An ethics/morality question

Okay, this one’s for all the ethicists/moral philosophers out there. Pull up a chair and let’s play along.

Consider the following scenario: you are a single parent, with two children and a house (white picket fence optional). You can make the ends meet, have a little extra in the bank, and your parents babysit the kids during the daytime, so everything is keen at home. You’re working at the same company Dilbert works at, and am firmly lodged in the “average white-collar worker” column.

So anyway, you’re putzing along in your cublcle when the Pointy-Haired Boss™ pays you a visit. The PHB explains that there’s a problem – due to “budget problems,” he’s going to have to lay you off … unless you happened to have seen Star Wars (the first movie) in the theater when it came out back in 1977. If you did, then he can go to his boss and try to weasel out some more money to keep you employed (apparently the CEO believes helping Star Wars fans is good for his karma).

Now, you’re a savvy guy/gal/wookie, and you know Star Wars pretty well – but you never saw it in the theaters back in ‘77, since your parent/legal guardian refused to take you to the theater at the time. Your viewings of Star Wars has been strictly limited to videotapes and DVDs.
Putting aside any questions about the oddball nature of the boss’ requirement, what do you do, o defender of morality? Do you

(a) lie that you did see Star Wars in the theater back in '77, save your job, and protect your family and home.


(b) admit you never saw Star Wars in the theater back in '77, thus getting laid off and endangering your family and home over a trivial matter?
The strictly moral answer is (b), of course, but I’m curious as to how many people will actually choose that route given the context of the problem…

I’d tell the a-hole I didn’t see it… even if I did.

Then I’d tell the boss’s boss about the offer.

I’d call in psychiatrists for the crackpot boss.

Then I’d call in my lawyers and sue his sorry sad ass off.

The strictly moral answer would be (a) of course. Once you bring children into this world, you’re responsible for their needs, above all else.

Then you sue his sorry ass and put the money in a college fund.

I’d say (a) and then start looking for a new job. An idiotic manager (or CEO) like that is only going to drag you down with them. Life is short…

A savvy Wookiee would probably pull the boss’s arms out of their sockets…

thats the most poitnless piece of…uhhh nevermind sighs

Get your bos to put the condition in writing and then take it to his boss. At the very least, playing along with this nutty demand by answering a or b just invites even nuttier demands in future.

Now, if this is a thinly disguised analogy trying to get SDMB users to support or deny religious, race-based or gender-based hiring practices,you may as well just spit it out. If a boss threatens to fire a person because they had the nerve to be born black or female in 1977, or they were raised Catholic or Jewish by their parents or something else over which they clearly had no control, then there are well-established legal remedies already in place.

In your scenario, I’d lie like a big dog. It seems like that is what he’s asking the employee to do. I’d say I saw it, because there is no way in hell he, or anyone else, could prove otherwise.

Tell him you saw the movie but thought it was the worse crap ever put on film.

Nah, nothing that inflammatory. It’s just that the question is based on a recent real-life event, and I wanted to get folks’ opinions on the subject. Unfortunately, instead of “having seen Star Wars in a theater in 1977,” the real-life analogue was equally trivial but fairly technical. I figure changing it to a movie would be easier for most folks to relate to.

I’m just surprised some folks overlooked by clause about “putting aside any questions about the oddball nature of the boss’ requirement”. Love Katisha’s observation on wookies, however. :wink: