Home > Socially Mundane > It’s About Morally Ethical Subjective Relativity, Stupid

It’s About Morally Ethical Subjective Relativity, Stupid


I am a highly opinionated person.

So are many people. Opinions are based on what we know, no matter how little or wrong it is. I treat everything as hearsay unless and until I see, hear or otherwise experience it myself, on my own. I like to get all sides to any stories before I start throwing accusations around. So, my opinions are firm, but based on thoughtful consideration.

There are two basic processes of thought which helps us to develop our opinions and they are, simply speaking via emotion or logic. The two rarely ever mesh, unless the emotion comes after the logic. Unfortunately, it is far too often the reverse is true and it wreaks havoc.

Take for example the (unnecessarily) ‘big news’ of the first life death of Rheta Shan. Personally: I don’t care. I don’t know this person. I’ve heard of this person, but I don’t know her. Thus, there is no emotion for me with regard to the ‘loss’.

Does this make me a cruel, mean, unethical person? Because I say “I don’t care”? Your first impression will likely be a resounding “yes!” However, please consider reading the above paragraph again.

I didn’t say that I don’t care that a person died or was killed. I didn’t say I don’t care about those whom are left behind and grieving. What I did say, if you take the entire paragraph in-context is that I don’t care about the “big news” about it. Of course I find it saddening and a possible tragedy. Certainly my concern and condolences go out to all those in mourning. But at the same time, along with everyone else, I only know a part of the story.

I come heavily down on the side of Prokofy Neva with regard to her open letter to Rheta Shan. And rather than writing my own version of the exact same thing with the exact same sentiments, I’ll just point you over to there. The reason I side so firmly with Prok on this is because only a couple months ago the exact same thing happened to a good friend: ‘he” was trying to get to her in first life, “he” was having problems (why it was taking three weeks on the road to drive only a few states cross-country) – and “he” ended-up in a car accident that killed him.

In review of the situation, way too many inconstancies and unnatural reactions from so-called first-life “related family” just didn’t add-up. After reviewing everything and doing serious digging for information and contact first life law enforcement and other officials, I am absolutely 100% convinced this ass-wipe is pulling serious wool over everyone’s eyes and all those “first-life related family” in SL are likely his alts.

Problem: it really messed-up my friend in first life. Not just emotionally, but also with her health and welfare. She had boxed-up all her belongings, gave vacation notice to landlord, turned-off water, electricity and all that other stuff. She ended up being forced to leave Second Life amidst all out genuine concern, especially when the last few conversations we had mentioned she will likely end-up on the street.

So, if Rheta’s ‘story’ is similar, how moral is that?

Then there is the issue of bloggers and so-called news-gathering entities. How ethical are they when they don’t bother to get as much factual information as possible in order to report responsibly just so they can get the news out first?

And how much of it is twisted and spun and phrased specifically to cause alarmist and inflammatory reaction – at the detriment and pain of others, even to the point of stooping to the depths of defamation? For example, in my SL “Fashionista Hornet’s Nest” article, I spent five-days digging-up all sides of the issue.

In the end, it turns-out the morally or ethically-corrupt individual was the very individual alleging morally and ethically corrupt actions of anther person. In my three-years in Second Life, I have never muted anyone for more than five-minutes. I have never banned anyone from my parcels of land, except temporarily and only of a bona-fide griefer. In all my SL experience, there is only a single person I continue to seriously dislike and that person is the subject of that article, specifically Tenshi Vielle.

But she’s still not banned from my parcels in-world or from commenting on this blog. She’s still not muted. Because even though I dislike her, and I don’t respect her, doesn’t mean I disrespect her. She is simple persona non-grata to me.

Even though the person she accuses of theft (which it is clearly proven is not the case) – many whom have commented that there is an ethical question. A very good and, to me, the best in all the feedback on that article is presented by Anna Tsiolkovsky and repeated on her Endless Voyage blog.

In the end ethics are relative and subjective. Every individual person has a different idea of what they based on their own perspective.For example, I find it utterly hilarious that a leather and stud-with-spikes-clad Mistress holding a chain-link leash on the collar of some BDSM “slave” who is nude, bound with a gag in his mouth and a hood over his head rambles on how Goreans mistreat their slaves and what terrible inconsiderate (expletives) they are.

Ummm, two thing miss charlatan “mistress”: first, have you actually read any of the books to know how these Gorean actually treat their “slaves”? And second, have you looked into a mirror lately?

This is the problem, isn’t it? We base our opinions on only partial and often incomplete information. For example, Ms. Tsiolkovsky opines:

For a real life example, many consider abortion to be ethically wrong. However, it’s legal according to the law and no matter how much mewing is done by however many people (barring another bill or court case) it will remain legal.

I agree with this statement.

In fact, I am one of those people who find abortion ethically wrong.

I know, I know, now I am a religious, right-wing radical zealot, right?

But wait a second… you only have part of my opinion! Had you actually taken the time to ask me and get my full opinion and the rest of this ‘story’, you would discover that I do in fact support abortion. Especially in the case of rape, incest or where the health of the mother or child or both plays a role in such consideration.

The part of abortion I personally find “ethically wrong” is when it is considered so easily and lightly as a birth-control method when there are so many other methods which include condoms, diaphragms, drugs and many many others. So I am actually “pro-choice” – I’m simply of the belief that the choice of abortion is a choice too late when the real choice should have been made at the time of the conception.

Now that you know my “stand” on abortion proper, if you still consider me a radical right-wing fanatic zealot, okay. Fair enough.

Enter Second Life: Only method of communication: text. Yes, there is voice, but the majority rely on text copy. No vocal inflection, body-language, facial expression or mannerism queues. This equals rampant misunderstanding.

Unless the misunderstanding is caught early and discussion ensues to correct said misunderstanding, the wrong opinion might be formed. Opinions judge things about other people, including what it thought-of about those others’ morality and ethics.

It’s all really subjective and relative, isn’t it?

  1. Rae
    May 14, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Wow! Right on! OMG – Great post! Very interesting and oh so true. I too have had SL people fake thier RL death – to escape their SL life. I don’t get it! Why not just say “I am done – outta here – Ciao!

  2. Landsend Korobase
    May 14, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    I’m not going to agree with you about it all being relative and subjective – a fair chunk of screwed-up moral views in this world (from the past and now) can actually be traced back to bad science, poor argumentation, or incorrect “facts”. Putting that aside though, I want to say that your own extensive research into the situation with Tenshi was a major part of the motivation for my piece about The Future of News that you linked to here – I was impressed with the time and effort you put into finding the truth and your determinedness to stand by what you discovered. It’s that desire to think for yourself and say what you discover which makes me keep coming back to this blog.

    As for Rheta, meh. I was not impressed with the rather large number of blogs which decided to pick up the story, and suddenly claim some sort of friendship to the woman. I had no desire to jump on that band-wagon. I’m impressed as usual at Prok’s guts in saying what s/he did. I’m not expressing an opinion as to whether it’s real or not because I just don’t know, but neither am I going to mourn someone I never met, who didn’t effect my life in any way whatsoever other than to have to read the exact same thing over and over on people’s blogs. It was an easy story for people to run, requiring little in the way of thought or research, I’m glad to see not everyone decided to join in.

  3. May 15, 2009 at 6:41 am

    Thank you Landsend.

    I don’t like to “go for the “scoop” news’.

    In fact, when I wrote my blurb on the FTC visiting virtual worlds thing, (I usually write and then schedule the article to post in a day or two – so I have time to review it again and make corrections and updates if need be,) I discovered Tateru already had her enormously (as always) insightful perspective on it.

    Which is fine by me. I’ve been plugging away at this SL blogging thing for almost 18 months and I guess it’s really taken that long to get the hang of it in terms of my ‘style’ and tempo.

    I don’t want to do what tateru does. She’s way too good. I don;t want to do what Hamlet does. He’s good, too. Or Prad or you or any of the others.

    So I have now settled into giving my perspective on other news I see. And then link to my source so you can see what I saw, and generate your own perspective if it suits you to do so.

    So, rather than “scoop” the FTC in virtual worlds thing and try to beat Tateru or others in exposing that, I actually like that I have given my own perspective on it and have that perspective appear a couple days after Tateru’s newsie version.

    I’m just surprised anyone is actually interested in my thoughts on things. LOL

    I’m a self-proclaimed sick, twisted, firmly opinionated jerk you know.


    Thank you!

    The only payment I get for doing this “reporting” is to know that I speak my mind and others chime-in. :)

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