Business vs Morals.

In his brilliant essay “On Duties”, Cicero expounds his conception of the best way to live, behave, and observe moral obligations. He specifically gives an example of a grain dealer who arrives at the port with his ship and is aware that there is plenty of more grain on the way to the same port. Should he inform the sellers that this is the case, and in doing so destroy his own chances of selling the grain at a higher-than-normal price?

It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.

Michael Corleone

Most people nowadays would answer this with a resounding yes, giving reasons such as the fact that the seller is simply offering goods at a certain price, and not actively deceiving the buyers.

Or that the seller may well have the responsibility to shareholders to sell at the highest price.

The price of a product is an incredible thing when studied in-depth, and contains an incredible amount of information that allows the efficient distribution of resources.

But what about our responsibility towards humanity?

There is a huge danger of running into one of the numerous economic fallacies when using feelings instead of logic, but is it not always easy to stay logical, even when it is the best course of action.

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