Morality Politics

Cyril Ramaphosa and the irrelevance of adultery

Those who think that politicians should be held to a higher moral standard than other influential people seem guilty of an inconsistency. The primary clue as to what should be expected of you is in your job title or description – if you’re a teacher, you should be judged on your teaching, and if you’re a President, you should be judged on how well you preside.

I realise that this is a simplification, in that it is sometimes the case that other factors should influence our assessment of your suitability for a role. But we would typically require some clear link between your “crime” and the job you are employed to perform.

External World Morality

Facebook only half as evil as you think

Most objections to Facebook’s alleged violations of our privacy are somewhat hysterical. Mostly because, instead of explaining

  • why privacy is necessarily inviolable
  • if it’s not inviolable, under what conditions can it be violated
  • what harms accrue from those alleged violations of privacy
  • why Facebook is to blame in any case

people choose to instead simply assert their interpretations of the above, trusting that we all share their indignation. They usually cannot offer arguments in support of their claims that Facebook is evil. And, what they mostly do is forget that they signed up for something called a social network, which is set up for the purposes of connecting people to those they know, might know, and might like to know. So with that as a premise of this service that you voluntarily subscribed to, any future objections to what Facebook does with your “personal” data need to throw a little sprinkling of caveat emptor into the rant.