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Is it ethical to help criminals commit crimes?

Is helping the outlaws ethical under any scenario described?

  • It is ethical in Scenarios A and B

    Votes: 22 95.7%
  • It is ethical in Scenario A only

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • It is ethical in Scenario B only

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • It is unethical in either scenario

    Votes: 1 4.3%

  • Total voters
    23

SCitizen

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Below are two likely scenarios:

Scenario A: Iranian heretics want online space to criticize Koran. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to Persian Police.

Scenario B: British Conservatives want their space on Social Media -- unfortunately some things they say break UK laws. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to UK Police.
 

Paleocon

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Below are two likely scenarios:

Scenario A: Iranian heretics want online space to criticize Koran. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to Persian Police.

Scenario B: British Conservatives want their space on Social Media -- unfortunately some things they say break UK laws. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to UK Police.

Yes in B. In A I need more information. What's the gist of their criticism? Is it Christian criticism or secularist criticism?
 

maquiscat

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Below are two likely scenarios:

Scenario A: Iranian heretics want online space to criticize Koran. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to Persian Police.

Scenario B: British Conservatives want their space on Social Media -- unfortunately some things they say break UK laws. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to UK Police.

Both are ethical. There is no crime committed because the hosting is done outside of the country where it is illegal, in a country where it is legal. There is nothing unethical,about leaving a given country where something is illegal, to do it in another country where it is legal.
 

SCitizen

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Definitely, in both cases the US hosts break no laws.
 

Nilly

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We can determine the legality of each case just fine, but the ethics of the situation depend on the crime itself.

Hosting web space is one thing, but I do not believe it ethical to assist someone in say, killing someone for being homosexual, even if the place that they were in did not consider it a crime.
 

reinoe

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Below are two likely scenarios:

Scenario A: Iranian heretics want online space to criticize Koran. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to Persian Police.

Scenario B: British Conservatives want their space on Social Media -- unfortunately some things they say break UK laws. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to UK Police.
I need to know if these people are Hillary supporters or Trump supporters before I can determine if it's right or wrong.
 

Skeptic Bob

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A is ethical.

B is probably ethical. I say probably because I don't know what they are using he website to say. It could be unethical if what they are saying is directly trying to incite violence. Like a call to arms to kill people.
 

Kobie

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Below are two likely scenarios:

Scenario A: Iranian heretics want online space to criticize Koran. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to Persian Police.

Scenario B: British Conservatives want their space on Social Media -- unfortunately some things they say break UK laws. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to UK Police.

I answered ethical in both cases; however, it depends on the case. If the "British Conservatives" want to say that all Jews should die in a fiery pit or that eating cotton candy should merit the death penalty, I'd hesitate to say their American hosts were acting "ethically" by giving them web space to say it.
 

thenotorious

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Legal yes, ethical....is subjective. I personally don't find many things that can be said 'ethical', but I still think they should be allowed to be said. I think a boundary is crossed when you directly incite or cause harm on someone though.

Talking about how much you hate something, which is what presumably both of those two groups would do is not something worthy of censoring.
 

RabidAlpaca

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Below are two likely scenarios:

Scenario A: Iranian heretics want online space to criticize Koran. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to Persian Police.

Scenario B: British Conservatives want their space on Social Media -- unfortunately some things they say break UK laws. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to UK Police.

Freedom of speech is a basic human right and protecting it is ethical in all circumstances. Without a victim there can be no crime.
 

Cyrylek

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It is ethical - and morally right - to help people avoid blanket censorship. It is, however, the right and duty (moral, not legal) of every provider to reject anyone who uses the sanctuary for inciting violence or spouting obvious slander (regarding actual living people, not gods, prophets or Muppets)

As the topic implies, most of us are automatically sympathetic with Iranian dissidents and have no problem, in general, with British Tories (or British-anything, except for cooking). But imagine giving a voice to hard-core Stalinists from a Nazi-occupied France, for example.
 

joG

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Below are two likely scenarios:

Scenario A: Iranian heretics want online space to criticize Koran. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to Persian Police.

Scenario B: British Conservatives want their space on Social Media -- unfortunately some things they say break UK laws. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to UK Police.

There are quite a few differences between the to examples that impact the decision in my opinion. The two important ones are that we are in a cold war with one of the countries and consider it close to being a rogue state. It also has a very different understanding of the law and fells severe punishment for behavior that we consider legitimate and even protected by the Constitution, while its judiciary does not apply the laws in a way that we would consider equal and fair. The other country is almost the exact opposite.
 

joG

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Below are two likely scenarios:

Scenario A: Iranian heretics want online space to criticize Koran. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to Persian Police.

Scenario B: British Conservatives want their space on Social Media -- unfortunately some things they say break UK laws. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to UK Police.

I am afraid, I hit the wrong button.
 

joG

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It is ethical - and morally right - to help people avoid blanket censorship. It is, however, the right and duty (moral, not legal) of every provider to reject anyone who uses the sanctuary for inciting violence or spouting obvious slander (regarding actual living people, not gods, prophets or Muppets)

As the topic implies, most of us are automatically sympathetic with Iranian dissidents and have no problem, in general, with British Tories (or British-anything, except for cooking). But imagine giving a voice to hard-core Stalinists from a Nazi-occupied France, for example.

I am not sure that I agree in that you restrict the protected opinions less, than I think they should be. Incitement is a very loose word and can entail behavior that should absolutely be allowed. And "obvious slander" is being used against journalists in many countries for things that should obviously be allowed to be said.
 

Cyrylek

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I am not sure that I agree in that you restrict the protected opinions less, than I think they should be. Incitement is a very loose word and can entail behavior that should absolutely be allowed. And "obvious slander" is being used against journalists in many countries for things that should obviously be allowed to be said.

Understood. I just think that the providers should use their own judgement in these matters, rather than abstain. Should there be any laws/regulations forcing them to do so? Absolutely not.
 

joG

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Understood. I just think that the providers should use their own judgement in these matters, rather than abstain. Should there be any laws/regulations forcing them to do so? Absolutely not.

I can live quite comfortably with that approach.
 

jamesrage

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Below are two likely scenarios:

Scenario A: Iranian heretics want online space to criticize Koran. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to Persian Police.

Scenario B: British Conservatives want their space on Social Media -- unfortunately some things they say break UK laws. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to UK Police.

Both are ethical, free speech is a human right.

I have considered doing a poll on when should a state/country extradite a criminal for things that are not criminal offenses in that state/country but are in the state/country that wants that criminal extradited to them. But I am not sure how to word it and make it fit.
 
Last edited:

Kal'Stang

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Below are two likely scenarios:

Scenario A: Iranian heretics want online space to criticize Koran. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to Persian Police.

Scenario B: British Conservatives want their space on Social Media -- unfortunately some things they say break UK laws. An American web host gives them wide space on their Social Media and would not release their identity to UK Police.

In both instances we're talking about freedom of speech. I see nothing unethical about helping people exercise their free speech. Some "laws" are meant to be broken. :shrug:
 

Korimyr the Rat

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It is always ethical to help people exercise their human rights at the expense of regimes that would deny them.
 

joG

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It is always ethical to help people exercise their human rights at the expense of regimes that would deny them.

It is never the regimes that carry the expense but other citizens, whose general economic welfare and freedom is reduced.
 

Korimyr the Rat

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It is never the regimes that carry the expense but other citizens, whose general economic welfare and freedom is reduced.

Their general welfare and freedom is being reduced by the government that is oppressing them. How does hosting a webpage in another country hurt the economy?
 

joG

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Their general welfare and freedom is being reduced by the government that is oppressing them. How does hosting a webpage in another country hurt the economy?

I seem to have misunderstood you. Sorry.
 

Gaztopian

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From a legal perspective, the American company abides by American law in both instances; so yes, legally speaking, it's legal to help others commit crimes.

From a moral perspective, it entirely depends on the values of the company and how they fare vis-a-vis morality.
 

SCitizen

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I answered ethical in both cases; however, it depends on the case. If the "British Conservatives" want to say that all Jews should die in a fiery pit or that eating cotton candy should merit the death penalty, I'd hesitate to say their American hosts were acting "ethically" by giving them web space to say it.

No -- that is illegal in US as well. Some Conservatives do believe that homosexuality is a sin but none of us are sinless.
 
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