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Reflection_Paper - Ethical Dilemma Of Gift Giving and...

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Ethical Dilemma Of Gift Giving and Receiving Andrew Dickson BA 305 – Business Ethics March 12, 2007
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The practice of giving and receiving gifts from clients or vendors has always been common in many business professions. However, how do you determine whether gift giving has crossed into bribery and distribution of kickbacks? To determine when enough is enough, the practice of giving and receiving gifts will be examined using the four core principles of the dignity of the human person, the common good, subsidiarity, and solidarity in conjunction with the Benedictine values of care, community, hospitality, and stewardship. In addition, the ethical standards adopted by the accounting profession in the United States will be examined to show how professional communities are prepared to deal with this ethical issue. Before discussing to what extent gift giving is allowable, the understanding of the four core principles of the dignity of the human person, the common good, subsidiarity, and solidarity as well as the Benedictine values used in this essay warrant explanation. The principle of the dignity of the human person is explained as follows: “Since something of the glory of God shines on the face of every person, the dignity of every person before God is the basis of the dignity of man before other men. Moreover, this is the ultimate foundation of the radical equality and brotherhood among all people, regardless of their race, nation, sex, origin, culture, or class.” 1 This means every human being regardless of age, race, sex, class, or origin is entitled to the same treatment merely because they are a human being. The idea someone is better or worse than another because they are different is erroneous due to the fact they are all human beings. The principle of the dignity of the human person falls hand in hand with the Benedictine value of community. The value of community is , “that network of 1 Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. New ed. Burns & Oates, 2006, 63. 2
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relationships—encompassing mutual support and mutual responsibility—that serves as the context in which we live, act, and find our being in the world.” 2 For the value of community to be effective, an understanding of the principle of dignity of the human person must be present. The second core principle used in this essay is the principle of the common good. This is, “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.” 3 This does not mean that individuals should look out for themselves and let others fend for themselves. To attain true common good the needs of a society need to be met as a whole, rather than as individuals. The Benedictine values of care and community are compatible with the principle
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This essay was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course HIST 1432 taught by Professor Kane during the Spring '08 term at Pittsburgh.

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Reflection_Paper - Ethical Dilemma Of Gift Giving and...

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