Unit 1: Nature & Concept
Chapter 1: Introduction to Business Ethics
Lesson 2: Morality and Moral Standards
In the first lecture I have tried to explain you the concept of Business Ethics, its importance in the organization, and arguments against its implementation. Along with that we did a small activity so as to make everything clear. In this lecture I shall talk about morality and moral standards. Points to be covered in this lecture:
Meaning and characteristics of morality
Meaning and origin of moral standards
What do you actually mean by morality?
Morality can be explained in all these ways:
Morality can be defined as the standards that an individual or a group has about what is right and wrong, or good and evil.
Moral quality or character; rightness or wrongness, as of an action; the character of being in accord with the principles or standards of right conduct.
Not imposed from outside, but innate and can even be unconscious. We have a fundamental urge to connect. Ultimately, it's our moral qualities that force us to live in harmony with the unconscious; doing so is the highest form of morality. Morality is individual; the morality of a group decreases as its size increases.
Morality is an informal public system applying to all rational persons, governing behavior that affects others, and has the lessening of evil or harm as its goal.
Morality is a complex of concepts and philosophical beliefs by which an individual determines whether his or her actions are right or wrong. Often, these concepts and beliefs are generalized and codified in a culture or group, and thus serve to regulate the behavior of its members. Conformity to such codification is called morality, and the group may depend on widespread conformity to such codes for its continued existence. A "moral" may refer to a particular principle, usually as informal and general summary of a moral principle, as applied in a given human situation.
Characteristics Of Morality
To say that morality is a public system incorporates the essential feature that everyone who is subject to moral judgment knows what kinds of actions it prohibits, requires, discourages, encourages, and allows. It also guarantees that it is never irrational to act morally.
It would take considerably more space than is appropriate here to show that defining morality as a public system that applies to all rational persons also results in morality being a universal guide to behavior that all rational persons would put forward for governing the behavior of all moral agents. I should make clear that the claim that all rational persons would put forward this system only follows if limitations are put on the beliefs that rational persons can use and if they are attempting to reach agreement with similarly limited rational persons.
To say that morality is an informal system means that it has no authoritative judges and decision procedures that provide unique answers to all moral questions. When it is important that disagreements be settled, societies use political and legal systems to supplement morality. These formal systems have the means to provide unique answers, but they do not provide a moral answer to the question.
Example: An important example of such a moral question is whether, and if so under what conditions, to allow abortion. There is continuing disagreement about this moral question, even though the legal and political system in the United States has provided fairly clear guidelines about the conditions under which abortion is allowed. Despite this important and controversial issue, morality, like all informal public systems, presupposes overwhelming agreement on most moral questions. No one thinks it is morally justified to cheat, deceive, injure, or kill simply in order to gain sufficient money to take a fantastic vacation. In the vast majority of moral situations,...
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