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Old 07-22-2002, 03:31 PM   #1
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Would you work for a company...

That produced alcohol products, tobacco products, or military defense like bombs, missiles?

I choose these three because: the incredible problem this country (and others) have with alcoholism, and how one persons alcoholism can lead to the decline of a family and worse. Tobacco products because you are in essence making a product people will use that eventually kill them. Missiles because it may kill innocent people, while at the same time defending your country.

I realize there are many 'loopholes' (People who smoke understand the possible consequences, some people can drink in moderation, etc) in these questions, but just wondering, on gut feeling, what you would do.
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Old 07-22-2002, 03:47 PM   #2
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It's a good question, and the answer is...I'm not sure. lol. Because ultimately you could expand that list quite a bit, couldn't you? I mean, lots of things can be used to the detriment of people...working for McDonald's may mean contributing to the heart disease rate and subsequent deaths of people. Working for a computer company may mean that people use your technology to swap kiddie porn on the net. It's all very murky and related.

So on the surface, I think my answer would be that no, I wouldn't want to work for a company who creates a product that I find ethically and/or morally offensive or detrimental. However, I sometimes wonder if I can really take the moral high ground since just about anything can be used negatively. The choice of the consumer vs. the intent of the manufacturer etc.

that may have made zero sense at all. *fighting a cold and sinus headache may have addled sula's brain*
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Old 07-22-2002, 09:01 PM   #3
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I agree with, Sula! Im not sure.
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Old 07-23-2002, 04:13 AM   #4
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Alcohol and tobacco are items of choice. They may cause harm, but we live in a society that allows us our personal choices, therefore I have no moral problem with this at all.
Missiles are a different matter.
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Old 07-23-2002, 06:53 AM   #5
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If I was to relate it to my actuall profession (graphic designer), I wouldn't agree to work on ads that promoted tobacco or alcohol.
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Old 07-23-2002, 08:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
Alcohol and tobacco are items of choice. They may cause harm, but we live in a society that allows us our personal choices, therefore I have no moral problem with this at all.
Missiles are a different matter.
Agreed.

If you were a scientist and get, say, 500k per year plus benefits etc. would you do it then?
Me: missiles no, alc./ tob. maybe.
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Old 07-23-2002, 08:47 AM   #7
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Good Topic!

I can answer this question in a slightly indirect manner...

My very first job as a chemist was at a cosmetic company. This was a contract lab. Companies like Colgate would come to this small company and ask them to make their product(s). When you see the "made in the U.S.A." label on a product, all that means is that some factory somewhere in the U.S. made the product - not that Colgate themselves did.

This little cosmetic factory was located in Chicago (not sure if they still exist or not). I would test shampoos, sunscreens, burn lotions, etc. for consistency and stability.

I left that job after a short time because the pay was atrocious and the benefits were non-existent. In a matter of months I received from another company who offerred $10K more a year (which was HUGE back then) and much better benefits. That alone made the offer nearly impossible to refuse. But more importantly, this other company did work in therapeutics - something I wanted to do.

While the overall work that I did at this little cosmetic company was fine (perhaps that's because it was the summer of '87 and I heard U2's JT on the radio constantly! ), I also felt I was wasting my talents. Sure, I use cosmetic products all the time. Just like most Americans, I have my share of shampoos and soaps and sprays and deoderants so that I look and smell at least decent. Yet despite the fact that I used and perhaps needed these products, I just felt that working for a cosmetic company was an enormous waste of my time and talent. Why work on something as silly as a shampoo when I should be trying to discover or formulate a new drug that could truly help people? How could I justify my career as a person who makes "shiny hair" products when I should be trying to save lives?

Most of the companies I have worked for since this small cosmetic company most have been in the field of diagnostics or therapeutics. As I insinuated above, I just feel that my talents are better used in these fields. Plus, I have a certain "pride" about my job.

With that in mind, I think I would have a lot of difficulty working for an alcohol plant or tobacco company or under a military weapons contract. If I knew my R&D efforts would go toward a biological weapon, for example, I could not take the position. I feel that my knowledge and skills as a scientist should only be used for good. And while I drink my share of alcohol, on rare times take a puff of a cigarette, appreciate our military defense and use my share of cosmetics, these are just not areas that I could pursue a career in - I just couldn't justify that to myself.
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Old 07-23-2002, 08:53 AM   #8
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Re: Good Topic!

Quote:
Originally posted by doctorwho
With that in mind, I think I would have a lot of difficulty working for an alcohol plant or tobacco company or under a military weapons contract. If I knew my R&D efforts would go toward a biological weapon, for example, I could not take the position. I feel that my knowledge and skills as a scientist should only be used for good. And while I drink my share of alcohol, on rare times take a puff of a cigarette, appreciate our military defense and use my share of cosmetics, these are just not areas that I could pursue a career in - I just couldn't justify that to myself.
┤Nuff Respect.
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Old 07-23-2002, 11:15 PM   #9
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Well everyone knows whom I work for, and most of you hate him anyway so what I say probably won't mean anything to you anyways.

However, let me ask you one question first; DO you believe that you are responsible to provide for your family? That is assuming you have one, or if not then do you believe that you are responsible for providing for yourself?

What if the only job you could get involved one of the three industries in the question above (not my personal situation either, btw, I could work elsewhere easily but I proudly choose my profession)?
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Old 07-24-2002, 12:32 AM   #10
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i'm working in healthcare industry , so i don't care about this question , but if salary starts with $$$1 milion$$$ a year , why not
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Old 07-24-2002, 03:13 AM   #11
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Z Edge thats an interesting counter response. I think take choice away from this and you do end up with a different story. Without choice, we would surely have to make some kind of compromise and eventually decide how important our own personal well being is vs our convictions on such things.
I wouldn't like it, but come to that and I would rather make missiles than see my family starve. I dont support war, but often it is something we can do little about. I would protect my family while knowing that during war or under attack, my government is protecting the country, or trying to at least.
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Old 07-24-2002, 04:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by z edge


However, let me ask you one question first; DO you believe that you are responsible to provide for your family? That is assuming you have one, or if not then do you believe that you are responsible for providing for yourself?

What if the only job you could get involved one of the three industries in the question above ?
Interesting question. I would only work in the arms industry if it was the only job I could get involved in and if I had children. If I can -somehow- survive, and I don┤t have to support a family, I wouldn┤t.
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Old 07-24-2002, 07:57 AM   #13
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In this volatile market, I grew a sack of balls and bought Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc., stock symbol BUD.

I figure its relation to the market (or Beta) is quite low and I'm betting that BUD is a good recessionary stock to ride out the storm.

That said, I guess I'm contributing (or betting on) the alchoholics of this nation/world.

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Old 07-24-2002, 08:18 AM   #14
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thanks everyone. interesting ideas floating around.

Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
Alcohol and tobacco are items of choice. They may cause harm, but we live in a society that allows us our personal choices, therefore I have no moral problem with this at all.
Missiles are a different matter.
well if we want to live in a land of freedom we need the means to defend that freedom. And although we cannot always control if they are used- we have the 'power' to vote certain people with certain ideas on how to use these missiles into office.

I think alcohol can be "just as bad" because it is an addictive drug which is used as a weapon (drunk driving, rape, domestic violence, etc) when it is in the wrong hands. Second hand smoke causes about 3,000 deaths to nonsmokers every year, never mind the harm it causes children (respiratory problems that haunt them for life, asthma)


I'm really torn up on this subject which is why I'm not saying much. But I like reading what you guys have to say.
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Old 07-24-2002, 08:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by oliveu2cm
I think alcohol can be "just as bad" because it is an addictive drug which is used as a weapon (drunk driving, rape, domestic violence, etc) when it is in the wrong hands. Second hand smoke causes about 3,000 deaths to nonsmokers every year, never mind the harm it causes children (respiratory problems that haunt them for life, asthma)

I don┤t want to downplay the bad effects of alcohol or smoking, but weapons are dangerous at a different, higher level.

They are produced for hurting or killing. Missiles can destroy all planet Earth at once; alcohol or smoking couldn┤t, I think. Illegal arms trade has a rendezvous with illegal drug trafficking, too.
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