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Rel228weekthree - REL 228/MGT 228 Business Ethics and...

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REL 228/MGT 228 Business, Ethics, and Society Prof. Douglas Lamont WEEK THREE: LECTURE/DISCUSSION Theme for the week: “Forgive me, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for I have sinned . . . [or] I have sinned, O Lord: forgive me. O God, be gracious unto me a sinner.” Source : The Order of Confession, Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. I. Conscience . Religious context of conscience . The eastern churches teach us to practice diakrisis (or discernment). Conscience is an innate faculty or capacity for making moral judgments. We have a persuasive conscience that leads us to perform certain actions that are judged by the faculty of discernment to be good. Also we have a dissuasive conscience that leads us to abstain from those actions, behaviors, and attitudes perceived by diakrisis to be evil, wrong, unjust, or inappropriate. For a discussion of conscience, see the Wisdom of Solomon, St. Paul’s letters to the Romans and the Corinthians, St. Thomas Aquinas, the Russian startsi , St. Maximus the Confessor, and Fr. Stanley Harakas. The eastern churches prefer an ethical diakonia for CEOs and other top business executives in which those who have no conscience about destroying capital are booted out of their top jobs. Michael Eisner of Disney is an example of a Porky Pig who has taken over $1 billion from the company in salary, bonuses, and stock options and, at the same time, has destroyed capital for the shareholders. For some reason, his conscience failed him. Social context of conscience . A defensible moral judgment must be supportable by a sound moral principle. Moral principles provide the confirming standard for moral judgments. However, different theories exist as the proper standard or right and wrong. Humans are heirs to a rich and complex ethical tradition in which a variety of different moral principles and ethical considerations intertwine and sometimes compete. Shaw, pp. BE, 43-44. II. Dispute among scholars of different traditions : Focus on consequences (consequentialists) or the immediate end . Examples: Focus on making six of the next eight baskets in basketball. Or if Jesus were alive today, which SUV would he purchase? The moral rightness of an action is 1
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determined solely by results. Theories: egoism and utilitarianism. Here are some immediate end-results: Kill-ratio in Vietnam. State condemns property for new highway. Rights of minority must be sacrificed for the majority. Andrew Fastow focused on finding a new way to hide poor financial results. This was his immediate end. His dissuasive conscience did not work when he transferred Enron’s losses to his Special Purpose Entities (SPEs). . Focus on goal-oriented (teleological from the Greek work for goal, telos) perfection . Examples: Focus on playing basketball as well as Michael Jordan. Or if Jesus were alive today, how do you become more like Christ? Theories from
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Rel228weekthree - REL 228/MGT 228 Business Ethics and...

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