Continued from thread-hijacking in PowerMacs...
Quote from catmistake:
Ethics and morality apply to people, more specifically, persons. A company is not a person, nor is it a group of people (for these purposes, we’re not using the word that way, like a military unit, or a social gathering), it is an abstract construct, an institution created to conduct business.
Semantics. You’re talking definitions only, I’m talking consequences. Yes, by definition alone, you are correct. You can’t be immoral to an inanimate object or an abstraction.
However, Jon is correct in the actual results. You screw over a company, it hurts the people who are trying to make a living running it, it hurts all their employees who make a living working for that company.
And lets not forget that although laws are supposedly based in morality, if you break the law it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are acting unethically, as the laws themselves sometimes have shown themselves to be propped by unethical attitudes.
Entirely true. Legality and morality meet of most of the time, but not all of the time. The old example:
Is it moral to steal a loaf of bread when it’s the only way to feed your kids? Yes, even though it’s breaking the law.
Is it moral to steal a loaf of bread because it’s convenient? No, and whether you’re stealing from an individual or a ‘corporate abstraction’ does not make it any less of an immoral act because...
As I said, I have abandoned my previous moral constructs, which were based on who or what the acts were done to, to the evaluation of the acts themselves. It is what you do that is important, not who or what you do it to.
...those actions still affect people, directly or indirectly, as individuals and the broader community. I think we’re pretty much on the same page here, aside from the wordplay above.
Which brings me back to my original post, that I feel using a service a business provides for a fee and not paying for it, is unethical. No moral equivalence here, I won’t gauge -how- unethical it is, but it is still not a moral act.