first i'd like to dispel any fears that i'm about to go on at length about people not understanding the difference between right and wrong - i think most people do understand the difference. that said, i don't think most people appreciate the difference - which is to say i don't think it holds much meaning for people, i don't think it's important to them.
i'll give you an example. not too long ago anton chuvakin posted an article on FUD - specifically one that is, if not an outright endorsement of FUD, at the very least an argument that sometimes it's a good thing. i'm not going to pick too much on the notion of endorsing the use of manipulation in the workplace, what interests me in this discussion was something he wrote in response to a blog post criticizing his stance:
personally, I think that “trumping with ethics” is a low card in intellectual arguments! IMHO it is one step above name callingi don't think there can be any question that this statement represents a remarkably low valuation of the topic of right and wrong.
by way of contrast, i would place ethical right/wrong one step below technical right/wrong - and those of you who know me know how highly i value technical accuracy (hint: i make enemies simply by correcting people).
so where does such a huge difference in values come from? and what does it mean for the security community that anton is not only not an outlier but in all likelihood far closer to the norm than i am. have we become an "ends justify the means" sort of society? is security as a goal something we need to promote at all costs?
i suppose i need to better understand why it means as much as it does to me, so i guess i've got some soul searching ahead of me, but nowhere in that search do i expect to find why it's so much easier for others to put aside. i don't get many comments on my posts (since normally i know the answer to the question i'm asking) but in this case i'm hoping to hear what others think so please feel free to comment.