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Old 06-30-2020, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Ethics of keeping legally questionable frogs

Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
No, it does not. As to your 'issue #1': An act can be immoral without being illegal (this should be obvious without an example). As to your 'issue #2': an act can be immoral regardless of whether it, intentionally or otherwise, leads to future benefits (e.g. torturing prisoners).

'Moral' is a very, very small subset of right and wrong behaviors. It is wrong to make a cappuccino using espresso and orange juice, but it isn't morally wrong. It is right to push the big red button if the goal is to launch the nukes, but it isn't morally right to push the big red button.

It isn't clear what your point is here. The last sentence seems to imply that the moral questions are irrelevant, or simply subjective, based on the suggestion that a clear moral answer to a borderline hypothetical case isn't agreed upon.

There are all sorts of ways to figure this one out. Consider R vanzolinii -- all can be assumed to be of smuggled origin except the UE line (this isn't hypothetical, this is true). Are all vanzolinii equally ethically possessable? I'd say no, for obvious reasons. What if they are crossed (I know of at least one breeder who offers such frogs). Harder to make a judgment on, but different people can give differing but reasoned considerations in favor of one judgment or another. There doesn't have to be one answer for there to be good answers; there doesn't have to be one right answer for us to be able to say that some answers are wrong.

Another: I offer to sell you three diamonds as a group, but you and I both know one of them is stolen property. What say you to the sale?

Another: I offer you a great price on my collection of DVDs as one lot, but you and I both know that one of them contains material that is the most illegal video material there is (I ain't gonna name it here). What say you?

Anyone can produce different cases -- thought experiments -- that appeal to different intuitions, and talking through them enables us to figure out what we think, morally speaking.
If we broaden the scope of the question beyond this thread and talk about all acts humans commit against/with each other then I can't help but agree that there are many many more factors to consider then the two I outlined. However, if we confine ourselves to just the question posed by the OP of this thread I really don't see morality and legality as differing. My hypothetical was designed to answer the question of whether there is still an issue of morality if the law changes or does the morality of the issue created entirely by the law itself. Clearly I think there is no difference. If next week Brazil says 'ok, now you can legally export blue galacs' I would not shake my finger at someone who chose to buy some legally exported frogs.

Morality in many situations can be quite tricky as it is frequently in the eye of the beholder, I just don't see how morality differs in this specific case from the law itself.
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