KVE301/KVE401 Universal Human Values and Professional Ethics
Chapter 13: Professional Ethics in light of Right Understanding
Professional ethics in the light of the Right Understanding
Professional ethics means developing professional competence with ethical human conduct. Ethical human conduct means the definitiveness of human conduct. Ethical human conduct is the foundation of professional ethics. The only effective way to ensure professional ethics is through correct appraisal and systematic development of ethical competence in the professional (the human being). The profession is a significant domain of human activity targeted towards participating in the larger order which includes the society and nature around. Thus, it is meaningful participation for each one in one or more of the five domains of human endeavor needed for a harmonious society. Of this, one important domain happens to be in the form of production and production-related activities. It also makes available the necessary physical facilities (livelihood) for oneself and one’s family. Here, one has to interact with other human beings as well as the living and non-living entities of the rest of nature. Through professional education, one acquires the specific skills and knowledge in order to make this contribution in the larger order. Ethical conduct of profession implies the right utilization of one’s professional skills towards the fulfillment of comprehensive human goal and thus, meaningfully participate in the larger order.
Professional ethics can be seen as the code of ethical conduct of the profession. Ethical conduct of profession implies the right utilization of one’s professional skills in the larger order towards the fulfillment of the comprehensive human goal. Professional ethics may be defined as a form of applied ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment.
Professional ethics concerns the moral issues that arise because of the specialist knowledge that professionals attain, and how the use of this knowledge should be governed when providing a service to the public.
However, to be able to achieve this, it is essential to develop the value competence or the ethical competence in human beings along with the requisite skills. It may be easily appreciated that a significant implication of the right understanding is to develop this ethical competence and thereby facilitate professional ethics.
Profession – in the light of the Comprehensive Human Goal
As mentioned earlier, any profession is a mode of participation by human beings in the larger order in the pursuance of comprehensive human goal. In the process, one is able to contribute towards the livelihood of one’s family and also participate in the larger order constituting the society and nature around. All these activities do require a certain degree of skill and are expected to be performed in consonance with the comprehensive human goal. Then only, these will be conducive to the sustained welfare of the individual as well as the society. The excellence or the success of any professional activity is to be judged from this comprehensive point of view only and not in terms of just wealth generation. Accordingly, the profession is not only a means of earning one’s livelihood but a means of one’s evolution by appropriate participation in the larger order. It is an important activity to authenticate one’s understanding, whereby to interacts with other human beings and with the rest of nature in a mutually fulfilling manner. Thus, the profession is a ‘service’.