No one has really answered my economic hypo from my previous thread on the subject, so I figure I’ll present the more complex version from the real world. Before doing so, real quickly, I had originally asked whether a buyer can morally sign a contract he has little to no intention of keeping with a seller when the seller forces, as a condition of the sale, that they buyer must let him be economically cheated. For example, the contract that seller demands includes language that buyer will not sue when the jurisdiction might ordinarily allow him to do so. So, can the buyer (lyingly?) “promise not to sue” to this chiseling seller when he knows he will. He knows seller cannot win in court, but that’s irrelevant to the moral question of “lying” on the contract.
Here’s the real life example: skip-city airline ticketing.
A traveler wants to fly from city A to city B. Because airline X has a near monopoly with city B, it can charge exorbitant rates to fly into there. However, X has to respect market competition with other cities. A savvy traveler discovers that a ticket from city A to city C on that same airline X, which is much further than the distance from A to B is actually cheaper than A to B because of competition, despite the fact that on the A to C route, there is a layover in city B. The savvy traveller can legally buy the cheaper A-C ticket, get off at B, and save lots of money, hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. This happens a fair amount in real life.
The moral problem occurs when the airline X makes you promise in the small print on the back of your ticket purchase that you will not do this legal practice. They want to keep their artificially inflated profits (from lack of competition - yes, why that lack of competition exists may be a relevant issue, but pretend it isn’t since it is more likely to distract). If Congress would act on this in any number of ways, reflecting our longstanding disdain of monopolies, the airline would not be able to get by with this. Ah, but such is not life as yet.
So, can the Christian buyer fight fire with fire, signing the contract knowing that what he intends to do is legal? Or, if the unfair airline X wants to extract a promise from him that he will allow X to cheat him by charging the higher price, must the Christian agree to let himself to be bound by the contract? Note that an airline passage is not an absolute necessity, but it may have some level of emotional “necessity” (like visiting Mom on her sudden deathbed), both as I pointed out in my previous post.
This is newsworthy as of late as one airline and one ticket agency (the latter, perhaps in cya mode) recently sued a young whiz who has a web site that has pointed out the deals made possible by the inefficiencies in the ticket pricing, at no profit (other than reputation) to himself. I expect the airline will lose at multiple levels, not likely wanting their documents to be subpoenaed, and as a matter of law and fact, and as a whim of a jury who will surely side with the young man helping travelers. Note, that the airline cannot sue the passengers either, for economic reasons, if nothing else (little to no provable damages, reputation hit, etc.).
The suit is largely irrelevant to the moral question. But I was called an “idiot” on another site by a suspected ultra-capitalist, who excoriated me over possibly defending economic fraud on behalf of the buyer. He was wrong that I was defending the buyer, as I merely keep an open mind. However, I thought I would pose the problem to my fellow CA denizens. Thoughts?