You write that:
“Lucky Draws” and other related techniques (such as advertising etc.) deserve to be analyzed on the basis of their socio-economic effects particularly from a moral perspective. I am more inclined to suggesting that those companies, who have the ability to survive and prosper in the market without resorting to such sales promotion techniques which create artificial demand for their products, should consider it binding upon themselves, from a socio-moral perspective, to avoid resorting to such practices.
It is true that in times like these marketing is used to create need or demand which you have termed as ‘artificial’ demand here, then you recommend companies to refrain from it if possible looking at it form a socio-economic aspect.
My point here is that I think the issue to much broader. Specially when we are talking about a capitalistic economy, the driving factor or the goal for every organization for survival is to ‘make profit’, and to do so they have to look for new niche markets which requires competitiveness.
Do you really think that in such an economic model not doing so is ever possible….because I sure don’t?
I agree with you that in a socio-economic framework which is based on a completely financial view of welfare and well being, the given idea seems quite impracticable. There is not much that I intended to offer on your comments, as I do not disagree with them. However, I would like to present a few points that I consider relevant with your comment.
Firstly, I would like to acknowledge that there is a huge possibility for a difference of opinion in the case of applied ethics. The important thing is that everyone would agree that it would definitely not be ethical to, practically or psychologically, influence people unfairly to gain economic and financial advantage from them. Therefore, it would be quite reasonable to assume that many people would not agree with my statement, which you have cited, and would consider no moral ill in the referred activities. It is in view of such potential disagreements in practical and applied issues that legislations are made, if the issue is considered to be of adequately significant.
Secondly, I am sure we would also agree on the point that even in the absence of legislations on a given issue, we must always try to avoid involving ourselves in activities which we, in our individual capacities, consider to be unethical or immoral.
Thirdly, every act of morality and ethics – whether at the individual’s level or at the organizational or the collective levels – has a cost attached to it. This cost can be physical, financial, emotional, social or of any other nature that one values. It is the preparedness of the decision-maker to do what he considers to be right, and to willingly bear the cost attached to it, for no other reason but the realization that what is right must be done, which makes ethical and moral behavior commendable. A person, who believes in God and the Day of Resurrection, shuns all acts that he considers to be immoral or unethical, even in the face of the apparent and immediate gains that he could have derived from them, and chooses the path of moral and ethical behavior, even in the face of the immediate costs attached to such behavior, solely because of his reliance in God’s promise of ultimate justice.
Finally, whatever the socio-economic model that one may be living in, there will always be a cost that the decision-maker will have to bear for moral action. It is true that the circumstances and the environment can be supportive or unsupportive towards various attitudes, yet these factors can never completely eliminate the costs attached to moral and ethical decisions.
Keeping in mind the foregoing points, it should be clear that, whatever the socio-economic system that one might be living in, every believer is required to adhere to what he considers to be moral and ethical behavior. Although, as I have accepted earlier that there can be a difference of opinion in issues belonging to the category of applied ethics and, therefore, a difference of opinion in the particular issue discussed in the statement that you have cited.
I hope this helps.
March 4, 2005