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First we had Jerry Springer money is evil Now we have money from… - Sally's Journal
March 22nd, 2005
01:27 pm

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First we had Jerry Springer money is evil

Now we have money from bloodsports is evil

Does it matter where money comes from? Surely money from a bad thing* that goes to a good thing is better than money from a bad thing that goes to a bad thing?


*I'm not saying whether or not bloodsports or Jerry Springer the opera are good or bad things, but you're all individuals, you must be able to think of at least one bad thing.

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From:feanelwa
Date:March 22nd, 2005 01:39 pm (UTC)
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Well, well, sort of. In principle I agree with you, but I know that if I was wheelchair bound and a company who made their money by paying their workers less than a living wage and treating them badly and marketing the products toward Western teenagers whose parents already had six maxed-out credit cards, offered to do my bathroom up for free, I would have a hard time deciding because I'd know every time I went into the bathroom I'd feel guilty for the people who got treated like shit.
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From:atreic
Date:March 22nd, 2005 01:40 pm (UTC)
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You agree with me? I don't have an opinion, I'm just confused!
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From:feanelwa
Date:March 22nd, 2005 01:42 pm (UTC)
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In that money that goes from a bad thing to a good thing is better than money that goes from a bad thing to a bad thing.

Lots of people write sentences beginning with 'surely' and I lose track of which ones use it for initial hypotheses and which ones use it for their long-considered opinions :)

Profiteroles. That's what I say.
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From:edith_the_hutt
Date:March 22nd, 2005 01:42 pm (UTC)
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Yes. But when a good thing allows itself to be associated with a bad thing it both legitimises the bad thing and tarishes the good thing. The lines becomes blurred.
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From:flats
Date:March 22nd, 2005 01:49 pm (UTC)
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yup. and if a bad company's donating money to charity, you can be sure they'll publicise this donation a lot. does the charity want to be involved in corporate self-promotion / whitewash? quite possibly not.

actually, i was on the train up to cambridge with two american/canadian guys who obviously worked for some charity, i'm guessing pretty senior sorts. [they were talking between each other and on mobiles; i was evesdropping somewhat...] their charity was involved with post-tsunami reconstruction, and they'd had an offer of $30 million from McDonalds. i think McDonalds had specified what they wanted this money to be spent on [ie nice photogenic things like boats] but the charity was pretty much having to refuse their money, as (a) there'd been so much donated that it was getting very difficult to use all the money, and (b) sri lankan people had more boats than they knew what to do with - it was less glamorous stuff like sewer-building that mattered.
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From:edith_the_hutt
Date:March 22nd, 2005 01:57 pm (UTC)
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There's also the issue of losing your objectivity. It might become difficult to protest against your sponsors. Although I feel in this case it is less of an issue.
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From:simont
Date:March 22nd, 2005 01:44 pm (UTC)
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From:emperor
Date:March 22nd, 2005 03:36 pm (UTC)
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that smacks of cutting off one's nose to spite one's face :(

[or should that be "smite" in this case?]
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From:senji
Date:March 22nd, 2005 01:47 pm (UTC)
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We should refuse money from people who think that we should refuse money from evil people.
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From:ewx
Date:March 22nd, 2005 01:50 pm (UTC)
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Some people do care where money comes from. This might just be out of generalized dislike of the activities involved but another thing to think about is that perhaps money made out of bad activities should be given to those it was bad for (if you make your money in the slave trade then want to do good perhaps you should use it to compensate your victims rather than to fund research into diseases of rich westerners).

In some cases also there is the consideration that had you said in advance that you didn't like money that was ‘dirtied’ by some bad thing then that thing wouldn't happen - indeed in the latest example it says that they said in advance that they wouldn't accept the money.

(As I hinted elsewhere though) I think it would be much better if people just gave money to causes they thought were good, without feeling they had to do so by sponsoring someone to do something. Then there'd be no question of anyone doing anything bad to raise money for a good cause (good and bad all being from relevant points of view).

Yes, one might still think the money from individuals to be ‘dirty’ if they made their money from arms dealing or whatever, but (1) there is one less transition in which the money can become dirty and (2) those donations are out of money already earned from whatever bad thing it was, that would have been done anyway, rather than collected as part of an additional separate bad thing.

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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:March 22nd, 2005 01:51 pm (UTC)
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I'm not sure. If it's a genuine gift, is it different that if it's an attempt to buy publicity? Does it depend if the activity is disagreed about or universally condemned?

I'd say the argument for accepting it is the obvious "all money helps, rejecting it doesn't stop what you're objecting to."

The counter-argument would be the one that we all have to make a stand somewhere where if everyone did it would matter, and accepting the money is a tacit endorsement.

I don't know which I believe though.
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From:satanicsocks
Date:March 22nd, 2005 02:38 pm (UTC)
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I think it's disturbing that one group's perception of "good" and "evil" means that money does not get to a worthy cause.

Imagine someone did a sponsored sausage-eating competition and raised a lot of money, then wanted to give it to a cancer charity.

I, as a vegetarian, get together with some other vegetarians and make big placards and force the cancer charity to reject this "tarnished" money because eating animals is Not Right in my particular world-view and so I don't think money raised from eating animals should help people.

Unless every single beneficiary of the cancer charity was also vegetarian, and bound to agree with me (and therefore not want medication fundamentally paid for by eating sausages), I think that's an entirely unfair denial of a legitimate donation.

Money from bad-->bad is bad. money from bad-->good is better, but not much better. But money from something which only SOME people think is bad, being denied (through press and publicity and guilt) a chance to reach people who really need it, is just petty and ridiculous IMHO.

(In summary, I'm sure my dad, who has cancer, would have no problem (morally) receiving treatment that was fundamentally paid for by Jerry Springer - The Opera being jolly nice and doing a free show for charity, but being denied that treatment because people who don't even agree with him -- he's atheist -- have pressurised the charity to reject a donation?! that's just stupid. IMHO.)
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From:ewx
Date:March 22nd, 2005 03:56 pm (UTC)
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What the protestors really want is (correct me if I'm wrong) for the sausage-eating not to have happened (and beyond that for the animals involved not to have been killed).



If they got wind of it before they were eaten then they might protest the eating instead, but once it's happened they can only protest the donation, it's not like they can cause the sausages to be uneaten by waving placards and shouting slogans.



From the protestors' point of view it's arguably not a denial of the donation. Everyone who sponsored the sausage-eater had the choice of making a donation as part of the sponsorship or just donating directly. From the protestors' point of view they deliberately chose to make their donation conditional on sausage-eating when they could have just handed over the money straight to the charity.


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From:arnhem
Date:March 22nd, 2005 03:40 pm (UTC)
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In the very specific case of Cancer Research (and a fairly small number of other charities with similar pre-occupations), the situation is more complicated, I think.

There is an unavoidable [to a first approximation] degree to which they directly fund research on animals. This places some very odd constraints on them, and I think means that they have, certainly a PR need, but I think also a moral need, to be very clear on the subject of "only 'necessary' cruelty to animals in anything we do" ...


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From:atreic
Date:March 22nd, 2005 03:46 pm (UTC)
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Point, but then don't you just enter the debate of whether it's better to keep animals free range and then kill them with dogs and guns or keep them in farms and kill them with electric shocks? I'm not convinced either way, but killing food animals is necessary cruelty if you're not vegitarian, and I'm not sold on the idea that game birds have a worse life than farm animals...
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