Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Morality – why people are so stupid

Recently, I sent my son an intriguing FT article: “Tom Peters: McKinsey’s work on opioid sales represents a new low” (see Sunday’s blog). He replied by stating: “Profits over people mentality”. I replied by stating that this is often common but extreme in this case. Subsequently, I wondered whether (a lack of) morality is yet another reason for human stupidity.

You may argue that Money = Power. I agree. In that case, yesterday’s blog on Power in monism would apply. Consultants, however, do not directly profit from their advice. Perhaps indirectly through staff bonuses. The profits belong to the principal who hired the consultants. 

The advice by McKinsey & Company to Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of OxyContin, lacked scruples – a.k.a. a moral compass. Hence, the consultancy firm “agreed to pay nearly $600 million to settle investigations into its role in promoting sales of OxyContin” (Wiki).

My son’s remark referred to the 3 P’s or triple bottom line: peopleplanet and profits. These 3 P’s are benchmark criteria for sustainability and/or Corporate Social Responsibility

People often blame capitalism for ruining our planet. I wonder how they explain similar events in non-capitalist countries. In my view, humans ruin the planet and regardless of their ideology

In my concept of Needs, Wants & Beliefs, all lifeforms are in the Needs stage (eg, food, sex, shelter, water). Some animals (and all humans) have migrated to the Wants stage (eg, birds, monkeys). Only humans have arrived at the Beliefs stage (eg, the 7 Belief systems). 

Morality is often a part of Faith & Religion, one of the 7 Belief systems. However, I suppose that morality is a philosophical belief in and of it itself. The customs in a country define its morality (eg, eating dogs for food). Right and wrong is less universal than many assume (eg, my 2018 blog).

The morality of most – if not all – people appears to include a notion that our self-interest is more important than our collective interest (eg, our planet). A synonym is egoism, “the philosophy concerned with the role of the self, or ego, as the motivation and goal of one’s own action”.

“We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid.” A quote by Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011), “an English intellectual, polemicist, and socio-political critic”.

Something Stupid (1967) by Frank Sinatra ft. Nancy Sinatra

artist-1, artist-2, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2, Wiki-3

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise


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