Introduction– Thesis Statement
Thispaper will discuss the meaning of morality in any given place. Bydefinition, Alfred North Whitehead states that morality refers towhat the majority of individuals like. At the same time, Whiteheaddefines immorality as what the majority of people dislike. The firstsection of this paper will support the argument that businesses canhave the ethical standards, though they are not moral agents (Rovaneet al., 2012). The second section of this paper discusses how onewould apply the foremost formulation of the categorical imperative ofKant to a business setting. As such, definitions will be offered tohelp elaborate such terms as categorical imperative, moralrelativism, utilitarianism, process philosophy, deontological ethics,teleological ethics, and moral objectivism.
Asa philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead understood that things are notappropriate just because people want them. Nazi principles and valuesare not ethical just because the Nazis enjoy them. A perfect questionto ask is what is ordinary or normal? Most people usually think thatthe word “normal” means sound, affordable, happy, and sensible.The same people believe, the antonym of the word “normal” is mad.The main significance of the word normal is what many people think orperform in any particular community: performing consistent with, andnot diverging from, a standard, concept or rule, a recurrent patter,contouring to kind.
Accordingto the quote of Whitehead, morality refers to what a larger sectionof people happen to enjoy in a particular place or time. Of course,business or organizations can have ethical values and standards, butthey are never moral agents. To have a prosperous business, theremust be morals. Being a moral agent refers to the ability todistinguish what is wrong from what is right. Ethical standards andprinciples are the values, which encourage values like kindness andfairness (Siebens et al., 2014). As such, moral agents and ethicalstandards can work jointly in order that the company can achieve itsset goals and objectives, that is, business need ethical standards tobe successful.
Moralityand ethics are two terms, which seem closely related. Generally, itis noticed that people wrongly substitute these words for each other.A typical incident where these two words are mixed is the companysituation or the corporate world. At the workplace, a company mightembrace some methodologies that are quite moral, but they may seemerroneous to its employees, for instance, a particular companysuggesting or strongly advertising its commodities that may not beprecisely helpful to its consumers. Therefore, it is a fact thatbusinesses may have ethical values and standards, but they are nevermoral agents.
Explanationsof Philosophical Concepts
Inthe business context, it would be suitable applying the categoricalimperative of Kant as it encompasses the moral or ethical law. Themoral rule is the right to live, the laws of conduct a group or anindividual might pursue out of individual conscience that can assistcompanies to upgrade their morals through making sure that theysatisfy the motives of the business and the workers in a sensiblemanner (Wolf, 2015). The contradictory viewpoint is on deontologicalethics within business since it can result in forbidden corporatechoices. Conversely, teleological ethics is as well not suitable forbusiness practices as it asserts that an act’s rightness is obviousat the ending, which means that an individual must be ready toconfront the profits or risks.
Torun an organization effectively, the manager has to be certain of theway the business operates to avoid losses thus, being capable ofdistinguishing between the wrong and right acts. Applying moralobjectivism in the corporate processes of a business allows theorganization to meet its realism, contributing a positive orproductive role since it assists in achieving the target goals andobjectives of the organization (Rovane et al., 2012). Ethicalrelativism operates well consistent with society, determining whetheror not an action or wrong or right. In my viewpoint, however, thisperception is not practical to some business contexts since its rulesand laws might contradict the opinion of the public.
Utilitarianismrefers to a philosophical principle that the helpful is the good. Inaddition, it is a doctrine that the defining consideration of theright behavior must be its consequences’ usefulness particularly:a hypothesis that the target of an action needs to be the greatestprobable balance of enjoyment over pain. Categorical imperativerefers to a moral command or obligation, which is binding universallyand unconditionally (Siebens et al., 2014). Of course, moralrelativism bears the unusual difference – both outside philosophyand within it – of being credited to others, almost usually as acondemnation, far more frequently than it is professed explicitly byanybody.
Moralabsolutism refers to an ethical viewpoint that some actions are wrongor right completely. On the other hand, moral relativism might be anyof many philosophical views concerned with the distinctions inethical judgments across diverse cultures and people. MoralObjectivism refers to the view that some actions are wrong or rightobjectively, independent of the human perception. Deontologicalrefers to morals in philosophy moral theories, which put specificemphasis on the correlation between the morality and duty of thehuman acts.
Consequently,deontology emphasizes on ethics and logic. No attempts are made insuch philosophical theories to clarify specific ethical obligationsand commands. Consequentialism or teleological ethics refers to theset of normative moral theories, which hold that the impacts of one`sbehavior are the eventual basis for all judgments regarding thecorrectness of that behavior. The process of philosophy is based onthe viewpoint that human beings are dynamic, and this nature ofhumans needs to be the focus of all comprehensive philosophy accountsof actuality and our place in it (Siebens et al., 2014). Thedistinction between normative and descriptive morality is the factthat descriptive morality shows the thought on the morality of aperson.
Indescriptive morality, it is just seen that various societies havediverse standards and values. This statement is true because itprovides no deductions or judgments. Conversely, in normativemorality, a deduction is drawn from observations mentioned abovethat, certain actions within a society are wrong, and right in othersocieties (Rovane et al., 2012). Prescriptive or normative ethicsconcerns morality theories that prescribe the deeds of a person.
Inconclusion, even though it is known that businesses have moralstandards and that they are legal entities, I suppose it would behard considering them as moral agents without taking intoconsideration the individuals responsible for those companies. Ofcourse, the decision-making hierarchy of organizations as well astheir regulations for determining why decisions are in the companies`interest (contrary to the interests of the people making thedecisions) makes companies moral agents (Wolf, 2015). In my view, Ithink the morality of a business is just a reflection of the companymanager’s morality.
Rovane,C. A., Buss, S., Hare, C. J., Herman, B., & Columbia University.(January 01, 2012). What moral obligations do we have, and to whom?.
Siebens,H., Mahieu, P., & Van, R. A. (January 01, 2014). ʼSchool ethicsʼ- responsible school management: The application of business ethicsto school management (and governance). Vodenje V Vzgoji inIzobraževanju, 12, 143-165.
Wolf,R. (January 01, 2015). Respecting foreign peoples: The limits ofmoral obligations. Journal of International Relations andDevelopment, 19, 1, 1-25.