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Rushworth M. Kidder MORAL COURAGE
VICTOR PESTOV: 1970 Labor camps in Perm, Russia Poor living conditions Government oppression Pestov – reputable family in society Publishes “Free Russia” – spreading government sentiments Risk Was of being arrested it moral or physical courage?
DEFINING COURAGE Quality of mind which enables one to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness or without fear
PHYSICAL COURAGE Driven by sense of honor Shaped by concern over reputation MORAL COURAGE Principle driven Courage to be moral Moral values Honesty Respect Responsibility Fairness Compassion PHYSICAL AND MORAL COURAGE
ELEMENTS OF MORAL COURAGE Enduranc e Principl e Danger
SEVEN STEPS TO MORAL COURAGE 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Assess the situation Scan for values Act on conscience Understand the risks Endure the hardship Avoid the inhibitors Learn moral courage
ASSESS THE SITUATION Analyze the situation Motives Inhibitions Risks What is the central concern? Inhibitions Risks
SCAN FOR VALUES What values characterize the situation? Lack of values often requires courageous action Pervasiveness How does it shape my response? Distinguish significant from the trivial Can I take on the failings of another?
ACT ON CONSCIENCE Focus on one or two key values May be automatic, or right vs. right Dismantle right vs. wrong arguments that might cause inaction Recognize that no higher value ought to draw us into a different course
UNDERSTAND THE RISKS Have I adequately assessed the dangers involved? Am I clear on the moral and physical hazards? Ambiguity Exposure Loss
ENDURE THE HARDSHIP Confidence to endure hardship Expressing confidence improves trustworthiness What do I trust? Experience Character Faith Intuition
AVOID THE INHIBITORS Inhibitors to avoid Overconfident cultures Compromises Foolhardiness Timidity Raw courage Tepid ethic Over reflection Bystander apathy Group think Normalized deviancy Altruism Cultural differences
LEARN MORAL COURAGE Is it nature or nurture? To attain courage Discourse and discussion Modeling and mentoring Practice and persistence How to test if it’s genuine Ends-based risk-benefit test Rule-based self righteousness test Care-based innocent parties test
VICTOR PESTOV: 1970 1. Assess the situation 2. Lack of respect for human rights and freedoms 6. These values were of greatest importance to him Understand the risks Worked in secrecy, held faith in his cause Avoid the inhibitors 7. Loss of social standing, trust, family, life Endure the hardship Act on conscience 4. 5. Scan for values 3. Government violence against civilians Bystander apathy, timidness Learn moral courage Assembled collaborators and carried out plans
UNDERLYING ISSUES If the norm of organizational conduct is amoral, should one be reprimanded for adhering to the trend? Would deviancy of moral attitude result in severe repercussions? If so, should one continue doing what is morally acceptable?
UNDERLYING ISSUES When presented with two choices of same moral value, how does one choose? If the risks outweigh benefits significantly, should one still do the right thing? Deontological vs. Teleological
ALTERNATIVES Rather than focusing on intrinsic moral values, look at extrinsic gains Consider long-term impacts of a decision Personal Find and societal courage through external means
CHOICE OF ALTERNATIVES We support Kidder’s perspective Provides structured approach to achieving moral courage Highlights importance of standing by personal values, while considering consequences Encourages the practice of moral courage in our daily lives
CHOICE OF ALTERNATIVES However Being morally courageous does necessarily mean one is doing “the right thing” Kidder’s 7 -step guideline can be excessive in certain situations
CONCLUSION Difference between physical and moral courage – growing importance of the latter Explains the risks that can arise Explores why people fail to be morally courageous Forces us to consider difficult moral dilemmas Not everything has a definitive answer
CONCLUSION Moral courage can be practiced by anyone in any situation Greater confidence in principles than in personalities High tolerance for ambiguity, exposure, and personal loss Independence of thought Formidable persistence and determination
Rushworth M. Kidder MORAL COURAGE