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What is meant by the term “conscience”? Is conscience a reliable ethical compass for our life, especially for a civil servant? Explain.

Topic: Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and nonpartisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

7. What is meant by the term “conscience”? Is conscience a reliable ethical compass for our life, especially for a civil servant? Explain.(250 words)

Reference:  Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of “Conscience” and its reliability for our life with special focus on its application to civil servants.

Key Demand of the question:

Define what conscience is and discuss in what way it is important for civil servants and us in general.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with the definition of Conscience.

Body:

Conscience describes two things – what a person believes is right and how a person decides what is right. More than just ‘gut instinct’, our conscience is a ‘moral muscle’. By informing us of our values and principles, it becomes the standard we use to judge whether or not our actions are ethical.

Discuss why we or the civil servants must rely on conscience.

Explain the idea that one’s conscience is a responsible arbiter between right and wrong and is therefore reliable for making decisions. A person’s conscience is rightly considered sacred because conscience allows man to exercise reason, which is a spark of divine intelligence. The act of the moral conscience is an efficacious practical judgment. Without conscience a person would doubt even the smallest decisions.

Illustrate its relevance to civil servants.

Conclusion:

Conclude with its importance.