Ethics and Values have been the backbone of our culture, traditions, and customs since times immemorial. Simply stated, ethics and values mean moral principles that govern a person's behaviour or the conducting of an activity. Ethics is a branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of our actions and to the decency and wickedness of the motives and the ends of such actions (www.speakingtree.in). The purpose of ethics and values is to identify and define the rules that should be followed as standards of human behaviour. In spite of ethics and values being the most fundamental building blocks of society, we are witnessing a widespread degeneration of human values. Sadly, ethical misconduct is rapidly becoming an accepted norm. People just avoid taking judgmental calls leading to an overall decline in standards of behaviour and general erosion of moral values in society.
It is in this backdrop that this multidisciplinary symposium has been planned to reinforce the importance of ethics and values and positively reshaping the moral temper of society. The aim is to highlight the importance of integrity, humility, sincerity, honesty, compassion, forgiveness, courage and many other components of moral behaviour. This symposium intends to provide a platform for fruitful dialogue and exchange of ideas among academics, researchers, professionals and practitioners to develop a holistic view of inculcating ethics and values ensuring maintenance of an ethically strong society.
A value system is a set of consistent values used for the purpose of ethical or ideological integrity. Indian ancient scriptures underline the importance of having a value system which satisfies the senses of the God instead of one's own personal material senses. This needs to be reinforced through revisiting our priceless ancient scriptures. For instance, Bhagavad Gita, explains in a very simple way the importance of having right values in life.
A society is a result of the behaviour of its members. Sadly, ethical misconduct is becoming an accepted norm which is very scary. We need to ensure that our members understand the importance of adopting ethical behaviour. Unethical behaviour might give returns in the short run, but it would not definitely lead to a prosperous society in the long run.
Ethical decision-making refers to the process of evaluating and choosing among alternatives in a manner consistent with ethical principles. In making ethical decisions, it is necessary to perceive and eliminate unethical options and select the best ethical alternative. The three major elements are commitment, consciousness and competency (blink.ucsd.edu). It is widely accepted that ethical decisions generate trust which yields bigger revenues in the long run.4. Ethics in Contemporary Business and Management
Ideally, in business and management, ethics and values should be the lifeline. However, in reality, to beat competition and to achieve maximum results with minimum efforts has led to general erosion of ethics and values. By the time, the results of this ethical misconduct are visible, damage is beyond repair. To avoid such crisis, it is important to make the managers learn to practice ethical behaviour irrespective of the consequences.5. Values in Cross Cultural Engagement
Cross-cultural engagement (CCE) is a distinct type of community-based engagement, partnering with citizens whose knowledge does not necessarily correspond to scientific models. It goes beyond conventional scientific thought. So, values have an important role here. It helps in understanding the lived experience, oral traditions, and wisdom embedded in spirituality.6. Repositioning the Role of Saints and Philosophers in Contemporary India
Since time immemorial, saints and philosophers have played a crucial role in dispelling ignorance about results of our karmas .Our karmas are dependent on how strong our ethics and values are. The saints and philosophers help in opening the eyes of the human beings with the torch of knowledge. It is, thus, important to understand and reposition their role in reinforcing ethics and values in today's generation.7. Reinforcement of Importance of Ethics and Values in Mythology
Mythology consists of stories that are narrated to describe the culture of any place. One good definition comes from the American Heritage Dictionary, in which it is "a fiction or half-truth, especially one that forms part of an ideology." This definition itself explains why ethics and values should be reinforced in mythological stories. These stories tell us about constant fight between good and evil where importance is given to values and morals to win this fight. As mythological stories are the simplest ways of getting into the minds, its importance should be highlighted to inculcate ethics and values at an early age.