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#23525 - 09/21/07 10:49 AM Do corporations have any moral responsibility?
coberst Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/04/07
Posts: 369
Do corporations have any moral responsibility?

The Chinese police state is a great investment says US hedge funds.

The US economy may be on decline but US hedge funds investors considers the Chinese police state to be a good investment for our global economy.

“China’s Hot Stock: Orwell Inc” is the headlines over an article in the NYTimes published September 19, 2007.

“In a stunning report in the New York Times last week, correspondent Keith Bradsher documented the rise of China's electronic surveillance industry, whose leading companies have incorporated themselves in the United States and obtained the lion's share of their capital from U.S. hedge funds. Though ostensibly private, these companies are a for-profit adjunct of the Chinese government.” By Ha rold Meyerson Washington Post
Wednesday, September 19, 2007.

Do US corporations have any moral responsibility to the citizens of the US?

Do US corporations have any moral responsibility to the people living on this planet?

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#23527 - 09/21/07 05:44 PM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: coberst]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
Megastar

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 1940
Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
U.S., Inc. is open for business.

We are witnessing the demise of the nation-state, both from the right wing that wants to run a country like a business and from the left-wing who attempt to erase country boundaries and redistribute wealth to others who are more deserving.

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#23532 - 09/22/07 01:26 AM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
Corporations have one responsibility only--to make a profit for their shareholders, all else is immaterial to them.

It is up to the people, through their elected representatives, to enact laws to control rapacious companies, and not to allow commercial interests to overide the interest and well-being of the population, not only of a individual country, but the well-being of the planet.

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#23537 - 09/22/07 01:57 AM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: Ellis]
Socrates2007 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/07
Posts: 46
We all live in community and our actions often do not affect only ourselves.

Yes. Everyone and every organization has a responsibility to the rest of the community/human race/environment/planet.

How can we exist if it is otherwise?

Socrates.

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#23562 - 09/23/07 12:26 AM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: Socrates2007]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
I am of the opinion that, interesting though this topic is, it does not fall into the category of even NQS. That is unless philosophy and politics are sciences, and they're not.

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#23567 - 09/23/07 02:35 PM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: Ellis]
coberst Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/04/07
Posts: 369
Ellis

What is your definition of science? One definition found in my dictionary is--"a department of systematized knowledge as an object of study".

My dictionary would agree with me if I said that "Art is not a science but the study of art is a science."

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#23573 - 09/24/07 09:09 AM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: coberst]
terrytnewzealand Offline
Megastar

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 1031
Loc: Whangarei New Zealand
I agree with Ellis's earlier comment, however:

"It is up to the people, through their elected representatives, to enact laws to control rapacious companies, and not to allow commercial interests to overide the interest and well-being of the population, not only of a individual country, but the well-being of the planet."

But hang on. Having made "a profit for their shareholders" corporations then have a lot of bullion to spread around in promoting themselves and ensuring "the people, through their elected representatives," don't enact laws to control them. We're up against it I'm afraid Ellis.

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#23584 - 09/24/07 05:11 PM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: terrytnewzealand]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 1940
Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
"What is your definition of science? One definition found in my dictionary is--"a department of systematized knowledge as an object of study". "

This is the "anything we care to study, so long as it's systematized. Astrology is 'science', as is numerology, ethics, and everything else. This is a conflation of terms. Modern science does not include any of these things.


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#23586 - 09/24/07 05:33 PM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
coberst Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/04/07
Posts: 369
Fiend

As I said I cannot reach across the gap that seperates us.

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#23598 - 09/25/07 12:39 AM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: coberst]
Ellis Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
terry---I am a tragic true believer!! I think that if the 'the people' are pushed too hard they will insist on being heard (eg Burma at the moment). If power is not to come from the barrel of a gun then it has to come from the people, when they realise that they are vitally important to their rulers (even the ones they elected!). Their representatives can and do control the crazier desires of the corporations, they have the power, but yes, at the moment it seems that we really are up against it. This could be due to the fact that lately we have traded some of our freedoms for security. Is this a wise choice?

PS I still think that this topic is really interesting and I enjoy discussing politics-- but it is not Science nor NQS.

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#23606 - 09/25/07 10:19 AM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: Ellis]
coberst Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/04/07
Posts: 369
Ellis

I would argue that the study of morality is a science. Art is not a science but art as an object of study is a science. I think that we often restrict that term to the natural sciences and especially to technology. I would say that any domain of knowledge that meets standards of principles, methods, and universal recognition qualifies as a science.

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#23608 - 09/25/07 01:56 PM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: coberst]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
Megastar

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 1940
Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
We restrict the term "science" today to those things to which can be sensibly addressed by the scientific method which excludes both morality and art, except insofar as those subjects produce measurable effects in the human brain.


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#23610 - 09/25/07 02:21 PM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
coberst Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/04/07
Posts: 369
Fiend

Who is this "We"?

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#23611 - 09/25/07 02:34 PM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: coberst]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
Megastar

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 1940
Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
We who do not wish to mislead people that we are applying the scientific method to subjects when we are not. The success of science has given it a special place in our society - a sort of Underwriter's Laboratory seal of approval.

It does not warrant for particular uses, but it ensures the 'product' has been tested within certain situations. It's because science (actual science) as been so successful that the term is now so willfully hijacked by non-scientists to describe whatever it is that they want to believe or assert.

This is why TV ads like to imply that 'scientists' have tested their products and why goobers like Edgar Cayce and other mediums laced their readings with words they had borrowed from science.

Of course, if one doesn't care if one is being misleading, he might use words to mean anything he wishes.

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#23612 - 09/25/07 02:47 PM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Mr. Wizard Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 10
Loc: IL
New member - excuse me for butting in, but you're on one of my favorite topics and I hope you don't mind my 2 cents.

Among the aspects of science already mentioned is that it (real science) operates within a very restricted set of rules of evidence, which makes the study of art and/or morality difficult, but not impossible, imo.

Science is limited to mutually agreeable definitions of reality and most of the definitions involved in these two topics are fuzzy from the scientific perspective. Doesn't make them wrong - just makes "scientific analysis" difficult.

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#23615 - 09/25/07 03:33 PM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: Mr. Wizard]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
Megastar

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 1940
Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
One can use a hammer as a screw-driver, but most of us would realize that's a waste of time.

"Scientific analysis" of morality as a statement of what we "ought to do", for example, is nonsense. OTOH, what might be open to scientific scrutiny is, for a few examples,
1) examination of brainwave activity in humans (on micro level)
2) activity of humans acting in various situations
Both of these examples clearly fall under psychology, neurology, or sociology.

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#23619 - 09/25/07 10:11 PM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Mr. Wizard Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 10
Loc: IL
Yes, although you might get an argument against defining psychology as a science.

My neighbor, as a christian-type philosopher, always criticizes science for its inability to "answer the big questions". (Of course, he primarily wants to fight over the 'truth' of evolution.) But, imo, science isn't really set up to handle those big philosophical questions. In their hubris, some scientists have attempted overall ideas, like the Big Bang theory, but all that is really based on philosophy and strays from what I think of as true science. Nothing wrong with these ideas, just label them as they are.

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#23623 - 09/26/07 05:09 AM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: Mr. Wizard]
Ellis Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
I agree MrW. There's nothing wrong with this interesting topic, it just isn't science or aanywhere near it.

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#23626 - 09/26/07 05:34 AM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: Ellis]
Amaranth Rose II Offline

Superstar

Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 962
Loc: Southeast Nebraska, USA
That's why it is in the Not Quite Science forum, where it belongs.

I don't think corporations can have morals, because they aren't human.
_________________________
If you don't care for reality, just wait a while; another will be along shortly. --A Rose


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#23627 - 09/26/07 06:52 AM Re: Do corporations have any moral responsibility? [Re: Amaranth Rose II]
Ellis Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
I think that is too easy a cop out, to say they are not human. I feel that they are all too human and show our species at its worst sometimes. These corporations are made up of people some of whom do have scruples. Some corporations do have a type of morality and often practise philanthropy of one sort or another. If the company has inclusive policies and treats its workers fairly and with decency and produces goods which are ethically 'clean' then its probably not good for us to be too cynical. But how many corporations would fall into this category? It is a possibility, but while a company's main goal is to make money for shareholders those who are more ethical will remain in the minority, and always at risk from the raids of the others.

Capitalism is not for wimps!

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