Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thoughts on Ch.3 Sagoff Reading

I just finished reading Sagoff’s chapter, Allocation and Distribution of Resources, and I have to say that I feel a little more ashamed of myself and disturbed than before I picked up the text.

Are the rationale of our day-to-day choices actually that different from our fundamental values? Sagoff seems to think so: “I buy only disposable [bottles] now, but to soothe my conscience, I urge my state senator to outlaw one-way containers.” No question that Sagoff was trying to assuage his guilt in that situation (like mining corps do when they promise to restore the land…), but the contradiction seems unacceptable. The way I interpreted this example – let me know if you disagree – is that he’s very much in favor of regulation. Regulation, if aligned with our ethics system, eliminates the choice we’d have to make between our preferences as consumers and values as citizens i.e. “the consumer against himself as a citizen or as a member of a moral community” I never thought the two were quite so mutually exclusive...

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