Q:

What is the meaning of "moral responsibility?"

A:

The term "moral responsibility" refers to the duty that individuals and groups have to act in accordance with the moral principles that are important to their social communities and to humanity at large. When morality is allowed to lapse or to take on areas that are beyond its scope, the outcome is sometimes tragic.

One of the more egregious lapses in moral authority by a society in all of history took place during World War II, as Germany established an entire network of work camps and death camps designed to exterminate the Jewish race as well as gypsies, homosexuals and anyone else whom Adolf Hitler deemed unsuitable. Under the gaze of the rest of the German population, Jews were slowly robbed of all of their rights, beginning with business restrictions but then extending to their ability to attend school, retain German citizenship and ultimately live anywhere other than one of these camps.

The recent movie "The Wolf of Wall Street" details some of the excesses that stockbrokers indulged in during the greedy phases of the history of financial markets. While not all companies engaged in fraud, many of them pushed the boundaries of what was legal, talking their clients into making unnecessary and often unprofitable trades in order to boost commissions. This greed that came at the cost of the money of many individuals who did not have much cash to lose in the first place was highly immoral.


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