When Expediency Conflicts With Moral Goodness (Podcast)


A reader feels frustrated because it seems that he is not being rewarded for his ethical behavior. He thinks unethical people are being rewarded wrongly. He sees a conflict between what is ethical, and what is advantageous, and wants to know how to resolve it.

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4 thoughts on “When Expediency Conflicts With Moral Goodness (Podcast)

  1. I found a plain answer to this in an example from game theory (mathematics), here a set of rules is described and the people playing the game all try to find the best outcome for themselves, assuming they play as intelligent as possible.

    The suitable example is called the pollution game:
    Imagine a set of countries deciding on whether to invest in environmental protection or not. The rule goes, that environmental protection gives one credit to all countries no matter what they decide, but deciding not to protect the environment gives three to that one country, and each country is deciding for itself.

    Now, if there are at least three countries, the best outcome in summation would be if everyone invested in environmental protection, since the profit affects everyone. But every single country could then still improve its own (only its own) gain by not protecting the environment. This makes every country to pollute the environment and we end up worse than if they all would sacrifice a little.

    For me personally, this mathematical paradox answers the question, why people aren’t just nice.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. More good insights.

    The world seems to reflect what you project. The best way to get back at someone or something is continue living your life to the best of your abilities.


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