Business Ethics - Part 12
Religion is a component of almost every society - Business Ethics introduction. Do we act morally for fear of divine retribution or because it is the right thing to do? In a new society people are skeptical of certainty or that nothing means anything many people are desperately searching for a philosophy or guide to life. The combination of unchangeable values and reason are the mechanism of understanding for that is the way we recognize good or bad. Many are turning to religion but is it an explanation.
It is easier to believe this in that education tells them that that there is no rational certainty and thus leaving them with the implication that to have principles means to accept religious dogma. For a developed society, civil religion motivates people to maintain the habit of obedience because they grow to understand and obey the law. Nevertheless, humans are insatiably curious and it is in human nature to want to see what happens next or the outcome of a certain action. Men learn from others, they build on the work of their idols or parents.
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Morality is a question of instilled views that must precede understanding because understanding can only develop after the underlying values have been formed. So the early values are the most important as later experiences although made with a more adult mind, must incorporate previous decisions as those prior decisions are impulses beyond the force of reason. These subjective instilled set of beliefs are the morality of the individual, beyond threat of punishment or promise that determines the way they see reality.
A family is a group of loved ones, bound by time and common experience, and sometimes, it is a legal and biological construct, meant to draw the line between our “official” and “unofficial” relationships. Most of have our own definition of what a family is, even though it is usually based on the same principles. In some ways, however, these definitions are changing. Families are like a team. Each individual family member brings skill, personality, and role to the family team, just as each sports player has a specific position on the team.
We need our families to help us live through the happy, sad, and painful times. Providing an opportunity for learning, trying things out, or accepting defeat is an important role of the family. As a family team, we can help each other get through tough times. Because we have family teamwork, they can balance one person’s difficult time with other family member’s strengths. That being said there were not very many principles I had to live by we were simple people little had changed over the last few hundred years on my father’s side.
You did as you’re told, you don’t talk back, and everyone lends a hand. I don’t remember how young I was when my little brother and I started working on our farm. I have seen some young pictures of us helping out but it did not seem like work to us at the time there were only a few T. V. channels. There were no video games, even computers (something you can’t live without) was a rarity only something you see in a library. If you wanted a book for leisure reading you had to wait for the book mobile to make it to your house.
There was no Barnes and Nobel no Borders no Starbucks no cell phones there was school, work, and church and maybe Boy scouts. I’ve tried to make it seem miserable and desolate, however it was not it was simple and happy and uncomplicated. And it makes me sad to think that that is gone now wiped from history like a rainy day. It makes me sad that my children will not know those blissful day spent fishing or just watching the cool Illinois wind blow the clouds across the clean crisp gray sky. The sounds of silence without traffic or planes were at times you could almost hear the earth.
Oh well enough of that back to the task at hand if I had to categorize my families’ principles I would have to save Deontological theory fits the best. I think the book sold it by its example of the golden rule. That among all things my family would approve of. They had a way of always enforcing the right and moral thing to do “what would Jesus do” seemed to be the mantra of my great grandparents. I think that over the years I have strayed far from their beliefs I believe they still hold merit but only in a society that encourages them.
I feel that there is no return to those days, Pandora box has been blown open, we have eaten from the tree of knowledge and the age of information will be the end of us. I don’t see a return to the old ways this is a new era and with some hope we might make it through to a new age what that might be I can not foresee . I guess my new ethical family traditions are get by using whatever means necessary and try to make enough to make the bills every month. It seems so much harder to get by these days. I remember when a college degree was rare and meant you could write your own ticket now you need a master’s degree just to compete for a job.
I do not feel as my families principals would not fit into my current life however disappointing I have learned to adapt whatever principles get the job done at this specific time. I would label it a Teleological in today’s society the end seems to justify the means it seems a selfish world and thing need to be cheaper faster and bigger it seems to be a rarity to go home knowing you did a good days work for a good days pay. My father retired from the Marine Corps after 26 yrs and is now a Financial Advisor for Met Life for him the world changed very fast and he is still trying to keep up the pace.
My mother is far behind the curve as struggling to keep pace you can see it in her eyes thinking of times past holidays with the family all together. My grandfather has made a steady effort he seems accustom to change and has always had to adapt to different cultures and languages over the years. As a immigrant from a foreign war he has had to adapt and change his life more times then I can count. However all seem to agree that progress has stood bold face in the family line and that they were happy for the time they had.
I guess for my little brothers three out of the four have known no other life and still the have some difficulty getting established and productive the youngest Dave is in college with whom I have directed well, Dan joined the navy as a combat engineer at 17. 5 yrs he came home from the middle east after a IED toke out the hummer in front of him. He had some shrapnel in his shoulder and a little more melancholy then when he had left but otherwise fine. He came into this present economic mess not knowing where to go, no jobs, the government is not honoring his contract he seems waiting by the phone to go back over seas.
My family had tried to instill education as his primary goal, and for a while it seemed he was headed in the right direction he had not even graduated yet and received a scholarship to Drexel for Agriculture Engineering and decided the Navy was the best course he figured he see the world, get paid, and free college. But for someone like him where our families duty to the protection of this country five generations strong where is progress taken him where has our country come to pass over and bottom line our citizens and what then is our responsibility to the country that turns us from a asset to a liability.
How does society function without our moral fabric to bind us together? And where does that leave us for the next generation. What values are instilled in them how will Business Ethics change in the future when the John Lochs are replaced by the Account’s rule? I think the examples you stated in class like the Triangle shirt factory, or the Ford Pinto I think we have not seen the end of business decisions such as these. I predict after tort reform and a some creative posturing by the powers that be, we will have our morals and beliefs feed to us.