Blogs by Larry M. Lounsbury
Business ethics and Personal Ethics
1/15/2007 6:50:08 PM
What if all individuals in the business world practiced moral absolutes?
I was thinking about business ethics in todays society and came across some interesting thoughts on the web. What if all companies practiced a type of seven-point ethics like Texas Instruments: Theme: "Know What's RightDo What's Right.". It revolves around the following list.
1. Is the action legal?
2. Does it comply with our values?
3. If you do it, will you feel bad?
4. How will it look in the newspapers?
5. If you know it is wrong, don't do it!
6. If you're not sure, ask.
7. Keep asking until you get an answer.
In today's society it is often the government that is blamed for the high crime rate, but isn't the Old Adage You can lead a Horse to water, but you can't make them drink true today? Yes there is education available to raise a man or women to a level of ability where they can find opportunity, but what about changing their heart? There are crimes in all levels of society, so If that is true, why aren't people made more responsible for their actions rather than blaming government all of the time? An innovative American sociologist named William Sims Brainbridge said the following concerning ethics in society. He had been reviewing a book by Robert Bellah's called " The Good Society". He say, ""The book's prescription sounds like a highly diluted dose of religion, when what the patient needs might be a full dose."
This "organizational model" fails to fully appreciate the need for integration of religion and education in order to provide a united front against the materialism and self-centeredness of our present culture. As long as we allow our educational system to teach that we are evolved animals, here by chance and of no eternal significance, we can only expect short-sighted self-interest. If fundamentally all there is is matter, energy, time, and chance, why can't one believe in anything such as apartheid, or ethnic cleansing, or euthanasia, or genocide? Where is liberal idealism's source for personal integrity and convictions other than in cultural relativism? Under a theory of cultural relativism all intercultural comparisons of values are meaningless."
I believe that materialism has replaced man's need for God. Without a foundation in moral absolutes, the real love of our fellowman becomes meaningless. It becomes a question of that old Epicurean philosophy of the survival of the fittest. British historian Lord Acton once said "liberty was not the sole end of mankind, their must be some kind of virtue as well. That involves a knowledge of a higher good. " But there is another more traditional way of looking at ethics. It is an individual model, rather than an organizational one. It demonstrates a greater concern for the moral conviction of individuals. This view emphasizes that institutions don't make ethical decisions, people do. It stresses that virtue comes from the individuals who make up the many small groups and larger institutions, from families to voluntary associations to multinational corporations."
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