Enforced morals

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Is Tiffany Jenkins (Perspective, 22 November) against the community or the state having a role in what has been called “the 
enforcement of morals”?

Take for example the spate of wrongdoings by financial institutions like the banks and investment bankers. Surely there was a time when it was taken for granted the financial community was a “moral community”?

Moreover, there was little thought given to bankers behaving morally as well as legally in their dealings. Any wrongdoing was seen as the individuals pursuing their self-interests by “bending the rules”.

Now it seems the perception of bankers and financiers sharing the moral community has disintegrated.

Is it possible in today’s moral climate for society and the state not to be involved in “enforcing moral standards”?

Individual autonomy in moral behaviour doesn’t work in a complex global economy. Arguably there is a role for the community and the state in enforcing a moral code when it is deemed necessary.

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk