“Good” people

Posted: August 23, 2010 in Cleetus posts

During my travels this summer I met a pair of New Yorkers who claimed that people living in NY are sooo aware, conscious, environmentally friendly and on and on and on. Their basic argument is that living in a big ass city is so much more sustainable compared to hillbillies in Nebraska with their pick-ups, bon fires, meat-eating etc. I must say that I do not know if people in cities are more sustainable than others but given the overall a need for energy, water, produce etc I’m not so sure. It really doesn’t matter, what matters is the moral licensing that these people utilize. Moral licensing refers to doing something you think is good that actually makes you more likely to do something dubious later. It would be interesting to compare different parts of the country with regard to this issue and in particular to relate it to philanthropic giving. Here is another good example with the terrific name the organic path to obesity: “when evaluating a person with a weight-loss goal, forgoing exercise is deemed more acceptable when the person has just chosen organic rather than conventional dessert”



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