Here’s a link to a brief survey and some analysis that I conducted regarding how people describe their own emotional experiences. Enjoy!
Here’s a link to a brief survey and some analysis that I conducted regarding how people describe their own emotional experiences. Enjoy!
If you’re like me, you probably wonder how, in an era of overwhelming prosperity for numerous people, when technology and medicine have advanced more in the last ten years than in the previous fifty, we continue to be unable to solve the basic moral problem of how to get along with each other.
Then I take a trip to the park with my son, and suddenly this all makes perfect sense. Despite our advances, many of us have failed to learn one of life’s most basic lessons.
Bad kids make even worse adults, and parental validation in childhood is a huge part of this equation.
My wife and I take my son to a lot of public places where parents and children congregate in mass. The parents, in spite of their many differences, can usually be pretty easily sorted into two groups: the attentive and the inattentive. Mind you, some of the attentive parents are way over the top, while some of the inattentive border on verbally abusive, so this is a spectrum that contains good and bad manifestations on both ends. Still, the general distinction holds pretty nicely.
What’s more, this distinction more or less directly tracks the behavior of the children to whom these parents belong. The attentive parents mostly have kids who are behaving well, not pushing and shoving or tormenting other children, and generally aware that mom or dad are nearby to either help them or prevent them from harming others.
They act like kids who are being watched, because they are kids who are being watched.
The story is completely different for the children of inattentive parents. Frequently, these children are engaged in reckless and dangerous behavior, well outside the scope of what is acceptable for young children. They target the children of the attentive parents, pushing the boundaries of acceptable treatment even with children who are clearly much younger than them.
Their behavior is that of the budding sociopath, either unable or uninterested in conforming to the standards of interpersonal conduct that apply even to young children. You can hardly blame them for this; there’s no one around to tell them that they’re doing it wrong.
Here’s the crazy part. What these kids really want is the very thing their parents don’t give them–attention.
Since their own parents aren’t doing the job, they are effectively appealing to the rest of us to show them some basic regard. And since it’s tough to get positive adult attention from a complete stranger, the best way for them to accomplish this is to target the children of the attentive parent.
Negative attention from a stranger is apparently better than no attention from the people that are supposed to love you the most.
So I’d like to make an appeal to the inattentive parents, to put down your book or your iPhone, and just pay attention to your kids. Not because you owe it to them (although you do). But because you owe it to the rest of us.
We’re not here to validate your kid. We’ve got our own child’s well-being to worry about. And while we’re happy to protect our children from yours, we’d really rather the kids just all got along. But that means you have to stop screwing around with stupid crap and act like you care about somersaults, sandboxes, boogers, or whatever else your kid thinks is interesting.
Remember, bad kids make even worse adults, and the rest of us have our hands full with our own. We can’t be expected to raise yours too.
I am currently teaching an online medical ethics course, and one of my students in that course has fallen on a bit of bad luck. Through no fault of her own, she finds herself in circumstances which make it exceedingly difficult for her to complete the course, and we now find ourselves discussing various options for dealing with this problem. As I work through these issues, I find myself torn about what set of obligations should take precedent for me. I am pulled in different directions by what I think would be right, and what I think would be good.
On the side of the Right, I find myself worrying about the other students in the course. Many of them may have experienced life circumstances which negatively affected their performance in the course, yet they were still able to get their work done on time. Wouldn’t it be unfair to make special concessions for one student, without at least offering something to the others in the way of compensation? How can I justify giving one student what amounts to extra time to do the same amount of work?
On the side of the Good, this student has just experienced one of the worst months a person could possibly live through. By trying to accommodate her, am I not giving her something to feel better about in the face of so much unrest and difficulty? None of my other students will know that they have been slighted, so it won’t seem to them like they are being treated unfairly. If I can make this person’s life just a bit better, without causing much harm to anyone else, why not do it?
There are, of course, other considerations here, such as the possibility that she is lying about her circumstances, or the question of what sorts of professional obligations might apply. But the point is just that the question of what to do in this case, from an ethical point-of-view, is not obvious. These sorts of situations are why I write about ethics in our everyday lives–often these are the cases that are most interesting, pertinent, and challenging for the broadest spectrum of people. They are also the cases that truly make a difference in the quality of our lives.
If you’ve got any thoughts on this case, feel free to share them in the comments!
My paper for presentation at the upcoming Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress is now available at my Academia.edu page. You’ll find it under the “Talks” tab.
Here’s the abstract:
What’s So Great About Moral Responsibility?: A Critique of Narrative Value
Bowling Green State University
Many prominent compatibilists about moral responsibility and determinism, including John Martin Fischer, Gary Watson, and Susan Wolf, argue that moral responsibility is an important, even value-adding feature of our lives. This value, it is claimed, stems from the self-expressive qualities of morally responsible actions and is best described as a kind of narrative value. I argue that this explanation is problematic, in light of the relationship between actions for which we are morally responsible, and self-expressive actions. While morally responsible action is self-expressive, some self-expression occurs in the absence of moral responsibility. Thus, it is not just in virtue of being self-expressive that morally responsible action is a value-adding feature of our lives. Compatibilists must say more about the relationship between moral responsibility and narrative value. Unfortunately, nothing they have said thus far explains why it is morally responsible action, and not merely self-expressive action, which makes our lives valuable.
Yesterday, a Georgia chapter of the Ku Klux Klan had their request to “adopt” a portion of state route 515 denied. While my initial reaction to this decision was “well of course they were denied, it’s the KKK,” a closer examination of the arguments given for the decision somewhat tempered my support for this ruling. Although I’m no fan of the KKK, there are good arguments for allowing them to adopt a highway if they wish to do so.
First, we can examine the argument for denying the KKK’s request, and see that it’s really not particularly good. The request was denied on the basis of concerns for public safety, with the thought being that allowing the KKK to adopt a busy stretch of highway with a high speed limit might lead to “potential social unrest, driver distraction, or interference with the flow of traffic.” In other words, people might slow down and stare, and then get mad about what they see.
Now, there is some basis for prohibiting certain activities in order to prevent harm to others. This is an invocation of Mill’s famous Harm Principle, and it’s a significant part of our current political and legal system. However, the burden of proof lies squarely with the state to prove that the cited harm is both likely, and serious enough to justify infringing on the liberty of others in order to prevent it. I don’t see that this burden of proof has been met in this case.
In fact, the KKK has been allowed to adopt a highway once before, in Missouri, and they were kicked out of the program for failing to keep the highway clean, rather than due to any concerns about driver safety. If the KKK should not be allowed to adopt a highway because permitting this will lead to unsafe conditions for others, we should’ve seen some evidence of this in the Missouri case. We did not.
In fact, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling which allowed the KKK to adopt a highway in Missouri. So in addition to an unsupported argument for prohibiting the Georgia KKK from adopting a highway, there is a legal precedent for permitting it.
Finally, we should consider what sort of principle might justify prohibiting the KKK from adopting a highway, and ask whether that principle is a good one. Perhaps a principle might be something like this: We shouldn’t allow social groups with morally objectionable beliefs to engage in activities which are charitable or civic minded.
One might think that this is a pretty good principle. After all, charitable and civic-minded activities create an impression that persons who engage in such activities are good people, and we wouldn’t want to send a message like that about the KKK.
On the other hand, one might think that we should encourage people to participate in these sorts of activities, whatever troubling beliefs and viewpoints they might have, because these sorts of activities might help them to form better beliefs, and thereby become better people.
Alternatively, we might think that this principle puts us in the awkward position of deciding which viewpoints count as “good” or “bad,” and that while this is relatively easy with an organization like the KKK, it will quickly become impractical. Should an anti-abortion or pro-choice group be allowed to adopt a highway? What about a group of atheists or wicca practitioners? What about a group of people who love Rush Limbaugh, or question Barack Obama’s citizenship?
The list goes on and on, and although it’s very tempting to say that we shouldn’t allow the KKK to adopt a highway because they are simply a bad organization, the principle that underlies this assessment is not one that we ought to adopt. Not only would it be difficult to apply, it would also force us to make moral judgments about the beliefs of groups whose moral status is not obvious. This principle implies a degree of moralizing about the beliefs of others that is not defensible.
Thus, although it’s somewhat disturbing to admit, I am forced to conclude that the KKK should be allowed to adopt a highway if they wish to do so. I don’t particularly like the idea, but there’s an important difference between liking something and thinking it’s the right thing to do.
It’s been a little slow in the world of every day ethics, which I figure means one of three things:
1. We’re in some sort of lull with regard to ethical issues in the news, perhaps explained by the looming onset of summer, where everyone seems to calm down just a bit.
2. I’ve become some sort of ethical genius, with no serious ethical issues arising in my personal life.
3. I’m not paying attention particularly well.
I tend to think that the problem is more #3 than the other two, but perhaps it’s a bit of 1 and 3. Clearly not #2, lets get that straight right off the bat.
In any event, since I’m not feeling particularly inspired to write about issues of every day ethics, I’ll take just a moment to promote an upcoming talk that I’ll be giving.
The University of Colorado at Boulder hosts its Fifth Annual Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress on August 9-12 in Boulder, Colorado. It’s a great lineup, and I’m fortunate to be a part of it.
I’ll be presenting a paper that comes out of some of my dissertation research, though not a line of thinking that I’m still pursuing. In the paper, I argue that:
-in general, we should think of actions for which we are morally responsible as a subset of actions which are self-expressive
-in particular, certain compatibilists about moral responsibility are committed to this view, on pain of defending a view that is both mysterious and incompatible with our best developmental account of moral agency.
-this result makes it unclear why actions for which we are morally responsible are the biographically important, value-adding feature of our lives that these particular compatibilists claim it to be.
I’ll post a copy of this paper over at my Academia.edu page after June 15th, so feel free to click over and check it out if you’re interested.
Maybe I’ll see you in Boulder!
Last time, I offered several arguments against allowing same-sex couples to get married. In the interest of fairness, I now want to offer a couple of arguments in favor of allowing same-sex marriage, to see if they survive a similar level of scrutiny.
One might wonder why we should bother with such an activity, since we already found there to be no good arguments against same-sex marriage. But it doesn’t follow from this that same-sex marriage should be permitted–perhaps there are no good arguments on that side of the issue either. Thus, we shouldn’t take weakness on one side of an issue to carry the day, since we may find the same lack of support on the other side.
I think there are at least two compelling arguments for permitting same-sex marriage, and both of them have their roots in the philosophy of John Stuart Mill. Mill’s Harm Principle states, roughly, that the only legitimate reason for restricting a person’s freedom is to prevent harm to others. From this, we get a fairly compelling argument for permitting same-sex marriage.
1. We ought not prohibit an activity that does not harm other people.
2. Same-sex marriage does not harm other people.
3. Therefore, we ought not prohibit same-sex marriage.
This is a valid argument, and rejecting the first premise requires that we adopt a position that is contrary to some of the most fundamental values of liberal democracy. I don’t think opponents of gay marriage are prepared to do that, so we should probably focus on whether the second premise is true. This is an empirical claim, and we don’t have a lot of evidence that it’s true, in part because same-sex marriages are a relatively new phenomenon.
If we follow the Millean line of thinking through its influence on the philosophy of Gerald Dworkin, however, we find a way of dealing with this lack of empirical data. Dworkin claims that the burden of proof is on the state to demonstrate that the activity prohibited really would cause serious harm. Dworkin says this about paternalistic interferences, but it applies nicely to restrictions on liberty in general.
If we adopt this principle, in addition to the Harm Principle, it looks like the lack of evidence of harm caused by same-sex marriage implies that we ought not prohibit it, since the state cannot currently prove that same-sex marriages do harm others. .
There is another, similarly Millean line that we might take in arguing for allowing same-sex marriages. One might appeal to the principle of utility, which says, again roughly, that we ought to adopt whatever course of action will lead to the largest net balance of enjoyment over suffering, for all involved. This gives rise to the following argument.
1. We ought to permit whatever will lead to the greatest net balance of enjoyment over suffering, for everyone, whenever we can.
2. Allowing same-sex marriages will lead to the greatest net balance of enjoyment over suffering.
3. Therefore, we ought to allow same-sex marriages.
This argument has the advantage of not merely challenging a prohibition on same-sex marriage, but implying that we should explicitly allow such arrangements to occur. Both of the premises here, however, are somewhat dubious. The first premise is an approximate statement of act-utilitarianism, which has notoriously troubling implications. In short, the principle of utility is a useful tool, but few people are willing to adopt it as their sole means of moral decision-making, because this requires that we endorse courses of action that seem morally reprehensible.
The second premise is yet another empirical claim that lacks support. However, unlike previous empirical claims that we’ve been discussing, it’s possible to explain how this one could be true. Clearly, same-sex couples will be better off by being allowed to get married, insofar as people in general are better off when they are allowed to do the things they want to do and marry the people they want to marry.
The question, then, is whether this benefit outweighs any bad consequences of permitting same-sex marriage. As I’ve already mentioned, it’s not obvious what those bad consequences would be. So it’s at least plausible to think that it will be better for everyone, overall, if we allow same-sex marriages.
I think we can conclude two things from our overall discussion of same-sex marriages. First, there aren’t really any good arguments against it, and there’s a fairly compelling argument against prohibiting it. This latter argument is based on the Harm Principle, something that people from a variety of political and social backgrounds accept. So there’s a very strong basis for at least not prohibiting same-sex marriages.
There is also a pretty good argument for permitting same-sex marriages, based on an appeal to the principle of utility. That argument has the advantage of being based on a highly plausible empirical claim about harms and benefits of same-sex marriages. Unfortunately, it is also rooted in an ethical principle that few people regard as an overriding consideration. For most people, utility is one of many considerations that should be factored into one’s moral and political decision-making.
This argument, I think, gives us a reason to permit same-sex marriage, but the door remains open for a stronger reason to override it. The burden of proof, at least for now, lies squarely with those who wish to prohibit same-sex marriages.
North Carolina recently passed Amendment One, a constitutional prohibition on same-sex marriage. They are not the only state to seek legislative action to prevent same-sex marriages–in fact, 30 states currently have laws on the books prohibiting them. However, what is somewhat unique about North Carolina’s approach is the fact that they opted to amend their state constitution, effectively ending further debate about the issue.
Since this is a blog about ethics, I’m less interested in analyzing the politics of this event, and more concerned with the arguments that might be given against same-sex marriage. There are three lines of argument typically given against same-sex marriages. Two of them are simply bad arguments, while the third requires empirical support that is not immediately forthcoming. At best, we seem to have a very weak case for prohibiting same-sex marriages.
The Religious Argument
Many opponents of same-sex marriage argue for their position on religious grounds. An argument of this sort might look like the following:
1. We should legally prohibit scenarios which are likely to lead to acts that the Bible (or some other important religious text) deems morally wrong.
2. The Bible deems homosexual sex morally wrong.
3. Same-sex marriages are likely to lead to homosexual sex.
4. Therefore, we should prohibit same-sex marriages.
While this argument is valid, the first premise is clearly false. For example, property ownership and unequal distribution of wealth makes theft more likely, and the Bible clearly prohibits theft, but we do not think this means we should prohibit property ownership and redistribute wealth. Further, this is also an argument against homosexual relationships, and only the most ardent zealots argue for that. However, there is another way to formulate the religious argument.
1. We should prohibit social relationships structured in ways that differ from their structure as defined by the Bible.
2. The Bible defines marriage as a union of male and female.
3. Therefore, we should prohibit same-sex marriages.
There are two ways to respond to this argument. The first, which applies equally to the first version of the religious argument, is that a secular society should not base its legal standards on any particular religious text, because many of its own citizens do not subscribe to the tenets defined by that text. But the further issue is that, as with the first argument, the first premise is obviously false. The Bible endorses several kinds of social relationship that we now find deeply objectionable, including polygamy, slavery, and regarding one’s spouse and daughters as a kind of property that can be exchanged and traded. Clearly, we do not think that the Bible is the best guide for how social relationships should be defined in general, so it’s not clear why we should utilize a Biblical definition in this one case.
The Biological Argument
Many opponents of same-sex marriage, despite being motivated by their religious convictions, nonetheless recognize that they cannot base a legal opposition to same-sex marriage on religious commitments. One course of action is to retreat to a biological argument against same-sex marriage. That argument proceeds as follows:
1. We should prohibit marriages where the primary purpose of marriage cannot be satisfied.
2. The primary purpose of marriage is procreation.
3. Same-sex couples cannot procreate.
4. Therefore, we should prohibit same-sex marriages.
There are two concerns with this argument. First, the second premise is dubious at best. For many people, the purpose of marriage is multi-faceted, and not primarily a means to facilitate procreation. Ironically, this premise seems contrary to the alleged sanctity of marriage that same-sex couples supposedly infringe upon. What sanctity is to be found in a baby-making contract?
The other concern is that the first premise of this argument implies that people with fertility problems, as well as post-menopausal women, should not be allowed to get married, because they are incapable of procreation. But this is absurd. Clearly, we cannot base opposition to same-sex marriage on a biological argument.
The Harm to Children and Families Argument
Once religious and biological opposition to same-sex marriage is ruled out, there isn’t much left for the opponent of same-sex marriages to base their position on. This is a problem, because if we are to deny something as important as the ability to get married to the person one wishes, we ought to have a good reason for doing so. The burden of proof, I think, is on the opponent of same-sex marriage.
The last resort for the opponent of same-sex marriage is to argue that permitting same-sex marriages is harmful to both “traditional” families and the potential children of same-sex couples. The argument would be something like this:
1. We can prohibit certain social arrangements when allowing them would be more harmful, overall, than prohibiting them.
2. Allowing same-sex marriages would be more harmful, overall, than prohibiting them.
3. Therefore, we can prohibit same-sex marriages.
Formalizing this argument is a good idea, because only then does one see how many problems it has. First, the second premise is an empirical claim that requires support, and it is very difficult to find any reputable evidence that same-sex marriages harm, or are likely to harm, anyone. The children of same-sex couples appear to be socially well-adjusted, while it’s not clear how same-sex marriages would actually be harmful to more traditional families, in spite of claims to this effect. However, there is quite a bit of evidence that prohibiting same-sex marriages is harmful to same-sex couples. At best, we need more evidence in support of the second premise. At worst, we already know that it’s false.
Setting empirical worries aside, however, the first premise is clearly not something we should endorse. Although consequentialist reasoning appears in our policy-making habits quite often, we are not consequentialists all the way down. We tend to think that there are certain rights and goods which are so fundamentally important to people, that we should protect them, even if we would all be better off not protecting them. The first premise requires a commitment to consequentialist reasoning that few of us would accept.
Perhaps there are other arguments against same-sex marriage–if so, please share them in the comments so that we can talk about them too. But as it stands, we do not seem to have any compelling arguments against allowing same-sex marriages. Next time, I’ll consider some arguments for allowing same-sex marriages. But until then, we should pause to consider how deeply troubling it is that North Carolina, and thirty states altogether, have prohibited something for which we seem to have no good arguments for prohibiting.
Some time ago, I wrote on the topic of whether there might be something ethically problematic about purchasing a home that has been foreclosed on. The basic thought behind the argument is that when someone does this, they are benefiting from the misfortune of others, and in some sense using that person as a means to their own end.
This was met with a very intelligent chain of comments, which rightly pointed out that the presence of a violated contract between the original purchaser and the bank renders the subsequent purchase of a foreclosure home permissible. The idea there was that once the original buyer violates the terms of the contract, they forfeit any stake in the home that they might have had, and thus cannot be negatively affected by the subsequent purchase of their home at a discounted price.
I bring this up because my wife and I are presently shopping for a home, and the market is literally flooded with homes that are either bank-owned or available for a short sale, where the bank accepts an offer that is below what is still owed on the home. Short sales allow homeowners to get out from under a home that is no longer worth what they owe on it, so this can be a very good thing for them.
What I find particularly interesting is that now that I am in the position of possibly benefiting from a bank-owned or short sale home, I am not particularly swayed by the concerns that motivated my earlier arguments that this practice might be morally problematic. Thus, I want to engage in a bit of moral psychology, to try to determine how a person well-trained in deductive reasoning, who has identified valid arguments against a practice, can nonetheless fail to be moved by the conclusions of those arguments.
My hope is that by identifying some plausible explanations of this all-too-common phenomenon, we can better understand the moral shortcomings that we have, and make sense of why those shortcomings are often resistant to rational modification.
Option 1: Some of my premises are not true.
This is a possibility that should be entertained whenever we fail to see the force of our own arguments. Valid arguments are not necessarily good arguments. Perhaps I should go back and consider whether some of my assumptions are illegitimate. This option has the advantage of being both simple, and explaining why I am not moved by my own arguments. However, it will only succeed if at least one of my premises turns out to be false.
Option 2: My willingness to consider purchasing a bank-owned home is not a rational decision.
It is now well-established that the brain has at least two distinct pathways for processing information. One of them is a rational pathway, and it engages cognitive centers of the brain, primarily the prefrontal cortex. This is the pathway of reasoned deliberation, and the source of my valid arguments.
The other pathway is an emotional pathway, running more or less directly from our perceptual faculties through the amygdala. This pathway is responsible for things like our near-immediate fear response upon seeing a snake or a spider, or our avoidance behavior when something is thrown toward us at a high speed. Because these two pathways are discrete, it is possible for them to diverge wildly, even over time.
This dual pathway model of brain processing suggests another explanation of my failure to be moved by my own arguments. It may be that though my rational pathway leads me to worry about the ethics of purchasing a bank-owned property, my emotional pathway is sending me a “go-for-it” signal that I interpret as indicating permissibility. If motivation stems from the emotional pathway, as many people think, this would account for why I am not moved by my own conclusions, even if my arguments are sound.
Option #3-I am more motivated by self-interest than I realize.
This is no doubt true of all of us, and I think moral philosophers sometimes neglect the extent to which self-interest still dominates many of their deliberative processes in real life. Although I don’t particularly like this option, it does explain the data rather well. In a “cool moment,” I find the arguments against purchasing a foreclosed home convincing, but when the rubber meets the road, I am moved to do what benefits me.
I’m no psychologist, and none of this is intended to be definitive. Rather, I simply want to offer some plausible explanations of the sort of moral dissonance that many of us experience. Perhaps there are other explanations that work better. The point is that the problem of moral motivation has a practical dimension, and is not simply a matter of theoretical interest. Failing to be moved by moral considerations is a phenomenon that occurs with troubling regularity. Perhaps by developing a thorough explanation of how this can occur, we can redirect our efforts at moral education in a way that makes it less common.
If reasoned arguments do not move us to do the right thing, it may be time to consider other strategies.
In a seemingly endless Spring of sports scandals, the University of Arkansas fired head football coach Bobby Petrino, following revelations that his mistress, who was also a former employee of his football program, was involved in his recent motorcycle accident. Part of the explanation of Petrino’s firing was that he had engaged in a “pattern of manipulative and misleading behavior,” and had “negatively and adversely affected the University of Arkansas and our football program.”
While this event should mostly be understood as a moment when the University of Arkansas opted for doing the right thing over winning football games, an exceedingly rare event in today’s collegiate athletic environment, one part of Petrino’s firing troubles me. It has repeatedly been stated, by both the University of Arkansas and various talking-head sports pundits, that it was Petrino’s decision to hire his mistress into a position with his own football program, and then to deceive his employer about having done so, which lead to his termination. The infidelity alone, though regrettable, was not enough to justify firing him.
But, given the explanation of his firing, why was this not enough?
It might be argued that Petrino’s philandering was irrelevant to his job performance. He was very successful as a football coach, and that is what matters to his employer. However, that argument could be used against the actual reason given for Petrino’s termination. Hiring his mistress, then lying about it, didn’t make him a bad football coach, only a bad human being. Clearly, Arkansas fired Petrino because he made them look very bad, in a broadly public way.
For most people, it was Petrino’s “inappropriate relationship” with an engaged 25-year old that made him, and Arkansas in virtue of employing him, look bad. As a head football coach at an academic institution, Petrino is charged with setting an example for the young men under his tutelage. By cheating on his faithful wife and failing to properly value his family, Petrino failed this duty.
Hiring Jessica Dorrell, lying about the nature of their relationship, and then trying to conceal that relationship from his employer only exacerbated the most egregious wrong that Petrino committed. This decision was more an act of stupidity than immorality, but stupid plus immoral is a great recipe for losing your job.
By claiming that Petrino was fired because he hired Dorrell, or that he lied about his involvement with her, implies an unusual value hierarchy at the University of Arkansas, where presentation of one’s public persona is more important than how one conducts oneself with the people they ought to care most about. This is why, though I appreciate Arkansas’s moxy, I wish they’d handled things a bit differently.
Petrino did negatively affect the reputation of the University of Arkansas, but that damage was almost immediately repaired by his firing. The best reason to fire Petrino, the reason Jeff Long should have cited in his press conference, is that Bobby Petrino is a bad person. So while I respect Arkansas’s decision to fire Petrino, I would have respected it more if they had done it for the best reasons.