Can we afford the luxury of moral superiority? - summary of the debate

Taking advantage of the upcoming 75th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and bearing in mind the importance of this issue from the point of view of countries' cooperation in the international arena, we decided to take a look at how much has been achieved in recent years in the field of legal protection of citizens and employees.
IMG 2156

During our student debate, on December 2, we discussed whether, as a democratic and rule-abiding country, we should co-operate with governments of countries which violate human rights. Additionally, we asked the question whether we should do business with companies and corporations that do not respect human rights (do not respect employees’ rights).
Two perspectives clashed: the first was that no, we should not cooperate with such countries, because we should be guided by moral and ethical principles that would make us a true leader in the world. By acting with dignity and ethics, we would gain prestige in the world and, in the long run, increase our political influence. Our ethical principles of conduct would attract many allies who would follow in our footsteps, introduce similar moral standards in trade and business, demand from others what they believe in, and in this way we would create a better world for everybody.
The second perspective was that we cannot afford, neither as a country nor as private enterprises, the luxury of moral superiority, because the main goal is continuous economic growth and only by getting rich (for example via trade) would we ever gain respect and prestige in the world.
There were contentions that most countries in the world do not respect human rights: both the poor ones in Asia and Africa and the rich ones in North America and Europe, so we cannot not co-operate with such countries, because in fact there would be no one left to co-operate with. It was mentioned that the isolation of countries and companies that violate human rights would result in an escalation of bad practices inside them and, worse still, an uncontrolled escalation, because no one would be able to bring such abuses to anyone's attention. It was repeatedly argued that we do not live in a perfect world and that it is impossible to conduct business in a spirit of complete honesty and absolute respect for rights. It was even argued that existing legal regulations were merely suggestions and were simply unable to stop bad practices or prevent human rights violations (the Universal Declaration of Human Rights does not indeed have a binding legal force, but is a generally accepted principle and a set of guidelines).
These arguments seemed to resonate with the audience, as during the voting on "No, we shouldn't co-operate" and "Yes, we should co-operate" it was unanimously demonstrated that, for various practical reasons, we cannot afford not to co-operate with countries that violate human rights. Arguments suggesting a boycott of such countries and enterprises in the international arena failed to attract support and did not meet with approval.
If you had been present at this debate, would the vote result have been the same? Would you protest against the hypocrisy of cold economic criteria and double morality standards in dealing with rich and poor (developing) countries or companies that are too popular or powerful to be boycotted? Well, next time don't let the others decide for you and come to our next debate! We are looking forward to hearing your opinion.

Lazarski among the top universities!

  • The Faculty of Law and Administration took I place in the 17th Ranking of Law Faculties of "Dziennik Gazeta Prawna" (2023.)  
  • Lazarski University became a leader in the category of business education in the study "Trustworthy Brand", conducted by the publisher of the monthly magazine My Company Poland and the research institute Kantar Poland S.A.  
  • According to the prestigious Perspektywy ranking, we are ranked 4th among non-public universities in Poland.  
  • The high level of the medical faculty at Lazarski Universitywas positively evaluated again by the Presidium of the Polish Accreditation Committee with the resolution No. 838/2023 of September 18, 2023.

The distinctions and awards say a lot about the quality of education we provide!