Ethics deals with the morality aspect of human behaviour. Our college is a family where ethics provides a rational exposition of right or wrong, good or bad, obligatory or non-obligatory parts of voluntary actions performed by a social human being or a group of persons. It was not until later that the ancient Greek philosophers propounded that the notion of morality is just a construction of human mind imbibed through social obligation and responsibility. Moral codes of conduct were in fact derived from a set of welfare principles espoused to uphold the greatest good of human race. Such a chronology like many other studies has both temporal and geographical aspects. That apart, it also includes an analysis of the ethical impact of the development of science and technology on collective as well as individual behaviour.
At a later stage, a new trend emerged on this scenario, a trend which is quite distinct from theoretical discussions on moral standards needed to evaluate human conduct. The growing complexities of social structure and multi-dimensional human actions encouraged the philosophers to focus on the application of moral rules in different spheres of human activity. This gave rise to a new tradition of ethical studies, named as Applied Ethics. It primarily deals with application of various normally accepted moral standards to any state of affairs involving human conduct. The broad spectrum of Applied Ethics incorporates different kinds of problems and their solutions of immense significance.
Professional ethics is one important branch of Applied Ethics. In this regard, a distinction exists between profession and occupation. An occupation is concerned with deliverance of some important service as a commitment to serve people. It claims a special relationship to market distinct from trade. An occupation becomes a profession when a group of individuals having the same occupation are organised in a definite manner. This group is governed by a skilful and learned body of organisers. Members of this group follow specific standards in discharging their occupational duties and obligations. Besides bearing the burden of their occupation, they commit themselves to some conspicuous moral ideals. For instance, doctors organize to cure the sick, librarians organize to promote access to information, and so forth. All of these people follow some set principles in discharging their occupational duties. Professional ethics is nothing but a specific code of conduct that prescribes how professionals ought to pursue their common ideals so that each may accomplish the best. On the other hand, this code of conduct also protects the professionals from certain external pressures. In short, this code of conduct is a solution to the coordination problem at every level of performance.
Professional Ethics incorporates rights, duties and obligations of the human race as well as members of the same profession and the whole professional society. New Alipore College looks into things through humane aspects. But, it adhres to professional ethics and principles. A profession or a professional person has obligation to :
i) Its employers
ii) The people they serve.
iii) Other similar or different professions
iv) Profession as a collectivity
v) Public interest (counting as social responsibility).
We can have a look into the other part of Professional Ethics, the part that encompasses the persons involved in the professional system and their reactions. The conjunction ‘and’ occurring between the two constituents of the other part points to a kind of relation between them. Indeed, it is a deep and interdependent relation that needs to be articulated. Every professional being engages himself in his professional duty in a unique way. The sense of value within him directs him to choose the manner of performing the respective actions. Humans have the unique ability to define their identity. They choose their values and establish their beliefs in the real world. Values form the basis of their thoughts and behavior and actions. Values constitute the guideline in the sphere of human activity. Obviously, here we are referring to personal human values. But this notion can also be understood in a general sense which is also of similar importance in this domain.
Professional values are described as emotional beliefs formed by human beings out of their interactions with their experience in the external world. The favourable and unfavourable experiences help a professional person to form primary understanding . Once it is formed in a gross and indistinct way, it associates with his emotions and guides his choice. Once we identify what is valuable to us and set the right goal, the sense of value becomes the anchor of our actions. To fulfill our aspiration for values we have to participate in the respective action skillfully. In other words, this sense of value determines whether or not we should expend energy to do something. The person who values life will set out his plans differently from the person who values gold. Thus, values are the scale we use to weigh our actions – in moving towards or away from something.
It has been mentioned earlier that emotional beliefs are formed by human beings by comparing different desirable and undesirable factors in their experiences. This process of construction is a continuous one. There is also the influence of society on formation of value system within the atmosphere of experiences. It thus evolves in a socio-cultural milieu.
It should also be mentioned that not all values have same weight or priority. The important one must be satisfied before others can be addressed. We must allow that there is a hierarchy of human need which may vary from person to person. Generally we can say survival has a higher priority than security while the latter one has a higher priority than social acceptance.
Apart from these considerations of personal value system, there are definitely some universal values which are to be recognized by human beings in general. These are the principles that promote the well-being of the human race and prevent harm. Basically, all of us know what really is required to achieve the human happiness and happiness to all and for all time. Love is called the complete value – as it gives the feeling of relatedness to all human beings. But as there is diversity in the use of the term, it is difficult to form a general principle regarding the universal love.
New Alipore College inculcates soft and tender feelings to its stakeholders. Our journey is from re-activeness to understanding and sympathy to empathy. The college works towards building up emotional intelligence among the students and faculty. We organize, seminars, conferences, Talks and webinars towards this.