Student ID: 1500119
BUSM1813: Law, Ethics and Sustainability
Tutor: Doug Wotherspoon
My wife and I recently moved to a village. Since our move there we have become very friendly with our nearest neighbour, who is an organic dairy farmer living with his wife and son. Ever since moving here the farmer has been very helpful in welcoming us to the neighbourhood, He has offered and done some work around the house and garden.
I have been aware that he and his family are finding it particularly difficult in making ends meet, due to the fall in the price of milk. We recently had a conversation where the farmer has confided in me saying he has plans to sell some of his dairy herd. After ...view middle of the document...
The disadvantage or consequences of this decision could be the farmer and his family falling further into financial difficulties, which I would have to live with. This would mean I am only fulfilling my short term desire of alerting the bank of his activities. Per contra my long term desire of my wife and me living happily with a good social life.
However on the other hand I could take into account the friendship I have built since moving here, and how strongly I value my friendship. In contrast to alerting the Co-op bank, I could also act in the interest of myself by protecting the farmer and the friendship and turning a blind eye.
The intensive rearing of chickens could be seen as not taking into consideration the welfare of the chickens. The Co-op bank specifies what it does and does not condone, in their ethical principles when giving out loans to businesses or organisations. In this instance the Co-op bank states the following; they will not provide banking services to any business or organisations that are involved in intensive farming methods (e.g. caged egg production), blood sports (e.g. the use of animals or birds in sports to catch, fight or kill each other) or fur trade. In spite of the farmer confiding in me by telling me he intends on rearing intensive chicken farming, and giving false information to the bank of the reasons for the loan. At no point did the farmer suggest it is against any of the ethical policies the Co-op bank does not condone in.
“Business ethics can mean different things to different people” James et al., (2005). The disadvantages of choosing ethical egoism as a tool to make my decision is clear in the above statements. I am stuck between choosing the fondness I have for the ethical polices the Co-op bank possess, which after the above findings it can be argued there are flaws and lee-ways for businesses or organisations to exploit. On the other hand the friendship I have built with the farmer and the possibilities of this friendship taking a turn for the worst. If I am reporting him for lying to the bank, it would be hypocritical of me not to let him know that I have reported him. Although it would not be classed as illegal if I did not. I believe that if you are going to choose ethical egoism as a decision making tool, you need to have a definitive line of choices, of which there are no regrets whether it is your short term desires or long term interest. After all the findings I feel it is my duty to inform the bank of the farmers wrong doings, to stop people like himself and other organisations who try to exploit the Co-op bank. After all “a lie is a lie is a lie”.
Utilitarianism is to produce “the greatest happiness, for the greatest number of people” Bentham (1987). I have the choice of reporting the farmer to the Co-op bank and not reporting him, to get an outcome, where by the percentage of people that are happy is greater than those who may not be with whatever decision I choose...