Selected Essays of Dean A. Shepherd
Chapter 10: “I Care About Nature, But..”: Disengaging Values in Assessing Opportunities that Cause Harm
Götz Werner, founder and owner of dm (Germany’s largest chain of pharmacies) has repeatedly stated that society “cannot develop if we destroy nature” and has further noted that dm customers expect the company to sell only products consistent with this credo. However, dm is known to sell products containing palm oil produced in unsustainable ways that can ultimately result in the destruction of rainforests. When confronted with this fact, Mr.Werner commented, “If a producer makes showergel that customers want [to buy], we sell it. It is the responsibility of the producers [to comply with environmental standards]”(ARD, 2012). Situations such as this, in which individuals overtly state strong moral values yet act in ways inconsistent with them, pose a paradox: How can such persons express strong support for certain values but then openly violate them?
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