An ethical quandary

The drastic change in the way everyone is living now has a not unexpected side-effect: The new needs of people during this pandemic are creating new economic opportunities for those of an entrepreneurial bent.

I am not talking here about frauds, scam artists, people who take advantage of the vulnerable and defenseless. I’m talking about inventive people filling real needs.

There is something slightly off about the situation. Inevitably, some of those who are successful at this will get rich while others are suffering. On the other hand, if what is on offer makes peoples’ lives better, fills a real need, eases suffering in some way, then there is ethical virtue here.

I wonder, what are the ethical rules that should be guiding such initiatives. Are there particular boundaries here that should not be crossed? Or is any commercial offering an absolute good if it helps people who are in a state of suffering?

I suspect this subject has been studied before, in earlier times when calamity has befallen a society. Does anyone know of any analysis from an earlier historical era that we can look to?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *