Chapter 10: What is the ethics behind our ideologies?
The case study on Chapter 10 questions an individual responsibility on the pretext of business to what it might bring in terms of political and military interest overseas. Mr. Dan was acting carefully in exporting non military products to Turkey. He has just been appointed as the new export manager and he was wary about Aishagu Import-Export Trading Company, a Turkish company. It surprised him that the owner of this Turkish company happened to be a college classmate and dorm mate, Mr. Mustafa. He suddenly remembered the political intent of this guy and wondered if the exports are being used to sustain his “ discreet political or military activities.” Mr. Dan was worried if Mr. Mustafa is helping support his people, the Kurds, in an anomalous activity concerning their political independence. He was reviewing the export process and legalization. Mr. Dan was carefully assessing whether or not he must continue or cease exporting photographic equipment and supplies. This is because he knew very well the situation of the Kurds in Turkey, as retold by Mustafa all through their college years (Wolfe & Gudorf 220). He knows the Kurds’ causes and how they might be helping their own people in a revolt.
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In the Islamic point of view, nationalism is not a virtue. People are bound to their religion and to their Prophet and they must be faithful and loyal to their faith more than their country. It is their faith rather than their geography that counts (p. 225). A Muslim fighter dies in the name of his faith or obedience to Allah and not by his allegiance to his nation or race. However, this has led to some tension in the tug of war between religion and ideology. A special note however, rests on the issue of kinship or blood lines which their religion recognizes more than the geographic or political ideology. Hence, ethnicity is a left out issue (p. 226). The Kurds is an example of this. Thus, their political independence and socio-economic freedom are not won.
In the Catholic perspective, the idea of conscience is very important. The Catholic Church considers it a general conviction for the Catholic believers to be called by their conscience in acting out what they believe is morally right (p. 227). Hence, in the case of Mr. Dan, he is experiencing a dilemma whether or not to supply the goods because he sees beyond the mere material use of the goods but more of where and how the money or the materials are intended. To do the right thing is thus, crucial to every Catholic believer.
The sensitivity of the issue lies not in the material essence of the transaction but in the aftermath. Hence, Christians view their accountability in the direct outcomes of things but they also view it in terms of the inherent outcomes. For instance, they frown upon gambling even when it the money won is used to sustain the poor brethrens. In this case, Mr. Dan’s conscience beckons since he feels there is a moral obligation on his part to suspend the supply as he deem it to be used for illegal activities. Meanwhile, the Islamic view of doing everything in the name of faith is different. I think that Mr. Dan is overly sensitive in this illustration since it is not in his hand where or how the supplies or its sales go. He must not be bothered by it.
Chapter 11: Which takes center stage in a case of a conflict of interest?
The case study in Chapter 11 tells of a conflict of interest by a Lakota Sioux, a Native Indian who was orphaned and cared for by a non native. Miss Margaret grew up without the grasp of her heritage and culture yet she has a heart for the Indian people and their reservation areas. The problem arose when she replaced the head of the Project Development Division of the Crayrock Mining Company. In a consultation with her family, Margaret realized the strength of the conflict because she was made to realize the value of the reservation area to her native people and how the extensive mining project will destroy not only their lands but also their health, their future resources and their own race. She admonished to make the right steps based on her conscience. This conscience is burdened by her respect for her religion, the environment and her regard for her job.
As a Native American, the dilemma being faced by Margaret is not just on her present conscience as shaped by her Christianity and upbringing and her respect of nature. There is an inherent identity and belongingness which makes her unsettled. Part of her tribal identity recognizes and takes part in nature (p. 246). Being an Indian, she feels part of herself as deeply connected with nature. There is an unexplainable spiritual nature to this connection. The reservation area is a blessed and sacred ground that even when Margaret did not fully realize it, it is embedded within her being (p. 247). Hence, the struggles she is experiencing is not just because of her professional ethics and her personal conscience, it is deeper than that.
In the Hindu interpretation, the ethic and native communities all have their own interpretation of their environment and they have their distinct relationship with the natural world (p. 253). Margaret’s crisis of conscience is validated by the genuine and inherent connection of a human being to the Mother Nature (p. 255). Hence, it is but natural that Margaret feels that way. This is also the reason why she feels an automatic drive to protect the reservations and her native people. The commercialist venture is also an inherent issue which Margaret is deeply against with. She internally did not find a god connection between exploiting the environments and leaving the people powerless for a community which they have cared for way back their great, great grandfathers.
In both illustrations, the classic dilemma of conflict of interests rest in the issue of land ownership, land grabbing, environmental protection versus its exploitation, disempowerment of an ethnic community and their cultural heritage, among others (p. 257). Hence, the clash of different personal and professional ideologies was represented in the case of Margaret’s dilemma. I actually believe in the oneness of human beings with nature. There is a distinct relationship and connection between us, the natural habitat and the whole world. There is also a special connection between people and their welfare is imminent, regardless of what religion you subscribe to. In short, the ethical issues in this case go beyond mere religious difference. It goes deeper into cultural heritage and beliefs which are all sanctified in each one of us. Each religion actually speaks of environmental stewardship. Thus, the root problem rests on the greediness of business entities and they utter disregard for the environment, more than anything else.
Wolfe, Regina Wentzel & Gudorf, Christine E. Ethics & World Religions: Cross-cultural Case Studies. New York: Orbis Book, 1999. Print.