3. How does one’s conscience help in ethical decision making? Illustrate.
नैतिक निर्णय लेने में किसी की अंतरात्मा मदद कैसे करती है? उदाहरण देकर स्पष्ट करें।।
Gandhi Ji famously said, “There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.”
Conscience is the voice in our head, and the feeling in your heart, that tells us if something is right or wrong. It is the voice of the innerself which says “yes” or “no” when we are involved in a moral struggle. It is an internal monitor.
Our conscience is our inner guide and it helps you figure out how to make good choices. As we grow up, we learn right from wrong. Our conscience is the thought and feeling we have that tells us whether something is a right or wrong thing to do or say. Conscience is a consistent guide to ethical decision making:
- A human being always comes across ethical dilemmas in the decision making the process. Conscience acts as the guide for taking correct decisions when we have to choose between competing sets of principles in a given, usually undesirable or perplexing, situation.
Example: Helping accident victim on your way to an interview.
- The conscience of an individual helps in analyzing the situation from different perspectives and help in taking the right decision.
Example: Your treatment may change for a criminal who has stolen something because he needed money for his mother’s treatment.
- Conscience helps in avoiding Conflicts of interest for better decision making.
Example: Deciding between personal gains and public welfare.
- Conscience is our ability to make a practical decision in light of ethical values and principles. Example: Follow the orders from superior v/s to follow the right path.
Conscience indicates ‘a person’s moral sense of right and wrong’ as well as the consciousness of one’s actions. Expressions such as ‘gut feeling’ and ‘guilt’ are often applied in conjunction with a conscience. In this sense, the conscience is not essentially a product of a rational deduction but is something that can be influenced by the indoctrination of one’s parentage, social class, religion or culture.
It is an arguable topic whether or not the conscience is the most reliable form of decision making or not. The concept of conscience may not bear any connection with any particular substantial moral view. The good ethical decision and conscience are not always in sync; it depends on the situation, stakeholders and perceiving the issue. For Example, A youth may go for suicide bombing, gun violence, riots or Lynching at the name of cow, considering it to be right as per his radicalized teachings.
The voice of conscience might suggest different principles and different behaviours to different people. For example, while some health practitioners raise “conscientious” objection to abortion and refuse to provide the service, someone’s conscience might demand the exact opposite, i.e., to perform abortions to respect what is conscientiously believed to be a woman’s right.
A conscience which is both well-formed (shaped by education and experience) and well informed (aware of facts, evidence and so on) enables us to know ourselves and our world and act accordingly. Voice of conscience is the source of ethical decision making.
Gandhi rightly said, “The human voice can never reach the distance that is covered by the still small voice of conscience.”