Sign up FAST! Login

Are You an A-hole for Ordering Food in a Blizzard? We Asked an Ethicist...


Are You an Asshole for Ordering Food in a Blizzard We Asked an Ethicist Motherboard

Source: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/are-you...

“Then you have the other angle: the Lockian kind of social contract approach,” Heaps said, “which is: 'Look, if he decides that it's worth it to him to be on an electric bike in a blizzard for a six dollar tip, then as the owner, possessor, and operator of his property—his being and his electric bike—and you're willing to pay the market rate, and you have an agreement, then no sovereign government should get in the way.”

There's a bit of a rub here, because after 11 PM New York City has a travel ban coming down, that de Blasio explained includes delivery drivers. You would be asking people to break the law for you. I asked Heaps how ethical that was.

“I was going to somewhat snarkily respond—in the long tradition of educated white people quoting Dr. King—I was going to say that 'an unjust law is no law at all,'” Heaps said.

It's hard to picture someone calling this law unjust, or saying that it needs to be broken for the sake of justice, at least tonight. There are avenues of redress.

“Maybe there's a stringent libertarian view that would maintain that the law is impeding commerce, and is therefore unjust. I wouldn't subscribe to that personally, but it is an ethical view that is out there,” he said.

“But employing someone else to break the law for you," he continued. "You wonder, at what point does that become a criminal enterprise? How is that distinguishable from organized crime, where you're not committing a crime, but you're creating an economic circumstance where someone else can and you're enjoying the spoils of their ill-gotten labor?”

I warmed immediately to this idea of becoming some sort of mafia don, just by ordering pizza.

“I think that's where I'm going with this. You're the Nucky Thompson of ordering food,” Heaps said. “I'm going to go ahead and say that, ethically, as long as the law is a just law, it's probably not cool to pay someone to break the law for you.”

Well, Locke is a little murky, but Kant seems against Seamless. I asked Heaps if we could try virtue ethics, like from Aristotle.

Stashed in: Awesome, life, Uber, Vice

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

“But employing someone else to break the law for you," he continued. "You wonder, at what point does that become a criminal enterprise? How is that distinguishable from organized crime, where you're not committing a crime, but you're creating an economic circumstance where someone else can and you're enjoying the spoils of their ill-gotten labor?”

That escalated quickly.

It really did.

anchorman boy that escalated quickly gif tumblr imgur PandaWhale

And yes, asking someone to deliver in a snowstorm is ethically wrong. 

I don't agree.  I worked for less than minimum wage working through horrid weather conditions.  The work started at 3 AM and ended around 10-11 am on weekends.  The postal service wasn't out but I was and if I were getting tips to do my job then it would have been wonderful.  just because I have seen horrible conditions doesn't make this ethical, but reducing someone's hours at a job they need because of a storm hurts them. 

Let's say they get told they can't work their scheduled shifts because of the storm; do these employees get compensated, and by whom?  The owner of the business isn't on the hook for storm related lack of work and if they feel they can hemorrhage money during a storm to stay open more power to them. 

I would like to see a hazard pay for these people and a law that doesn't forbid paying employees to work through this but compensates employees if there is a storm and they don't feel that they are up to the task of braving the weather.  I would not like to see the law dictate my willingness to work, being 18+ citizen, if there is no OSHA policy that forbids it or regulates how I do it I can do it and just follow OSHA regulations on the manner in which the work is performed.  No hazmat suit required, but verification of proper PPE (personal protective equipment) yes.

Feel free to call me an E-hole or A-hole for saying this.  I don't mind.

What I hear you saying is that it's better for people to be properly compensated for blizzard conditions, rather than not get compensated at all because they're not working. 

Yes, especially true in high cost of living areas such as New York.

Yeah, it makes sense that people need to make money. Blizzard pay seems like a solution.

universal income?

Yeah, if there were universal income, it might be that nobody chooses jobs like this.

Perhaps this is a job for drones. 

Well at least short term compensation for "acts of god" like you should if there were a hurricane.  Boston Dynamics doge would be great in this weather.http://phys.org/news/2013-03-boston-dynamics-bigdog-toss-video.html

You May Also Like: