Chapter 3 Questions
1. How would you respond when someone makes a decision that adversely affects you while saying “it’s nothing personal it’s just business”? Is business impersonal?
If it was in a company situation I would raise with the company management or human resources. If it was outside in society, I would address the management of the company, raise to consumer affairs or use social media to raise awareness. Business is personal. Businesses goals are not just to generate profits, and to pay attention to society. Business is based on self-interest view on ethics in that it is an interest in all matter that relate to me, my friends, my family and the society in which I live. Utilitarianism.
2. Is someone who makes ethical decision based on enlightened self-interest worthy of more or less praise than someone who makes a similar decision based solely on economic considerations?
Someone who makes ethical decisions based on enlightened self-interest is worthy of more praise. Self-interest motives people to form peaceful civil societies. The desire for personal security means that individuals voluntarily limit their personal freedoms in order to secure social harmony.
Whereas a decision based solely on economics considerations are selfish. This means that the decision only concerns the individual, places the individual’s needs and concerns about those of others. In this case, it purely suggests that they are only doing it for the money.
3. Since happiness is extremely subjective, how would you objectively measure and assess happiness? Do you agree with J.S. Mill that arithmetic can be used to calculate happiness? Is money a good proxy for happiness?
It would be done through self-reporting, by being asked questions and having to quantify the number of how happy that scenario makes you. This could also be done with a brain, heart rate and sweating monitoring whilst being asked the same question to establish a correlation for future tests. I do not agree with J.S. Mill, as I think that anyone can do things with numbers, and they do not always make sense. There is no common unit of measurement for happiness, nor is one person’s happiness the equivalent of another person happiness. Money cannot buy happiness, as it cannot capture the degree of happiness felt.
4. Is there any categorical imperative that you can think of that would have universal application? Isn’t there an exception to every rule? “If it’s okay for me to lie, it’s okay for other to lie to me” There are exception to every rule, depending on the objective to be achieved by someone. In the lying example, if the person was to go to court, they would not be able to lie.
5. Assume the Firm A is publicly traded company that puts its financial statements on the web. This information can be accessed and read by anyone, even those who do not own shares of Firm A. This a free-rider situation, where an investor can use Firm A as a means to making an investment decision about another company. Is this ethical? Do free-riding treat another individual as a mean and not also as an end? The practical imperative does not suggest that you cannot use people, but simply that if you treat them as a means, then you must simultaneously treat them as end. It also states that everyone is entitled to pursue their own personal goals as long as they do not violate the practical imperative. Treating others as end means that we acknowledge them that we are all part of society, part of a moral community. This is ethical, as the free-riding is pursuing their own personal goals on investment, and did not violate anything.
6. How does a business executive demonstrate virtue when dealing with a disgruntled shareholder at the annual meeting? Virtue ethics is a broad term for theories that emphasize the role of character and virtue in moral philosophy rather than either doing one’s duty or acting in order to bring about good consequences. A virtuous person is...
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