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The Ethics Lesson (or: To Kill a Shark)

The Ethics Lesson (or: To Kill a Shark)

For some it’s more important
To make money, turn a profit,
Than to kill a shark — to slice its fins off
And toss it back into the water
To drown, slowly, on the sea floor
And, for some, it’s more important
That that shark should live
Not because it’s part of a system
The argument utilitarians give —
That it’s better for us
That that shark should live,
Though it is —
But just because it’s wrong
To kill a shark, or anything,
if you don’t have to.
No, but, you don’t understand,
says person A
I have to kill the sharks to pay
My rent, my way…
to which I say, the ethicist said,
better to murder the landlord instead
That, at least, would be self defense.

 

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Elliot Sperber is a writer, attorney, and adjunct professor. He lives in New York City and can be reached at elliot.sperber@gmail.com and on twitter @elliot_sperber

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