Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Right or Wrong?
In the 21st century we have ethical dilemmas we could not have imagined even twenty years ago. I think immediately about medicine, of course, which has become so sophisticated that the families of sick people have options never before available, and therefore completely confusing.
Gone with the 20th century is the idea that no matter what we should always try to keep everyone alive as long as possible. Compassion trumped science when it became clear that sometimes, doing everything possible to keep someone from dying is actually cruel and unusual. Still, though, families have to decide what is cruel, what's too much, when should the feeding tube be removed, the respirator turned off. Having to make those kinds of decisions is, in itself, cruel.
I'm thinking about 21st century ethical dilemmas this morning not because of my interest in medicine, but because of the new Facebook Terms of Service in which they claim ownership of everything published on their site, forever. Forever? Hey Facebook, nothing is forever! The Facebook community is in an uproar of course. Ironic that this situation is being freely discussed within Facebook. I find that absolutely encouraging, and to be honest, kind of funny.
As for myself, I would not post anything here or on Facebook that's so precious to me that I wouldn't want it stolen. The internet is a place where anyone with a little know-how can steal anything they want, claim it for themselves, forever. At least Facebook is admitting it publicly.
That's no excuse, though. It'll be amusing to follow this particular ethical quagmire as it unfolds. Will Facebook change their tune in light of all the uproar? Who knows? We shall see!
I love that tiny Jake at the top of the pic, reflected from the rearview mirror.