Dear Mr. Super-Ethicist:
My friend dreams of someday being in the ballet. I am often confronted with the dilemma of having to tell her the truth, that's she is a terrible dancer and will never be in the ballet, or lie to her and let her believe in her dreams. What should I do?
- On tippy-toes in Arizona
I am reminded of the absolutist philosophy of Kant, who believed that one must always tell the truth. And I am reminded of Bonhoeffer, who insisted that one should lie if it is in the name of a greater good. For example, Bonhoeffer said that a Dutchman should lie to the Nazis if he was hiding Jewish refugees, because he is testifying to the greater truth that the Holocaust was wrong. So, I guess what I am saying is your friend sounds like a pain in the ass. And there is nothing more satisfying than letting the wind out of pains in the ass. Make it clear that she's a terrible dancer, and for God's sake, have fun doing it. By the way, what are you wearing right now?
Dear Mr. Super-Ethicist
Recently, my friends and I went to a smoothie shop. The clerk was very rude to my friends, ignoring us so he could talk to a friend on the phone, and he forgot to put the bee pollen in Jackie's smoothie. When it came time to pay, he forgot to charge us for two of the smoothies. Since he had been so rude, we decided not to correct him. Was this wrong?
- confused in Wisconsin
You sound like a pain in the ass. Your dilemma is very similar to Schrodinger's Cat. Schrodinger had this cat that he put in a box with two sides. In one side was a single, lethal molecule. In the other was a rude smoothie store cashier. Then he put a cover on the box. Anyway, the way it all works out is that the molecule kills the cat and you can have the smoothies for free and not feel guilty.
Dear. Mr. Super-Ethicist:
I never thought I would be writing to the Super-Ethicist, but then I never thought what just happened ever would. I stayed home from work today to wait for the cable "man." Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a very sexy young woman. She set up my cable and then hung around for a while and we had a couple beers. She told me she could hook up the cable so I got the pay-per-view channels for free. She then proceeded to show me by turning on one of the adult channels. It was very sexy and she offered to stay for a while to make sure the "picture was okay." I told her no, that it was wrong to receive this programming for free and made her leave. I later reported her to the cable company. My question is this: is it okay to receive such programming for free when an employee of the company offers it to you, or is it still stealing?
- New to cable in California
You're an idiot.
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