Two questionable instances of permissable action

I want to consider two cases wherewhich we may find it difficult or perhaps immoral for someone to legitimately practice an activity. I want to think harder about it and perhaps change my mind about the prima facie perception that it is immoral.

Case 1: Ridiculous spenders

It is highly immoral, that, during our hard economic times, where people are losing jobs, finding it hard to make the breadline, and businesses are struggling, that there are those with ridiculous wealth that are keen to spend it on whatever they want, even if it includes fanciful and ridiculous and seemingly insulting activities.

Consider for instance, if someone was so rich, that they bought enough dye to fill an elevator with blood to imitate the scene from The Shining, or bought a mountain of Mars bars and then destroyed it, or bought a car made of gold (funny enough these do exist).

Thesis: We might think what ridiculous and insulting behaviour. We might think that these people are being socially irresponsible insofar as food is a valuable commodity, or their action shows their wealth while others are currently struggling to feed themselves. Indulgence, as an attitude, we might even say, is an affront to any kind of progress.

Antithesis: If more people buy, then others have the oppurtunity to sell. If no one buys, no one can sell. Consumer behaviour, no matter how indulgent (perhaps you might even say especially when indulgent) helps the economy, a ridiculous purchase may get commission, helps a store, helps an employee, helps a company, helps its workers, helps their families. So long as people spend, others earn. So long as others earn, we can all keep spending. The lingering question is obviously to whom the buck ends, but if we keep passing, that seems far from inert.

Case 2: Charlatan or Philistine behaviour

Consider the person who represents the dignity, integrity and other such virtues of their craft. The watchmaker represents the elegance, innovation, and individuality of human creation over factory production; the virtuoso musician represents the perseverence of practice and fine technique, individual, yet respectful and indebted to her history.

What if a watchmaker had a crappy casio watch? What if a virtuoso listened to philistine music? The contestation of their character is in the ideals that link to their activity, and the ‘off-stage’ item or practice that opposes it.

Thesis: this opposition of value endorsement shows inconsistency and a failure in character.

Antithesis: there may be some secondary adjudstments made before the rationalisation of the aforementioned offensive practice. Perhaps a distinction between the sacred and the profane (some people, for instance, distinguish between fucking and making love, playing and ‘performing’, singing and ‘reciting’)

[Edit: this is a fragment article]


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