When does discrimination become morally wrong?
Shades of Gray
In the world of business, discrimination is a necessary skillset. We need to discriminate between a potentially successful product, versus one that may not have as much chance to succeed. In choosing between a number of candidates for a job, we need to be able to discriminate between a better and lesser candidate. Isn’t having “discriminating taste” something that that we strive for?
I do know when discrimination becomes illegal. Nationally, in the U.S., that would be when an employment or housing decision is based on discrimination between someone based on their gender, age, race, disability or religion. Some states have expanded that to include other “protected classes,” but in general, it is completely legal to make hiring/firing decisions based on education level, body odor, number of visible moles, left/right-handedness, weight, foot width or the kind of car someone drives (despite the question of whether it’s right or not from a moral perspective).
But is it okay to say that a beautiful looking person is a better candidate than a less beautiful candidate? Or how about a well-spoken candidate? Should she be better positioned for an actuarial position over someone that doesn’t express himself as well? How about a person that dresses in expensive clothes and accessories over someone equally as well dressed, but in less costly clothes?
Having gotten jobs in the past largely because I interview well has alway seemed odd to me. Most of the jobs I have interviewed successfully for, the interviewer really seemed to have no sense about how good I would be at the job for which I was interviewing. They always seemed more impressed by how I present myself. This doesn’t seem so much immoral to me, as ineffective.
So when does discrimination pass from an acceptable means of distinguishing between choices, to one of an immoral choice?
Personally, I’m not quite sure, but like the bigoted Southern U.S. senator said once about pornorgraphy, “I know it when I see it.”
I split my time between two projects, and made very little progress on either. First, I added only two stars to the crochet tablecloth.
You’ll note I didn’t even do the filler stars yet, but on a more positive note, I have only 100 more stars to make.
I also worked some on the new sock.
I’m combining my standard toe-up sock, with a heel I read about on the Socknitters List (which I’ll write about in the next blog entry), and a stitch pattern from The Knitting Man(ual). Take a look at a closeup of the stitch pattern.
It is perfect for a sock leg. The pattern in The Knitting Man(ual) is done as a cuff-down sock, but that doesn’t matter as far as the stitch pattern goes, as long as the number of stitches in the leg of the sock is a multiple of 9 stitches (or you can figure out how to fudge it some).
This is going to turn out to be a very classic looking man’s sock.
Dutch Jan notes that he (or is it she?) got The Knitting Man(ual)…based on Kathy’s comments about Martin Storey’s new book, Knitting For Him, I’d be interested in your thoughts on it…or anyone else that has either book. I honestly didn’t think I’d ever find a book so useful as Kristin Spurkland’s, but it has already provided inspiration for two projects.