Thursday, March 18, 2010

Are Green People Mean?

"...When Al Gore was caught running up huge energy bills at home at the same time as lecturing on the need to save electricity, it turns out that he was only reverting to "green" type.

According to a study, when people feel they have been morally virtuous by saving the planet through their purchases of organic baby food, for example, it leads to the "licensing [of] selfish and morally questionable behaviour", otherwise known as "moral balancing" or "compensatory ethics".

...people who wear what they call the "halo of green consumerism" are less likely to be kind to others, and more likely to cheat and steal. "Virtuous acts can license subsequent asocial and unethical behaviours," they write.".." (Read the whole article)

As you know, I am pretty green (damn, I still want that word that distinguishes Conservation from Global Warming hysteria), so I'm not bringing this to attention to mock the freaky Prius hippies... I found the concept as a whole worthy of deeper reflection: "compensatory ethics."

Does 'good' or charitable behavior in one facet of our lives entitle us to subconsciously be crappier in others?

Insofar as this story goes, I don't feel this describes me at all. Maybe because I don't feel as if my recycling and composting is saving the Earth...but instead is my duty as a patron here. But, other things... I'll have to think about that one. Like, is there a correlation to my (sometimes hurtful) bluntness/honesty to my friends and the fact that I think I go above and beyond in my friendships...like I earn the right to be hurtful if I feel like it? Hmmmm, like I said, worth some further reflection.

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