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THE DIFFERENT NORMATIVE ETHICAL THEORIES

COMMONLY USED IN BUSINESS DECISION MAKING


MORAL POSITIVISM THEORY OF THOMAS HOBBES
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
developed the social contract
theory of political institutions,
employing commitment to some
form of psychological egoism.
Hobbes
rejected
medieval
scholastic philosophy, preferring
the new, modern, scientific ways of
thinking on the rise in England and
Europe.
He studies different forms of government.
Hobbess major work is titled:
Leviathan Or The Matter, Form, and Power of A
Commonwealth Ecclesiastical and Civil
-He argued that people are naturally wicked and
could not be trusted to govern.
Right is the frontispiece of the book, as it was published in
1651
He believed that an absolute monarchy was best.
Hobbes wants us to consider the relations that emerge
among human beings in light of our common human nature,
prior to there being any society or government imposing
rules upon us. In doing this, he hopes to show
why we need government
the character that government must have
what our duties are to our government

In doing this, Hobbes is rejecting the Great Chain of being,


and with it, the Divine Right of Kings, as the rational basis for
governmental authority.
ETHICAL PHILOSOPHY

Hobbes believes that human being are SELFISH


creatures
o

If men are naturally in a state of war,


why do they always carry armsand why
do they have keys to lock their doors?

The basis of all moral laws, is LAWS OF THE STATE


GOOD- when it is in accordance with the state
EVIL- when it is forbidden by the state
Governments are created to protect people from their
own selfishness and evil.
He believes in the rule of a King
Hobbes wrote All mankind is in a perpetual and
restless desire for power that stops only in death.
War of every man against every man and
make life solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and
short
BUSINESS APPLICATION
Business must follow laws and government regulation
Business enterprises must create company policies to
maintain discipline and order within the organization

Business organization must promote the common good


and the interest of the majority
Businessmen and managers must be law-abiding
citizens

while the second statement is arbitrary depending upon


Gods judgement of what he thinks is good.
Socratess dilemma with Euthyphro:
o

Is the Law righteous (just) because God ordains


it, or does God ordain it because it is Just?

Abrahams problem:
DIVINE CREATION THEORY
This theory says that there is a divine being, who has
set down a finite series of rules that adheres claim can
provide guidance to most, if not all, moral decisions
As a Metaethical theory, DCT states that
Good = approved of by God.
Right = commanded by God.
As a Normative theory, DCT states that actions are right
when they conform to God have will or respond to his
commands.
The Euthyphro dilemma
According to Plato, a man called Euthyphro was asked:
Does God call good acts good because they are
morally good? or

Are the acts morally good because God told us to do


them?

Explaination:
The first statement are justified with reasons which
means that God approves it because it is good in nature

Religion does not always command what seems


morally right

Knowledge and faith:


o

How do we know with certainty what God


commands, and when (or whom) we are to
obey?

Some Important Contributions of Religion to Morality


(Cook)
Religions powerfully influence the sort of person one
tries to become (character)
Religious belief offers a powerful incentive to be moral
Religion is a powerful argument against relativism
(although religious beliefs may be consistent with
moral pluralism)
Religious convictions heighten the moral sensibilities
and interpretive powers of most individuals
Analysis of Divine Mandate Theory
Divine Command theories assume belief in either
divine beings or exemplary individuals.

Divine Command theories cannot cover all possible


cases of moral decision.
Divine Command theories generally have a no
exception clause, either explicit or implicit.
Command Theory has what may be called the
Euthyphro Problem from the platonic dialogue which
it originated.

Business Application
A good action (or an acceptable business decision) is
an action that conforms to the commandments of God
as reflected in the Bible and the teachings of the
church.
A good action (or an acceptable business decision) is
an action that conforms to the teachings exemplary
non-divine beings like Buddha or Prophet Mohammad