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Moral Rule:It is (always) wrong to tell a lie. No, b/c: 1) Nazi cases. 2) National security cases. 3) some white lies. 4) etc.

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Presentation on theme: "Moral Rule:It is (always) wrong to tell a lie. No, b/c: 1) Nazi cases. 2) National security cases. 3) some white lies. 4) etc."— Presentation transcript:

1 Moral Rule:It is (always) wrong to tell a lie. No, b/c: 1) Nazi cases. 2) National security cases. 3) some white lies. 4) etc.

2 Moral Rule:It is (always) wrong to tell self-interested lies.

3 Moral Rule: It is wrong to tell a lie for financial gain. Three interesting counter-examples (from students) 1) Ex-con lies about being a con to get a job and feed his family. 2) Robber case. (Robber on the street demands “all your money” – you give him $5 and lie and tell him that’s all you have.) My response: Grotius’ response: here the robber has no right to the truth (same as in Nazi cases, only involving money). 3) Waiter/customer case. (Customer asks waiter, “do you like my haircut?” – concerned about his tip, waiter says “yes”). My response: Plausibly, customer doesn’t want truth, wants compliment, like some death bed scenarios.

4 Revised Rule: It is wrong to tell a lie for financial gain, unless 1) “victim” has no right to truth, or 2) there’s good reason to think she doesn’t want the truth.

5 Advertising Ethics

6 Three Ethical Objections Manipulativeness E.g., Galbraith. “Purveys false values” Deceptiveness

7 “Ordinary” notion: deceptiveness = intentional misleading. Problems (as applied to ads): a) who and how many need be misled? b) proving intent?

8 Legal (FTC) notion: Re: b) deceptive ads are those w/ a “tendency to mislead”. Re: a) Whom? Even 1 person? - “Ignorant Person Standard” Clairol example Now: “Modified Ignorant Person” -in practice, often determined by focus groups.

9 Big point : 2 big differences between “deceptive advertising” and ads that are simply false.

10 Implied Claims Profile bread: fewer calories per slice, good for weight loss. Kraft singles. Vs. mere puffery Stricter FTC scrutiny when claims: involve health “sound” scientific


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