In the corporate world, ethics would relate to the manner in which businesses conduct themselves in relation to societal moral principles. Every business should ensure that it conducts itself within the precepts of ethical standards available. Fieser and Moseley in their book, ‘Introduction to Business Ethics’ describes three fundamental theories in ethics under which businesses should be able to run their activities (Fieser & Moseley 4). 1. Summary of the ethical theories The first theory identified in the chapter is the theory of moral objectivism as championed by Plato - a Greek philosopher – who related morality to spiritual realities. This theory categorizes morality into three components, which are: morality is objective, moral standards are unchanging and moral standards are universal. According to the first category, moral standards exist in higher spirit realms completely distinct from the physical world and not creations of human beings or human societies. The second category perceives moral standards as eternal as they apply regardless of where one is on the world. This aspect doe not recognize changes in location or time as having effects on the moral standards practiced by human beings. The third category identifies the universality of moral standards as not considering issues such as race, gender, or even social status of individuals. Based on Plato’s views, the universe is two-tiered – lower physical level and higher spiritual level (realm of forms) and has nothing permanent on it. Moral standards also exist in a realm of forms that are highest. This appeal gives the sense of moral stability. The first theory is contrasted by the second theory – theory of moral relativism – having three features, as well including morality is not objective, moral standards change, and that the moral standards are not universal. The first feature categorizes moral standards as pure inventions by human beings while the last feature argues that the application of the moral standards depends on the preferences of individual human beings and not eternal truths. Defenders of this theory are skeptic of the existence of similar views as those of Plato’s higher realm of forms. The third theory is known as the divine command theory, which answers YES to the question whether God is the creator of moral values and standards. According to the theory, God creates the values based on no prior reasoning or logical standards but pronounced based on pure acts of will. However, this theory is faced by two main challenges. First, non-believers would reject the theory’s presumption on the existence of God. Furthermore, believers themselves hold on the belief of the existence of God from an aspect of personal faith and not having any absolute proof. Second, the moral standards if not based on any prior reasoning standards would imply that they are arbitrary having been made purely from scratch. 2. Constructing companies based on these theories In the business field, companies may be more motivated to act moral basing on the three theories above mainly on the desire to avoid tarnishing the name of the company, avoiding heavy fines and to avoid lawsuits. A company may choose to base their operations on one or all of the above theories. One significant approach by which companies can practice this is through the adoption of a utilitarianism theory of morality. A utilitarianism moral theory in normative ethics is based on the acknowledgment of an individual’
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