ThoughtStorms Wiki

Context: OnMorality

The question we all ask in cases of moral doubt.

"Am I a bad person if ...?", "Am I the asshole, here?"

TheGuardian writes about a forum for asking it and getting (sometimes harsh) feedback :

This quote :

As the internet has made space for us to express our deepest anxieties, however, it has also taught us to expect definitive answers. “Am I a bad person?” ranks high as an autocomplete search on Google, as though a moral code might be as easy to come by as a recipe. And this is where AITA, by delivering what it calls “catharsis for the frustrated moral philosopher”, really comes into its own. We may think modern society is uninterested in morality but it is striking how much of contemporary popular culture is concerned with the question of how to be good. .... It is the entire premise of the popular sitcom The Good Place, in which the moral accounting to get into heaven is thrown out by the complexity of modern life. Simply by buying a tomato, explains Ted Danson’s demon, “you are unwittingly supporting toxic pesticides, exploiting labor, contributing to global warming”.

Compare : QuantitativeEthics

The AITA forum also has “middle areas where ‘everybody sucks’ or ‘nobody sucks’ – which are tragically underutilised in my opinion,” says Elizabeth, one of a global group of about 30 moderators. But in a cultural moment when being the asshole might seem not only permissible but rewarded, AITA is striking – and maybe even exhilarating – in its readiness to apportion blame. “I would love the opportunity to tell Jeff Bezos or Trump they are being the asshole,” says May, another moderator.

“If you didn’t want to hear people’s opinions, then you shouldn’t be here,” she adds. And the forum’s frenetic activity reflects the appetite for just that, averaging 30,000 posts a day, with some 800 scenarios for arbitration.

The more egregious or outlandish conundrums draw popcorn-popping spectators from far and wide. The author Emily Gould last month declared AITA posts the “dominant short fiction” of this decade. AITA itself collates its “best of” and “most controversial” posts for easy perusal (though obvious “creative writing exercises” are removed).

How different is outsourcing moral decisions to the crowd from asking the priest? CatholicChurch

Article also links to AllTechIsHuman

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