Morality vs. Legality

During the Debating Competition that was held over the weekend we were presented with a motion discussing whether ignorance can be used as a legal defense in court. Somewhere along the table (I think it was shortly after being called a group of ‘stupid little shits’) the debate became dragged down by the discussion of morality and legality. Those opposing allowing ignorance to be used in court as a defense said that by comitting a crime you were being immoral, and therefore you couldn’t claim ignorance. This is annoyed me on many levels.

The first reason is the fact that morals are completely subjective. They are based on the way you were raised, the culture you grew up in, the way you consider the outside world and personal experiences as you grow. What’s considered normal/acceptable in some cultures in completely looked down upon in others, a prime example of this is the Idol system in Japan. In Japan you teen and pre-teen popstars are idolised, where many of their biggest fans are middle-aged men. The idea that this would be considered acceptable in the Western World is very hard to imagine but it is a norm there.

The very nature of intellectual process, and the way it varies in people, will cause morality to change from person to person. Everyone is aware that people excel in different areas, some people are scientists, others aritsts, some excel in business and others have a way with words. The logical processing of the outside world gives people their different abilities, and if you rationale the world in a different way to someone else, you are unlikely to have a same set of belief standards as them.

Morals are also context sensitive. Most of us would agree that in a general killing is wrong, yet many do not look negatively at service men. Lieing is generally not the greatest of things, but no one would say that little white lies are immoral. The law however is really as subjective (though I know murder had varying degrees of intent).
There is also the nature of religious indoctrination of certain moral standards, but I am going to stray away from that area as I don’t really agree with the way religion decides its moral standing.

The second reason is that there is no direct correlation between what is considered moral and what is legal. There are the obvious examples of what is illegal as being immoral, such as murder and stealing, but there are as many examples in reverse (for example, adultery).

The laws of the land in general appear to act in the general good of the society, that which is detrimental to society is illegal while acts which aren’t damaging, are not.
To consider what is illegal as being immoral is equatable to the logic of a pre-schooler. To think that the entirity of our complex and convoluted laws is based off simple moral beliefs is stupid, and your only defense for thinking that, is ignorance.

Why FNG Will Succeed

To those of you unaware about what FNG I am referring to, it is the podcast hosted by Verbal1781, LarryLegend and MrITryHard, with their name coming from the acronym which stands for Fucking New Guy (as those three are some of the new guys in the YouTube community). And now that is clarified I’ll move on to my main point, why it will succeed.

The YouTube community is tough to break in to. Established users, directors and producers dominate the front page, the recommended videos and are able to push their videos viral purely due to their large fan base. Shawn Dawson and Ray William Johnson regularly get three times as many views as they have subscribers, as their core fanbase push the video to be the most viewed, discussed and rated that day. Their 1 million strong subscriber base are able to do this, so when you are trying to start off from zero subscribers, it can be hard to even get noticed.

The Call of Duty community of which the aforementioned Directors, and I, reside is a slightly smaller community (with around 300,000 active members and 800,000 registered) but makes up for it with the massive over saturation of directors and commentators. The number of directors is speculated to be approaching the one thousand marks, you have a lot of people producing the same content trying to break out as something different. Many people have succeeded and grown from small to huge but these cases are the exception rather than the rule. To pluck an example out of the air I will mention the user Seananners.

Seananners is a Call of Duty Commentator and Director who is an incredibly skilled player, with a history of graphical design and art, and with a polite and pleasent demeanor to boot. He joined the scene a little behind the times, but due to his unique presentation (a distinct voice and graphical overlay) he broke through. However, the main root to his excess (and what I will bring up in why FNG will succeed) was his ability to network. He had such a friendly precense and was putting so much work in that those with bigger channels helped him, and his ability to network was the key to his success.

And this networking, is how you succeed anywhere in life, but is equally effective on YouTube. To gain subscribers you need to get some exposure of someone with more subscribers. The problem with this is that there are only a few members with lots of subscribers, and there are loads with very few. The standard among the Call of Duty community is for you to have a chat together in one of the videos, but getting one of these is difficult and unlikely to happen. However, the brilliance of FNG is that it turned their requests from a situation which would ascertain that they were purely looking for subscribers, to a situation where they can chat. They completely turn the tables on the guest.

In these dual commentaries the big channel basically gives the smaller guy five to ten minutes to sell himself. In the case of the Podcast the big channel comes to the small guy and tells them about himself. The situation works in bringing subscribers as those from the large channel will be drawn to hear their commentator, but will instead hear a group conversation where the members of FNG sell themselves as someone they wish to hear more from, by their general personality.

The entire set-up is an incredibly clever way to gain more exposure, produce more entertaining content, grow themselves as personalities and network throughout the community. Whether these were fully their intentions is by the by as they are producing entertainment content, they are growing a loyal fanbase (checking their live stream during their show each week indicates an increasing amount of returning listeners) which all in all is good for their channels.


I for one love the podcast and would like to take this final to both congratulate the three guys for their work and advertise the links to their content