail is a psycho and he knows it; but then why is he a friend? Maybe, on the other hand, he's leaving right away to go see his lover, and needs to actually walk around the long way instead of being a whore. His reason for not helping would determine how far from Gregory he is - he could be a far second or a close second, depending.

Gregory might have earned some blame for not crossing the river himself, but we don't have any information about what he was doing. Was he rebuilding the bridge? Was he packing up his belongings to hike downriver to where another bridge was? Was he willing to wait more than ten minutes to come up with a better solution before whoring himself out? We don't know. And besides, it's not like in the end Abbigail was worth the effort, it seems. Yeah, okay, maybe he didn't have any way of knowing that. If he had no excuse and Ivan had a good one, it's possible they might switch places.


Whew, I knew someone was going to jump on me for this one. I'm fishing in a way Inspector so bear with me.

At least you've got Abby and Sinbad together. Thank God someone thinks being a whoremonger is a bad thing. :)

I would completely agree if someone made the case that she sold herself too easily. Laughing at him being beaten is certianly over the top. No argument. Haivng said that, I think you've convinced me that Gregory shodul be higher, but not yet that Abby shoudl be worse than Sinbad.

As I said to Steve, the whole Abby vs. Stephen thing hinges on the moral evaluation of Abby's decision to sleep with Sinbad. The question to me becomes what sort of a mistake was it, ethically speaking. Was it the wrong principles, a lack of principles, or the right principles but poorly applied, or correctly and consistently applied principles? What she thought about what her other opportunities were does matter in the sense of was this something done of ignorance, naivite, stupidity, or fully conscious of the implications. Errors of knowledge and errors of morality so to speak. I agree that she is an idiot a childish naive one at that, but I'm not convinced she is a whore. That makes a big difference in her moral evaluation.

To say that she sold herself too easily, implies that there is some goal for which selling herself would have been moral. Sophia has already talked about the urgency and life threatening nature she might have liked to see. But what that says to me is that Abby had the equations (i.e. te principles) lined up correctly. She just failed to put the right values in for the variables and came up with a greater than, when it should have been a less than. This is far better than Sinbad who simply had the wrong equations. There is no ethical logic that allows one to purchase sex from someone else at any price (ah but that's a whole other thread) that makes it "valuable". It's faking reality, asking for the effect without the cause.

So I think you've persuaded me to revise it to
Slug
Sinbad
Abby
Gregory (I don't care much about Ivan. I think he's just a spoiler)

But you haven't convinced me to flip Sinbad and Abby yet. I think she's an idiot, naive, whatever, and Gregory (now I'm changing my earlier position) is justified in either dumping her or giving her a talking to (but that's because I think she's stupid, and not a psychopathic whore). Now if you said that if she hadn't have taken pleasure in Gregory's beating, that you'd place her in my order, then I'd probably concede that the pleasure at his beating might push her past Sinbad, but that's a whole discussion about the compounding of infractions. Based upon her choice up to the point Gregory rejects her, I think I could defend my list.

No, no no. Abbigail sold her highest value waaaay too easily and as Mammon said, completely undercut the entire point of what she was doing.


So humor me, and clarify this for me. What is Abby's "highest value"? i.e. what did she sell? I'm trying to smoke out what sort of things people think are intrinsic in the act itself.

Edited by KendallJ, 21 December 2007 - 06:17 PM.

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"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools." - Herbert Spencer

#24
KendallJ

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They are both immoral but I think I judge her worse. I think it is a combination of her feelings for Gregory and the nature of a sexual act for a woman. Things are not equal and a woman, by nature, ought to be more careful, less likely to agree.


Can you elaborate. If the nature of the sexual act for a woman is different and thus implies different oughts for her, would it not also imply some different oughts for a man who values a woman, in terms of acting to keep her safe from situations like that?

I agree the sell myself to go see my boyfriend a few days earlier senario is far too lax and cheap to warrant selling yourself.
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#25
~Sophia~

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If the nature of the sexual act for a woman is different and thus implies different oughts for her, would it not also imply some different oughts for a man who values a woman, in terms of acting to keep her safe from situations like that?


Do you mean that he should have foreseen the bridge breaking someday and reinforced it to make sure that she won't be faced with a decision weather or not to sell herself in order to cross a bridge-less river? She was not forced.

One can not keep another 'safe' from what reality can bring. Reality continually demands of us to make good decisions. If it was not this bridge it would have been something else.

I judge him as morally white given that it was only few days after the bridge broke.

Edited by ~Sophia~, 21 December 2007 - 07:17 PM.

"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."
—Thomas Jefferson

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings;
but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause,
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.
So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt
Citizenship in a Republic, Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910


"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours." - Ayn Rand


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