Recently I am under the strong influence of ethics and morality and that too in business!!!!
Actually I am going thru a course on business ethics. As always in the beginning I was very skeptical about a subject like this but to my surprise it started to attract me unlike anything. In fact I can sense a sort of rivalry between me and this subject.
However in micro level, i.e. for a particular company or a particular group of people maybe ethics and its application is applicable but in macro level that may not be the case. According to some ethics is guided and molded by belief systems and as per my understanding there are two type of belief systems. One which can be backed by facts and hence can be changed and in another case, cannot be backed by facts but we have to go by some socially acceptable norms which are very stringent and hence are very difficult to change.
Let us take an example of Sam, a rational human being who believes that the earth is flat. We can actually take him up to space and show him from there that he is wrong.(we can also try to change his system of belief by some other means , like setting experiments in earth but let me take a the most extreme case of going to space and make him actually see it). As a rational person we can assume him to change his thought process. But what if he believes that “SATI” is a very good practice? How can we actually make him change his thoughts? Maybe he does have very strong point to prove his case. I am taking the case of sati specifically because other atrocities that there were against women in general in, not that, ancient India like child marriage and depriving women from education or not allowing women to remarry even if they are widowed do have some strong logic that were relevant at that age.
To us sati may appear to be a bogus idea but to him it may not be the case. Maybe he is damn right from his point and even if, he is not, how can we actually prove to him that he is wrong? We cannot devise any experiments to prove him wrong. We can only show him some logic and reasons which are “moral” and “logical” only from our angle. In fact if you really investigate, these atrocities are not there, at present, only because they are made illegal. Given a chance people will definitely marry off their girls at 10 or maybe at 8….who knows?
So it is quite evident that there exist 2 types of belief systems. Unfortunately ethics, morality, values are much more depended on and are derived from that type of belief system which can’t be proved or disproved scientifically. We all know that history is written by the winners and in almost all cases code of values are also governed by the winners and powerful. Right now as we are winning, we are writing these codes which seem appropriate to us. In fact when sati was actually abolished with the help of British forces by Raja Rammohon Ray, the then Bengal society at large out casted him and he actually died in impoverished condition. Clearly his move was neither supported by the people let alone assumes that their moral values were changed. Suppose the Nazis had won the war, then not killing of Jews would have been considered an immoral act!
Now, if belief system is not consistent and there can be various versions of it, then how can moral laws and ethical ideas be consistent? This is a very difficult thing to ponder on actually. Still we do consider that they are uniform or force them to be uniform. However still across the globe we have unsuccessfully imposed a common set of codes which are common to every society at large, like its bad to steal, hurt others and so on.
Now when we try to impose these set of codes on business, a hell lot of problem creeps in. What is business? You may come up with various definitions of it but the most fundamental aspect of business is to generate money. If that part is not being fulfilled then there will be no business. And who drives business??? Humans do! And no matter who you are and what y