Should Everything Be For Sale?
Should everything be for sale? A very thought inciting question that inspires great debate on moral standings. Morality, is concerned with social practices defining right and wrong (Beauchamp, Bowie, & Arnold, 2008). What is just, what is fair, what is the right thing to do in a situation? What is wrong? What is ethical, what is moral? “A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world” (Camus, 2014). We find ourselves facing three moral dilemmas posed by three members of an entrepreneurship club at a University with an aim to make quick money. Ethics involve a process of applying values, which may range from religious principles to customs and traditions. The first idea was to grow and sell fake pot. The idea of whether to grow and sell fake pot may represent a moral or ethical quandary; everyone has rights whether it is the right to earn a living or the right to make a purchase. What is not clear is whether the selling of “pot” is legal or even ethical, regardless of whether the product is real or fictitious. In many countries the selling of ‘pot’ is illegal or requires a license to deal or distribute whether it is for health reasons or just pleasure. Even though the business idea is to make money and the bottom line is profitability, a business does have an obligation to protect the rights and health of their clients/customers. Take into consideration cigarette distributors; their only legal requirement is to have a health warning displayed on the box. In Jamaica the Tobacco Labeling Resource Centre amended the regulations to have the health warnings placed on at least 60% of the front and back of the cigarette package. This is not an ethical requirement or a moral one but an implementation by law because of the adverse effects of tobacco on smokers (www.tobaccolabels.ca, 2013). The fake pot would not have such a warning to deter persons from smoking this fake pot. Rights theory holds that, rights form the justifying basis of obligations because they best express the purpose of morality, which basically refers to the securing of basic liberties (Beauchamp, Bowie, & Arnold, 2008). Most of us believe we are ethical and unbiased we imagine we are good decision makers and as such able to make the right business choices. This theory would therefore argue that, the rights of the persons who will purchase the fake pot, not knowing it was fake rights would have been violated. As persons making purchase would do so to receive quality products not a fake one. The fake pot may have adverse effects on consumers causing health related issues such as cancer, tuberculosis even affecting lungs of individuals as we are not sure what the fake pot will be made up of. Utilitarianism on the other hand speaks to the argument that in all situations one ought to perform acts that will lead to the greatest good for the greatest number. Utilitarian’s believe that the purpose or function of ethics is to promote human welfare by minimizing harms and maximizing benefits. Mill’s Utilitarianism (1863) is considered the standard statement for Utilitarianism (Beauchamp, Bowie, & Arnold, 2008). Which basically means one should tell the truth as the end has consequences that will not only affect the person selling but also the individual purchasing. The truth here would be either to advise customers of the status of the goods being sold or to just not sell fake ‘pot’. Egoistic theory explains that in this dilemma the person selling has only one thought in mind making money and not necessarily the effects of the fake pot on the users. Not thinking about the product itself whether it is legal or illegal and the implications there after. Ethical egoism is a theory, which states that the supreme principle of conduct is to promote one’s well being above everyone else’s (Beauchamp, Bowie, & Arnold, 2008). Every ethical theory recommends certain actions and prohibits others, in this case ethical egoism...
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