Some Moral Dilemmas

A list of some moral dilemmas.

A friend confides to you that he has committed a particular crime and you promise never to tell. Discovering that an innocent person has been accused of the crime, you plead with your friend to give himself up. He refuses and reminds you of your promise. What should you do? In general, under what conditions should promises be broken?

Update on the Subway Wanker


The NY Metro has an update on this story from last year.

As soon as the subway doors opened, Thao Nguyen could sense she was in trouble. A short blond man boarded the train and locked his eyes on her. She felt a jolt of panic as the uptown R accelerated into a tunnel and the man sat down across from her and started rubbing his crotch. Nguyen, 22, was wearing a blouse and long pants, having just come from a job interview in Soho. He unzipped his fly and grinned.

She looked away but could see the man’s increasingly agitated reflection in the pockmarked train window. To avoid eye contact, she reached in her bag and pulled out her camera-equipped cell phone. She turned it on. Turned it off. Thought about the Mace canister she was carrying as she fumbled the phone to the floor. When she sat up, the man had his penis out of his pants.

Just a few feet away, a Japanese tourist couple chatted, oblivious to the goings-on. Nguyen’s Mace was right there, at her fingertips. She thought one more time about using it—then snapped a picture instead.

And did the guy learn a lesson from having a picture of him being caught, uh, red handed bouncing around the internet?

Not surprisingly, Hoyt himself disapproves of such tactics. In his account, the perpetrator is Nguyen, who misread his intentions (he claims he was already mid-masturbation when she stepped onto the train) and then humiliated him by posting his picture on the Web. He says he didn’t even realize he’d been photographed. “Even so, I wouldn’t imagine somebody throwing it up on the Internet for millions of people and destroying your life like that,” he says. “It’s one thing to take it to the police. But on the Internet, I read a lot of people saying, ‘That was not too cool of her. That was really screwed up.’ ”

Hoyt believes that if he and Nguyen had only met under different circumstances, she might really like him. “You know, she’d go, ‘That guy’s pretty cool. He’s got this restaurant, and he’s fun,’ ” Hoyt says. “She’d probably want to go out with me.”

(Thanks Anon)

Super Mario Fans or Teenage Terror Cell


Five teenage girls from Portage County face potential criminal charges after attempting to play a real-life version of Super Mario Bros.

The Portage County Hazardous Materials Unit and Bomb Detection Unit were called in to downtown Ravenna on Friday morning after seventeen suspicious packages — boxes wrapped in gold wrapping paper with question marks spray painted on them — had alarmed residents.

Fresh Dubya

The 15 most recent Dubya declarations

One of the great things about America, one of the beauties of our country, is that when we see a young, innocent child blown up by an IED, we cry.
— Dubya stakes solo ground for the U.S. that is shared by many. Beauty… Washington, D.C., Mar. 29, 2006

We support the election process, we support democracy, but that doesn’t mean we have to support governments that get elected as a result of democracy.
— Dubya presents his take on the sanctity of democratic election results, Washington, D.C., Mar. 29, 2006

(Thanks PVC)