Why Is Obedience to the Law Not Enough to Be an Ethical Person or an Ethical Business

By 13 Aralık 2022 No Comments

Or to put the question another way: do you avoid taking illegal substances because they are dangerous to your health, expensive, often sold as part of a broader criminal activity that you don`t want to support, because you don`t want to end up in jail yourself, or simply because the law says so? How important is it that the law requires or prohibits you from doing something when you are wondering if you should follow that law? Some legal philosophers argue that there is a general moral obligation to obey the law—that the fact that a law requires certain behavior should be morally important to us, regardless of what the law actually says. Others argue that the law itself makes little moral difference and that we often decide whether we follow the law for practical reasons or for moral reasons related to the required behavior. Even some of the most zealous law students will think they have the right to ignore the occasional law in a situation that affects no one, or to follow the law for reasons other than simply because “it`s the law.” Our own moral and practical judgments are often relevant to obedience to the law, and if a law does not reflect moral consensus in society or usefully coordinate behavior, then it can be ignored as unnecessary or irrelevant if citizens know they will not be caught in the act of violating. The existence of a general obligation to obey the law is one of the “great questions” of legal philosophy and is related to your definition of “law”. This article aims to describe some of the key elements of this issue and place them in the broader debate about the nature of the right, which is the really central issue of case law. Psychological evidence suggests that people tend to respect and follow those they believe have legitimate authority. This can cause problems if it causes people not to exercise their own independent ethical judgment. Publishing such a code is relatively easy. Several hundred code examples are available on the Internet, many of which are designed specifically for small businesses. A small business owner can easily write one-page code and distribute it to employees if they see the need. Many small businesses have found it helpful in the past to publish policy statements that deal with human resources policy, including hours of operation, vacations, personal time accumulation, etc. A code of ethics along the same lines can be easy to create and serve an important purpose: to emphasize the owner`s commitment to ethical behavior.

Conflicts and dilemmas pose particular challenges for ethical decisions. If the facts are unclear and the legal issues are uncertain or the interests of the parties conflict, an ethical person should decide what to do based on established ethical standards of conduct. This is where moral philosophies come into play, such as: Do not violate the rights of others and do not abide by the rules, unless there is a valid ethical consideration to do otherwise. When moving from personal behaviour to business situations, there is a relationship between law and ethics. In some cases, law and ethics overlap and what is perceived as unethical is also illegal. In other situations, they do not overlap. In some cases, what is perceived as unethical is always legal, and in other cases, what is illegal is perceived as ethical. A behavior may be perceived as ethical by one person or group, but not ethical by another. To further complicate this dichotomy of behaviour, laws may have been passed that effectively indicate the government`s position and likely the majority opinion on the behaviour. At the same time, the current preoccupation with codes of ethics produces very voluminous documents, sometimes reaching the length of books. A Google search for the term “code of ethics” yielded 17,900,000 hits in January 2006, and a Yahoo search yielded 12,000,000. Much of the current interest may be due to recent corporate scandals and the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

Does the current interest mean that a small business must formulate its own code of ethics? In most cases, it won`t hurt. Although law often embodies ethical principles, law and ethics are far from being juxtaposed. The law does not prohibit many actions that would be widely condemned as unethical. And the opposite is true. The law also prohibits actions that certain groups perceive as ethical.