The dream of a child starts with a stereo type suggestion from parents that the baby will be a doctor – engineer. The baby has no other option to dream of being doctor or engineer. Our education system was framed by the British rulers to create civil servants to serve their purpose. They had created dreams of civil service. As a legacy of the British and the Pakistani system we inherited Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS). However, the glory of civil service has been fading gradually. Education system at home and abroad now aims at creating good executives. The present dream of the youngsters is to find jobs in mobile phone company.
Considering the good market, the private entrepreneurs established a number of private universities where degrees are offered on Computer science, Engineering, Medical Science and Business Administration. These universities have less interest in social science. Philosophy is a less prioritised subject in the university and hardly any student is found having interest to study Philosophy.
The people living in the 21st century have no time to waste in a very ancient field of study like philosophy. People now send their children to universities to groom them up as future executives in Multinational companies. Students are more interested to obtain professional degrees rather than education in social science. The new generation has different attitude towards life style, human relation, demand and satisfaction
We can not live alone. The world is one family and living in this planet demands co-operation with others. Philosophy teaches the discipline of humanity. It defines how to think, how to reason, how to put together good arguments, how to analyse alternatives and action and evaluate its consequences.
Human society creates ideas and thoughts; philosophy guides principle of human life. Without it, there can be no real government, no institution. It is philosophy that has created human ideologies, interpretations, and viewpoints. Philosophy is at the heart of every issue, at the center of every change within society, and within every radical movement human beings have created. Any tradition, any ideology, any religion has behind them a philosophy. The problem perhaps is that common people in today’s society do not like complicated thoughts, the moment they see an obstacle, they scream in rage, they want the simplistic philosophy of a society that consumes and moves and moves and never stops.
The consumption loving practical people believe that there is no particular use for philosophy, because it deals with intangible ideas, which cannot be proved scientifically or verified objectively, and which have nothing to do with providing greater creature comforts or material progress.
The teaching starts with parents telling what it is wrong to lie, cheat, and steal. These children grow up and enter into the real world with some knowledge of right and wrong. But ethics are learnt throughout our lives as we associate with others. In the work place, people learn responsibility, teamwork, punctuality, and communication skills.
Doctors obtain a guarantee from patient indemnifying him of any accident during operation, lawyers appear for client but do not guarantee of winning. Auditors inspect books of accounts and certify correctness of transactions but there is no control over his sincerity to verify transaction. The society relies on their ethical standard and practice. Baby sitter even the mother look after baby and the quality and standard of care and service depend upon their own sincerity.
Government can enforce setting up waste water treatment machine in industries to save the environment from pollution and there is hardly a method to ensure proper use of waste water treatment but the ethics can regulate the management to protect the universe from adverse effect of economic
In today’s society, laws and contracts are enforced to make sure that the business deals are fair. We live in a society wherein no device, rule or law can control certain things, actions and behaviours. The self-teaching and self regulation can address the situation..
Human being needs only knowledge, self training and self regulation to apply the test through any ethical standard. All will eventually confront moral problems with social, political, or legal dimensions in their roles as citizens, scholars, professionals, parents, members of their communities, and as human beings.
The society has become open and requires a self administration and control. This self control is through values, morals and ethics. Society must develop values, morals and ethics. They all provide behavioral rules.
Values are the rules by which we make decisions about right and wrong, should and shouldn’t, good and bad. Morals have a greater social element to values and tend to have a very broad acceptance. Morals are far more about good and bad than other values.
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality-that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice, etc. Ethics develop feelings of right or wrong. Ethics consists of the standards of behavior our society accepts. In any society, most people accept standards that are, in fact, ethical. But standards of behavior in society can deviate from what is ethical. An entire society can become ethically corrupt. Nazi Germany is a good example of a morally corrupt society.
Ethics has standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues. Ethics, for example, refers to those standards that impose the reasonable obligations to refrain from rape, stealing, murder,
assault, slander, and fraud. Ethical standards include honesty, compassion, and loyalty.
Democracy is a free will under certain guidance, norm and practice. Democracy can not function without ethics. Bangladesh is lacking democracy due to lack of ethical and moral practice of democracy.
Members of different organisations take oath of allegiance and Invocation. They use to declare some ethical standard of business and profession. The declaration of quality of production of manufacturers is in the same line of self regulation and promise to practice.
A good and successful professional should have the ethics, values and standards of profession and make their application a consistent feature in all aspects of work. This will include taking personal responsibility for actions and regularly reflecting on experiences to inform future actions and decision making. Human must both act and be seen to act ethically and with the utmost integrity.
The professionals should uphold professional ethics, values and standards, behave with integrity and objectivity, and maintain professional competence, confidentiality, keeping up to date with all codes of conduct and professional standards, informing clients about the ethical standards that apply to professional activities, monitoring compliance with relevant legislation, standards and regulations and the law of the country.
The workplace compliance of quality policy, citizen charter etc are part of ethics of profession which come from philosophy as the law can not reach workplace and inside mind and heart to control our thinking and action with others in the society. The codes of educational institutes, parents, colleagues at workplace and society at large even the service club and professional bodies teach us ethics and human dignity. It upholds the ethics of business and profession.
The teaching of formal education and non formal education of philosophy is
back bone of society and foundation of all knowledge. That is why the business and profession should be regulated by philosophy and not only law and regulation.
The writer is pursuing PhD in Open University, Malaysia, and can be reached at email: [email protected]