The Current Crisis in American Morality
Philosophers should remember the example set by Socrates who saw himself as a gadfly sent to his city, which he likened to a horse, to sting the horse, that is, to question its beliefs and practices: "It seems to me that God has attached me to this city to perform the office of such a fly, and all day long I never cease to settle here, there, and everywhere, rousing, persuading, reproving every one of you."21 Just as Socrates did, ethicists should be speaking out more, questioning the values people seem to hold and offering up for discussion, and possible implementation, their best attempts to state what our values should be.
To conclude, I have argued that several features of Big Business in the United States, and its influence on our society, have caused far too many Americans to stop thinking about what is morally right as they choose their actions. An ethical vacuum has been created that Big Business has been only too glad to fill with questionable values that Americans have absorbed without consciously embracing. The time is right, and the stakes have never been higher, for us to reflect on our values and change our thinking and behavior. Big Business and Philosophy each have important roles to play -- one because of the power it now has and the other because of the power it ought to have -- if we are to improve the moral climate in this country.
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