Do Ethics Matter? (Re: [linux-elitists] Why haven't you switched to MacOS X yet?)
Sat Jan 11 11:55:36 PST 2003
>>>>> "RM" == Rick Moen <email@example.com> writes:
Me> People who have them call 'em "ethics". People who don't call
Me> it "dogma."
RM> Er, Evan, I hope you don't mind my saying this, but I get a
RM> little antsy when people immediately resort to gratuitous
RM> moralism in these debates: I see no reason to attribute lack
RM> of ethics to those who (mistakenly) label as "dogma" any
RM> preference for open-source. It's purblind and rude, yes; but
RM> hardly unethical.
Well, I'll say right now: I don't think the moralism is
gratuitous. It's patently ridiculous to write morals out of the
equation entirely. Something important in public debate dies when the
idea of an ethical response to a situation is considered illogical and
RM> Furthermore, a preference for open source, where feasible,
RM> need not be rooted in "ethics" at all.
Well, to parse words for a moment: in a narrow sense of the word
"ethics", yes. In the broader, original sense -- which defines ethics
as the study of how we should live and act -- ethics informs
everything we do, all the time.
RM> [...] a perfectly rational pragmatic response to decades of
RM> seeing one's IT agenda jerked around by third-party
RM> proprietary software publishers, resulting in uncontrolled
RM> business risk.
There's principles in this, too, of course. The principle of doing
what's right for your company, the principle of maintaining
independence, the principle of fool-me-twice. They're just such
ubiquitous principles that we tend not to even see them as such.
RM> I'm sure there are various other reasons, as well. But it
RM> honestly should suffice to point out that calling it "dogma"
RM> is just genteel name-calling from someone who found that
RM> putdown to be easier than thinking.
Umm, so, as far as I can tell, I think we agree on this point.
X-Quote: "I may not have class, but I have style." -- Miss Conduct
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