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Philosophy 2074F/G Chapter Notes -Cultural Relativism, Nepotism

Course Code
PHIL 2074F/G
Rodney Parker

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For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in
him should not perish but have eternal life. --John 3:16
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one come to the
Father except through me.”--John 14:6
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.--
1 Corinthians 13:13
Sins destroy you, Jesus saves you God blessing!
Values in Tension: Ethics Away from Home
---Thomas Donaldson
For businesspeople who live and work abroad, what happens when a host country’s
ethical standards seem lower than the home country’s?
Without a backdrop of shared attitudes, and without familiar laws and judicial
procedures that define standards of ethical conduct, certainty is elusive(难难难难.
Competing answers.
Cultural relativism--no culture’s ethics are better than any others; therefore there are
no international rights and wrongs. (creed: when in Rome, do as the Roman do) In
many countries, the combination of ineffective enforcement and inadequate
regulations leads to behavior by unscrupulous companies that is clearly wrong. It is
morally blind. There are fundamental values that cross cultures, and companies must
uphold them. It has inadequacy
Ethical imperialism--directs people to do everywhere exactly as they do at home.
(also inadequate) theory behind is absolutism. Three problematic principles:
1. Believe that there is a single list of truths---but many believe that different cultural
traditions must be respected. (Japanese think more highly of loyalty, but the US is
liberty, and it is hard to conclude that truth lies on one side or the other)
2. The truths must be expressed only with one set of concepts---some absolutist insist
that the language of basic rights provide the framework for any discussion of ethics.
But the entire cultural traditions cannot be ignored. Such as the notion of right. The
term is not found in either Confucian or Buddhist traditions.
3. Belief in a global standard of ethical behavior---very low wages may be considered
unethical in rich, advanced countries, but developing nations may be acting ethically
if they encourage investment and improve living standards by accepting low wages.
If company takes an absolutist approach, it can make disastrous mistake.
Then what is the answer?
Balancing the extremes: three guiding principles
Companies must help managers distinguish between practices that are merely
different and those that are wrong.
Relativists--nothing is sacred and nothing is wrong
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