Morality, Honesty and Legality
richmondmathewson at gmail.com
Tue Sep 11 04:50:56 CDT 2012
Do not always coincide.
Consider the following:
1. I bought a Snow Leopard install disk (i.e. I don't use stolen software).
2. I have installed Snow Leopard in VMplayer on a non-Apple machine, and
the Use-List about this; this is a form of honesty (e.g. not
pretending I am running
the OS on an Apple machine).
3. Morality . . . is a personal thing . . . I believe I have done
4. Legality . . . it is, for the sake of argument, illegal to smoke
tobacco under 18 in Britain,
and has been for years.
I have smoked a pipe since I was 16; for 2 years illegally, and
5. Possession is nine-tenths of the law.
6. One of the real problems (and it is more philosophical than either
legal or moral) is what
6.1. I have a Snow Leopard install disk on the desk next to me as I type
this, and its contents
(i.e. the software) are on the disk.
6.2. I also have a library book on the desk here - on loan for 4 weeks
from the local library.
6.3. I also have a cup of coffee.
6.4. I also have a book I bought last week.
Now, as far as I can see there is a very clear distinction between #6.2
and #6.3, #6.1 and 6.4 are less
clear (except, perhaps, for types like R. Stallman who over-simplifies
things to a ridiculous degree).
Consider a similar sort of question:
I own a copy of RunRev Dreamwriter for Mac (2.6.1) which I no longer use
. . .
Am I permitted to hand it on (either GIVE or SELL) it to somebody else?
Just as, say, I can hand on the book or the cup of coffee.
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