The Owner is Reading the Newspaper when the Commotion Ensures. It was all the Rude Dog’s fault I say, as she Marches me Unceremoniously out of the Coffee Shop. He Deserved it.
I cannot Take my Eyes off you for One Moment, says the Owner. I Suppose you are going to claim it was Self Defence?
I am not, I say, I was not Defending Myself, I was Righting a Moral Wrong. This is a Moral Duty and any Moral Owner would be Pleased to have so Moral Dog.
I am expecting the Owner to ask what Wrong I have Righted so that I can Glow in the Pleasure of Understood Righteousness, but the Owner appears to in too much of a Grump.
I wish you had Postponed your Righting until I had Finished the Newspaper, she says. I was Reading about a Moral Wrong of Considerable Magnitude and it is Not Therefore Clear that the Moral Dog should assume that his Wrong-Righting should take Priority.
It seems to me that she is not Best Place to be the Judge of the Moral Wrong I was Righting, since she has not Asked Me About It. What Moral Wrong were you reading about? I ask Graciously, taking the Moral High Ground by Giving the Moral Wrong she was Reading About a chance to Make its Case.
I was reading about Hacking by a Wealthy Prince, says the Owner, which is Also a Moral Wrong. I was considering telling the Moral Dog about it, but instead I have spent the Last Ten Minutes Turning Chairs the Right Way Up and Explaining to an Unreasonable Dog Owner that My Dog was Just Trying to Say Hello.
Hello is not what I was Just Trying to Say to That Dog, I think, but the Owner appears not to have Noticed that I am On the Moral High Ground, so I let this pass. What is Hacking? I ask, Even More Graciously.
It is a kind of Breaking and Entering, says the Owner. But instead of Stealing Toys or Balls the Hacker steals Information. Typically this is Information that the Thief may use to the Detriment of the One who is Hacked, and to their own Advantage.
So Hacking is Rather Like Stealing Caspar’s Squeaky Toy? I ask, as I See an Opening (as indeed Salman the Rottweiler did a Moment Ago).
It is, says the Owner, although in this case it involves the Wealthy Prince attempting to prevent Another Person from Exposing Bad Things he has done by Stealing Embarrassing Facts from them and Exposing Them.
So it is like Stealing Caspar’s Squeaky Toy and Showing it to Everyone just to Embarrass Him? I ask.
Possibly, says the Owner, although I do not see how a Squeaky Toy could be as Embarrassing as the Kind of Matters Exposed by the Wealthy Prince.
You have not seen Caspar’s Squeaky Toy, I say. It was a Christmas Gift so he Could Not Say No.
Goodness me, says the Owner. What is Caspar’s Squeaky Toy?
It is a Barbie, I say.
I can see that this would be Embarrassing, but Barbie does not Squeak, says the Owner.
That is What Makes it Embarrassing, I say.
Well, says the Owner, if you are to Understand the Moral Wrong of Hacking then you need to Imagine how Embarrassed Caspar would be if his Non-Squeaking Barbie were Displayed in the Coffee Shop for All to See.
I can Imagine this Easily, I say, remembering the Barking. So One could Fairly Say that the One who Committed such an Act was the One that Started it?
One Could, says the Owner, although Knowing How to Respond Morally is Not Easy.
How Should One Respond? I ask, remembering the Shouting.
That depends, says the Owner, on whether you are a Follower of the Deontologists or the Consequentialists. The Deontologists would say that although some Acts are Always Wrong, one cannot put them Right by further Wrong Acts, and so it would be Necessary to Respond with Dignity by Rising Above the Embarrassment. Such Dignity would retain the Moral High Ground.
Thus Demonstrating who is the Most Moral? I ask.
Exactly, says the Owner. A Story such as the One I was Attempting to Read when the Moral Dog caused such a Rumpus is One Example of Such a response. The Prince who Did the Hacking is Revealed as Morally Unsound and the One who was Hacked and Embarrassed has the High Ground and the Sympathy.
That would Only Work, I say astutely, if the Prince were the Sort of Person to Care that Everyone Knew he was Morally Unsound, and the One who was Hacked were, for Example, Fluffy. I am Remembering that whilst Caspar and the Moral Dog were Equally Committed to Righting the Wrong in the Coffee Shop it was the Moral Dog who received the Opprobrium owing to Being Less Fluffy and having more Effective Legs.
Indeed, says the Owner. One who would Commit a Morally Unsound Act in Order to Achieve his Own Ends is Almost Certainly not a Deontologist who believes some Acts are Always Wrong and who Wishes to Appear Moral, but a Consequentialist who believes that the Ends Always Justify the Means and Wishes to Win. So the Alternative would be to Respond in Consequentialist Terms. This would, I expect, be Far More Satisfying.
Do you mean like Chasing Him Round the Coffee Shop until he Says Sorry and Begs for Mercy? I ask.
That would be Extremely Satisfying in This Case, says the Owner, if only it were Possible.
Sometimes, I say, it is.
The Owner says Nothing, but as we Head Towards the Park she gives the Moral Dog a Biscuit.
It seems Clear I have Made my Point.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.