‘The world suffers not from the violence of the bad, but the silence of the good’
By: Priyanka Saurabh
Morality is the greatest quality of humanity and separates us from mere animal existence. A moral crisis ensues when a man is faced with the dilemma of choosing between a good and a bad act. If a moral person sees and recognizes the atrocity and still fails to intervene, he or she is as responsible as the perpetrators themselves. If he does the wrong thing, he may be immoral, but being a moral instrument, he has no value and therefore cannot be corrected or saved. Neutrality is another way of saying; When you could have made a difference, stand still and do nothing. Inaction in any area can be very harmful. All UNSC countries not taking action against Russia for waging an unjust war on Ukraine is an example. Mankind as a whole is suffering and yet no one wants to be involved. Fighting climate change requires active participation from all countries in rooting out terrorism, yet inaction is evident.
Napoleon insisted, “The world suffers not from the violence of the bad, but from the silence of the good.” Neutrality refers to the quality of avoiding responsibility. Our actions affect our surroundings and being neutral has its consequences and the responsibility for the consequences of neutrality can never be avoided. A crisis of conscience is a time when a person faces serious difficulty in deciding whether his action is morally right or not. In addition to this speculation, the crisis can operate in retrospect when choosing between right and wrong. It is when a person is previously going through some punitive feelings because of the idea of doing something morally unfair or wrong. This state of moral dilemma can also turn into a more critical sense. This is when a person is afraid of committing a morally wrong act by not obeying the voice of conscience. It also often becomes difficult to act according to self-worth and principles. People eventually reject their conscience for some materialistic demand or greed and behave the opposite. Due to worldly need and desire, this action starts to weaken the voice of the conscience and human nature.
Yet, human beings, due to some uncontrollable reason or circumstance, often go against their beliefs. Such situations can also create feelings of guilt and regret. A crisis of conscience is a situation when people are confused between right and wrong. People often worry about their actions that may be unfair or morally wrong in such situations. This is due to deeply rooted moral principles, which involve self-evaluation and introspection. In addition, this feeling of self-judging leads to regret and other feelings. Several philosophical, religious, and routine concepts can define this crisis. However, they all involve some distinctive aspects; First, conscience is some of the underwritten values and moral principles, including self-confidence in a variety of situations. It refers to resisting one’s moral self-belief to stand against conscience. According to the second aspect, conscience may reflect the ability to distinguish moral truth. Third, it involves the scrutiny of self-will and action, which brings out feelings such as regret, guilt, and shame.
A crisis of conscience brings to the individual a difficult moral question. In this situation, he must consider what is reasonable and just to answer this question. It should also be remembered that it is imperative for a man to always obey the voice of conscience and be morally right. Therefore, it is not always possible to eliminate remorse from within. There are grey areas of morality and it is sometimes impossible to resolve the dilemma because any of these choices will lead to moral turpitude. Nevertheless, values such as compassion, empathy, honesty, and integrity help us make the right decisions. To work or not to do is a challenge and the above values can guide one better.
The writer is Research Scholar in Political Science, Poet, freelance journalist, and columnist.