The ethical dilemmas in Superhighway

Discuss the June 2017 Book of the Month, Superhighway by Alex Fayman. Superhighway is the first book in the Superhighway Trilogy, so feel free to use this forum to discuss not only the first book but also the other books in the series.

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Paul78
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Re: The ethical dilemmas in Superhighway

Post by Paul78 » 15 Dec 2017, 23:18

I recently asked some of my friends the same question. How about stealing or taking wealth from the wicked and transferring it to those who are in need?
The ways which Alex Fine is using to get the wealth from these criminal enterprises would be described as a crime. It is only that due to his superabilities he is not caught at first.
Or sometimes when he is caught, he gets his way out of trouble but not without scars to remind him of his ordeal.
The ethical dilemma is great. We have had criminals run charities. Do their actions vindicate their crimes?
I believe that all in all someone needs to learn that crime does not pay.
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Post by Spirit Wandering » 16 Dec 2017, 10:30

Paul78 wrote:
15 Dec 2017, 23:18
I recently asked some of my friends the same question. How about stealing or taking wealth from the wicked and transferring it to those who are in need?
It is interesting that you thought of the same question that I wrote about in my post. Thanks for reading the post and replying.
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Post by Insightsintobooks729 » 18 Dec 2017, 11:05

I agree with others, because it is a work of fiction his behavior is okay. I liked that he was taking from criminals and giving to the needy. However, if it were real life he would need to do it legally.
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Post by Spirit Wandering » 18 Dec 2017, 18:58

Insightsintobooks729 wrote:
18 Dec 2017, 11:05
I agree with others, because it is a work of fiction his behavior is okay. I liked that he was taking from criminals and giving to the needy. However, if it were real life he would need to do it legally.
Thanks for reading the post and adding your view point.
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Post by Mailis » 27 Feb 2018, 15:38

I love seeing bad guys getting their comeuppances and taking money from those who value it above anything else, including morals and human decency, I was all for it. I have always rooted for those vigilante Robin Hood types, although in reality I know this is not the answer and there is much grey area, where things can go wrong.

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Post by Spirit Wandering » 27 Feb 2018, 20:21

Mailis wrote:
27 Feb 2018, 15:38
I love seeing bad guys getting their comeuppances and taking money from those who value it above anything else, including morals and human decency, I was all for it. I have always rooted for those vigilante Robin Hood types, although in reality I know this is not the answer and there is much grey area, where things can go wrong.
Yes, I felt some sympathy for Alex as a vigilante Robin Hood but his actions also fall into a grey area. It was that conflict that caused me to write the post. Thanks for replying.
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Post by kfwilson6 » 12 Mar 2018, 09:30

Spirit Wandering wrote:
02 Jun 2017, 07:56

The novel does not attempt to address these ethical dilemmas, either through Alex’s internal dialogue or through his interactions with others. However, this is the first book of a trilogy so it is possible these points will be dealt with in a later book. I hope the author does as I would like to hear his answers to these questions.

What are your thoughts about the ethical dilemmas posed by the actions Alex takes in Superhighway?
I disagree with your last statement. I do think Fayman addresses these issues when he brings in Lehman Brothers. Alex gets a huge dose of what one decision can lead to. There was a huge domino effect of consequences and he realized he couldn't undo what had already been done.

I also think his immediate desire to only take from wealthy people who got their riches through ill-gotten means shows Alex's struggle with that boundary line. He saw so many people in need and wanted to help them but did not want to take from those who had worked for what they had, even if what they had was more than what they needed.

I think Alex is going to encounter even more consequences with the criminal underworld and the CIA. I think the ends justify the means in terms of Alex stealing from criminals to help people who don't even have enough food to survive. With his particular ability, how else could you help these people? Or would you not help them at all? I thought his attempts to help the poor were admirable. HIs heart was in the right place.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 12 Mar 2018, 09:36

John Cand wrote:
16 Jun 2017, 17:31
I honestly enjoy a story where the bad guy loses but if the good guy does bad things to win isn't he just another bad guy winning? I hope that first sentence made sense.
It is definitely tough to draw the line but this forum made me think about criminals who get away with crimes because the evidence isn't sound enough. Even if the cops KNOW someone committed a horrible crime, if the evidence doesn't support it, the criminal goes free. To me, if you could get a murderer, rapist, child abuser off the streets but had to do something illegal to make it happen, I say go for it. I guess I am all for whatever results in the greatest good. Of course I have limits and would not say you should kill the criminal to keep him off the streets but if you have to plant evidence, I think that would be alright.

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Post by KLafser » 16 Mar 2018, 09:58

This is a GREAT question - just an extension of thought from me. I often wonder in these types of situations who gets to decide which is good and which is evil. Obviously, as a society, we have laws that should be involved where there is criminal activity otherwise it's vigilantism regardless of the computerized means used here. There is a mention in the book of a couple that makes a certain, "normal" amount and puts part of that away toward retirement - and an assumption these people should not "contribute" to Alex's cause because they are hard working people. We can't know that ... regardless of the amount, they could still be pulling this money in from some unethical source. All I'm trying to say here is 'one person's "good" may be someone else's "evil".

To answer the question you pose "just because you can do something, does that mean you should do so?" I say no, evaluate the need / desire to use the ability AND the consequences and make a decision.

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Post by 1ditzyrn » 16 Mar 2018, 17:16

Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor, and lived in the woods. While I can agree that Alex did some good by donating money to those who needed it, he also bought himself an island. And not just any island, the island of the man he stole money from. This seemed more like a personal attack on that man. I can't help but wonder if, instead of bankrupting these men to put them out of business, Alex had used his power to take them down through legal avenues would things have turned out differently?

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Post by Spirit Wandering » 16 Mar 2018, 18:47

kfwilson6 wrote:
12 Mar 2018, 09:30
Spirit Wandering wrote:
02 Jun 2017, 07:56

The novel does not attempt to address these ethical dilemmas, either through Alex’s internal dialogue or through his interactions with others. However, this is the first book of a trilogy so it is possible these points will be dealt with in a later book. I hope the author does as I would like to hear his answers to these questions.

What are your thoughts about the ethical dilemmas posed by the actions Alex takes in Superhighway?
I disagree with your last statement. I do think Fayman addresses these issues when he brings in Lehman Brothers. Alex gets a huge dose of what one decision can lead to. There was a huge domino effect of consequences and he realized he couldn't undo what had already been done.

I also think his immediate desire to only take from wealthy people who got their riches through ill-gotten means shows Alex's struggle with that boundary line. He saw so many people in need and wanted to help them but did not want to take from those who had worked for what they had, even if what they had was more than what they needed.

I think Alex is going to encounter even more consequences with the criminal underworld and the CIA. I think the ends justify the means in terms of Alex stealing from criminals to help people who don't even have enough food to survive. With his particular ability, how else could you help these people? Or would you not help them at all? I thought his attempts to help the poor were admirable. HIs heart was in the right place.
Your post shows that this is a complicated question and thus generates many different responses based on our own experiences and belief systems. Thanks for adding your view point.
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Post by Spirit Wandering » 16 Mar 2018, 18:52

KLafser wrote:
16 Mar 2018, 09:58
This is a GREAT question - just an extension of thought from me. I often wonder in these types of situations who gets to decide which is good and which is evil. Obviously, as a society, we have laws that should be involved where there is criminal activity otherwise it's vigilantism regardless of the computerized means used here. There is a mention in the book of a couple that makes a certain, "normal" amount and puts part of that away toward retirement - and an assumption these people should not "contribute" to Alex's cause because they are hard working people. We can't know that ... regardless of the amount, they could still be pulling this money in from some unethical source. All I'm trying to say here is 'one person's "good" may be someone else's "evil".

To answer the question you pose "just because you can do something, does that mean you should do so?" I say no, evaluate the need / desire to use the ability AND the consequences and make a decision.
I enjoyed reading your thoughtful response. Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post. :D
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Post by Spirit Wandering » 16 Mar 2018, 18:59

1ditzyrn wrote:
16 Mar 2018, 17:16
Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor, and lived in the woods. While I can agree that Alex did some good by donating money to those who needed it, he also bought himself an island. And not just any island, the island of the man he stole money from. This seemed more like a personal attack on that man. I can't help but wonder if, instead of bankrupting these men to put them out of business, Alex had used his power to take them down through legal avenues would things have turned out differently?
Yes, I agree that buying that particular island wasn't a wise move and I wondered if it was connected to the death of Alex's girlfriend. Interesting question about using his talent in a different way. I haven't read the sequel yet but perhaps his interaction with the CIA will take him in a more conventionally accepted direction in the future?
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Post by mamalui » 19 Mar 2018, 07:21

Every action has a reaction. Even if no one holds him accountable for his actions somehow somewhere things are going to catch up to him one way or another no matter how careful he may think himself to be.
No idea is a bad idea.

Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.

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Post by Spirit Wandering » 19 Mar 2018, 15:32

mamalui wrote:
19 Mar 2018, 07:21
Every action has a reaction. Even if no one holds him accountable for his actions somehow somewhere things are going to catch up to him one way or another no matter how careful he may think himself to be.
Yes, I think the principles of physics would apply. I would think that Alex losing his girlfriend and being caught in the net of the CIA would certainly qualify as a reaction. Thanks for reading the post and replying.
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