Corporate Culture, Corporate Conscience

The removal of “Brendan Eich, Mozilla co-founder and creator of the JavaScript programming language” should make us all very concerned. He was not pressured to leave for what he did but what he believes. Here’s the central point that Joseph Sunde makes in his post at the Mozilla’s Statement of Faith and the Altars of Conformity:

…amidst all the pooh-poohing of the baker, the florist, and the photographer — whose complaints actually are bound up in the activities at hand – those very same critics casually proceed to make people the central thing. As the statement of faith clearly concludes, it is Eich who is the aggressor, and Eich who must be removed. The peace and tranquility of the interwebs is at stake, and influential proponents of archaic institutions mustn’t be allowed to stand in its way.

This isn’t to reject out of hand the right–even the obligation–of corporation to shape their business around specific moral norms.

Business are culture-makers at the core, and thus, conscience ought to guide such activities, from the bottom to the top and back again.

At the same time, however

…one can’t help but suspect this is less about a distinct corporate conscience than it is about blind cultural conformity. But then one remembers that, in this case, conformity the conscience, and there’s not a whole lot more going on “up there” than a raw fear of that looming Idol of Egalitarianism.

The central “virtue” of conformity is loyalty, to follow orders and to think along with the group. Nothing, it seems to me, can be further from what is necessary for a dynamic and growing business. Much less is it compatible with a free people and the value of the person.

In Christ,

+Fr Gregory

 

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The Battle for Purity

Paul S. Loverde, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, has an interesting essay on the First Things site (Let the Battle for Purity Begin). Based in part on the new edition of his pastoral letter on pornography, “Bought with a Price” (available at Amazon for Kindle and at www.arlingtondiocese.org/purity), Bishop Loverde writes that

The pornography epidemic is something to which all people of good will must devote more attention and talk about more openly, but first we need to understand something of the scope and character of the problem.

He goes on to say that

Those who deny that the act of viewing pornography has any negative consequences must understand just how toxic the situation has become. It may be that a man now in his forties, say, remembers being a curious adolescent, stealing glances at a magazine in a neighbor’s home or in the aisle of a convenience store. As morally problematic and harmful as that act surely is, such behavior was arguably slow to become habitual and the physiological and psychological consequences were infrequently severe. That experience is far removed from what young people face today.

He goes on the discuss briefly some of the scientific research about the effects of pornography as well as the moral and spiritual consequences that he’s seen in his own pastoral ministry. Continue reading

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Context Matters…

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For us, even now in the twenty-first century, we can still be appalled by the filthiness and suffocating pollution in the fast-growing cities of the modern economies arising in the 19th century.  But we forget to appreciate what it meant for people to escape from the wages of medieval times to incomes two or three times the medieval level, as most people in Britain, America, France, and the German lands came to enjoy in the 19th century.

Edmund Phelps (2013), Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change, p., 52.

h/t: Cafe Hayek.

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Not Being Nice, But Not Being Evil…

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The problem that societies must solve, if they are to enjoy the benefits of efficiently organizing economic activity in large groups, is not getting people to care more about each other, or getting them to do nice things for one another.  The problem that societies must solve is combatting their willingness to take advantage of each other, to behave opportunistically.

David Rose (2011), The Moral Foundation of Economic Behavior, p. 79.

h/t: Cafe Hayek.

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Sexism and Same-Sex Marriage?

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Kelly Bartlett (Public Discourse).

It’s one thing for two guys to love each other; it’s altogether different for society to endorse this union by granting these two men the status of marriage. A male marriage might not look overtly sexist, but what about the long-term effects? Redefining marriage grants men the legal right to deprive children of a relationship with their mother simply because she’s female. Because she’s “born that way.” What if this gender discrimination continues?

Obviously, two men cannot reproduce with each other, but in tandem with marriage comes the right to adopt. If a male couple’s adopted son meets and marries a like-minded guy whose dads commissioned him from a surrogate mother, then we would see an extended family bereft of not only mothers but also grandmothers. On both sides. Under current law in many states, this chauvinism can continue for generations.

Decades from now, young Marvin can trace his family tree and compare it with that of his pal Leroy. The latter has one mom and one dad, two grandmothers and two grandfathers, four great-grandmothers and four great-grandfathers. Leroy’s family tree is gender-integrated and balanced.

Meanwhile, Marvin lists two dads, four grandpas, and eight great-grandfathers. His family has fourteen men and zero women; it’s gender-segregated and devoid of wives, mothers, grandmothers, and their feminine love.

Of course, we know that babies can’t actually be nurtured for nine months in a test tube using IVF, no matter how many thousands of dollars we thrust at researchers. And despite millions in research, no scientist has ever generated a single ovum. Marvin had to have a mom or he wouldn’t be here. And his parents had to have mothers as well. It’s not that Marvin doesn’t have a mom or grandmothers in his ancestry. These women are invisible to Marvin, but they are real. They were intentionally excluded from his family precisely because of their sex. This man-made barricade is more harmful than the glass ceiling at work since it prevents children from accessing their own mothers.

Man caves are fun. Man family trees . . . not so much.

*****

To be fair, same-sex marriage laws grant women the same right to segregate family trees and the same power to deprive their children of fathers. But this doesn’t advance equality. That’s simply the debunked “separate but equal” argument in new, gender-segregated clothing. Again, I know too many dads and I honor my own father far too much to endorse writing them out of generations of children’s lives for the supposed crime of being born male.

Of course, same-sex marriage lobbyists can argue that the likelihood of entire branches being segregated by sex is slim. (I sure hope so.) Yet they dare not criticize the right to create gender-segregated family trees, because doing so would automatically refute their case. After all, redefining marriage is predicated on the theory that gender diversity is unimportant in marriage. Supporting gender integration would automatically plant them on the side of pro-gender marriage.

When confronted with Marvin’s ancestry, same-sex marriage activists can only applaud as they continue to support excluding either husbands and dads, or wives and mothers from homes. They consider this such an important benefit to society that they have persuaded judges or legislatures in sixteen states and a handful of countries to enact laws enabling gender segregation in families for generations.

That’s not marriage equality. That’s same-sexism marriage.

*****

As SSM advocates scatter seeds of gender alienation, we can focus attention on our collective family tree, which is inclusive and integrated. Every time you’re online reading an article that supports same-sex marriage, prune away the focus on homosexuality in order to shine a light on the roots of gender discrimination. Call attention to the fact that these are gender-exclusive unions. That they are missing one half of humanity. They deliberately deprive children of either a mother or a father. Their grandchildren will therefore lack either a grandmother or a grandfather. If they call it marriage equality, ask why treating the children of gays differently and banishing their mothers from the home is equality.

And when they refer to same-sex marriage, invite them to join the right side of history by rejecting sexism and supporting pro-gender marriage. Because gender matters to everyone, including homosexuals, as well as their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren . . .

- See more at: Gender, Discrimination, and Marriage | Public Discourse.

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Food Packaging and the Environment

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Another misconception promoted by ['local-food'] activists is that the absence (or much smaller volume) of packaging material at farmers’ markets has significant environmental benefits, a notion that conveniently ignores the fact that food packaging has the dual advantage of protecting food from microbes and greatly prolonging shelf life.  These advantages, in turn, significantly increase the probability of food being consumed instead of ending in a landfill or incinerator.

Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu (2012),The Locovore’s Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-Mile Diet (footnote deleted), p. 101.

h/t: Cafe Hayek.

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Valuing Pastoral Care: Impressive and Important Aren’t the Same

Steve Horwitz and Sarah Skwire have an essay at Bleeding Heart Libertarians that addresses what he characterizes as a classical mistake made by feminists in understanding the value of housework. He writes that like many others, feminists confuse “impressive work with important work.” He goes on to say that

Garbage collection may well not be impressive. Neither are diaper changing, gutter cleaning, grocery shopping, or any number of other icky, sticky, stinky, slimy and otherwise unpleasant jobs that keep humans healthy, safe, clean, and dry. But if no one is doing those tasks, humans don’t stay healthy, safe, clean, and dry enough to do impressive work–like designing skyscrapers, doing brain surgery, writing novels, and so on.

This however doesn’t mean that we are free to dismiss unimpressive work “as unimportant.” Rather Continue reading

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