We turn to the topic of compliance
Reasons why people don't do their duty
People who have no conscience:
Aren't such openminded people just crazy? Don't they care about society?
They do care about society "collectively"; they see no reason for them individually to comply
The rogue business values society and the moral principles that keep it intact in a collective way: it is interested in having people (other people) keep their moral obligations; the rogue business doesn't see the individual value of it following those rules, especially when there is more to gain by selectively not following them. This selective non-compliance makes rational sense in the context of everyone else's compliance-once everyone become openminded, all gains disappear. But the rogue business doesn't advocate that!
External constraints: constraints imposed on businesses from society, to make unethical action impossible or not worth the risk
Internal constraints: constraints imposed on businesses by itself, to stop it from acting unethically ("conscience")
Two kinds of external constraints--and neither of them work well
1. fear-we can scare the would-be sensible knaves into following the rules, if the social costs of acting unethically are great. This will work only if the cost is sufficiently grim, and it is questionable whether our modern society has the power or the will to make a sufficiently grim cost a realistic fear. Many criminals get off, even get rewarded for their misdeeds (book deals). Many social sub-groups sympathize with the offender. Only a small fraction of those who offend are detected. Costs of getting caught do not outweigh the benefits for some offenders.
2. Ignorance: the idea is that we can con the sensible knaves with fables and rhetoric, and make them think that you just can't do unethical things. Work only if the ill effects of doing wrong were attached naturally to the offense. But they aren't. They are only attached socially-so if you aren't found out by society, no penalty is imposed. And if your society doesn't even recognize a moral evil as bad, they won't be found out.
Three reasons in the text to reject this view (pg46):
1. the view is implausible-not all the constituents of happiness require that we get "our piece of the pie"
2. unethical people are often driven by noble and unworldly motives (religious wars)
3. Villians may display considerable self-discipline!
Different kinds of reasons for acting .
Horticultural reasons (this will help your garden grow)
Social reasons (this will keep good relations with my neighbor)
Legal reasons (this is the law)
Religious reasons (this will please God)
Economic reasons (this will make money, position my business for success)
Moral Reasons (this is ethically right)
what makes a reason a moral reason?
- thoughtful and reflective
- expresses concern for others
- expresses a moral value
What makes a reason for doing something rational? When the means chosen are appropriate to the end in mind
What makes a reason for doing something rational for me? When the reason is rational simply and the end is one of my concerns. ("What from a moral standpoint you have reason to do, you do not automatically have reason to do." The "moral ought" is to be distinguished from the "rational ought." pg48)
If having a reason for doing something depends on having interests
or concern for the particular standpoint out of which the reason arises, if
we can show that people have (or should have) concern for the moral standpoint,
then we can show that acting ethically is rational for everyone.
[Aside: what sort of thing are we doing now?
What will count as success for what we are doing?]
ATTEMPT 1 (rest of Ch 4): Good business is good ethics. How does this work (our given concern for business success is hooked up to good ethics, if we desire to succeed a business, then (if we are enlightened) we will choose the path of ethics and virtue.
The truth of this depends on the claim that unethical practices if discovered are disastrous for business-that's what a "clear-headed, relevantly person" should realize.
But this is not necessarily true either. Bad ethics is sometimes good business, i.e., a relevantly informed and clear-headed person would (should) rationally choose unethical actions if
ATTEMPT 2. The life well-lived/Virtues of character (Chapter Five)