Business ethics is an important part of modern life and entrepreneur activity. The five current issues and questions selected for analysis are:
- Can racism and racial discrimination be justified in business for making profits? (Cohen 2009b)
- Are mortgage brokers responsible for unlocked loans? (Glink 2009).
- Is it possible to justify business activity of students who work to pay their tuitions? (Cohen 2009a)
- Has a chairman moral right to use financial resources for personal purposes? Kane
- For whom does a chairman of global corporation is responsible for? (Kane 2009).
“Utilitarianism is an ethical theory based on the idea that human actions should bring the best possible consequences. This theory is referred to by some as the consequentialist ethical theory” (Smart and Williams 33). The most radical change which Mill offers has to do with the nature of pleasure. He argues that pleasures differ not in volume but in intrinsic quality and are to be chosen upon that basis. The distinction, he holds, inheres in the Hedonistic scheme of thought from Epicurus to the most recent Utilitarian.
For utilitarians, an act is right just insofar as it maximizes community happiness. The utilitarians, however, leave us without specification as to how the community is to be defined over time. The most reasonable interpretation of “community” is that it includes all relevant people, If we are to include future generations, however, it would seem that the magnitude of their happiness will always overwhelm the magnitude of the happiness of people alive currently. The problem is that our current “livable” environment is bought at the expense of the environmental quality of future generations. If the current generation is required to maximize the potential quality of life of generations (including future ones), the current generation will be required (morally) to live at subsistence level, The current generation plus one will also be so required. That generation plus one more will also be so required, and so on (Smart and Williams 88).
By mathematical induction, all actual generations will be so required. Consequently all people for all futures will be morally required to live at subsistence level–a curious conclusion for utilitarianism. The attempt to achieve maximum happiness actually ends in producing minimum happiness. According to this doctrine, a person can choose an action which does not bring harm or negative consequences but, at the same time, does not bring the greatest happiness. From the utilitarian perspective, it will be a wrong choice. While his approach is promising, its fundamental direction has problems analogous to those faced by the utilitarians. If people are to place themselves behind the veil of ignorance, they shall be ignorant of what generation we shall belong to when the veil is lifted (Smart and Williams 61).
In terms of utilitarianism, the first answer is that racism in sales is possible because it will help the site owner to achieve maximum utility. The answer for the second question is that mortgage brokers are not responsible for unlocked loans because it will damage financial position of their company. The answer for the third question is that it is possible to justify and approve working students because it will gain them and the university the maximum utility. In forth, the chairman has no moral right to use some finances for personal gain as it leads to misery and unhappiness of the employees. In fifth, the chairman is responsible for the corporation and customers. The unscrupulous politician may readily employ the formula for his private gain. Even if we say that life, liberty, and the pursuit of human welfare are the prime objects of endeavor, can they be succinctly realized. The only policy that can produce true individual freedom is the recognition of the rights of our fellow citizens. Pleasure, or, as they now say, happiness, bears the imprint of a universal term. It is no longer a private feeling that seeks expression in action, favorable to others if possible, but injurious if one’s inner satisfactions demand it (Smart and Williams 22).
Moral Rights theory states that we should treat people with dignity and honesty. “Ethics has developed philosophical frameworks which extend moral consideration to other people” (Sims 31). Duties and rights are reciprocally important in the making of a moral self. A right is defined by as the “range of action assigned to a particular will within the social order established by law” (Sims 33). The “range of action” of the emancipated slave included the right to life, subject to the consent of law, to liberty of body and mind, to the possession of property, to free and unrestricted marriage under legal sanctions, and all those conditions which are embraced in the familiar phrase, “the pursuit of happiness.” Moral rights are more tenuous in their quality, but precisely as real.
They represent the range of action which the agent may travel in his attempt to construct an harmonious character. Especially is it concerned with a functional attitude taken up by a large group of agents whose rights in the matter have been obscured by convention and perhaps by necessity. The whole question has, unfortunately, been dragged into the arena of acrimonious debate by misguided enthusiasts. The tender sentiments that have mantled the relations of men and women in the home are suddenly stripped of their privacy and exposed to examination in the forum or the press. We have no choice but to face the facts of current experience and attempt to evaluate their moral significance. Rights imply duties in the civil state as in the communal group; but in the former all duties belong to other persons, not to the holder of the rights.
Hence, the holder of rights may demand that they be not infringed upon and that, if they suffer infringement, due and appropriate penalty should lie against the aggressor. Individual rights, however, do not stand alone; they are flanked and interpreted by the needs of the group. In the moments of social hazard, no individual life is sacred. They are parts of the organic constitution which possess no intrinsic moral quality. The same may be said of the group of reactions classified as reflexes, that is, performed either without voluntary direction or even attentive response, such as the winking of the* eye or the lifting of the hand against a menacing intruder. No doubt they were originally the products of experience and hence could not have been acquired except through the learning process. The point here is that the agent has not deliberately contrived them in his mind and then set them in motion (Sims 28).
The first answer is that racism in sales is not permissible because the company has moral obligations to all site visitors. The answer for the second question is that mortgage brokers are responsible for unlocked loans and are obliged to help the loaner. The answer for the third question is that it is possible to justify and approve working students because it will help them finish education. In forth, the chairman has no moral right to use some finances for personal gain as it leads to immoral acts against employees. In fifth, the chairman is morally responsible for the corporation and a;; stakeholders.
The elementary principle of mind is its ability to discriminate one thing from another in its immediate environment. The object before the eye is a single whole, related, to be sure, to its neighbors, but for the moment the sole claim upon our attention. It may be and often is broken up into its constituent parts, as if we had placed the object under a magnifying glass for closer examination (Kotler and Lee 82).
Distributive justice implies the act which is socially just. “”All critical characteristics underlying the classic theories of Distributive justice are present among the stakeholders of a corporation as they are conventionally conceived and presented in contemporary stakeholder” (Kotler and Lee 56). They held that social justice is the unhindered exercise of the soul’s inherent powers. The one test of justice, for instance, is my ability to satisfy my desires to the greatest extent. Hence, to suffer injustice, that is, to sustain a check to my private gains, is intrinsically evil. Social justice is a compromise; it is to be tolerated, not as a good, but a lesser evil.
It deserves our esteem simply because we cannot singlehanded obtain perfect satisfaction of our personal interests; but, by means of a system of laws, we are enabled to restrain other men from undue trespass. It is therefore within our rights to make an action appear good weather it be so or not. Reputation, not essential character, is the thing that counts. Justice is the moral coördinator; it redresses the balance which has been shifted by erroneous calculation. Good fellowship emboldens the guests to drink beyond their capacity, imperiling physical health and personal honor. Justice steps in and scatters the confusion by its prescriptive commands. In its direction of the three functional virtues, it makes the conduct of man coherent, straightforward, effective (Kotler and Lee 76).
Since man is a social being and must act in concert with his fellows, it is essential to understand the organization of the state, which is the area of moral practice. There are three elements in the state, corresponding to the three basic needs, economic support, collective defense, and rational government. These segments agree in every respect with the three divisions of the soul. True social virtue is found in the discharge of the several functions, each by its own class. It is required that the artisan remain strictly within the sphere of his own duties, that the warrior apply himself to the preparation for and conduct of war, that the governor devote himself to the task of administering the state (Kotler and Lee 59).
So, racism and racial discrimination cannot be justified in business and are considered as socially undesirable acts. Mortgage brokers are responsible for unlocked loans and the loaner, and should be objective in their profession. It is possible to justify business activity of students who work to pay their tuitions. A chairman has no a right to use financial resources because it leads to unjust behavior against stakeholders. A chairman of global corporation is responsible for stakeholders. Thus, distributive justice is originally a social virtue, and its application by Plato to the organization of the individual mind is unwarranted.
Again, distributive justice is not a conventional term, a mode of action agreed upon by contending groups; it is the expression of the habitual thought of the community. Men have always lived in communities; they find their pleasure in mutual intercourse; they devise plans for the safeguarding of common interests. The state is the objective witness to man’s appreciation of the worth of living. The argument for the social basis of morality draws its strength from the psychology of development.
Man is defective in the discharge of his functions if he is found beyond the confines of society. Thus, the principle of private property can be applied only in civil communities. It has certain empirical values which justify its adoption by the state. It tends to bring out the personal dignity of the owner by giving him a distinct place of importance in the group. It also enables him to cultivate his benevolent instincts. These facts are supported by the axiom of logic that the whole is prior to the part. In the distributive justice actions of the social community the individual obtains his prescribed and irrevocable rights, especially in the sphere of trade and industry (Kotler and Lee 87).
Ethic of Care
Ethic of care stipulates that it is “necessity to attend to the contextual details of the situation in order to accept actual specific interests” (Beauchamp and Bowie 66). Beginning with the physical law that life is generated by the union of the opposite sexes, we advance to the second stage, which exhibits the Ethic of care of the young during the period of helplessness. Man’s behavior is anticipatively envisaged in the action of certain types of animals, but the attention bestowed upon the human infant is explicit and prolonged, intermitted only under the stress of such emotions as fear, chagrin, or jealousy. Comparative analyses are hard to make; but, unless every symptom is wrong, the affection of the parent for the child possesses at least some of the quality of social interest. Even if we construe affection as the assertion of proprietary rights, we still have the element of moral relationship which requires explanation.
Or if we take affection to be a kind of normal curiosity whose object at the moment offers attractions of the first order, we are again met by the fact of an interest beyond our own (Beauchamp and Bowie 55). Physical proximity may satisfy the ordinary organic instincts, but intelligence that forecasts the future by the help of the past, that grasps the sequences of cause and effect together with their meaning for the race, that determines what kind of behavior ought to be followed in order to attain a desired end, such intelligence demands a direct and effective instrument of communication. Specifically, language is the vehicle of conceptual judgments, and it is ultimately embodied in visible signs. If we had nothing else, this gift alone would demonstrate nature’s intentions respecting the scope and value of social intercourse. The force of the proof is confirmed by the use of language in moral transactions. It is doubtful whether the standards of character and conduct could ever have been framed apart from the exchange of ideas in men’s decisions as to duties and rights (Beauchamp and Bowie 87).
The first answer to disputable question is that racism in sales is possible because it will help the site owner to precede his work and attract more white customers (who are the core of his business). The answer for the second question is that mortgage brokers are not responsible for unlocked loans because it is undesirable for the company. The answer for the third question is that it is possible to justify and approve working students because it will help them to continue education.
In forth, the chairman has no moral right to use some finances for personal gain as it leads to unhappiness of the staff. In fifth, the chairman is responsible for the customers. Researchers consider the subject more at length in the succeeding pages, and may therefore sum up the present argument with the observation that moral behavior is feeble and inept except as it is guided by the sympathetic interests of the group. If, for instance, we expect to obey the social impulse, we should take care not to be mere “reformers” in the sentimental sense, but earnest students of the conditions of society, discovering, if we can, why it fails to meet the demands of justice with respect. Now, since the only way we can know motive is to see it at work in the intended act, we are chagrined to find its influence shortened and impaired by the consequences of the act. It seems to us that a good moral motive should and must make the act definitively good; and we cannot understand how there is any miscarriage in the effects. To be sure, probable truth is always contrasted with divine truth, and we can therefore obtain authoritative knowledge in no field of human inquiry. But Butler urges us to use every facility for determining truth and to apply the results to the “best of our ability.” The reactions, when the struggle ceased, were benumbing. Greed and particularism, sordid economics and misguided politics, corruption in high places–money, not morals, the goal of endeavor, success defined in terms of material rewards, not of the refinements of soul–these for years have sunk their fangs into the flesh and heart of peoples (Beauchamp and Bowie 87).
It is customary to distinguish between two types of human action, natural and moral, the one involving the laws of body and mind, the other the reflective needs of the self. Virtue ethics is defined as: “the emphasis on following rules, or doing one’s “duty.” (Beauchamp and Bowie 187). The distinction is unreal; both forms of action spring from the same source, the desire for pleasure. The contrast between psychological and ethical Hedonism is false. Nature has prescribed her canons; she has set the standards of conduct. Virtue has but one term, and that term describes every possible element of behavior. The Stoics argued that, since virtue is the counterpart of reason, and reason is the intelligible aspect of nature, man must have the roots of good character in his native disposition. Modern biology has helped to remove some of the difficulties of the problem.
All attainments in structural and functional growth are due to the laws and processes of evolution. virtue must eventually feel the force of the new idea. Still more effective is the discipline imposed by man’s relations to nature. Nature and religion were synonymous. Man’s contact with mechanical forces inevitably led to the judgment that evil lay in the essence of body, human, animal, or inorganic substance. Some method must be devised to remove the taint of guilt or fever or corruption, all of them being demonic possessions. The principle of the vicarious transference of evil has not lost its grip on human superstition (Beauchamp and Bowie 165).
The first answer is that racism in sales is not permissible because the company should develop and exhibits virtues in its policies. The answer for the second question is that mortgage brokers are responsible for unlocked loans and are obliged to help the customer. The answer for the third question is that it is possible to justify and approve working students because it will help them study. In forth, the chairman has no moral right to use some finances for personal gain because his behavior is an example for fellow employees to follow. In fifth, the chairman is morally responsible for the corporation and stakeholders.
In terms of virtue ethics, the family, the community, the professional or propertied classes, the elaborated social state, have their peculiar qualities; take away the particular relation in the group, and no man can develop the corresponding virtue. Thus, chastity depends for its meaning on the dictates of an organized society; otherwise, the animal nature of man is left to its own operation, and the only possible check on excess is satiety or some other form of pain. The theory has much to commend it, but it fails in not giving due weight to the subjective forms of virtue which we shall explain in a moment.
Courage and loyalty come first, since they guarantee personal protection and the safety of the tribe; then temperance and prudence, which establish the rights of the individual, together with justice and friendship, standing for the mutuality of all interests in the group; and, finally, the sentiment of reverence for the honor of manhood as it is interpreted by the principles of practical wisdom. If virtue be based on desire, the classes of virtue will follow the desiderative types in most particulars.
Beauchamp, T., and Bowie, N. (eds). 2003, Ethical Theory and Business, 7th edn, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Cohen, R. Taking on Unlikables. The New York Times. Web.
Cohen, R. Not Pictured: African-American Customers. The New York Times. Web.
Glink, I. R. Sometimes, Loans Should Be Unlocked. Washington Post. Web.
Kane, P. Rangel: Ethics talks unrelated to personal finance issues. Washington Post. Web.
Kotler, Ph., Lee, N. Corporate Social Responsibility: Doing the Most Good for Your Company and Your Cause. Wiley; 1 edition, 2004.
Sims, R.R. Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility: Why Giants Fall. Praeger, 2003.
Smart, J., Williams, B. Utilitarianism: For and Against. Cambridge University Press, 1990.