Ethical issues ("Screens") - What should be considered?

Table of Contents of this page

General issues


How do you feel about using animals in order to: (1) test cosmetics, medication, or other products? (2) learn through experimentation? (3) teach? (4) entertain? Does it matter if the animals experience discomfort or death? Does it matter if the animal is taken from its natural habitat?


Humans have had a great impact on the environment, and those impacts affect both humans and other animals. How do you feel about controlling the amount and kind of pollution relative to the benefits by allowing it? Pollution to the environment has three forms: (1) adding toxic materials to it, (2) rearranging it for our own purposes, and (3) removing pertinent parts from it such as by mining, forestry, oil, and gas industries. Is it important to promote positive impacts to the environment, such as by fostering use of renewable resources and less-polluting products and services? Some issues, such as nuclear power, have environmental proponents on both sides.

Human social causes

Economically disadvantaged people and communities (everyone is not born with the same benefits to succeed). Non-profit organizations.

Long-term benefit to society

This is a very difficult issue to consider. For each issue.

Religious cause

Investment decisions and non-religious purchases should not be based on religious reasons that lack an ethical basis. Doing so would be religious discrimination. A valid ethical issue to support is the right for each person to choose and practice her own beliefs as long as they don't infringe on other people's rights.

Corporate behavior

Treatment of employees and other laborers

Should you require that company have good labor relations, concerning hiring and treatment of their workers, or should each worker be given the right to freely choose to take a job that treats them poorly or violates their rights? What if the company violates US labor laws, including basic human rights? What if those rules are not followed in a foreign country, such as by operating sweatshops? What advantages can a company take of a tight labor market? Should one consider a company's employment history and policy in terms of equity and diversity, such as a non-discriminatory decision process for hiring and promoting people? Some people argue against considering this issue if the affected individuals making a free choice to accept the consequences, such as how much money they're paid.

Products and Services

Should one consider the specific products produced and the services rendered by a company? Usually individuals or the society willingly agree to use them. If the only harm is done through the willing use of a company's product, then is it enough that the company be judged by the people using the company's product, or should you avoid investing in them also? What if the product or service is alcohol, tobacco, or gambling that mainly affects the individual consumer, but indirectly affects society? Other issues are decided by and affect society as a whole. What if their purpose is primarily for military use, such as for defensive or for weapons? Should a product's or service's safety or usefulness be considered? Sometimes people are affected whether or not they personally use the product, such as with genetically modified foods/seeds, electricity from nuclear power, and food production. What if you consider a product immoral, such as pornography or contraceptives? Should you support products that help people do good?

Business practices

Should one consider a company's competitive practices, such as their use of predatory pricing, antitrust violations, or untruthful advertising? Or, is all fair in business?

Non-business contribution

Should one consider social contribution outside their normal business, such as donations of money, labor, services, or product? What if their employees volunteer for good causes? Should a company's community involvement be considered? Should a company have any responsibilities to a community other than normal ethical behavior expected of everyone? Is the company statements honest and behavior considerate in their relations with the local community? Is the company a responsible corporate citizen? Does the company invest in or donate to community organizations and development? Some people would argue that charity is each person's responsibility based on their own values, and that companies should not make those decisions, but instead focus their efforts on their products and services.

Company's behavior towards its neighbors

Local disturbances such as smell, noise, traffic, safety, hazards, visual. Affecting people other than their customers.

Corporate behavior as citizen

Obey the laws, such as paying taxes.

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