FREE WILL, RESPONSIBILITY & HUMAN VALUES
Prof. Dr. Ruby Bakshi Khurdi, Doctorate in Business Administration, Master in Business Administration (specialisation in Human Resources Management), Award winning International Motivational Speaker Leadership Coach & Trainer
The topic of this Presentation is related fundamentally to Human behavior. Life forms evolved years ago into diverse creatures, some of which, including ourselves, are “social” animals. Evolution has also endowed us with self-consciousness and the capacity for reasoning so we as humans have to think, act and react in an appropriate manner. Freewill, Responsibility and Human Values are inter-related when we talk about Human behavior.
Steering clearly away from ambiguities and vagueness, we can make a choice as far as our personal behavior is concerned. We can take a golden middle path, while encountering various different and conflicting views. Knowledge is an important guide, which helps us to navigate our boat smoothly in the ocean of life. Human Values as social standards, are fundamental beliefs that help us to distinguish between right and wrong courses of action.
With natural gifts like Freewill in thought comes the Moral responsibilities in actions and guidance as Human Values!! Humans will need norms to guide their interactions. It is nearly impossible to imagine a society that we could intelligibly consider human that existed without norms. Norms in turn create in people mutual expectations of each other that vary in strength and importance.
Indeed, we are probably the only creatures on Earth that consciously have normative expectations of each other and that make evaluative judgments when those expectations are satisfied or breached.
“If someone pushes me and I fall hard, my emotional response will depend on why I was pushed. If it was done to save me from danger, I will feel grateful, but if it was done to hurt me, I will feel angry.”
Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded.
Responsibility and more importantly Moral Responsibility is closely linked with the concept of Free will .Praise , Guilt, Sin and other judgements, apply only to, actions that are freely chosen.
Human Values as social standards, are fundamental beliefs that help to distinguish right and wrong for humans being in action. This adds balance and meaning in life, values enable individuals to live together within a society. Values are not innate; however, they are learnt and transmitted through observation and interaction. Values constitute basis for each culture. It is thought that a culture without values will come apart and its members will lose its unity and value. Thus, values are essential in social life as they form the basis of social formation. For a peaceful world and Society it is essential for cultures to be developed and transformed through common values that are shared by its people. Without taking sides in this interesting but wildly debated subject we shall focus on aspects which are related to and impact human behavior.
In Hinduism, the premise of free will is based on the concept of Karma. In essence, Karma is the concept that every action causes an equal reaction. Karma is accrued through three ways:
Lord Sri Krishna tells Arjuna in Chapter 18 verse 63 of Bhagavad Gita – “I have revealed to you profound and confidential knowledge. Now the choice is in your hands.” It is clear from this verse that all of us have a free will.
The freedom of choice is not infinite. One cannot decide, “I choose to be the most intelligent person in the world.” Our choices are limited by our past and present karmas.
You may be following a particular religion in order to remain disciplined in life, as the objective of every religion is to make an individual organized. How to remain religious, yet be spiritually free? Combine both devotion and knowledge. Devotion helps you to stick to a chosen value, ideal or a path while knowledge helps you to practice self-judgment and gradually release yourself from all entanglements, even bondage of religion.
Moral responsibility is one of the primary problems of humanity. As human beings we have responsibilities to people, society and the world, particularly in these diverse and changing contemporary global times. We are responsible to others, to the environment, to nature, to our socio-political community, to our present and future, both as Individuals as well as Communities.
With gifts like Freewill in thought come the Moral responsibilities in actions and guidance as Human Values.