KVE301/KVE401 Universal Human Values and Professional Ethics

Chapter 13: Professional Ethics in light of Right Understanding

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4

Unit 5

Appendix

Ensuring competence in Professional Ethics

Why a person act unethically? It is primarily because of a lack of correct understanding about happiness and prosperity. If a person views happiness in terms of maximization of sensory enjoyment and prosperity in terms of accumulation of physical facilities, then the motivation naturally becomes that of wealth maximization. In this pursuit, all other considerations become secondary. Therefore, it leads to more and more unethical practices as these seem to cater well to the above tends to make people adhere to this wrong notion firmly. In this context, the ethical considerations are considered to be too idealistic to follow in real life.

The development of ethical competence is a long-term process to be achieved through appropriate value education. As the profession is only a subset of life activities, the competence in the profession will only be the manifestation of one’s right understanding. The salient features characterizing this competence can be summarized as fellows:

    1. Clarity about the comprehensive human goal Samadhan – Samridhi – Abhay – Sah-Astitva, and its fulfillment through universal human order i.e. right understanding and right feeling in the individual, prosperity in the family, trust in the society, and co-existence with nature.
      This implies that one is working for the comprehensive human goal and not just for the economic goal or for maximization of profits through one’s profession. Any action has to be evaluated from the point of these four-fold objectives ingrained in the comprehensive human goal.
    2. Confidence in oneself as well as confidence in the harmony, co-existence, and self-regulation prevailing in entire existence, based on the right understanding of oneself and the rest of existence. From it also arises the firm conviction that each human being, including myself, will be fulfilled only in the process of working in consonance with this existential order. As a consequence, we are not influenced by the divergent or conflicting opinions of others or by superficial impressions.
    3. Competence of mutually fulfilling behavior, clarity, and confidence in ethical human conduct and its correlation with sustainable personal as well as collective happiness and prosperity.
    4. Competence of mutually enriching interaction with nature, ability to appropriately assess the needs for the physical facility for oneself, the family, and society as well as their sustainable fulfillment through production systems ensuring harmony with nature.
      As a result of the right understanding, one is able to assess one’s own needs appropriately and is also sensitive enough to the needs of others. In addition, it is clear that all needs are to be fulfilled only through harmonious, sustainable, and mutually enriching interaction with nature.
    5. Holistic vision about technologies, production systems, and management techniques. The development of a holistic vision about technologies and systems is another important domain contributing to the competence in professional ethics. This aspect is generally ignored and does not feature in the prevailing discourses on professional ethics. However, for want of such a vision, one could be inadvertently propagating artifacts that are not really conducive to human welfare.
    6. Adequate realization of one’s social responsibility. As people advance in their profession and occupy positions of power, their decisions and actions affect a large number of persons in addition to the natural environment. Therefore, it is very important for them to be continuously aware of their social responsibility. On the other hand, society at large has to remain watchful towards the conduct of its constituent members.

Summarized by – Dr. Niyati Garg

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