In concurrence with dictionary definitions, the morality of profit can be understood as “making profit in accord with good or right conduct, through virtuous actions and following the rules of generally accepted business previsions”. The actions of business men and women looking for profit, would then be understood as morally acceptable when they fall into the range of the good or right conduct through virtuous actions. But is this really enough? No. It is an obsolete and simplistic way of looking at the morality of profit.
The morality of profit is in high need of retrieving itself from its obvious obsolescence. Twenty years ago, my colleagues in Business and Economics had only one stream to define profit with, and that was the industrial stream, reflected in the generally accepted accounting principles. Today, defining profit only through the eyes of industrialism, capitalism or socialism is not enough anymore. This obsolete definition is lopsided, ambiguous and short termed.
It is lopsided because it does not redeem the equality of importance of all resources. In the new theory of the Ecology of Societies, all resources (living organisms, non living organisms, human, non human, biotic, abiotic, financial, economic, or any other) are considered to be equally important. The anthropocentric point of view of economic, business and ecological disciplines is, from our point of view, obsolete, to say the least.
It is ambiguous because it does not include the cost of every unit of good produced in terms of being biodegradable or not, which also makes it short termed, as it will not help the global ecosystem survive the climate change in the long run. Let us then, redefine the term profit in a more inclusive manner, from the point of view of equality of all resources, and from the inclusion of the ecological needs of our planet.