Business Ethics and Religion

Business Ethics and Religion

Business Ethics and Religion After the Financial Collapse (Theology on Tap) – YouTube

Business Ethics and Religion After the Financial Collapse (Theology on Tap) – YouTube

Richard Shields, PhD, Faculty of Theology,

Religion , churches have a lot to say about the economy

Have churches engaged in a transformative dialogue with the business community?

There seems to be a disconnect between the accumulated wisdom of religion and the logic of business in the world.

Another disconnect between the ethical core of people and the workplace …

“I’m just making a living.” Bricklayers at a death camp

“you gotta figure out the cost benefit ratios” fines as opposed to violation costs

“It’s up to the regulators.”

Neutral or amoral world of work

Business ethics seen as being imposed on business from the outside

Ethical norms based on the intrinsic interest in business

Discussion of Catholic Social Doctrine

From around the web –

From the web site, QDVF:

To this point, our discussion has centered on the limitations of modernism on business ethics – namely, moral relativism and a materialistic focus regarding ethical behavior. We next examine how the Christian worldview addresses these issues followed by how it might influence ethics research. Christian ethics founded on Scripture gives moral standards or a common platform that allow us to judge between right and wrong.

In business situations, people must decide what they ought to do and what ethical principles to follow. They must know that these principles are right and that it is reliable. This is not to say that an absolute moral law must be strictly followed given that the boundaries of moral law and its varied applications will always be debated. But the very idea of right and wrong makes sense only if there is a final standard by which we can make moral judgments (Colson and Pearcey, 1999).

From the web site, Conversation in Faith Weblog:

What, if anything, does Christianity offer to the business  and the ethical decisions that people must make?

Honesty? Fairness?  Trustworthiness?   The Golden Rule?  Honoring God by the way we conduct ourselves?

Yes,certainly. But if that is all we have to offer, it’s not substantially different than other faiths.  Are Jews to be fair, trustworthy, and honest? Of course. Muslims? Of course.  This degree of similarity isn’t surprising considering the close geographical, historical and cultural proximity of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Christianity emerges from Judaism and Islam develops in a world shaped and influenced by Christianity and Judaism.

So again, what, if anything, constitutes a distinctly Christian business ethic? Perhaps we ought to ask, is there a uniquely Christian business ethic?

And from the web site, Catholic Analysis:

Amid the ongoing debate over issues of economics and ethics, Benedict XVI has addressed these issues on several occasions in recent months. On May 26 he spoke to a group of young people from Confindustria, the General Confederation of Italian Industry.

Every business, the Pope noted, should be considered first and foremost as a group of people, whose rights and dignity should be respected. Human life and its values, the Pontiff continued, should always be the guiding principle and end of the economy.

In this context, Benedict XVI acknowledged that for business, making a profit is a value that they can rightly put as an objective of their activity. At the same time the social teaching of the Church insists that businesses must also safeguard the dignity of the human person, and that even in moments of economic difficulties, business decisions must not be guided exclusively by considerations of profit.

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