The Rabbit Hole: Legal versus Logical versus Right?

If you could take something to help wake you up, would you? Oh wait, there is coffee, tea, cola’s, a variety of drinks with caffeine. If you could take something to relax you, would you? Well, there are options, beer, wine, spirits; all natural distillations and more recently added to the list is cannabis.  All of these are legal. What if you could take something to make you smarter, to enable you to do your job with ease. If you are a coder, you can write twice as much code with half the errors. As a researcher, you could do your work in half the time with a higher quality. It’s making you better. So, you’d take it. Right? 

Stay with the logic; an athlete’s job is performance dependent. Should performance enhancing drugs be allowed? With athletes, drugs are referred to a competitive advantage and are banned. The goal is literally a level playing field. But logically, an argument could be made for performance enhancing drugs. Legal, fair and right. It’s ok to outsource housework, pay someone else to do it. Car wash, pay someone else to do it. Send your laundry out to have it returned, clean, pressed, fresh and folded. You can order out for meals. You can have a clean, orderly, well maintained life. It’s not what you can do, it’s what you can get done. You paid for it, but you got it done. So, in school, it makes sense, you can pay someone to write your paper and take your tests. Well, you can pay your way into college.  It’s not what you can do, it’s what you can get done. Right?

It’s a weird juxtaposition of moral objectivism. You can make logical justifications, you can find a legal argument, but lose context and objective. In tricky situations, are you trying to tell right from wrong or rationalizing bad behavior. There was an item this week where someone was turned down to be a roommate because of her astrological sign. Repeat, a roommate. A debate ensued and opinions were sought about fairness in housing and discrimination.

“This is not a legitimate basis for turning someone down,” said Caroline Peattie, the executive director at Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California.”

“It has nothing to do with their ability to pay rent or be a good tenant.”In the U.S., the Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits discrimination against seven protected categories: race or color, religion, national origin, familial status or age, disability or handicap, and sex. Rigel C. Oliveri, a University of Missouri professor specializing in fair housing law, went so far as to say that saying no to tenants or roommates who’s sign doesn’t vibe “does appear to be legal.”“Zodiac sign is not on the list, which means a landlord could use that to discriminate,”

Yes, a roommate is a tenant. But that’s beside the point. Given this preference, is this someone you’d want as a roommate? Someone you’d want to pressure into sharing living quarters when they have a stated preference against your astrological sign? Look for it. This week, look for those seemly logical jumps that get you so twisted you end up debating the wrong topic.

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