Should Atheists be more concerned about corporations “person hood” ?

42


Discussion by: BenCarollo

Corporations in the United States have achieved a very interesting feat, they are infact, legally persons. And now a more interesting development has started happening, they are fighting for religious rights. I think that this is more problematic than people may be considering. 

I think that corporations if allowed religious rights will use their religions to exempt themselves from many worker safety laws and perhaps even environmental regulation. It is my concern that a company could claim to be a christian "scientist" and say that because they only believe in faith healing they no longer need to provide health care to their employees. Another possibility is that they sidestep possible environmental policy by using the claim that their religion does not allow them to believe in global warming so they might attempt to be exempt from environmental protection laws. 

Even more potentially damaging is the notion the pharmocutical companies and insurance companies might take on a catholic faith and excuse themselves from providing coverage for things like abortion and contraception, this is equally possible for a hopital, to exempt themselves from their job by taking on a religion. 

Giving the religious right to companies, in my opinion, could be potentially the greatest harm on the western world ever since the anti vacination campaigns started. I think atheists and Secularists should be more concerned about this.

42 COMMENTS

  1. You have sounded the alarm. Now we wait and see if the corporations will actually attempt any of that you mention.

    Knowing corporations they will try much to make profit with religious rights ( assuming they get them ) and their methods will be highly focused and imaginably interesting.

  2. I think the scenerio you describe would be great, as it would force a backlash against religion. The faithful should have to live with the full brunt of their wacky doctrines. If you are Catholic, then why are you on birth control? Why are you having pre marital sex? Religion marches on partly because its practioners are afforded the luxury and convenience of dismissing the more strident aspects that would put a cramp in their lifestyle.

    Therefore, if your warnings come to bear, I will be on the edge of my seat to see where belivers will stand when their health care coverage and other protections are at risk.

    • In reply to #2 by plaidandpolkadots:

      Therefore, if your warnings come to bear, I will be on the edge of my seat to see where belivers will stand when their health care coverage and other protections are at risk.

      And I won’t be on my seat, I will get off my butt and try to do things to influence the political process to reverse the trend toward corporate personhood. And I encourage everyone to also get out of their seats and join me.

  3. Maybe Catholics can get their crackers and wine paid for? They need it for mental health reasons. You know, God keeps them from stealing, raping, and killing, so it’s all part of keeping greater society safe.

  4. The problem is that our Supreme Court has become politicized. These people were originally envisioned as our philosopher kings, above the fray and deciding issues on their merits. They were treated like philosopher kings, pampered and well paid to cushion against special interests and appointed for life so pandering to a misguided zeitgeist would not be requisite to holding down the job.

    Along the way, US presidents picked nominees hoping they saw a bit of themselves in their choices yet many were fooled- Eisenhower picking Earl Warren comes to mind. In an internet-free world, modern day vetting was an unrealized dream. Today, presidents know better what they are getting and for every Robert Bork the congress weeds out a Clarence Thomas or John Roberts oozes in and the game is on.

    Citizens United, in which the court decided there was clearly not enough money or special interest corrupting politics and that Goldman Sachs is every bit the person Nelson Mandella was, was not a cannon shot across the bow of the ship of state but a direct hit with a nuke and I am quite certain the worst is yet to come.

    Without a truly independent court to reign in congressional insanity, I freely accept as rational any scenario of doom you might wish to posit.

    • In reply to #5 by rjohn19:

      The problem is that our Supreme Court has become politicized. These people were originally envisioned as our philosopher kings, above the fray and deciding issues on their merits. They were treated like philosopher kings, pampered and well paid to cushion against special interests and appointed for life so pandering to a misguided zeitgeist would not be requisite to holding down the job.

      I mostly agree with what you are saying but I take issue with saying the court was never political and that the people who set up the US government like Adams, Jefferson, and Madison thought that the court were “philosopher kings”. That makes them sound rather naive and IMO if those guys were anything they were practical men who understood that humanity was deeply flawed and that the system of government needed to reflect that.

      There were political issues with the supreme court and the John Adams administration. Adams was the second US president after Washington.

      I think a more accurate way to put it, and this applies very much to the problems we in the US are having now with Congress is not that the founders thought the supreme court would be totally above politics and would be philosopher kings but rather that they assumed that anyone who made it into the supreme court (or the US Congress) would have internalized some basic concepts of justice and US law.

      I admit in some ways I’m nostalgic for these guys. Not that I want to return to a time when people owned slaves and women were essentially slaves but there really was a sense of honor and of being a “gentleman” in your interactions that is virtually gone now. You can even see that idea if you look back as recent as the 1970′s. The Republicans could have blocked any serious investigation into Watergate. In later years they DID block serious investigations of crimes such as Iran-Contra that were far worse than Watergate. But even as recently as the 70′s there was still the core value that the US is supposed to be a nation of laws and not men and that the president is not above the law.

      Alas, that is gone now as I keep telling some of my liberal friends who still have quaint notions like dealing fairly with Republicans. The Republicans today are playing a Zero Sum Game. In the prisoner’s dilemma you can count on them to defect on every turn.

      • In reply to #9 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #5 by rjohn19:

        The problem is that our Supreme Court has become politicized. These people were originally envisioned as our philosopher kings, above the fray and deciding issues on their merits. They were treated like philosopher kings, pampered and well paid to cushion against special…

        The makeup and selection procedure for the US Supreme Court is a prime example of why America is on the way to becoming a failed state. Just as there must be a separation of Church and State, there must be a separation of the legal system and the state. The legal system must be independent of all politicians and politics. The Judges selected for the Supreme Court need to be above politics. The Judges should be selected from the elite practitioners of the law. The eminent Jurists that have shown by their legal portfolio, that they will interpret the law, independent and free from any political leanings or influence. Any Jurist who is active in politics, or who can be seen from the body of their legal work that they are politically inclined, is disqualified from selection to the Supreme Court. The blindfold of justice must cover the Supreme Court Judges eyes. They can only see the law in front of them, and they must interpret that law. The politicians may make the law, but the Judges independently decide what that law means. This is what the rest of the free world has.

        This principle must be extended across the American legal system. Voting for an Attorney General!!! For God’s sake. The decision to prosecute someone must be above politics. That decision can only be made on the weight of evidence. An Attorney General is incapable of making such decisions, if he has an eye on the ballot box. This applies to Sheriffs, and Marshalls and all the other competing law enforcement agencies in the US. You could your deficit in half if you had one law enforcement agency for each state, and one focused on the national affairs. County Sheriffs. Give me a break.

        The American Supreme Court is a political joke. Americans deserves what they get, now, and into the future if you, the voting public, elect politicians who don’t know understand the need for the separation of the legal system and the state. You should all vote for total independents, and no one votes for the Republicans or the Democrats.

  5. Only in America.

    We, the rest of the world are desperate for America to climb out of their glories days of the 50′s and catch up with the rest of the world. We need a rational and evidence based America if we are all to survive. That this could happen in America, does not fill me with any hope at all.

    Try this thought experiment. What is the difference between a psychopath and the free market?

    A psychopath has no conscience. Lives for short term gratification. Will do whatever it takes. Is selfish. Is dangerous. Can present as charming and respectable to achieve their aims. The free market exhibits all of these qualities. The behaviour described by BenCarollo above fits with all of these criteria. The only measure of free enterprise is profit, and all other considerations are secondary. Cola drinks sold in third world countries for 20 cents. Infant formula to Africa. Cigarettes,,,, I rest my case. Fossil fuel companies sponsoring denial think tanks, that invented the term “Climate Change” instead of what it actually is, Global Warming. Spin for profits.

    And what amazes me is that the parents of the kids your kids go to school with, who you play golf with, is the person who makes all of the above decisions. They are not themselves a psychopath. Most are good people (probably) in their private life. Donate to charities etc. But something happens when a person makes a decision under the disguise of a company logo. They get a licence to kill. Just like James Bond. Morality and ethics are suspended. How can any moral or ethical person sell a cigarette to anyone on the planet.

    If free enterprise can turn a profit by claiming religious exemptions, THEY WILL DO IT.

    With tongue firmly in cheek, “God help us if American corporations gains religious status.”

    • In reply to #6 by David R Allen:

      What is the difference between a psychopath and the free market?

      I think you have hit the nail on the head. I’ve long since argued that it is not the fault of Starbucks, Amazon, or Google that they do not pay their way in society. It is the fault of the law makers that invented the the rules that govern the free market. Naturally the corporations mentioned have to make as much profit as possible for their shareholders, that is required and any director failing to do so would quickly be removed. If that means forcing workers into intolerable working conditions (as highlighted recently concerning a certain large online book seller) or off-shoring all your profit so as to minimise tax (behaviour described of a certain coffee vending organisation) or ultimately declaring themselves as religious to avoid laws then that is what they must do.

      The religious fervour common in the US might just come back to haunt the average US citizen if they suddenly find they are working for such an organisation who may indeed use the rules not only to worsen the work environment but also to exclude employing those that do not share their delusion.

      • In reply to #7 by naskew:

        In reply to #6 by David R Allen:

        What is the difference between a psychopath and the free market?

        I think you have hit the nail on the head. I’ve long since argued that it is not the fault of Starbucks, Amazon, or Google that they do not pay their way in society. It is the fault of the law makers…

        Law Makers!!!

        Harking back to that bastion of free enterprise, America, anyone right of the double line would argue that the “Law Makers” have no place in the free market, as it is a self regulating organism. Adam Smith, Keynes, Friedman et al. It can commit no sin, and if it strays a little, the “market” (You know that greed thing) will gently nudge it back on track. (P.S. Can anyone explain to me how a rational person could support the Tea Party)

        The free market failed to self regulate on DDT, Ozone Hole, Smoking, Acid Rain (many more), and is currently failing on carbon caused global warming.

        A psychopath, to be rendered harmless, has to be contained within boundaries that prevent them from doing harm. Likewise, the “Free” market, should have a playing field, controlled by regulation, that they can ply their trade in, and harm no one. A bit like confining them to a football field. Properly regulated, the free market can be an innovative cause for good things, like vaccines. You, me, my family, humanity, the planet need to be protected from “Free Enterprise”

        • In reply to #8 by David R Allen:

          “Law Makers” have no place in the free market

          Yes I struggled and failed to find the right words there. However I know what I mean :-)

          On the subject of Starbucks and their legal tax avoidance, there are a number of ways we could encourage a level playing field so that local competitors have a fair chance. Firstly we could suggest that tax must be paid where the profit is made. The problem is that they would, as now, ensure not profit is made. An alternative I have heard about is that they reduce corporation tax to zero and hike up local sales taxes (VAT in the UK). This would essentially mean that it is the customer who is paying the tax but that the same tax would apply to national and international companies.

          On the subject of DDT, Ozone Hole, Smoking, Acid Rain, global warming etc, legislation has been used to help clean up the act of many organisations. Of course if the US is going to give companies the religious loophole to abuse then they are going to undo all the good work done so far.

          • In reply to #10 by naskew:

            In reply to #8 by David R Allen:

            “Law Makers” have no place in the free market

            Yes I struggled and failed to find the right words there. However I know what I mean :-)

            DDT, Ozone Hole, Smoking, Acid Rain, global warming etc,

            On the above, DDT etc, it took action by governments to avert catastrophes, not the manufacturing corporations. The Free Market was never going to fix these problems while they were making a profit. See Psychopaths above. Governments, composed of ethical, rational and committed citizens, beholden to no political party, can stop free enterprise from turning the entire planet in a profit making venture. How anyone can’t understand this is beyond me. And how anyone can vote for anyone who believes that capitalism has a conscience, is certifiably crazy.

          • In reply to #17 by David R Allen:

            On the above, DDT etc, it took action by governments to avert catastrophes

            That is exactly what I said. Legislation was passed to force them to behave. It was not their own idea. However the free market does have some conscience. Take the case of Starbucks offering to start paying taxes in the UK once customers started leaving in droves. What we need is more people spending their money with a conscience and not just going for the cheapest option where behind the scenes all sorts of abuses are taking place.

            Just recently it emerged that at least three companies were duped into selling illegal flammable mattresses in the UK. They all said how sorry they were, but actually heads should roll. Whoever is responsible for standards should lose their job and probably their liberty too.

  6. I think the whole concept of a group of people getting together in a way that just their being in the same organisation creates something which can appeal for human rights trajic and comical, religious or not. America is a long way behind the rest of the developed world in terms of human rights and they seem to want to go back further.

    I would questoin what extrreme this can be taken to though, for example if a company goes into liquidation should the directors be prosecuted for murder? can individuals have political as well as religious restrictions put on them? most importantly though, in the embryonic stages of creating a corporation, at what point must it be illlegal to to terminate?

  7. However appalled and disgusted I am with the recent trends in USA I really have to say that you Americans get what you deserve. You could vote for more honest and respectable people to represent you but you don’t. I am constantly amazed by how poor and middle class people still vote for Republicans even when it’s clear they don’t give a damn about these people. In fact, they are actively trying to screw these people as much as they can. Still, all the Republicans have to is talk about God and family values and they will get votes. This is what happens when emotional bullshit is more important than reason. I’m not saying that the Democrats are really any better. They are just as much owned by the corporations as the Republicans. The main problem in USA is all the money in politics. Until a majority of Americans realize this nothing’s going to change for the better. Occupy Wall Street is a good example. Whatever you think of this movement it was at least an honest attempt to get money out of politics. Still, most Americans regarded the protesters as hippies and slackers. When a majority of the Americans have such attitudes, how is there ever going to be a change for the better?

  8. We, offer Credit , offers loan at a very low interest rate of 3% per year, we offer Personal loans, Debt Consolidation Loan, Venture Capital, Business Loan, Education Loan,Home Loan or “Loan for any reason!.Have you been turned down by your bank? Do you have bad credit? Do you have unpaid bills? Are you in debt? Do you need to set up a business? Worry no more as we are here to offer you a low interest loan. email:majidvijahlending@gmail.com

  9. Corporations were given “personhood” for the purposes of owning property. This has extended to a few things like, free speech, as it relates to the promotion and protection of said property. They do not have full “personhood” that people do. When Romney said “Corporations are people.” he was wrong. Corporations can’t get married, can’t vote, can’t adopt children and you cannot be charged with murder for killing one. Don’t worry about corporations getting religious rights, that is not going to happen.

    • In reply to #14 by Quine:

      Corporations were given “personhood” for the purposes of owning property. This has extended to a few things like, free speech, as it relates to the promotion and protection of said property. They do not have full “personhood” that people do. When Romney said “Corporations are people.” he was wrong….

      I would not be so sure.

    • In reply to #18 by QuestioningKat:

      Everyone should be concerned about corporations having “personhood.” With the recent rulings regarding the internet, I see an F5 tornado coming. here

      I saw that on the news. A major, major decision by the courts. More evident yet of the psychopathic nature of free enterprise, and the failing of what was once the leader of the free world, America. Strangled by its own capitalism.

  10. Don’t worry about corporations getting religious rights, that is not going to happen.

    If certain powerful, corporations supported by “conservative” groups and individuals with pro “religious” agenda gain control over the internet, etc. they will not need “personhood” rights, they’ll just “withhold” information that opposes their views. Meanwhile, all your banking, investments, taxes, payroll, interactions with distant friends, vacation plans and resulting photos are done online. Corporations already control too much of our lives – even our weight and health is legally being monitored. The internet must remain neutral and “free” at whatever “costs.”

  11. Religion should not be an influence for any law, under any circumstances, in a secular society.

    The corporate “person hood” is a narrowly defined legal fiction that non-lawyers trot out and judges shoot down.

  12. “Corporations in the United States have achieved a very interesting feat, they are in fact, legally persons.”

    Actually, they always have been and you as a person are a corporation, at least, for the purposes of enforcing statutes and acts, I think in the US they may be described as an “artificial” person, but that is a legal nonsense to be honest, in court documents your name will be in upper case as technically they will refer to the PERSON, which is a legal fiction, rather than the natural individual.

    Long story cut short, Corporations have always been PERSONS and PERSONS have always been corporations, strange but true.

    “The corporate “person hood” is a narrowly defined legal fiction that non-lawyers trot out and judges shoot down.”

    Pretty much, but judges tend to squirm, or stare at the ceiling in thoughtful repose, as they try desperately to think of some disingenuous verbiage, that might make it appear otherwise, but as you say it is a legal fiction.

    • Yes, but they have been granted the right to contribute to election funds as an individual. The law was changed so that the asshole politicians could make an even bigger cash grab.

      In reply to #23 by ShinobiYaka:

      “Corporations in the United States have achieved a very interesting feat, they are in fact, legally persons.”

      Actually, they always have been and you as a person are a corporation, at least, for the purposes of enforcing statutes and acts, I think in the US they may be described as an “artificial”…

  13. I’m not sure which companies, if any, are “fighting for religious rights”, but it ain’t going to happen.

    The concept of corporate personhood is a legal device to enable a company to participate in certain legal proceedings such as litigation, property ownership etc. and be treated as an individual entity for tax purposes. It does not grant a company actual “person” status on par with real people, nor does it confer any human rights on companies or protect them under laws such as the 5th amendment.

    The Supreme Court is pretty sensible about this sort thing, and would not entertain the idea of a company having religious rights. It certainly wouldn’t consider excusing companies from their legal obligations on “religious” grounds. Corporate personhood is strictly restricted to matters in which it makes sense to grant a company single-entity-in-the-way-that-a-person-is status.

    A company’s “person” status does not entitle it to a “personal” god!

  14. Even more potentially damaging is the notion the pharmocutical companies and insurance companies might take on a catholic faith and excuse themselves from providing coverage for things like abortion and contraception, this is equally possible for a hopital, to exempt themselves from their job by taking on a religion.

    You’ll have to explain to me why pharmaceutical companies might want to ‘excuse themselves from providing coverage for things like abortion and contraception’. They make money from making contraceptives. Why would they want to stop doing so? And why would hospitals want to stop treating patients? Is this the kind of thing that keeps you awake at nights?

    Giving the religious right to companies, in my opinion, could be potentially the greatest harm on the western world ever since the anti vacination campaigns started. I think atheists and Secularists should be more concerned about this.

    Excuse me for saying so but I think you have lost all touch with reality. Aren’t there enough real problems in this world without you dreaming up imaginary ones?

  15. Everyone should object to this, everyone. It is the pinnacle of stupid, this time, brought to you by the second world leader in stupid, government. A group of self serving felons making the world a better place for themselves and themselves only.

  16. The UK position is that a corporation is a person and this has been so for decades. Accordingly, corporations have e.g. human rights.

    This is not totally daft. It means that they cannot for example be unfairly divested of property by the state without adequate compensation; it means if they commit offences they are entitled to a fair trial, and to rights of appeal. The existence of such rights gives investors in companies a level of confidence that their investment is protected, and so stimulates the economy as a whole.

    You can’t then start cherry-picking and saying you only want some rights to apply and not others, any more than you can with real human beings.

    • In reply to #29 by Stevehill:

      The UK position is that a corporation is a person and this has been so for decades. Accordingly, corporations have e.g. human rights.

      This is not totally daft. It means that they cannot for example be unfairly divested of property by the state without adequate compensation; it means if they commi…

      No it is ludicrous, lazy, and opportunistic. Corporations can be given power without without being legally designated something they are not. Shall we classify schizophrenics as spotted owls to assure they have homes? We don’t need to lie. Innumerable problems occur. A corporation is not a sentient entity. Shall governments be considered people?

      It is factually incorrect. There is no defense of that. Corporations deserve laws protecting them, not false ontological claims. Why follow in the failed footsteps of 19th century American chicanery? If you remember, we had a bit of a problem defining what a person was in the first place. Some people were only 3/5ths. It’s old, irrational standard. Any benefits can be isolated. There is no need for this absurdity.

    • In reply to #29 by Stevehill:

      The UK position is that a corporation is a person and this has been so for decades. Accordingly, corporations have e.g. human rights.

      This is not totally daft. It means that they cannot for example be unfairly divested of property by the state without adequate compensation; it means if they commit offences they are entitled to a fair trial, and to rights of appeal. The existence of such rights gives investors in companies a level of confidence that their investment is protected, and so stimulates the economy as a whole.

      You can’t then start cherry-picking and saying you only want some rights to apply and not others, any more than you can with real human beings.

      But we already do.

      As others have indicated, we don’t throw in a murder/manslaughter charge with every case of insolvency/liquidation.

      Corporations have been cherry-picking their rights for as long as they’ve had any, because corporations are an abstract concept. They (in general, as a collective) can define themselves as they like, which is precisely why they should have a close eye kept on their rights at all times.

      I personally think it’s ludicrous the way corporations are run, with all priority focused on their shareholders profits. They’re unable to place anything else in higher priority because market forces will kill them off. They have effectively broken free from human control, just as humanity has broken away from the shackles of natural selection. The law, and the rights of corporations under the law, are essentially the last link in the chain keeping them under control. Without it they will become a law unto themselves and, somewhat ironically, become a natural force humanity has to content with akin to climate and tides with as much potential for financial or even political disaster as hurricanes and tsunami’s pose for physical destruction.

  17. Religious “corporations as persons” with tax exempt status for being extensions of the church is potentially another way for religious people to avoid pulling their share of the load. Each person in the corporation that goes to church needs to be taxed for going to church. And person/corporations is a step in the wrong direction.

  18. One thing I never understood about corps and failure: why don’t shareholders bail them out when they fail? Our most recent economic cluster-fuck saw banks and businesses failing globally, why did not the shareholders kick in the cash? Why was it our money bailing them out. If a company wants a bail out send a bill to your shareholders or go out of business.

    As for being a person, if a company kills people they don’t lock the company up for 30 years by stopping all business. Corporations are not persons and are not treated as such regardless of what law says.

    • In reply to #33 by aquilacane:

      One thing I never understood about corps and failure: why don’t shareholders bail them out when they fail? Our most recent economic cluster-fuck saw banks and businesses failing globally, why did not the shareholders kick in the cash? Why was it our money bailing them out. If a company wants a bail…

      Shareholders are an interesting point. US law requires corporations to benefit shareholders. Therefor, corporations are legally obligated to lobby for looser environmental restrictions. The board of directors is legally prohibited from putting morality and human interest before the shareholder’s bottom line. With the current combination of governmental/bureaucratic regulation over corporate charters, humans are ancillary place fillers to push paper and buttons. Corporations run like software to produce an output, shareholder bottom-line.

      Technically speaking, these are non-human entities that, while not independent, are autonomously motivated and likely to produce certain effects no matter what any human thinks. Even if nothing goes wrong, the top execs are not benefited by the corner-cutting that causes catastrophic disasters. This is bad systemics, unintelligent design, aka Darwinism. Same marvelous complexity as the biological world, and Bhopal puts corporations in competition with parasitic wasps for godless horror.

      Ted Kaczynski may have been the Karl Marx of our time, except he was tortured by the government and turned into a barely coherent serial killer. If there are terms to discuss these things, I lament their obscurity amongst the us lay. The best I can describe, codes (genetic, computer, or municipal) produce an effect, an output. Science and Rule of Law are very empowering and virtuous codes, but there is some bad script. By forcing corporations to serve the shareholders above all else, the corporations become antagonistic against the rest of the system, controlling governments with absolute blindness to the environment or anything else that doesn’t register for shareholders. We’re comforted only in the hope that the eye of the market eventually sees all, and makes a commodity of ecological catastrophe.

      The market is not benevolent. It is not God. If it’s a person it’s a slave. Shall we consider all cybernetic meme-systems persons? My phone is more deserving of personhood. It’s powered by Congolese blood.

  19. A Company in the UK and Ireland and most other places has always been a ‘legal person’. This is nothing whatsoever new.

    What’s new is the insanity of confusing legal person with actual person. Hardly surprising in a country where evolution is a minority view and they think the earth is 10,000 years old.

  20. Stevehill said:

    You can’t then start cherry-picking and saying you only want some rights to apply and not others, any more than you can with real human beings.

    Yeah, we can. Since corporations aren’t sentient beings, we can do whatever we want to and with them if we deem it necessary or desirable to the common good. Don’t know why that’s hard to understand. [Removed by moderator to bring within Terms of Use.] Goodness knows why you think that simply because there are laws that treat corporations as people, we’re morally obligated to see this as being set in stone.

  21. I’m not sure how many reasons there are to incorporate but two are prominent. One is to limit personal liability and the other is to raise capital. It may be that corporations are entities but they are solely financial entities. They can not be harmed, except financially. They can claim no right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They can not be jailed. Even the people acting through the corporation tend to avoid criminal prosecution with the corporation being fined even for criminal charges. The sole moral responsibility of corporations is to its shareholders. Shareholder interest seldom exceeds dividends and stock value.

    That being said, many of the fears represented in the original post are unwarranted. For instance, if an individual who is a sole owner in a business employs enough people to be legally required to provide health insurance for their employees, it won’t matter if the owner is christian scientist.

  22. I’m not sure how many reasons there are to incorporate but two are prominent. One is to limit personal liability and the other is to raise capital. It may be that corporations are entities but they are solely financial entities. They can not be harmed, except financially. They can claim no right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They can not be jailed. Even the people acting through the corporation tend to avoid criminal prosecution with the corporation being fined even for criminal charges. The sole moral responsibility of corporations is to its shareholders. Shareholder interest seldom exceeds dividends and stock value.

    That being said, many of the fears represented in the original post are unwarranted. For instance, if an individual who is a sole owner in a business employs enough people to be legally required to provide health insurance for their employees, it won’t matter if the owner is christian scientist.

  23. Corporations seem to have personhood to the extent they have free speech rights (which the Court interpreted as allowing unlimited spending to promote candidates for office). So far they don’t have the right to vote.

  24. Sadly this is already happening in the USA. Companies are claiming to be exempt from non discrimination laws under the religious freedom act. They can refuse to pay for insurance that covers contraceptives.

    One example of this is the Hobby Lobby an arts and crafts store. The trouble with this, is that most of the items they sell are made in China or another country which have terrible track record on human rights. So how can they sell items that come from an atheist/communist country and refuse to hire non xtians or to pay for insurance that would cover contraceptives ?

    Freedom of religion is nothing more than another way these hypocrites are being allowed to abuse the system.

Leave a Reply