Markets and Morals (or a Tale of Mice and Man)

Notes from Planet Earth

The researchers hypothesized that observing others trading in some “commodity” that may be injurious to living creatures may make the trading for profit more acceptable — a type of crowd effect which often diminishes one’s awareness of potential harm to others and/or dilutes one’s guilt arising from the market’s negative effects on others. They also suggested that those who refused to engage in the trading in mouse’s lives may have been guided by an ethic which separates those items or actions that ethically merit a negotiable price from those items or actions that are above any price, because such a market may directly or indirectly involve harm to others.

Many of the political and economic behaviors we humans are currently struggling with involve markets which test our ethical principles. Which, if any, moral or ethical principles should guide our behavior in such markets?

Questions or suggestions from readers are welcomed; contact me at cwdingman2@frontier.com.

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