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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@saber.towson.edu> Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 01:27:26 -0500 (EST) Subject: Collect call game I congratulate Frank Silberman for bringing in fresh halachas to the collect call game. Frank is correct that I have not yet answered his objections. He is also correct in asserting that my current forumulation of the permissability of the collect call game does NOT cover his cases. Additionally the formulation of the collect call game, by the Moderator, Avi Feldblum, in his electronic request for psaks, differ from my formulation. The new formulation is that business deception is permitted if (a) there is a possibility (however remote) of a transaction, (b) no false statements have been made **or** presupposed. However as already pointed out I do have the right to hide my deceptions. Let us now review this new formulation and see how it covers many cases. If I call home and say I want to speak collect to Sarah then I have explicitly implied that there is a possiblity that Sarah is there--- so the act is prohibited. Similarly if I have arranged that when I call collect to speak to "My mother, Mrs. Hendel" then the phone call should be refused but if I ask to speak to "Mrs Hendel" then the phone call should be accepted---then again I leave no possiblity for a sale and it is prohibited. But if I call collect and ask to speak to Mrs Hendel then it is permissable even though 99% of the time my Mother will refuse and call me back (and even if it is a different company). For I have not lied but rather hidden the fact that my mother **usually** refuses; furthermore there is a possibility that if my mother is in a hurry (eg before shabbath) that she will accept the collect charges. David Charlap is 100% correct in his analogy--it is comparable to asking about a product in a store (eg a car or computer)--this is permissable as long as there is a remote possibility of buying it. Indeed a skilled salesman can frequently get me to change my mind and buy. On the other hand Frank is right that if I ask about buying a car and am certain that I will not buy it that it is prohibited (I have violated the laws of emotional anguish). Similarly if a person asks for shoes made of properly slaughtered animals and I give him shoes of improperly slaughtered animals then it is prohibited since I have committed fraud. To answer Frank, David and several other people---in the bean case I have OMITTED the shells of the beans which contain the information about the cookability of the beans; in fact I have done this maliciously so that I can make a profit--it is permitted. Similarly in the collect call game (according to my description) I have omitted the **fact** that my mother usually refuses collect calls. In both cases there is no lying, no implication of false facts, and the possiblity of buying. Hence it is permitted even though I hide certain facts. My point to Avi about Religious piety is as follows: The business world as we know it requires hiding intentions---no business could survive if all its strategies were public information. Therefore one can not call hiding intentions which is necessary for ordinary business intercourse to be a lack of piety. Franks point about deception in business ethics is as follows---you cannot lie in a business transaction even if the other person's request is 'silly' (like wanting the leather of a ritually slaughtered animal). This is fraud. Similarly you cannot tease people (act like you want to buy when you don't) But you can hide intentions. I hope this brings some clarity to this issue Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA; Math; Towson; Moderator Rashi Is Simple http://www.shamash.org/rashi/