Religious Views on Business Ethics

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Business ethics is a very broad term and widely used throughout the world. The term “business ethics” first started to be used in the United States in the early 1970’s as businesses were growing bigger and more powerful. Business ethics are guidelines or behaviors that businesses and individuals use daily to deal with the world, and even smaller situations they might find themselves in. Race, gender, age and religion all play a role in a person’s ethics. The most important factor in a person’s perspective of business ethics is religion, because there are so many different religious views. Buddhists follow the teachings of Buddha to help with their ethics in business. Christianity uses the Ten Commandments and the teachings of Christ to classify their ethics. The Jewish faith uses the Torah, while Muslims use the Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad to explain their views on business ethics.

Buddhists do not believe in one particular economic system. The main issue in Buddhist ethics is not how poor or wealthy a person is, but how they respond to the situation they are given. One goal of Buddhism is not to become attached to material things. They believe that material things should not control a person. Another goal of Buddhism is to end dukkah, which means ill-being, or unhappiness. The way that a Buddhist end ill-being is with dana, giving or generosity. Dana is the most important idea dealing with Buddhist ethics in society and business. “A person should have only minimal needs such as: enough food to stop hunger and keep up good health, enough clothing to be socially decent and to protect their body, enough shelter for cultivating the mind, and enough health care to provide sufficient care and prevent illness” (Knitter & Muzaffar, 60). Buddhists do not believe that a person should be poor, but what matters is how a person gets wealthy, and how they respond to being wealthy or poor. Buddhists believe that the economy is not usual...
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