The good Rev. AKMA has a few words on the temptation to transgress and the value of personal choice.
The argument that intrigues me most is the suggestion that the subsidy creates a questionable “temptation to transgress” — that’s a beautiful point, and I’m attracted to it for heavy theological reasons. Still, what kind of commercial relationship doesn’t entail such a temptation? What relationship of trust doesn’t involve a potential temptation? And what online relationship doesn’t entail potentially corruptive elements? Am I working on this topic, perhaps, thinking that I can win some hot links out of the discussion, or out of the hope that Marc Canter will recommend my twenty readers as a sound investment for Marqui’s next round of subsidies?
I wonder about the creation of temptation being evil. I know it was represented that way in the Bible, but we create choices for ourselves all the time and if capitalism is about anything it’s about creating and making choices. It seems to me that the choice about how to treat the sponsorship is where the ethical line will be crossed or not. I mean, for example, that I believe most of us here, were we employed at Google would have quit before we censored our news aggregator in order to reach a Chinese reader, leaving no one any choices other than the approved one. Marqui put no conditions on the sponsorship other than that it establishes a certain periodicity for mentioning the company, and it is up to us how we do that. I intend to write variations on “Thanks for the sponsorship, check them out so they see the value in continuing to sponsor this blog, decide for yourselves,” as, indeed, I just did.
What we’re seeing is some diversity in the way people are going to do it. I think it’s good that we see diversity in even a little experiment like this. Rather proves the individuality of blogs. Not everyone will do the right thing, but some will—I believe I will—and the whole experiment will not be a failure if one person or five prove to be corrupted by money, which is an interpretation of AKMA’s argument. Comes down to choices of and by one.
Or, to put it another way, in the Lemur we trust.]]>