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But there is such an attempt of anthropomorphisation, when you say the company is "expected to be a good sport".

You don't say a herd of cows ought to be a good sport. A crying baby ought to be a good sport. That tree is being mean, casting shade. The anthill ought to return my sugar.

That is why there is no conflict. Because they are not the same morally and thus not expected to be treated the same.




I think one as to be more careful here. At a first level the company plays no role, it is just the customer expecting that mistakes are handled differently depending on who benefits. Replace Amazon with a private person you are intending to buy a used car from, would you still expect that mistakes - say a miscommunication of the price or miscounting of the money - in your favour are handled differently than mistakes in the sellers favour? And we assume no bad faith here, if the seller intentionally raises the price once you have taken a day off and driven a significant distance to complete the trade in the hope that you will pay the higher price in order to not have wasted your time, that is an entirely different story. Personally I would probably not do it, but I think it would be perfectly fine to sue the seller to get the initially agreed on price.

Expecting Amazon to be a good sport only makes sense after you have decided that mistakes should not be handled differently depending on who benefits and that you are therefore not entitled to keep your amazing deal. Then you can start to appeal to being a good sport, or the benefits for the public perception of Amazon, or whatnot to explain why Amazon should honor the deal. But this also brings up question like why would you not be a good sport in case of a mistake in favour of Amazon? Note that I do not want to imply any answers here, I just want to point out which kinds of questions one might have to consider.


C2C and B2C transactions can be, and in many places are, regulated differently.


This argument cuts both ways. If Amazon isn't a moral entity, then there's also no moral violation if they screw you over.


What you will find, one day, is that morality is just the name we give to the system of similar humans dealing with one another.

Everything else is attempts to extrapolate from that.

Many things that are punished if an animal does to a human, are accepted by the billions if humans do to animals.

Many times an adult has a responsibilty a child does not.

The Amazon example is one of the latter kind.

Besides morality there are legal systems. As you get more and more kinds of things, it is expedient to represent corporations as legal entities, but often they are held to a higher standard than just random people. Since a corporation can employ many people and machines, to prepare every sale, they are held to a higher standard for transactions, taxes, reporting, quality of product delivered, and so on. They also have deeper pockets and can take the hit.


It's good to know that you've got morality all figured out :)

I don't see any reason why it should be ok for people to knowingly rip Amazon off. There are worse things (by far) that someone can do, but there's no real justification for doing it.


Right, and it's not morally wrong for a mosquito to bite you, and no one would say that the bug "should have known better", but we do our best to prevent it anyway. Both entities will go precisely as far as we allow them to.


When companies like Amazon do things that are morally wrong, you never see people making this claim that moral concepts don't apply to companies. They only say it when it's convenient for them (i.e., when they want to take advantage of Amazon rather than vice versa).

To compare a company's actions to those of a mosquito strikes me as quite silly. Amazon is run by people who make conscious choices and who are responsible for their actions.


>When companies like Amazon do things that are morally wrong, you never see people making this claim that moral concepts don't apply to companies.

I see this all the time on HN.


> When companies like Amazon do things that are morally wrong

Companies don't "do things". The managers (and ultimately Bezos as the top manager) are the moral actors here. "Amazon" is just shortcut name for all the people that work there, this set is ever changing.


Also, that comparison is made specifically because companies have no morality and so if we want them to behave in any sort of way approximating our morals, they must be regulated to do so. Those comments are advocating a change in the way companies are treated in order to get them to behave in a more expected manner.


I don't follow. People also need to be regulated in order to behave morally. Companies are run by people and it's entirely possible for companies to take moral stands or deliberately decide to do the right thing even when it's not the most profitable thing. It might not happen as often as we'd like, but it certainly does happen.


> This argument cuts both ways. If Amazon isn't a moral entity, then there's also no moral violation if they screw you over.

In that case, it's not a moral violation if they screw you over, but it's not a moral violation if you end them for screwing you over either. The mosquito isn't violating morals when it bites me, but I'd still have no problem eliminating them all from my backyard if i could do it in a reasonable manner. Not many people claim it is immoral for me to swat the mosquito.


Sure, maybe it's all about power and there's no real difference between right and wrong.

I just don't see why that kind of nihilism suddenly becomes more plausible than usual when you're buying something from Amazon.


Yes, but it is undesirable. Which is why we have legal and financial incentives and regulations, to force corporations to behave.




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