weightlesslives:This might be the most accurate thing I’ve read everPosting on Tumblr is like talking to your cat. You don’t know if they are listening, and you don’t know if they care, but for some reason, it still helps.
And sometimes they attack you completely unprovoked.
Okay, so this was the prompt for the last quiz of my BA309- Business Ethics class. Here is what I wrote.
Is the phrase “business ethics” a contradiction in terms? Yes and no. I think a better question to ask would be; does the end justify the means. In unit 5, I believe, we discussed the idea of perfect competition and looked more closely at what Adam Smith believed to be true. In that, under conditions of perfect competition there is an alignment between what is in an individual’s own best self-interest and what is “best for all.” As I understand that statement; when the condition are obtained we have a moral duty be self-interested and to do what would be in our own best interest. Looking at that way of thinking from a business standpoint that’s all they are doing. They are being self interested to gain profit. While many businesses have a, mighty, need to act in an ethical manor, they aren’t actually legal bound to do so. That is, there will always be some businesses that are more ethical than others. As we were discussing the monopoly rights that pharmaceutical companies have over patented drugs; I came to a few realizations about business ethics. These companies do need to recoup research and development cost and further need to make their efforts worthwhile. That is, to make a meaningful profit to start on a new drug. The millions of people that need these drugs are either (I think secretly) really appreciative or spiteful. I mean the guy down the block probably loves Pfizer for that Viagra he’s taking. But he won’t run around yelling about how much he loves a company that made his thingy stand up. There is a secret appreciation for these companies to do what they need to do; at the cost of the people, they serve, by asking obscene amounts for their products. Under the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement that the WTO put into place; these companies are given ~20 years give or take on patent rights. When these run out generics enter the market. They are trying to do what is best for most but are instead doing what is worst for all. Businesses are inherently unethical while attempting to be as ethical as possible. You see, the textbook definition of both “business” and “ethics” make them inherently contradictory. The practice of “ethical businesses” strives to be coherent. So, yes and no. “Business ethics,” theoretically, works in practice but not so much in theory.
Her response; nicely reasoned!! I am doubling your points for the nuance and sophistication of your thinking. (Your thinking shows a WAY higher level of reflection than most of the answers I’ve been reading!)