Monday, September 21, 2009

Desirism and Job Hunting: Part 3

In light of the current economic situation, I am writing a series that applies the principles that I have been basing this blog on to the issue of finding a job.

I have written that finding a job involves convincing a hiring agent that hiring you is an intentional act. As such, it is an act the hiring agent will perform only when doing so will fulfill the most and strongest of the agent’s desires, given her beliefs.

Still, people generally have reason to condemn those who lack an aversion to using false beliefs (lying) to manipulate others. Even job applicants have reason to prefer a community that uses its social powers to promote an aversion to making false statements on job applicants as elsewhere.

This principle tells us that the hiring agent will base her decision on an evaluation relative to all of her desires (given her beliefs) regardless of what we say about it. The applicant who recognizes this fact will have an advantage over those who think that certain desires of the hiring agent do not matter.

The only way to keep a desire from mattering is to keep the hiring agent ignorant of the facts that relate the possible state in which that employee is hired to the agent’s desires.

(Which means that it is foolish to think that the government-sponsored anti-atheist sentiments are not having an effect on the employment, salary, promotions, and evaluations of those known to be atheists.)

Yet, some hiring agents do not have very noble desires. From those who see their position as hiring manager as a means of promoting their religion to those who exploit a position of power to fulfill sexual or sadistic desires, sometimes hiring agents do not have good desires.

It would be hard to classify the desire for sex per se as a bad desire. However, nobody actually has a desire for sex. We have different interests, and what fulfills the sexual desires of one person would not fulfill the sexual desires of another. We have reason to promote an aversion to the use of power for sexual gratification. Any desire for sex a hiring agent may have should, at least, be met with a stronger aversion to using power to exploit others.


Some hiring agents are more moral than others.

Yet, in promoting an aversion to exploiting a position of power for sexual gratification, companies have reason to establish protections against these types of behavior, condemning and even punishing any employee that is caught violating this moral restriction.

On the other side of this coin, there are applicants who may use a promise to help to fulfill the sexual desires of the hiring agent in order to help land a job. The owners of companies, and even other employees, have many and strong reason to promote an aversion to making the fulfillment of the hiring agent's sexual desires an element in the hiring process. The company has reason to constrain hiring agents to hiring people who will act in the company’s interests. Co-workers have reason to promote hiring practices that result in the hiring of competent co-workers.

All of these many and strong reasons support a moral aversion to sexual relationships between hiring agents and applicants specifically, and between people in a position of power and those over whom they have power in general. There are many and strong reasons for writing these types of moral limits into the company’s policies and procedures, and for condemning and punishing those who violate these rules.

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