Monday, 11 June 2007

Whose ethics?

I was intrigued to hear mention on the news ofglobal arms-trader BAE systems wanting to set up an ethics committee. I could nominate a few people to serve on that, but the company might find that, actually, nearly all their activies are unethical. I suspect they are more interested in the rather more limited sphere of ethics, those that relate to business-transactions rather than the actual goods being traded - shame really! Campaign Against Arms Trade's briefing on them - BAE: a company out of control might be of interest here...

Also mildly encouraging is the Church of England's decision to raise its voice about the use of Manchester Cathedral as a back drop of a Sony computer game that depicts animated violence. But again, some might wish to take this a lot further. Isn't human life sacred wherever it is, and having its destruction as a form of entertainment sickening regardless of the visual context in which it is supposed to be happening?

The important thing in both these cases is to take encouragement that the kind of concerns we have are shared by many others. Raising them in public can often be dispiriting, but occasionally it just seems to catch the media's attention and some shift in what is and what isn't ethically acceptable (Or at least a discussion about it) can happen.