Consider a Middle Eastern or Oriental Philosophy or “Wisdom” with Which You Are Familiar and Outline What Special or New Moral Insights It May Bring to Western Based Business Ethics Perspectives.

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Date Submitted: 11/12/2013 02:56 PM

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Francis Fukuyama, the very well-known Japanese scholar, wrote in The End of History? (1989) that the History will end when capitalism and democratic values will be widespread and accepted by the entire world. [1] Since the cold war (1947-1990), a lot of people have believed capitalism and democracy are ‘the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried from time to time’ (Sir Winston Churchill, November 11th, 1947, in London) [2]. Nevertheless, today, strong arguments have been raised against this system, blamed for amongst many others, unemployment and wrong wealth distribution. Some alternatives are tried to be found to limit the many drawbacks of capitalism: taxation on very high income or subsidies for the destitute and the unemployed for instance. However, there is an option that still has not been capitalized: The teachings of middle-east’s philosophy and wisdom. In particular, the Koran can be at the root of moral values and an ethical code not only for Muslims but the entire world when it comes to do business. Looking closer to the Koran, we would be surprised to realize how accurate and relevant it remains, a couple of centuries later. What is truly interesting is that the Koran prohibits the Riba, that is to say the charging of interests on loans, Gharar, i.e. speculation, and any activity which the mainstream economists would classify as the earnings of ‘economic rents’ as it considers those activities as absolute sins [3]. Also, a good living Muslim is expected to give at least one tenth of his income to those less fortunate than himself, as a sign of fairness and solidarity [4].

Therefore, we can wonder how the Koran, and especially the Riga, and Gharar may bring new moral insights to western based business ethics perspectives. First, we would try to define properly those two terms and try to understand how the Koran deals with those concepts. Then, we will take an interest in what happens in western countries as regards to...