‘Ponerology’ is the study of evil. On a ponerology blog I came across Lobaczewski’s term ‘paramoralism’ – a means of discourse favoured by psychopaths.
A paramoralism is a psuedo-moral statement; one stated in moral-like terms but with precisely the opposite intent and effect which are one and the same, namely to bamboozle you into being unable to use your normal means of ethical thinking.
I’m sure that not only psychopaths use it, but here’s a good illustration:
K: Megan. You did not pick it up to find it’s owner. You saw it asked me if it was my phone, I said no it was Kevin’s, then you picked it up and started to go though it. I did not have issue with you picking it up in the first place as I assumed you just wanted to look at the phone as a gadget. It was when you started to go thought the phone book that I asked you to give it to me. You refused then when I reached for it you moved a way. This was not the actions of a altruistic but curious person. I did not get the phone from you until I physically wrenched it from your fingers. If you think what you did was fair game, fine, but don’t fabricate a story to cover up your tracks.
M: Kevin, as I remarked to you privately, you should rename the post title to reflect that these are my “ethics”, as an individual, not whomever is paying my paycheck this month. Call me out by name. Or is it only my employer who matters here? If I were a Google employee, would you have bothered to post anything? Would it have phased you?
Secondly, dude, you left your goddamn phone right on the table and walked away, leaving it unattended. That was sloppy. Since you had been comparing it a moment before with friend who had an identical model, I originally picked it up to see who it belonged to, and give it back to the rightful owner. Once I realize it was yours, curiosity got the better of me. I wanted to see your contact list. Not your emails, not your text messages, I just wanted to see who you know. Why? Sheer curiosity. (”Wonder how many friends we have in common…”)
Saying I have a “huge lack of ethics” because of this incident is ludicrous. At most, what I did was impolite, not unethical. There is a difference.
K: I’ll make sure to look through your purse next time. It’s not unethical. I’m just curious.
Seriously…. if you leave your goddamn purse unattended it’s your fault. Just sloppy.
For more see here.