Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pornography is more ethical than tobacco least, that's the finding of the most recent research into charity investment funds.

What surprised me most isn't the ordering of what's most and least ethical, but the gap between them: nearly 90% avoid tobacco, while only 36% avoid alcohol.

But what are these ethical views based on? In the case of this survey, it was principally the fear of reputational risk to the charity. But other institutions base their ethical decisions on what their customers view to be the 'most' ethical from a short-list of options (for example, The Co-operative Bank).

But what should we as consumers, citizens and otherwise general influencers of the world at large be then basing our ethics on?
I wrote a piece a few years ago
arguing that faith-based entrepreneurs could teach us a lot as a movement in this regard as their ethics are based on their faith which in turn is rooted in scriptures and theologies that have remained pretty consistent over the centuries and millennia – and its important that as social entrepreneurs we are aware of the implications of ethics changing: remember that in the grand scheme of things, its not that long ago that slavery was deemed to be ethically acceptable...

Then there's also the argument that its only by actually investing these 'unethical' industries that we can hope to change them for the better.

No comments:

Post a Comment