Ethics Are Often Stronger Than The Laws Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Business - Ethics Type: Essay Paper: #27744553 Related Topics: Computer Ethics, Ethnographic, Environmental Ethics, Corporate Ethics
Excerpt from Essay :

Ethics are often stronger than the laws of the land. Laws are cobbled together by special interests and have little to do with right and wrong, or personal ethical codes. For most people, their own personal codes of ethics will be stronger than the laws. People are much less likely to violate their own personal ethical codes than the laws.

Morals are codes of conduct put forward by a society, often within the context of a cultural or social group. Ethics are, following the Aristotelian tradition, a general guide to behavior that an individual adopts as his own guide to life (Gert, 2011). The relationship between the two is self-evident: while ethics are individual they are often strongly influenced by society's moral context.

Kohlberg (1971) outlined morals are being pre-conventional, conventional and post-conventional. Pre-conventional morals are in the obedience and punishment orientation and the self-interest orientation. Like when you learn that killing someone should probably put you in prison. You avoid punishment by not committing the act that generates the punishment. Conventional morality reflects general social norms, and


With this morality, you might learn things such as that defrauding customers is against the law and modify your behavior accordingly. Post-conventional morality reflects the social contract orientation and universal ethical principles. This would involve things like looking after your community, and eschewing pure self-interest in order to have a better world in which all can live.

4. The first condition under which I would not purchase the product of a firm is if I could not afford it. I'm sure Gulfstream jets are nice, but they're a bit out of my price range. The second condition is if I did not need it. There is no use for Cheez Whiz in my life, therefore I shall not buy it. The third condition is if I can find a better deal somewhere else. Why pay $2 for a can of black beans when the store down the street has them for $0.79?

5. This is Milton Friedman's idea (1971). The point he was making was that managers are agents of the shareholders, and the shareholders are assumed to be rational investors who only seek the best return on their investment, on a risk-adjusted basis. The argument has its faults. Most notably, that investors are purely rational. There is a lot of evidence that this is not the case. Indeed, investors today are usually quite well aware of the social responsibility philosophies of public companies, so they can make an informed decision if a given company is acting in their best interests before they even purchase the company. Friedman's theory would only extend…

Sources Used in Documents:


Anderson, K. (2009). Ethnographic research: A key to strategy. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved February 17, 2014 from

Gert, B. (2011). The definition of morality. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved February 17, 2014 from

Kohlberg, L. (1971) From Is to Ought: How to Commit the Naturalistic Fallacy and Get Away with It in the Study of Moral Development. New York: Academic Press.

Friedman, M. (1971). The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. New York Times Magazine. Retrieved February 17, 2014 from

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