Greater good – Day 88/139

While developing FinderBase.com, we’ve stumbled upon the notion of greater good. This theory comes from the utilitarian philosophy but I’m going to be practical here.

Some people don’t want to understand the greater good.

Our company has taken an approach to try to do its best to benefit the greater good. We believe that we can actually and positively contribute to the solution of a societal problem. We believe we can help the society to help its members unite with their lost belongings.

Now, most people we’ve met have instantly deemed our efforts futile. There are two objections that try to disregard the greater good:

  1. This will never become viable business. True enough, most businesses sell minor goods and some even average sized goods. But who sells a greater good and what would it cost to buy one?
  2. The openness will support criminal activity. This question is really relevant in today’s society. How many are really afraid enough of suicide bombers to limit bringing all liquids on board airplanes? Is the greater good of getting belongings back to their owners big enough compared to the risk of something ending up in the wrong hands?

What is your reason?

Can you see the greater good in FinderBase.com?

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One response to “Greater good – Day 88/139

  1. The concept of the greater good is not as clear cut as one would hope it to be. Defining what is the greater good is often rather hard, especially when taking into consideration the scale of things. Sometimes things that seem good in a small scale can turn out to be disastrous in the larger. The greater good also accepts ‘the ends justify the means’ mentality, which creates some ethical conundrums. However these pointers don’t really relate to Finderbase, but rather to utilitarianism in general.

    1. This will never become viable business. True enough, most businesses sell minor goods and some even average sized goods. But who sells a greater good and what would it cost to buy one?”

    One could argue that the concept of capitalism is one of the greater good. In the end its purpose is to promote prosperity and the maximizing of happiness. On this scale however, things become exceedingly hard to measure and evaluate, as sometimes things seem like set-backs in the small scale. Therefore one could argue that most companies in fact do partake in the greater good, even though indirectly. One could also submit that your company, where it succeeds or not, might benefit the greater good. This is harsh generalization, but you get the picture; from a theoretical capitalist viewpoint every single honest capitalist endeavor will contribute to the greater good.

    The openness will support criminal activity. This question is really relevant in today’s society. How many are really afraid enough of suicide bombers to limit bringing all liquids on board airplanes? Is the greater good of getting belongings back to their owners big enough compared to the risk of something ending up in the wrong hands?”

    This is valid point that people bring up. The question of abuse via the system supplied is one that not only affects Finderbase, but other services as well. Think of huuto.net for example. There’s no way ever to be entirely sure of actually bidding on something that exists.

    If viewed rather pragmatically, the service can always say that they only provide the system, and have nothing to do with the honesty or dishonesty of the people using it. However most systems like this still do provide means of reducing the chance of abuse in some manner.

    I think approaching Finderbase as a greater-good project is not as smart as promoting it’s real ethical base. Finderbase is here to promote the social and sustainable honest behavior of returning lost items to their rightful owners. The true intention of Finderbase is one that is ethically sound. It does not rely on statistical analysis and hard to determine figures to “prove” it’s worth – as being a greater-good tool would require.

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