Charity Isn't Just Charity

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“Charity Isn’t Just Charity”

Many rich people in today’s society are committed to living the best life, but they are also known for having charitable foundations to give back from their successes. From this, there are many ethical and moral principles displayed. I do believe in giving to people in need, but there is always something given and received. Charities are doing good in the eyes of many, and many people don’t think negatively about any of them. Rich people aren’t the only people who donate either because some people feel the need to give a little bit of their wealth to help others. I have come to realize though when rich people donate in society today it is deemed as the best thing ever done. They get praised and noticed for giving back their successes and makes them seem morally high, but there is always a deeper purpose behind rich people giving money away. They don’t just donate for the fun of it. There is always a purpose.

After perusing news articles and searching for the right story to write my paper on, I finally found the right one. On CNN’s Business’s website, I found an article written by Laura He, “Hong Kong’s richest man donates millions to businesses hurting from protests.” Li Ka-Shing is a 91-year-old billionaire who is giving money to small businesses throughout all of Hong Kong to help assist the economy and to aid the businesses as they try to avoid recession. Even though Li Ka-Shing is donating the money from his charity foundation, this is also helping him in multitudes of ways. Li is facing pressure from the protests just like everyone else because if the economy is suffering so is he. He is also trying to give the young people of Hong Kong a way out of all the political pressure, but donating money isn’t helping the protestors it is helping the businesses.

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Cultural Relativism

Cultural Relativism is a framework that believes there are no absolute rights or wrongs and no ethical system is better than any other (Wilkens, 2011, pg. 29). No definitions are set in place for society and it eliminates the structure of societies. The pros of cultural relativism are: one would be able to set their own moral code, values diversity, and provides a broader view (Urick, 2019). The cons of cultural relativism are: there is no right or wrong, and moral improvement is impossible (Urick, 2019). Cultural Relativism has a great purpose behind it, but it lacks a structure that could lead to the utmost chaos.

Will My Donation Save The Economy?

Li Ka-Shing donates a billion dollars to small businesses throughout Hong Kong. To him, this is going to help save the economy from going into a recession, which would apply to his own constructed moral code if Cultural Relativism were to be in play. To the protestors, the donation would only anger them more. Although there may be no right or wrong the protestors would still judge Li Ka-Shing for trying to save himself and the economy. Since there are no absolutes within this framework, Ka-Shing can either be praised for his donation or bashed for his donation. So if you look at it from the protestors’ view, Ka-Shing looks bad. If you look at it from a business perspective, Ka-Shing looks good.

Ethical Egoism

Ethical Egoism is a framework that embraces selfishness because it is the highest principle of morality (Wilkens, 2019, pg. 43). One is supposed to look out for themselves and nobody else. This framework is to promote one’s identity and to have a sense of personal identity (Lombardo, 2017, January 15). You always are looking out for yourself and basic and personal needs are met. The pros of this framework: selfishness can benefit others, individual responsibility, and self-interest (Urick, 2019). The cons of this framework: overly optimistic, difficult to universalize, and fairness issues (Urick, 2019).

This Donation Will Help Me

Li Ka-Shing donated his million because he is looking out for himself. He was feeling the same pressure others were feeling and he didn’t want the economy to recede or else it would have a great effect on him. He didn’t donate the money just to help the economy, but to also help himself. If the economy were to go into a recession Ka-Shing would suffer, so he took action. He gave money to the government to support small businesses. Many people are criticizing him for the inflation on real estate and Ka-Shing doesn’t want to have pressure or critics banging on his door so he took action for himself with his donation. Ka-Shing may have not donated any money if he didn’t have to, embracing selfishness for himself by giving a little of his successes in hope for a better outcome.


Behaviorism is a framework that believes every human action is just a predisposition to behave in certain ways as the result of physical causes (Wilkens, 2011). Everything is determined by a cause and effect. I wouldn’t be typing this paper right now if I didn’t take this class. I wouldn’t be in college if it didn’t have an effect on my future. Everything is determined by situational and/or emotional events within life. The pros of this framework: it is based on the here and now (Urick, 2019). The cons of this framework: it is inconsistent, we question if everything is cause and effect, and it conflicts with religion (Urick, 2019).

I Need To Donate This Money

Li Ka-Shing had to donate the money because the economy needed it. He doesn’t have a choice at all. If he doesn’t assist the economy he will fail. This decision was already set in place. With the protests happening all around and the economy about to head into a recession, Ka-Shing needed to make this donation. The trade war between America and China is forcing the recession in China. Li doesn’t want to lose land that the government might end up taking to appease the public anger. Ka-Shing didn’t have a choice and he needed to donate that money or else he would suffer, along with other real estate tycoons.


Utilitarianism is a framework focused on the greatest good for the greatest number (Urick, 2019) Happiness is the end state no matter how it is achieved. You don’t focus on the actions taken, but you focus on the results, which is happiness for the greatest number. Now the same thing may not make everyone happy, but the focus is to make the majority happy. The pros of this framework: everybody is considered equal, individual freedoms and obligations, and versatility (Urick, 2019). The cons of this framework: there is no right or wrong, no absolute virtues, and possible motives taken to achieve happiness (Urick, 2019).

Donating Will Help The Government Which Will Make Everyone Happy

Li Ka-Shing is donating his hard-earned money to help fix the crisis that is occurring within Hong Kong. The economy is suffering and people are protesting and revolting. Ka-Shing felt obligated to donate his wealth to assist small businesses and build the economy back up. The trade war is leading to a possible recession and Ka-Shing wants to provide for the businesses of Hong Kong. He doesn’t care how much money it takes or what he has to do, but he is focused on the betterment of Hong Kong. He is giving focus to the greater amount of people trying to please the majority.

Kantian Ethics

Kantian Ethics believes that whenever we are given a duty we must complete it. Wilkens (2011, pg. 113) stated that whenever we have a duty, regardless of the consequences, we have to fulfill. This means that if I was given the duty to throw a rock through a window I would have to comply with the duty given to me, even if I may get charged with vandalism. According to Kant v. Mill: Pros and Cons, the pros of this framework are rationality, consistency, and impartiality. The cons to this framework are: reason doesn’t discover moral rules, and reason doesn’t motivate moral action. Although this framework pushes to complete duties, it also fails to realize that some of the consequences may have negative results.

It Is My Duty To Aid China

Li Ka-Shing, along with other real estate tycoons, are facing pressure in China. Ka-Shing felt like he needed to take the lead with the donation so others would follow after him. This duty was thrown at him and he needed to make the donation to help himself and the economy of China. This donation showed the protestors that Ka-Shing is scared, but it also showed businesses and the government that Ka-Shing is looking out for himself and others. While Ka-Shing is helping the economy, he also isn’t realizing what the protestors want making them angrier than they should be.

Virtue Ethics

Virtue Ethics is a framework focused on bringing about good to one’s character. Wilkens (2011, pg. 129) stated that virtue is the predisposition to do good things, an internal motivation that not only does the right but also loves what is right. With that in mind, this framework brings about many pros and cons. According to Flow Psychology, there are 11 pros and cons to this ethical framework. Some of the pros are better people, a sense of community, and the preservation of goodness. Some of the cons are self-centeredness, misguidance, and focus on a limited number of virtues. This framework has a wonderful idea set in place, but it also lacks clarity.

This Is Good For Me and My People

Li Ka-Shing is trying to be good for the economy of Hong Kong. Li made a large charitable donation to the economy of his country hoping that it would help avoid recession. Li wanted to do what was right for his country because he loves it. Li wouldn’t sit by and watch the people of his country suffer, so he did what he felt was necessary. His donation is going to help people through hard times, thus bringing the community together even while it’s divided. Li wants to keep good in his country. He doesn’t want people to suffer.

Situation Ethics

Situation Ethics is for moral decision making stated variously as that of acting in the most loving way, to maximize harmony and reduce discord, or to enrich human existence (Rosenthal, 2019). This framework allows decision-makers to break absolutes out of love (Urick, 2019). Now love may be a good reason to decide upon something, but it also has cons. The pro of this framework is the absolute foundation and the cons of this framework are the analysis of the situation, definition of love, and justifying of actions (Urick, 2019). Situation ethics allows the heart to lead decisions, but sometimes our hearts aren’t always right.

I Love My Country

Li Ka-Shing is a reputable person in China. He grew up there and built himself into the person he is today, therefore he has to love the country that has made him. Right now China is suffering and Li has to help his country stay strong. He decided to let his heart take control and to help his country, he donated millions of dollars to assist the economy. Ka-Shing isn’t going to sit and watch the very thing that made him the person he is today fall victim to a recession, so he made a large donation to show his love for his country and its people.

Natural Law Ethics

The “law” part of natural law ethics tells us that there is consistency to the way the world ought to work (Wilkens, 2011, pg. 175). That means that everything we do has an explanation because of the world around us. We receive “warning lights” and emotions as our conscious guides us through life (Urick, 2019). With this framework, there are some really good positives in play. These positives are: being able to balance wants and aspirations, having gut feelings and a conscious, and having similar values of various cultures (Urick, 2019). The negatives are sinfulness, lack of clarity, and discerning right from wrong (Urick, 2019).

I am in Trouble if I don’t Donate to Hong Kong

Li Ka-Shing is a real estate tycoon who realized that if China falls into a recession he will suffer. All these warning signs gave him the idea of donating some of his wealth back into his country’s economy to help. If he didn’t allow his conscious to realize what could go wrong, then he wouldn’t have made the donation and China would be in a far worse state then it already is.

Divine Command Theory

Divine Command Theory believes that God is the source of moral truth and communicates his will to humanity via commands (Wilkens, 2011, pg. 197). Whatever God you believe in, what he/she says, you follow after at your own discretion. We aren’t able to understand what is right or wrong unless told so by our God. The pros of this framework are: knowing we are limited, and we consider our sins (Urick, 2019). The cons of this framework: misinterpretation, muteness, and faith v. reason (Urick, 2019). We can make decisions freely and it’s our choice to follow after the commands that were given by our God because we are bounded whilst god is not.

If I Am Generous, Then I Will Be Benefitted

Li Ka-Shing made a charitable donation to the people of China. With this decision, Ka-Shing is being generous for the people of China in hopes of avoiding a recession. 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, “….whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” He decided to follow a command that was given to us as guidance. This decision shows his generosity to the people making it right.

What Stuck With Me The Most

Situation Ethics really stuck with me the most throughout the entire paper. It has a good goal in hand by allowing your heart to make a decision no matter what the consequence. You would do anything in your power to make something happen just because of love. It is risky because you can kill somebody out of love, or you can steal. You can do so many wrong things because of love, but it would be considered okay under this framework. My mind just finds the whole thought process confusing, yet intriguing.

Natural Law Ethics is also an interesting framework. Whenever somebody wrongs us we receive emotions or warning signs. If I felt like I did bad on a test my stomach might feel funny or if I was given a clue that I might have done well on a test my conscious will tell me. Those things happen because we have a unique relationship with nature and we all have the same ability to perceive the world because it comes from itself. This is how I see Natural Law Ethics and I just think it’s a cool framework as well.

To Bring It All Together

Millions of decisions are made on a daily basis. Li Ka-Shing had to make a decision to sit by and watch his country suffer or to take action and help the very place that made him who he is. All of these frameworks can be applied to his situation to show all the different ways Ka-Shing could have processed his decision. Some of the frameworks make sense and fit perfectly with his decision, while other frameworks make you question if his decision what ethical. All these frameworks give better insight into the thought processes of individuals when they make decisions and without them, we wouldn’t understand why some people think the way they do. 


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