What Happened to Conscience and Accountability?
“I believe that every large institution, whether it’s company, a government or a university needs to have a conscience. The conscience won’t have the answer to every question, but the conscience is a voice that needs to be heard.”
~ Brad Smith of Microsoft
Aristotle stated: “We are what we do.” It is not our words that define our morals or conscience. It is our actions.
Conscience, that inner voice of reason that tells us when something is right or wrong, needs to be the discerning factor in decision making. However, this very basic trait is lacking in many institutions and people. Just watch the news or read a newspaper. From the marketplace to universities, from Wall Street to professional sports, where is conscience? It tells us a lot that conscience is so rare that when we see it, particularly if the media sees it, the event and the person displaying the conscientious acts are labeled “heroes” and are celebrated for what should be a common life skill — doing the right thing for the right reason. Why are we so surprised when someone does that? Could it be that the word “right” is too easily interpreted?
Is what’s right, the same as what’s legal? Is what’s right, the same as what is ethical or moral?
Why is it that the concept of conscience is rarely referenced or emphasized?
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