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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2008 :  13:00:40  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Poll Question:
They say that everyone has a price. Do you think that's true? What would be your price to endorse a product or idea that you know is bogus?

(No fair accepting the money and then admiting its bogosity the next day - no scamming the scammers for this poll.)

Choices:
$1,000
$10,000
$100,000
$1,000,000
Much, much higher
It would have to be something other than money
I can't be bought
Other

(Anonymous Vote)

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2008 :  14:16:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh darn. I can't vote. I pressed the View Results button first.

For what it's worth, it would greatly depend on my financial situation, and if any real harm would come from my endorsement. Of course, assessing what real harm is could be tricky. In any case, I would not come cheaply... Hey, you want honesty? I would like to think that I can't be bought, but until the situation presents itself, how can I know?

Oh wait, I guess I did vote.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2008 :  15:11:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can't answer this poll as it is framed, so I will simply view the results.

I'm certainly not absolutely honest, and money is indeed a temptation. I do know, however, that I would not, for any amount of money do anything that would harm, or help to harm. an innocent person. Would I, for a million dollars, endorse a chewing gum that I felt smelled like a skunk, but which was otherwise wholesome and harmless? Almost certainly.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2008 :  16:59:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Guess is sort of depends on what's being peddled. But something harmless ("will boost your IQ by 20 points!") would something I'd certainly hype for good pay. But perhaps I'm answering in such a way only because I know I'm never going to be asked to do such a thing...
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Zebra
Skeptic Friend

USA
354 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2008 :  19:04:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Zebra a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Depends hugely on the situation: what's at stake, including: (1) how much one would give up as the spokesperson for the endorsement of the bogus product & for how long (everlasting ridicule, vs. momentary discomfort) and (2) how steeply the money would be taxed by the governmental powers that be, what the alternative "rewards" might be.

Incredible sex? Fame without paparazzi? Longer health/life? What besides money would motivate people here?

I think, you know, freedom means freedom for everyone* -Dick Cheney

*some restrictions may apply
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2008 :  20:46:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Zebra

What besides money would motivate people here?
Whether they could live with themselves afterwards.

I see people here worried about the effects on other people, but the poll question boils down to this: what price would you put on your own integrity?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Zebra
Skeptic Friend

USA
354 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2008 :  21:01:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Zebra a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Isn't the effect on other people part of the effect one sees on one's own integrity?

I think, you know, freedom means freedom for everyone* -Dick Cheney

*some restrictions may apply
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2008 :  22:00:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Zebra

Isn't the effect on other people part of the effect one sees on one's own integrity?
Only if you've got no internal ethical compass.

To me, it doesn't matter if I were asked to endorse some homeopathic cancer cure (which would kill people) or if I were asked to endorse the iron Sun theory (which would only effect the borderline insane), either way I'm being asked how much it would take to for me to perpetrate and perpetuate a falsehood, an act that goes against everything I want for the world.

I'm not saying that I can't be bought, only that I can't be bought cheaply. It'd have to be enough for me and my immediate family to live comfortably for a long, long time, out of the public eye (except for whatever endorsement "duties" I'd have).

Once we get to an eight- or nine-digit price tag, we've left the realm of feasibility for just about every reasonable source of cash, and so the question of whether my endorsement hurts many or few is moot. The way I figure it, I'd want to be able to give myself a $200,000-per-year after-tax "allowance" for at least 100 years without having to worry about interest rates, so that means a base figure of $30,769,230 and 77 cents. Triple that for my wife and child, and we might as well call it an even hundred million. Oh, there are a few other people I'd like to have not ever worry about money, so double it again to two hundred million dollars.

Call that my base price for endorsing the most innocuous baloney you can think of. At such an amount, I don't think that demanding more money would help alleviate any guilt I might feel about some people dying or being ripped off. Heck, the $200,000-a-year figure only came up because I'd want to give at least $100,000 to some certain charities every year (and I figure I could probably live comfortably on the rest), so anything over my base price would probably just get funneled to those charities, as well, and there's only so much of that that my brain can abstract into absolution for ripping people off or killing them.

But none of that money could erase the damage I would have done to my own integrity. I mean, I certainly couldn't show my face here at the SFN any more, no matter the size of my paycheck.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Zebra
Skeptic Friend

USA
354 Posts

Posted - 04/28/2008 :  20:45:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Zebra a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Originally posted by Zebra

Isn't the effect on other people part of the effect one sees on one's own integrity?
Only if you've got no internal ethical compass.
Hmmm, interesting. If I squint, that doesn't look so much like an insult.

I disagree that these factors, "the effect on other people" and "internal ethical compass", that one might consider in making a decision on how to act, are mutually exclusive. But this just looks like deontological ethics (you) v. teleological ethics or consequentialism (me).

Here's Wikipedia's definition & discussion of integrity (italics mine):
Integrity is the basing of one's actions on an internally consistent framework of principles. Depth of principles and adherence of each level to the next are key factors. One is said to have integrity to the extent that everything one does is derived from the same core set of values. While those values may change, it is their consistency with each other and with the person's actions that determine the person's integrity.

The concept of integrity is directly linked to responsibility in that implementation spawning from principles is designed with a specific outcome in mind. When the action fails to achieve the desired effect, a change of principles is indicated. Accountability is achieved when a faulty principle is identified and changed to produce a more useful action.


If the key principle one follows in a situation is "never lie, no matter what", then there should be no amount of money which would entice the person with integrity to make endorse any product he or she does not believe in, in any situation. That seems to be the approach you would take, unless perhaps the monetary reward was adequately obscene, in which case you might go ahead - is that correct? (You might have been joking in making your calculation of the amount it would take; I couldn't quite tell. But don't worry, if you offered to share I bet that you could stay at sfn.)

[Edited to add: As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds...With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall.

I think, you know, freedom means freedom for everyone* -Dick Cheney

*some restrictions may apply
Edited by - Zebra on 04/28/2008 21:02:07
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Zebra
Skeptic Friend

USA
354 Posts

Posted - 04/28/2008 :  21:06:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Zebra a Private Message  Reply with Quote
[In the edit, the last part of my post seemed to get lost; here it is, sorry if duplicate]


I was the person who chose "other" in the poll; you said "price" but didn't specify that price was necessarily limited to monetary compensation. If the carrot being dangled were something like "eradicating malaria (or TB, or HIV) from Earth" - something that money can't buy (at this point, Gates Foundation or no) & which might be a once-in-many-lifetimes chance, which would benefit millions of people who otherwise would suffer & die from these endemic infections, I'd give that endorsement serious consideration. [Pause for criticism.]

It's also interesting to ask in what situation(s) one might make the false endorsement to avoid certain costs; what "stick" would work as opposed to what "carrot".

I think, you know, freedom means freedom for everyone* -Dick Cheney

*some restrictions may apply
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 04/28/2008 :  21:20:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Zebra

Hmmm, interesting. If I squint, that doesn't look so much like an insult.
It was the general "you," not you personally. I should have used the word "one" instead.
I disagree that these factors, "the effect on other people" and "internal ethical compass", that one might consider in making a decision on how to act, are mutually exclusive. But this just looks like deontological ethics (you) v. teleological ethics or consequentialism (me).
How about this: the hypothetical effects that one's actions might have on other people is how one develops a set of ethics. It is following that set of ethics that is "integrity," and at that point it doesn't matter if your actions have any effects on others or not: whether you've acted with integrity is independent of what your ethics are. A thief whose guiding principle is to only rob rich people acts with integrity by only robbing rich people, and loses integrity by rolling hobos for quarters. I think Wikipedia agree with this.
If the key principle one follows in a situation is "never lie, no matter what", then there should be no amount of money which would entice the person with integrity to make endorse any product he or she does not believe in, in any situation. That seems to be the approach you would take, unless perhaps the monetary reward was adequately obscene, in which case you might go ahead - is that correct?
Yes, it is correct. My integrity has a price. With luck, it's such a high price that I'll never be faced with the ethical dilemma of having to actually make such a decision.
(You might have been joking in making your calculation of the amount it would take; I couldn't quite tell...
Not joking, no. I've given it a bunch of thought. The price will only go up with inflation.
...But don't worry, if you offered to share I bet that you could stay at sfn.)
Not if the rest of the people here act with the kind of integrity I would hope they have, although that $10,000 vote seems a bit shaky.
I was the person who chose "other" in the poll; you said "price" but didn't specify that price was necessarily limited to monetary compensation. If the carrot being dangled were something like "eradicating malaria (or TB, or HIV) from Earth" - something that money can't buy (at this point, Gates Foundation or no) & which might be a once-in-many-lifetimes chance, which would benefit millions of people who otherwise would suffer & die from these endemic infections, I'd give that endorsement serious consideration. [Pause for criticism.]
No criticism here, except that you're getting much farther into magical abstract realms of ethical puzzles than even I dared tread.
It's also interesting to ask in what situation(s) one might make the false endorsement to avoid certain costs; what "stick" would work as opposed to what "carrot".
And I hadn't thought of that (by the way, this poll was actually Kil's idea). Evil product manufacturer sends email: "endorse my miracle pills or your spouse dies."

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Zebra
Skeptic Friend

USA
354 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2008 :  19:42:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Zebra a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"...endorse my miracle pills or your spouse dies."


Hmm, tempting. Would be a lot less trouble than marital counseling.

I think, you know, freedom means freedom for everyone* -Dick Cheney

*some restrictions may apply
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2008 :  07:30:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Can't put a value on it; I'm easy, but I ain't cheap.

Make an offer....




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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chaloobi
SFN Regular

1620 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2008 :  11:13:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send chaloobi a Yahoo! Message Send chaloobi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just can't see myself publicly pushing some snake-oil product as though it were real helping some morally bankrupt company get rich off vulnerable people. Even for a million bucks. Faced with the reality, maybe I'd think differently, but in my idealistic unreal mind, I don't see me doing it.

-Chaloobi

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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2008 :  12:21:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote

A hundred thousand is where real money just barely begins today, and "bogus" is where chicanery just starts. As far as paraffin for the forehead to cure headaches or the like, I'd sell out without a blink or a frown for a hundred thou.

I'd certainly peddle more serious scams than Head-On for a million or more - drawing the line at nostrums or products tha actually caused harm or illness! That borders on criminal, and besides that it's "unethical" or..."immoral"! Whatever those constructs are!

Money, however is money! And it can buy a great deal of good, as well as a great deal of......bad!

I've lived with myself for far worse transgressions than a little legal lying. And I know just how hard it is, even with a little head start, to put a hundred thousand bucks in the bank after paying 30-40 percent blood money to government run by pirates like Cheney and Bush.

So, being essentially criminal, without appreciable ethics, and enormously secularly selfish, I could easily become a fishmonger selling sucker bait!

I should have gone into politics!
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Coat Of Arms
Skeptic Friend

USA
58 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2008 :  10:43:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Coat Of Arms a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The question is straight forward and calls for a response in the negative sense That is, if you don't think about it for to long. A simple no is not as easy as just saying no, I can't be bought. Every person can be subjective to a weak moment and money is more plausible to be the subject of making a decision for all of the right or wrong reasons. Lying may be wrong in most situations, but not in all situations. The idea of easy money whether honestly earned or dishonestly obtained may put someone in the position of a moral dilemma, and does it really mean anything? You could say, they do not prove there are no moral absolutes. Moral dilemmas might mean that in some circumstances a person must make the right decision when more than one absolute collide with the situation.

So what is right for one person is not necessarily right for another. It's too easy to say or think there are no objective or absolute moral principles. I find it more difficult, however, to live as if there are none.

Knowing right and wrong is taught, learned, and experienced. Accepting money for all the wrong reasons is to suspend all knowledge and principles of reasoning and critical thinking.

I consider myself a stand up guy. So my answer is. I can't be bought for any amount of money.

I might say I have already been tested with a similar situation. I will leave out certain details. I was a Police Officer 32 years. I walked into a house, a drug dealer's house; I was alone, on the table, One Hundred Twenty Thousands Dollars. I followed procedure,
And to this day never regretted doing my job or the right thing.
Years have passed and I never questioned myself. On the other hand my wife thinks Im the only guy on the planet that honest.





Paul C.
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