Philosophy / Corporations Should Be Held To The Same Standards As Individuals
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Autor: anton 05 November 2010
Words: 503 | Pages: 3
Former President of the United States Abraham Lincoln once quoted "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruptions in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the predijuces of the people until all the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the republic is destroyed." Because I too share the worries of Abraham Lincoln, I stand firmly Resolved: the actions of corporations ought to be held to the samed moral standards as the actions of individuals. Let me deviate and make an observation about the resolution. The resolution refers to corporations being held to the same moral standards of individuals. This means that individuals are already being held to some sort of standard.
To clarify today's round, I offer some definitions from the Black Law's Dictionary.
Action Ð’â€“ conduct or behavior
Corporation - an entity having authority under law to act as a single person distinct from the shareholders who own it and having rights to issue stock and exist indefinitely: a group or succession of persons established in accordance with legal rules into a legal or juristic person that has legal personality distinct from the natural persons who make it up, exists indefinitely apart from them, and has the legal powers that its constitution give it. I would like to offer some notes on this definition. The first of which is that an entity, in this case a corporation, has constitutional powers just like all other individuals in the United States.
Morality - Morality Is conformity with recognized rules of correct, a system of duties and ethics
Ought Ð’â€“ a duty or obligation. Let's stray from the debate for a moment a make a brief conclusion about this definition. By affirming the resolution we only affirm a preexisting moral duty of society to uphold strong morals.
Standard Ð’â€“ a model accepted as correct
Individual Ð’â€“ a single person rather than a group
Make a note that there is no intention to implement the resolution since this is only value debate.
The resolution asks us to analyze whether or not corporations should be held to a moral standard. Thus, I find that societal welfare is a very topical value under the resolution. We note here that the criterion for societal welfare in best put in the words of 19th century Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative: "Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law." In other words, the most sufficient amount of societal welfare would come about by holding corporations to the standards that individual must live by. By using Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative, an entity may not consciously cause harm to the individuals within a society, but will instead use its power to create an overall better society.
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