To What Extent Are Ethical Theories Helpful When Considering Ethical Business Practice?

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To what extent are ethical theories helpful when considering ethical business practice?

Generally, the term business ethics consists of ensuring businesses, whether they are in the private or in the public sector, adhere to ethical guidelines. Not all businesses are the same although have similar objectives which result in business ethics being diverse. These ethics do not only just relate to how businesses relate to the world, but moreover with the relationship between them and their customers. In order for a business to become a good business, they must be ethical, however there are several aspects to consider. There are many global businesses in which ethics are not seen to be important as their main goal is to ensure profit is made. Some have been fined millions for breaking ethical business laws, e.g. Child labour, however the incentives coming into the business (billions) outweighs their fines. Ethical theories can be a way in which businesses can take on board the whole concept of ethics and put it into practice.

Natural Law emphasises on the purpose of the person. Aquinas looks at what is good for humans, saying that humans share part of their nature with all natural things, parts with animals, and part of our man nature is particular to us. This means Aquinas would not accept exploitation of humans, animals and nature. Business is instrumental and most serve the common good. For Aquinas economic transactions, as human interaction, cannot be separated from ethics. The primary precepts would not really consider reproduction, it would mostly concern Education, living in a peaceful society, and for a believer, worshipping God and the preservation of life. Eduction would helps to child labour as it prevents a chid fulfilling his or her God-given purpose. Living in a peaceful society would help prevent exploitation. One of the purposes of human life is to…...

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