The Value Of Conscience

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My friends have been asking me about my access to Gaya’s research on Thear.

“You seem to have met Gaya or her colleagues” alleged a friend.

“Did you discover a time-capsule with historical records?” asked another. One even went to allege that I had secretly time travelled. A sharp friend said nonsense, you’re just so poor at hiding anagrams.

But today is not the time to talk about my access to Gaya’s research. Her research, after all, is far more important than my mediocre attempts at spreading it.

Gaya’s insights into feedback had opened up questions that my dear friend Bert de Vries has been arguing for over a decade. Our world, he has been arguing, is shaped by our worldviews. Our worldviews combine our values and the capabilities these values offer, They form the lens through which we see our world. That’s why cultures of different worldviews act differently, he told me. How does that fit with feedback?

My notes documented the stir Gaya’s work on feedback had caused across the galaxy. The discussions following Gaya’s presentations on how Thearans were blind to feedback by value, design, and proxy had raised questions about the worldviews of the Thearans. The unforgettable question to Gaya came from a smiling, soft spoken scholar from the planet Aciratsoc whose kind eyes and respectful manner spread warmth, care, and peacefulness.

“Didn’t Thearans appreciate that feedback is the basis for conscience?” she almost whispered.

Now conscience cannot work if we have no feedback of the consequence of our actions. It seemed shocking that Thearans would not recognize the importance of feedback as a fundamental requirement to action driven by conscience.

Gaya smiled back. “You have put your finger on the spot” she said “Thearans became increasingly without a conscience as they blinded themselves to feedback. Without feedback the consequences of action cannot be evaluated with the moral code of the community. Nor can it be influenced by the ethical character of individuals who act in response to the feedback. Without feedback, action is amoral.”

“The moral code of Thearans, itself, was shaped by the value of conomics, the design by longchetoy notavinoni, and by proxy of cspoilit. This meant that while they failed to evaluate the consequences of their actions using a moral code, they decided actions based on this moral code, condemning themselves to become blind to conscience.” Gaya sighed. Although she had talked about the tragedy of the Thearan conscience many, many times, each time she felt the same distress. There was no joy in imagining how a species without conscience may have lived.

I must remember to ask my friend Bert if this is exactly what world views did – became the moral code to justify action rather than to evaluate the consequence of actions.

“On Thear, education handed out testimonials they called as degrees. These had nothing to do with the Thearans learning feedback, learning to evaluate the consequences of their action from a moral code, or building a character shaped by ethical considerations. These taught Thearans to value using conomics, design with longchetoy notavinoni, and act through proxy of cspoilit” Gaya explained how the amoral society of Thearans had got reinforced through their worldview.

“There are many stories from Thear about how they eroded their conscience by blinding themselves to feedback and their choice of morals that rewarded actions instead of consequences.” Gaya continued as the horrified audience understood better why Thearans had been wiped off the galaxy through the choices they made.

“The most famous one is The Value of Conscience”

Three Thearans were engaged in arguing their worldview.

The first boasted, “My children will inherit a billion collars from me. I ensure my actions are guided by the collars I need to spend so that I will not deplete my collars.” He believed in the power of the economy.

The second smiled and said, “While you are busy controlling your costs, I let my actions be guided by the convenience and comfort of my children. I will leave them a life of comfort and convenience.” He was a leading advocate of longchetoy notavinoni.

The third laughed and responded, “While you cut costs” he looked at the first and turned to the second, “and you act to have comfort, I simply act to outsource my actions. That way I will save costs, get convenience, and be ensure my children get taken care of and are powerful too.” He was one who swore by cspoilit.

A bystander looked at them and smiled. The three Thearans looked at him in anger and said in unison, “Why are you smiling?”

He looked back calmly and responded “Don’t you see you are building a world of misery for each of you?”

“How can that be”, they almost shouted back.

“Don’t you see your actions are without conscience? They have no feeling of the good or the bad you release into the world.” he responded “Unless your actions are driven by the consequences of your action, your actions will only bring you misery.”

After much arguments they agreed to meet after a few years to evaluate the value of their actions. They agreed their children should accompany them, so that they could see the value of what they have created.

On the appointed day they all gathered together. Only the bystander had two young companions. The others looked distraught but were making every effort to hide their state. The bystander seemed to have read the future in predicting that they were building a world of misery.

The first looked away as he made an excuse for his son’s absence. “My sons could not come” he stuttered. How could he could say they were at the gambling house gambling the collars he had saved for them?

The second looked down, “My daughter is enjoying the convenience of the comforts I created for her” he lied. How could he say that she had become lazy and refused to do anything?

The third hesitated before he whispered, “My daughters are busy outsourcing their life so they can be powerful.” The agony in his voice was visible. He definitely couldn’t share that they had outsourced their responsibility to him and left him in an old age home and never came to see him.

The young lad with the bystander looked at all of them and inquired what they would drink. He then asked them to be comfortable as he fetched them food and drinks. The young girl in the meanwhile cleared the table, bowed and asked them if there was any way she could serve them. The three Thearans were surprised at the respect and care the young lad and his sister had for all of them. They had never seen this respect and care from their children.

What had the bystander done, they wondered. Finally the third Thearan picked up the courage and asked, “What is the magic in your children’s respect and care?”
The bystander looked back kindly at the less fortunate Thearans. “I taught him to use his conscience.”
Gaya’s audience looked at her in admiration. Feedback, they realized was not something to be blind about. Conscience was the magic to build a world of respect and care. The moral values, they realized were important to evaluate the consequences of ones actions, not to justify actions while ignoring the consequences.


#All views expressed in this column are those of the author and/or individuals or institutions that may be quoted and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to the same. 

Anupam Saraph

Anupam Saraph

Dr. Anupam Saraph grew up in a Pune that was possibly a tenth of its current expanse and every road was lined by 200 year old trees. He’s committed to the cause of de-addicting the short-termers.

He can be reached @AnupamSaraph
Anupam Saraph

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