Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A formal training course on Moral Philosophy,-- method to resolve the Ethical Deficit/Corruption crisis

Dear All

@: India against corruption

I was just thinking-- why not make a compulsory certificate course in 'Moral Philosophy (ethics) ' for all governement employees above Grade 3. This will be more humane, less punitive, more professional treatment of a practical problem of corruption in Govt Offices, and longer standing solution, gradual and not revolutionary thus less disturbing to the prevailing systems. For the purpose of achieving "need for training in Democracy" ,as envisaged by Anna himself, this case-stuady based course can br introduced, courseware prepared by some real high class institute such as IGNOU/JNU, and will aim to achieve a uniform knowledge/interpretations for some basic issues such as : what is a nation, what is democracy, what is a government and its role in democracy, what is corruption , etc. So far, in my opinion, many eposides of corruption are happening because of non-linear, self-styled interpretations.

this course should be a of 5 year validity only, and the employees' salary increment and/or promotion be attached to performace in the course....Six months, may be, and cyclic, turn by turn for all employees.
I am a mariner by profession, a ship captain. I would want to express my views of method to overcome the menace of corruption based on my professional experince.
Changing the mind of millions of people or keeping them under moral checks has always been a very very tedious task. As a sailor, who are probably the oldest of the traders that came to human species, and who have a history of being the most notorious bunch of professionals for their unlawful and value-less speeches and actions, I now feel the the present breed of mariners is really a improved and more intelligent group than before. Sometimes that makes me think as to how did this miracle come about.
When I look back in the history, i find that most of the changes have happened only in recent years and the mechanism for this change was a Oil-Major companies (Such as Exxon, BP, Shell) orginated plan to introduce courses for training us in various aspects , particularly industrial-safety matters.
Later in time this courses-type training method was adopted by the International Maritime organisation(IMO), through their STCW(Standards for tarining, certifications and watchkeeping for mariners) code. Then, the contarcting governements to the IMO and the UN adopted these course modules, which has truely brought about a huge change in our conduct today.!
While thinking about the problem of education system in India, the problem of moral-deficit in people -- both Governement employees and private organisations, and other issues such as lack of creativity/ less innovative, seldom breakthroughs in field of science and technology, I have, along with many other thinkers as well, stumbled upon the issue of zero-exposure to a subject -Applied Philosophy. Once reading a book, Fuzzy Thinking by Bob Kosko, as Univ of Calfornia based researcher, I was too much impressed by his comparison of Buddhist Philosophy as practised by the Japanese , versus, the Aristotlean philosophy as practised by the western nations. Kosko, although was wanting to tell , through this comparison, as to how the idea of fuzzy logic and computer circuits based on these philosophies came about. His basic theme was to do a research in artifical intelligence, where machine may be able to understand things in same 'vague' terms that we humans do, such as "How is your job" /answer" "It's okay". In the binary systems, machines understand only "good" and "bad". But human world lives in answers which lies in between too, which is the Buddhist "Middle Path" kind of thinking, reason why the Japanese were so keen to find material which may learn to respond to the in-between current voltages too.
well, the summary was, how philosophy, which Bob Kosko held a degree in, helped making of such logic-circuits. That was too impressive for me to think how Philosophy a subject which we common people despise so much, was turned into so much enriching and encashable thought.
Then, i thought, why not should we have this subject introduced in our schools and colleges and places such as IITs. The deficit of knowledge in Philosophy was severly felt by me.
While reading about the arguments on menace of Corrpution, i read many people writing as to how a lack of moral awakening can lead to corruption, even if a Jan Lokpal is introduced. there arguments sounded reasonable to me.

It is from the combination of the two, my professional experience and from Kosko's 'best -selling' work, i though why not help growth of philosophy, which as it is india claims to be excelling in by way of its "spiritual leadership" , to become a part of everyone's learning. (well, at this point Baba Ramdev and his band can be incorporated too, although the Philisophy teaching that I am talking about is a different, applied version of it, also absorbing the western concepts too, in it. This will help the overall promotion of the subject too.

secondly, we need to aim at increasing the internal philisophical friction betweem the people so as to churn out a good ethical society. Thankfully as a nation we are already secular, democratic, and endorsing the Universal declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

maybe, then, all that is required is to just take a lead while many of our government policies are already in favour to impart us a good headway in this direction.

Please think about it, and respond to my suggestion.
Anubha Shukla: They are going to cheat there also...
Yeah, but Professional Training Course do not work on the basis of closed book exams. Over here, the purpose of the tarining course is to increase psychological friction between two people when they meet each other for any job-dependency reason. For example, A meet B for getting his work 'Alpha' to be cleared. Until now, due to our social culturing, the event is that B, if he is govt officer, will look for some personal gains, to help A clear away his work Alpha faster. With the course module done, A might be formally competing, mentally, with B and rest all the people who are around as to what they might be thinking about what's in his mind.
Caught red-handed in cheating will also help increase friction ! the society has a natural tendency for competeing against each other, that 'neighbours envy'. the adjacent guy will habitually tease or finger-point at the one who is caught cheating, no matter what is the exam! the blaming-game in this is about too-dull-to-not-be-able-to-cheat-successfully. it is also known that everybody uses unfair means if he gets any oppertunity.

Corruption has a socio-economic aspect as well. At the same time as curbing down the economic growth, corruption has helped many people to make quick money and thus rise in their social status. Remember that one of the research study says that people do give more or same status to those who earn money by corruption means, as any other honest people. Infact, many reserved class people, who were both socially and economically backwards today feel empowered only because corruption has given thme enough financial strenght to feel themselves like a victor. The wealth of the non-backward classes have neither been anything honestly earned.

In summary, the war between the groups of people is all about earning more money, nomatter what means.

During this, a few educated or exposed groups have started showing hesitations for corruption , all credit to small awakening that could be achieved by some scattered knowledge obtained from movies/tv etc. This success is only due to the fact that such people have fomal learning into various subjects of sciences/art. The movies, which mostly do not convey a good knowledge on what damage the corruption does, but only show a public apathy or frustration towards it, still succeed in giving some more organised thoughts about damages due to corruption.

At this point, it is important to recall that Corruption DOES NOT compleyely destroy our economic progress. It only slows it down by putting money on some unorganised route.

So, the idea of course is to formally introduce knowledge on corruption and other related philisophical matters, so that a competetion begin in the groups of people about what the other might be thinking. whether the opposite favours it, or opposes it? The honest will get a formal place to show up their honesty , and the course programs become a platform for a formal and regulat debate to happen between such people, so that knowledge will be gained by the course organisers as well.

Then it will create a place for hypocrisy to be built, and then later exposed, if someone is doing good in course-exam and still involving in the corruption ,as his antagonist may begin finger-pointing game on each other during the courses. that bwill be sever social pressure to come out of corruption's socially accpeted regime..