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Rich calls this kind of ethics the Moral-Statistical Method or Moral Statistics (Rich 1994). Moral Statistics is premised on generally occurring actions and declares them to be generally accepted truths for everyone. Rich says this method can be used to impose moral and ethical imperatives in the form of norms. Statistically collected data becomes the basis for ethical rules. “Also empiristic ethics, within its basic intentions, wants to be an empirical discipline examining the moral as being, or rather, frequently occurring, just as so-called ‘moral statistics’ does” (Rich 1994).

The company is an ethical participant, which is less than the individual, and so has less ethical responsibility than individuals. Although Milton Friedman defended the first statement, one of the paradoxes of ethics is evident here. Despite something being legal, it does not necessarily have to be ethical, as in the example of the company. As a legal entity, the company makes decisions as such. Yet the decisions come from a board of directors, an owner or a CEO, who are all people. In this case, we talk of decisions that on the one hand satisfy existing legal provisions, but on the other hand are in conflict with good conduct.

An individual does not carry legal accountability, but is not free from moral and ethical responsibility. Example: The fact that not only individuals, but also globalised multinationals, have to carry the burden of responsibility, can be shown in the case of the ecological disaster in the Mexican Gulf in 2010. In this case, 1,000 barrels of crude oil leaked from a well per day, causing damage to ecosystems in the Gulf for decades to come. When individuals or corporations do not renounce their responsibility in face of the whole of society, they concur with another important value: trust.

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