?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
14 July 2012 @ 07:24 pm
A proposal for a paired set of definitions  
Well, not definitions, precisely, but how does this sound to you?

Ethics: Doing this right keeps you from fucking up someone's life.
Etiquette: Doing this right keeps you from fucking up someone's day.
 
 
Adrian Turtleadrian_turtle on July 15th, 2012 02:24 pm (UTC)
I believe it to be fundamentally wrong. Some lucky people recover quickly from bullying, or sexual assault, or the theft of small sums of money. I can't accept the idea that it is "ethical, just impolite" to steal from a rich person, or to rape a person who happens to be very emotionally resilient. Doing more damage to the victim can make an unethical action MORE unethical, but it doesn't define the action as unethical in the first place.
Lionesselisem on July 15th, 2012 07:40 pm (UTC)
Are you working backward from the amount of harm caused and using that to determine whether something was ethics or etiquette?
Adrian Turtleadrian_turtle on July 15th, 2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
Elise:
Are you working backward from the amount of harm caused and using that to determine whether something was ethics or etiquette?

I tried that briefly, and ran into obvious moral contradictions. I thought Janet was trying to frame the distinction in order to determine whether something was ethics or etiquette. (The question can be before or after the action.) People are upset about something a guy did--did the guy do something unethical, or was it an etiquette violation? It's a worthwhile question. I don't think the answer aligns with how much harm was done, so I find it misleading to define the terms as the original post does.