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Our aim is to make help available concerning practical ethical dilemmas encountered in daily living. In Section Three we offer individual counseling. We invite you to describe your own personal problem. Queries will be answered in the order submitted.

Preceding the part devoted to individual counsel, Section Two lists typical problems grouped around the main categories of home, workplace, and the public realm. Each category is divided in turn into general problem areas and specific questions related to those areas. We briefly analyze the issues involved and offer solutions. Our examples cannot of course cover all the aspects of the contemporary scene. They serve a double purpose. For one thing, they are intended to sharpen your focus in identifying the ethical implications of the particular difficulty facing you today in the world. For another, they give you an opportunity to express your own opinions regarding some crucial and fundamental issues.

We strove to avoid ethical sermonizing and utopianism. We are not beholden for our views to any particular organization, group, or sponsor. Our hope is that by providing a forum and service of this type we shall contribute to the formulation of an ethic that can be subscribed to by responsible human beings and will lead to a society preferable to the present one.

1.1 Loyalty to or precedence of spouse as against loyalty to or precedence of children.
As you are never going to be a child again, it is perhaps easier to see the reciprocity between you and your spouse than between you and your children. You may argue that the marriage vow establishes a bond that cannot be preceded by any other relationship. You could add that your marriage partner is unique: whereas as long as she remains alive the two of you can have more offspring, if she/he dies this becomes impossible. To find out our position and interpretation, proceed to the first question below.
1.1.1 Your child and spouse are both drowning. Whom do you save first?
The child. Our argument for saving him/her first is based on the following considerations. The child didn't decide to have you; the case is the converse. As the conception was your decision, you cannot back away from the responsibility it incurs. The child is the more powerless/helpless party in this relationship and therefore in greater need of assistance, inasmuch as (a) he/she had nothing to do with his/her coming into the world, (b) if we are talking about a young child, he/she is also physically less able to fend for himself/herself. When a child you would have expected your parents to act this way.
1.1.2 Do we get a new car, or do we send the kids to college?
This is basically a question of the long-term welfare of the child and of society. Elderly parents/relations must be taken care of as well; we should share even in providing for disabled, needy, etc. members of the community unrelated to us--this is where human morality completely parts with nature's ways. Concerning children, it is probably best to withdraw support gradually as, for their own benefit, they must be taught to stand on their own feet even though, as we said, they are the passive party in the parent-child relationship in the sense that the decision to bring them into the world was the parents'. If it is strictly a question of the two alternatives, getting the new car will have to wait, even though it is understood that somewhere along the line the average college student should be able to assume more and more of the financial burdens of her/his education.
1.1.3 Should both parents work, or should one of them stay home to take care of the kid(s)?
During the first couple of months following the birth of the infant, the mother should not work outside the home. During at least the first nine months of life the mother is indispensable and more important than the father, seeing that, apart from all else, lactation is her task. Neither the rights nor the responsibilities of the parents are however exclusive/absolute. As the child is getting older, responsibility begins to shift towards the community. The more helpless the child, the greater the responsibility. Here too phasing out provides part of the answer.
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1.2 Traditional exploitation built into the roles of homemaker and child.
Historically the role of housewife has been belittled or disparaged, in line with the accustomed perspective asserting the superiority of man over woman and subservience of wife to husband. The authority of the husband as breadwinner invested him also with the prerogative of being master of the house. The child's role status was also subservient. The home thus became a locus for the exploitation of the weak.
1.2.1 Should a parent who has no substantial other source of income be paid for work done in the home?
It may be that marriage as an institution isn't a very good one, but it's hard to think of an arrangement that would be better when a couple have children. As long as there is marriage it's in part an economic arrangement, if for no other reason because the parents are morally obligated to take care of the children while they are small. The spouses will never be earning the same amount of money. So what's an economic arrangement in marriage that's closer to the principle of benevolence, truthfulness, and nonexploitation (endorsed and referred to as Code Two by the authors of this text) than is presently the case? The rule of thumb might be that the arrangement is best to be fifty-fifty. Instead of one spouse getting paid, however, the couple's resources should be divided equally. There ought to be joint decision making rather than monetary division. To the extent that the parent(s) are unable to earn sufficient income to provide for the child's needs, responsibility must be shared by the community.
1.2.2 How ought household tasks to be allotted between family members?
Each spouse has to contribute some work. Otherwise the system inevitably overprivileges the person with the higher income. If that person enjoys complete exemption from doing household tasks, her/his condition becomes disproportionately privileged. As long as the parties work the same number of hours at roughly comparable stress levels, disparity in incomes cannot be used as a justification for requiring one party to do more housework. But if a significant difference in hours worked and in stress levels obtains, there could be an accommodation. Housework done by the spouse performing the larger portion of outside work will still have to amount to more than a mere token or symbol. As for the children, they too should share in the household chores, and do more of them as they grow older. As a rule there ought to be no room for excuses, and their contribution should be significant. Financial compensation may be given as part of a program of gradual emancipation and a way of teaching them money management. What the money is expected to go towards has to be well deliberated. Let them buy their own school supplies, clothes, etc., not just luxuries. Parents should exercise a positive influence towards sensible expenditure.
1.2.3 How much privacy are family members entitled to?
Everyone is entitled to some privacy. No one is a mere object; we all have our dignity. What are the parameters of privacy to be observed between spouses? Being willing to confide is different from being forced to confide. In a spousal relationship it may be reasonably expected that you are willing to confide almost anything. Nevertheless, you should be allowed to have a drawer or room that is inviolable. Don't enter your spouse's room without knocking. You cannot force the door. A common supposition is that "private" means secret, and a secret implies guilt. The surrender of the personal integrity of body boundaries is never complete. There is always something that remains private, or you would have a complete surrender of your identity. The surrender of integrity or individual identity would make the Golden Rule meaningless, because there would be no other person. So, again, the essential thing is not to force a confidence but rather to offer it. An interesting feature of the parent-child relationship is that it's like two trains running in opposite directions, in the sense that it begins with the child confiding almost everything in the parent and the parent confiding very little in the child. On the one hand, the ignorance and inexperience of children reduce the area of privacy; on the other hand, their lack of maturity, their impressionableness and vulnerability make the mention of certain subjects before them inappropriate. The pattern stipulates that the parent divulge gradually more and more. The child on his/her part tends to hold back more and more as he/she approaches maturity. This is as it should be and ought not to be resented by the parent. A great temptation parents have is to share with children information that they neither need nor wish to know. Another equally great temptation is to pry into their youngsters' lives, expecting them to disclose absolutely everything--which is unnecessary, even undesirable and, more than likely, harmful, as it leaves the child with no sense of identity, nothing with which to build an autonomous self. The passage from where one simply enters the child's room without knocking to where etiquette requires that one knock, and then to the point where it makes sense to allow and even encourage children to lock their rooms is often difficult. Similarly, it is often hard to enforce a rule of "knock before entering" upon small children, but it is critical that they learn notions or rites of privacy from the earliest possible age. As we have said, the Golden Rule is not achievable without discrete identities. Extraordinary complexities in regard to privacy can occur in contemporary society, where stepparents, stepsiblings, etc. are common. People may live with relations where the genetic taboo against incest is absent and yet the familiarity of cohabitation is present. It is not infrequent to have in the same household stepparents, stepbrothers, and stepsisters with zero degree of consanguinity, both parents having children from previous marriages. These relationships have always existed, e. g., in the case of adoptees as well, but in recent years an explosion has taken place in their numbers. A figurative incest taboo often arises in these types of relationship. ("Figurative" in the sense that it holds only culturally, not biologically.) In these situations the rules of privacy need to be much more rigid, explicit, and positive than in biologically-based cases, where the biological horror or aversion can be assumed to be operative. Since World War One there has been a steady decrease in the size of "families," from the extended family of the past, where also many children were the norm, to the nuclear family, in which family planning is meticulously practiced and the number of children is small. There has been a reversal of this trend very recently. Owing in part to increased longevity, in part to the increase in the cost of housing, three-generation families have become common. Today hierarchy in these multigenerational families tends to revolve around economics and is often disturbing and beset by difficulties. In family relationships the person at the top of the hierarchy typically demands the greatest degree of privacy. Although normally one would expect the oldest generation to enjoy highest status, actual privacy arrangements today rarely exemplify this. On the whole multigenerational households are nevertheless of great benefit to everyone concerned as a practical demonstration of temporal reciprocity.
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1.3 Conspicuous consumption
In the consumer society the amount of loot you pile up in the home becomes the criterion of self-worth--in exact opposition to the ideal of being content with what you actually need. High consumption gets to be a status and power symbol; and those superfluous commodities you acquire may in part be products of exploitation.

Capitalistic commodification can become predatory in the following manner. Things may reach the point where it is incumbent on all members of each market at all times to be dissatisfied with what they possess. The system therefore will depend on the constant invention and reinvention of one's longings, desires, and addictions as distinct from one's needs.

Devices such as the mortgage, time payments on goods, credit cards, lines of credit, etc. place a time dimension unto these artificial hungers, sometimes lasting thirty years or more. To the degree that you practice the basic principles of Code Two morality, you can abstain from coveting your neighbor's house, field, ox, or ass and other household goods and, at the same time, from the compulsion of amassing treasures merely to keep up with her/him.

1.3.1 Is it good policy to avoid buying merchandise on the installment plan?
In the vast majority of instances it is. Exceptionally you may be in a predicament where it becomes inevitable, but it has to be realized that once you have crossed the boundary line it will be increasingly easier to invent excuses for purchasing on interest, and chances are you will not be able to resist the temptation to do so. Repeated actions become habits, and habits are difficult to kick.
1.3.2. How do the arguments stack up in favor of buying a luxury home with a big mortgage now as against a modest one, holding open as a possible option the purchase of a more spacious residence with a proportionally smaller mortgage later, when your income will be higher?
Though rationalizations for buying the larger home now can be legion, in fact as a rule it is morally and even financially preferable to opt for the more modest one. The euphoria associated with the fancy details tends to evaporate fast, while the burden of the mortgage payments remains in the long term . The less spent on the mortgage, the better.
1.3.3 Should I take a second job to be able to afford the luxuries I have always been dreaming of and otherwise could never get?
No; to get a second job just in order to buy some more junk is sort of pathetic. In this respect too, experience proves that the novelty of your glamorous possessions wears off quickly. First of all, consider civic duty as an alternative for spending your free time on. But both intellectual pastimes and physical exercise are also preferable to knocking yourself out to have a more powerful boat, fashionable wearing apparel, or a faster car.
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2.1 Workplace: "I am a good person working for an evil organization"
Joining almost any organization inevitably entails compromises. Ideally all of us should be working at tasks that will unmistakably and indubitably contribute to he common good. However, in the real world few enjoy the luxury of being able to find financially lucrative employment that fulfills this criterion. Our assumption here is that employees, even if they don't know at the outset, generally learn sooner or later when the organization they work for is at least in some ways corrupt, fraudulent, or harmful, as is the case in many instances. It is not uncommon, then, to reach the conclusion quoted above, i. e., that they are agents of good trapped in an evil system they cannot change. This becomes a moral palliative. But as a practical guideline, what are the reasonable limits of the compromise: where should you draw the line?
2.1.1 Should I quit my job?
Yes. If what you do is unmitigatedly evil, you must quit your job. No one really needs to develop, e. g., biological weapons, torture devices, or poisoned gas. If your work materially jeopardizes or damages the welfare of society, you should not be doing it. You are better off as a person bagging groceries at the supermarket than manufacturing poisoned gas. Try to get a job which will contribute something to the world instead of taking away from it.
2.1.2. Should I denounce my boss?
If she/he is doing something absolutely inexcusable under the circumstances: yes. Or if you have a reasonable expectation that by denouncing him conditions will actually change for the better: yes.
2.1.3 Should I be a whistle blower?
You should expose your organization to public scrutiny if the organization is involved in activity utterly inexcusable under any circumstances whatsoever (e. g., suppose it is a pseudocharity), or if by blowing the whistle you can realistically expect change for the better.
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2.2 "Every single time I try to do the right thing, people take advantage of me."
In the well-ordered society or state and in the right organizational culture members feel bound by the principles of equity and fairness. The critical difference between an enlightened human morality, referred to by us as Code Two--by whose rules people can live without being engaged in perpetual strife, with its consequent destructiveness and fear of reprisal--and the laws by which extra-human nature operates (called Code One in our terminology) is precisely that in the former members do not take advantage of each other. No one is obligated to do more than his/her fair share. Some acts of self-sacrifice may even be counterproductive. Conversely, though, when everyone is watching whether the other is doing her/his fair share, and stops working just to be sure he/she is not overdoing it by being too selfless, little good will get accomplished. In such situations those who break the cycle of negativity by acts of generosity as it were can produce virtual miracles. The following cases explore the modalities of such altruistic initiatives that, properly handled, may benefit the entire group including the volunteer initiator who got the ball rolling.
2.2.1 I give way, expecting my coworkers to reciprocate, and they take advantage of me. What am I to do?
This specific question is related to two frequently encountered dilemmas. The first is: what if I send a message in Code Two, and it is decoded as Code One (the ethic of dominance, deceit, and exploitation)? The second: the general applicability of "turn the other cheek" as a theorem that can be derived from Code Two. The most likely explanation for what is occurring here is that your coworker interprets your giving way as a Code-One signal from an inferior to a superior animal. He/she then responds by taking the dominant position. This is what is commonly referred to as "mistaking courtesy for weakness." Pragmatically, it is very difficult to remain in Code Two under these circumstances, as each of us well realizes from past experience. Unfortunately the natural tendency of repaying unkindness with unkindness is all to ready to take over in our biological system; but again, as we all know, it just leads to escalation and Pyrrhic victories. The most useful strategy is to examine how the injunction "turn the other cheek" can provide a way out of these types of situation. In truth when you turn the other cheek you are pushing Code Two to its outer limits. You don't really expect others to do the same. You are doing them one better; you are escalating under Code Two. This act will then either be interpreted as total capitulation, or it will bring your opponent, who after all is human, to her/his senses; she/he will realize that you are offering a Code Two gesture and will reciprocate out of shame if not from some nobler emotion. The principles of nonviolence advocated by Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. (both extraordinarily savvy, canny, and wily politicians) illustrate that this tactic can be successfully applied in the real world and not merely by utopians. So the first thing in this kind of situation is to ask yourself: "What would Gandhi or Martin Luther King (not the imaginary or the motion-picture one) do under these circumstances? Would he have asserted himself under Code One or turn the other cheek under Code Two?" So you might say, "You know, I was just trying to be polite. Would you like me to show you what it is like when I am being rude?" Or you could say, "Well, you have eaten my lunch, would you like to have my breakfast too?"
2.2.2 I repeatedly get disproportionate assignments. What should I do?
The general analysis offered above (2.2.1) applies. Two things you might say when you are given the assignment are: "I have been polite about taking these assignments in the past. I have been patient accepting them in the past. Please this time assign it to so-and-so; I have my hands full as it is, and actually I also know how to be blunt." Or you might say, "Would you like me to shine your shoes as well?" A useful conversation is likely to ensue either way.
2.2.3. Everyone at my level has a better office. What should I do?
Tactic one. When the next office becomes vacant, say: "I have been very patient up until now, but I do believe it is my turn for this office, and I actually know how to put this in a crustier way if you prefer." Tactic two: "Would you like me to move my stuff to the bathroom?"
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2.3. Other people get the credit, I do the work.
These examples could in fact be subsumed under issues of conflicting codes and the principle of nonviolence discussed under 2.2. We will, in addition, use this opportunity to discuss some different aspects of the problem. The issue of credit/authorship illustrates, besides the dominance points already touched upon, the concept of the commodification of ideas. Sometimes it is superior strategy to assume that ideas are plentiful and to give them away very liberally, hoping that they will grow and thrive, under the names of others, rather than grasp and struggle to assure that if the idea is to grow it will do so properly only under your name. Possessiveness about ideas and the fiction that they are a scarce resource are, as much as anything else, responsible for the evil and perhaps even unintentional negative features of capitalism as discussed above (1.3).

The concept of intellectual rights can go well beyond the simple fairness of giving credit where credit is due, and can become a basis for idea fetishism as much as commodity fetishism. So in these questions relating to authorship and originality, aside from the strategy of asserting oneself or shaming the other, one can also consider the usefulness of the strategy of simply giving away things that are not normally found in the marketplace and thereby undermining certain sinister aspects of the market.

2.3.1 My name is not listed among the authors of this document. What should I do?
TACTIC ONE: "I believe my name ought to have appeared on this report. I would like it to be reissued, listing me as a coauthor." TACTIC TWO: "I notice that my name appears in a footnote. I think my contribution was too trivial that it doesn't even merit a footnote." TACTIC THREE (which may be regarded as a subdivision of two): sidestep the whole issue altogether. It might be a waste of time and energy. You have better things to do with your time than spend it on futile arguments over authorship. Do what you do best. If some idiot is so impoverished of ideas that he must steal yours, wish him/her a happy journey, and come up with twenty more ideas; chances are they will keep you around anyway, and you will be doing what you do well. Why waste your time and energy attempting to possess something that perhaps ought not to be possessed in the first place?
2.3.2 The boss automatically gets credit for everything. What should I do?
More closely linked to issues of power and leadership, this is a variant of the previous case. How as a practical matter does one deal with a Machiavellian leader who makes a career out of stealing people's ideas or taking credit for their work? As a practical matter, if your boss is an utter hypocrite "visionary" who is pretending to operate under Code Two while being firmly in Code One, none of the three tactics so far discussed is likely to work very well. The first question, if you are convinced that this person is up to no good, is whether you want to leave your job, appeal to higher authority, or blow the whistle as in 2.1.3. In case that none of those alternatives is practicable under the circumstances, we suggest that you have a countervision at your next departmental meeting with the boss present. Fix your gaze toward the sky and announce that you had a vision in which each member of the group would be listed in alphabetical order in all future output. Describe how it would foster the atmosphere of selflessness so ably represented by your boss, and how in this atmosphere the productivity of the entire group will be enhanced, because each member is putting the interest of the organization ahead of her/his narrow self-interest. Profits will soar, and so will morale. The rationale of this tactic is foisting the hypocrite with his/her own petard.
2.3.3 Seeing that in many types of organization positions of leadership per se require the practice of domination, make-believe, and deception, are you morally justified in seeking such jobs?
A move into this kind of "management" (as opposed to legitimate management as defined in the theoretical part of our text) position actually makes sense only if three conditions are met: One. You can continue to be a productive worker while being in the management position. If you can, and if you can demonstrate how doing one can positively reinforce the other, then it is well worth the effort to take on relatively unproductive tasks. In organizations that have a great deal of longevity and that are effective at their objectives, there is normally not an absolute discontinuity between productive and unproductive work. i.e., even the Pope has to say mass. This is a reformulation or at least a specific case of the Golden Rule. The Pope doesn't ask an ordinary parish priest what he is not willing to do himself or, to put it in another way, he doesn't cease being a priest: he has to continually practice and perfect his priestly craft despite having been promoted CEO. // Two. You feel assured that you will definitely improve things by doing so. Three. You can set yourself concrete exit conditions out of management and back into the work force. You could define a set of conditions short of which your behavior would become unacceptably Machiavellian. These exit conditions may be behavioral, attitudinal, or merely temporal: e.g., "I will quit the day when I would have to tell someone, "I hear you" and by that seem to imply that I will be on his/her side, whereas I would be obliged by the organization to do the opposite. Or your criteria could be attitudinal, e.g., you could vow that you would resign the day you came to believe that your subordinates were preponderantly liars and cheats. Or your exit criteria might be temporal, as in setting "term limits;" you may tell yourself, "I will return to the work force in five years, and I will make it financially feasible for me to do so." In any case, your exit criteria have to be thoroughly explicit; you cannot leave yourself any room for ex post facto interpretations or weaseling.
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3. Public Realm - Rudeness General Lack of Courtesy
Issues of human intraspecies dominance in the public domain belong to some of the clearest examples of the continuing struggle between Codes One and Two. The notion of the dominant animal "in the field" shows possibly the most atavistic behavior that is currently observed in peacetime in relatively civilized milieus. As such, like its big brother, war, it may be in practice the most difficult to resist. It is really easier to be generous/polite at home or at work than on the street, in a store, or at a restaurant. Here the struggle for precedence and domination has all the romance of the hunt or chase in which the stronger brings the weaker to their knees or even kills them, like at a bullfight, police chase, or the beating of Rodney King. In a sense it is here in the public arena, where the payoff is always internal--self-dependent--that the measure of one's personal morality occurs. Your actions often will not be traceable back to you personally; you will be neither praised nor faulted for them. Responsible ethical conduct in the public realm (e. g., leaving a tip at a restaurant where you don't expect to dine again) has presented a puzzle for evolutionary ethicists who hold that narrow egoism accounts for all human actions. The way you have to put it to yourself is: the acid test of what I really believe is how I behave toward a person I will never see again.
3.1.1 Someone has just cut in ahead of me in traffic. How should I react?
We know the answer in theory. But in practice how do I deal with my increased blood pressure, the fact that my face is flushed, that my breathing is harder, that I feel like urinating all of a sudden, i.e., with the fight or flight response, the adrenaline rush that is automatic in this situation? The answer is that you must teach yourself to have your brain override your adrenals, usually by calling in language, which is the brain's specialty, and to which the adrenals are strangers. That is, you have to use internal speech, you actively have to reason with yourself as with a stranger, you have to argue the adrenals into submission. However, since the fight/flight reaction is almost instantaneous, your argument had better be brief, effective, and formulaic, like a rule of thumb, a prayer, or a command. You have to train yourself for it much the same way as soldiers are trained to kill to a specific word, order, or command. The force of habit will then turn repeated actions into virtue.
3.1.2 Complete strangers make fun of me. What do I do?
I am driving. Two people in the car next to me point at me, exchange knowing glances, and smother an apparent giggle. The answer lies in the concept of preparation. Typically in a situation of this sort if you are taken unawares you may be already too late: your adrenals will take over, and at the very least you will get a spurt of high blood pressure, while they get a good laugh. You have become their foil. It is therefore important to rehearse, prior to going to public places, the brain sentences that define the sense in which you victimize yourself by rising to the bait. Your instinctual response, which is anger, makes you an accessory in your own defeat. It's the anger they aim at; by demonstrating your rage you validate their mockery. The pointing and the giggle really mean: I bet this guy is weak and vulnerable; therefore he is going to be furious. Thus when you get angry you will only be mad at yourself. If you rehearse these ideas with reasonable frequency, chances are excellent that you will be able to prevail when the occasion comes.
3.1.3 I'm always the last one to get waited on. What do I do?
In this type of situation a person who in a certain sense would be conventionally described as an inferior--a service employee waiting on a customer--attempts to turn the tables by making his/her attention into a scarce commodity. You should seriously consider leaving as the simplest and most constructive choice. If leaving seems inappropriate, you can wait until the clerk is finished waiting on the current customer and when she/he is done, speak up. You might say either, "I believe it's my turn," or you could say, in line with the strategies outlined in 2.3, "Why don't you wait on five more people before you wait on me?" If these strategies don't work or are not applicable under the circumstances, you may complain to the manager. The principle is nonretaliation, nonescalation, except as a last resort. Here, as in the previous situation, when you rise to the bait you may become a coconspirator in your own defeat.
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3.2 Protecting oneself and one's property.
One of the basic techniques for perpetuating Code One is the arms race. The arms race is a method whereby the same manufacturer develops offensive and defensive weapons and sells them in turn to antagonists. Arms races may end in either the capitulation or bankruptcy of one party; or they may end in war. Thus any arms race is technically a zero-sum game. Both adversaries cannot win, only the arms manufacturer is assured of winning. The arms race represents the classic paradigm of old-fashioned monopoly capitalism: the heavy-industrial arms manufacturer is the victor; everyone else loses. Particularly in peacetime, arms races often develop on the home front: bigger bicycles beget bigger bolt cutters, bigger bolt cutters beget bigger bicycle locks, until the bicycle lock weighs and costs more than the bicycle itself. More elaborate security systems generate technologically more sophisticated thieves, and technologically more sophisticated thieves generate more elaborate security systems, until eventually either police departments become gridlocked by false alarms, or the cost of the security system exceeds the value of the goods being protected. The only effective cure for arms races is de-escalation before catastrophe. Sooner or later one party must realize that "it is better to be red than dead."
3.2.1 Do I lock my door?
Only if everyone else in your neighborhood does also, but certainly with no stronger locks than are necessary to withstand a few minutes of assault, while you or your neighbor calls 9-1-1. Don't forget: to a professional thief light defense suggests worthless possessions. A professional burglar tends to regard the well-secured home as a challenge. Statistics show that professional burglars are attracted by homes with the most elaborate security systems.
3.2.2 Do I spend money on a security system?
n the majority of cases, no. A subtle consequence of an expensive system for securing property in that you end up a prisoner is your own home, as another object that must be safeguarded from evil neighbors. Are you in effect keeping the robber out or are you locking yourself in?
3.2.3 Should I buy a firearm for my or my family's protection?
Try to be at any rate the last one in your neighborhood to do so. And before acquiring one consider even moving somewhere else, where disarmament is the norm instead of the exception.
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3.3 Participating in the democratic process.
The democratic process is about the rule of the majority with adequate safeguards for the minority. As such, it comes close to being a paraphrase for Code Two in the field of politics. Of course no country or political jurisdiction actually approximates the ideal democratic system; yet even the most corrupt quasidemocracies generally represent at least a significant compromise between the two codes.

We believe that the democratic process could be improved even in relatively well-functioning states by conforming to the following guidelines: more voter input in legislative decision making, involving direct methods wherever practicable; greater accountability of representatives; recall of representatives made possible for the electorate; much lower limits on campaign expenses; universal voter registration; increased reliance on referenda and initiatives; greater role for independent candidates.

3.3.1 Should I vote and, if so, how?
The voting booth, to the extent that we are not dealing with a total travesty of the democratic process, is the most anonymous of all public places. Again, you need to remind yourself that it is in a situation where you cannot gain any direct personal benefit that your allegiance to Code-Two principles is most definitively tested. Tell yourself that you are capable of behaving equitably even when you are not under observation; and vote with that in mind. This is another example where talking to yourself is crucial.
3.3.2 Should I run for office?
Only if you are assured that by holding office you can improve conditions in your constituency. It makes ethical sense to run for office only if: (a) the money spent on obtaining that office is no greater than the maximum amount you could legally and honestly obtain as an office holder; (b) you can do productive work benefiting your constituents during your term in office; (c) you can set yourself specific conditions for resigning before you become corrupted by the office.
3.3.3 Should I obey just laws only?
One. No one should obey positively evil laws. Of course there are limits to one's ability to defy them. However, a law that requires you, e. g., to torture innocent people shouldn't be obeyed. If necessary attempt to flee your jurisdiction or even country rather than complying with such a law, or at least resort to some nonobvious, hard-to-detect malingering. At the minimum, evade. Two. Try, where you can, not to be a silent or passive coconspirator in positively evil practices that have the force of law. If you feel you can safely squawk, squawk; otherwise disburden yourself of membership in communities of evil. Three. As pointed out in the preceding section, fair-minded and honest people often enter the political process when they perceive certain laws to be unjust. But it is sensible to assume that the great majority of laws more or less democratically arrived at in a responsible community are likely to be either just or harmless. Since that is the case, a moral person obeys the law. Finally, it should be emphasized that in a well-functioning society laws are self-enforcing. It is the test of your character whether you obey a just law even though no one is watching. In true reciprocities the other is regarded as resident within the self.
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Alterations to Preceding Text
If you think that any of the above categories, statements, questions, or answers should be rephrased or changed, enter the number and formulate the problem/s as you see it/them:
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You may describe for us an important decision-making problem you currently face in your personal life that you would like to receive help on. We promise you well-considered, compassionate, and unbiased advice. We will not seek to be rhetorical or idealistic to the extent of ignoring the realities of contemporary life. Bear in mind however that our aim is ethical counseling in accordance with our moral outlook; we do not offer to tell you what will necessarily provide optimum financial and material benefit or kicks, but rather a solution protecting your own interests inasmuch as they are compatible with the well-being of the community at large.
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