Ethics and Doubt

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Bryan Bishop 1 year, 2 months ago.

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  • #25591
     Lauren Bello 

    We had a great conversation on Slack today, based on users from different factions examining two questions:

    1) Does silence=complicity?
    2) Is the OSDM actually doing bad, IRL, non-theatrically WRONG things?

    @bcbishop led the conversation – I’m putting the highlights here.


    Bryan: My view for a while has been that OSDM is basically like Disney, Apple, Nike, or a major corporation. They do terrible shit we would all shiver about if we were REALLY honest and stuck to our moral beliefs.

    But we don’t. Not really. Because we all like conveniences, and what we get from certain entities. So our overall morality, no matter how much we fight for X or Y cause, is fluid.

    What I get from The Experiences and the work of the OSDM has been so impactful, it’s been quite easy to support them and sleep at night. Did actors die at Tension? Not really. Have we heard about bad things happening? Sure.. but no proof. It’s all been a riddle inside a riddle inside a riddle… and the entire time I’ve been personally getting tremendous things out of it on a personal level.

    It’s a super unpopular viewpoint to hold, and I’ve caught a ton of shit, but them’s the brakes. I’m good with that.

    So, the devil you know, essentially (which may not even be that bad).

    Where things get sticky for me is intent. It’s why i asked brad the question about mackenzie, and the vote follow through.

    If we know for a fact that if we do X, a child will die, do we still do that? What is our moral stance in that situation?

    Me: Is your view basically, there’s no proof anything truly heinous has happened within OSDM walls?

    Bryan: Yesterday truly upset me. If it is true (and we always have to take that with a grain of salt around here), that bothers me on a profound level.

    Sean: Or rather, that what we’ve gained outweighs what happens inside the walls?

    Bryan: So it becomes about the trade off – exactly

    In this case, the experience of The Experience vs. the possibility that something bad might have happened to somebody

    To be frank, this is why I’ve asked Morgan in the past for real clarity on the BOS mission. I’m not executing some strategy here, so if a different approach than what I’ve been doing better aligns with my internal compass, I have no problem with that. because i’m following my path here, at the end of the day. We all are.

    That is why the lack of clarity has been such an issue for me, and the lack of questions asked before extreme action has been taken.

    One group of extremists taking extreme action against another group they claim are extremists, and nobody is being careful to know what actually happens next.

    Again, an unpopular idea, but we don’t know shit. We should really stop acting like we “know” team x is bad, or team y is bad. we don’t. there is no moral absolutism in this.

    So I will continue to run what I guess can be termed an emotional cost-benefit analysis?

    Winston: but we can have opinions on the likely truth…when we see one of those groups doing something that we feel is morally objectionable, it’s ok to object to that

    Sean: Our whole god damn society is built off the suffering of others, don’t pretend that we’re all better than it

    Your iPhone is built off essentially slave labor in FoxConn

    Your jeans are put together by people in a sweat shop

    Me: I follow all of this and I suspect that for those of us who return to Slack and the forums every day, our reasoning is somewhat similar. We’ve all chosen not to walk away. I guess my question is – if you believe the harm of the last 24 hours is hypothetical only, then why do you also speak as if BOS has done actual harm through their vote?

    Bryan: I don’t know that it’s hypothetical. It could be real, it could not.

    The criticisms I have on this front are more about the lack of follow through or moral conviction. One can’t sit there and talk about virtue and fighting the good fight and never harming innocents, and then just shrug it off when innocents are harmed.

    I mean, one can, but one should expect to be criticized.

    And as far walking away – I think you and I are on the same page with this @daela. If it comes to that, we all know the only way to truly stop empowering the OSDM and The Investors is to simply stop.

    Maybe one day it will come to that for me. I honestly don’t know right now.

    Winston: that would certainly be the most clear-cut solution on an individual level….it doesn’t stop others from getting drawn in to the same traps

    it’s also not always the most achievable solution…you could always say with any cult “Well, if everyone just walked away, there wouldn’t be one”

    it’s not untrue..but it’s not exactly a practical solution

    Bryan: Right, I’m not talking about some greater cause. Simply talking about coming back if/when one thinks their very presence empowers forces they have problems with. I’m obviously nowhere near that place. Not even in the same hemisphere. But life is long.

    Me: I get what you’re saying about shrugging it off. I think that either we believe that harm has been done, or we don’t; it’s awfully convenient to believe that people are being harmed when we want to save them, and not believe that people are being harmed when it’s one of the ripples of our actions.

    I do think that argument cuts both ways, and that it’s equally convenient to not believe harm is being done when enjoying the “experience,” and yet believe harm is being done when it’s the result of BOS’s vote.

    We all probably have our own double standards

    Bryan: I agree with that @daela. For the record, I do take what happened yesterday as fact at this point (just as I did with Joyce). Hence my being upset yesterday. Is their a possibility it wasn’t real? Totally. Does that factor into my own internal emotional calculus? I’m sure it does.

    Cristen: I guess it’s all an exercise in what we’re willing to let pass in order to keep the path clear.

    Winston: that pretty much describes life

    Bryan: Yep. What do we lust after, and what are we willing to do for it? How much of ourselves do we compromise in the process?


    Thanks to everyone who chimed in! Constructive debate FTW.

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  Lauren Bello.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  Lauren Bello.
  • #25594
     Bryan Bishop 

    Thank you for pulling this apart and making it read in one go, @daela!

    There was a ton of great, thoughtful conversation in Slack today. Though we have differences of opinion at times, I sincerely love chatting with you guys. <3

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