Taste of Protest- Understanding Ethics involved in and around conflicts
THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE is a product of doubt. Whenever we ask ourselves seriously whether we really know anything at all, we are naturally led into an examination of knowing, in the hope of being able to distinguish trustworthy beliefs from such as are untrustworthy. The conflict between what is trustworthy and untrustworthy is what we face everyday around us in various forms of ethical issues.
1) What is Ethics? What does it mean to engage in thoughtful ethical discourse?
2) Where do our moral values come from?
3) Are values universal and unchanging, embedded in the very fabric of existence, or are they the subjective constructs of human thought, defined and shaped entirely by their cultural and historical context?
4) What is the good life? What is right conduct? Is there an ultimate purpose/meaning to life?
5) To what extent are our lives shaped by genetic and/or environmental factors or are human beings free to shape their own destinies?
Why is the answer that each of us gives to all of these questions profoundly important to the present and future course of each of our lives?
The course is designed to give students the opportunity to explore and develop their own moral framework through a series of carefully selected and documented web links, youtube videos and some ethical case studies that center on current and emerging 21st century ethical challenges. Through collaborative, anchored inquiry, students learn to effectively research, discuss, listen, debate, collaborate, reflect, write, and express their ethical viewpoints. The goal is not to shape the students' morality with any set agenda but rather to foster their capacity for rigorous ethical discourse and thinking. Hopefully, as a result of the curriculum, each student will be a better informed and educated citizen with the capability to make better decisions in an increasingly complex world. Throughout the course, students will be learning to:
• Confront and examine ethical dilemmas which reflect and/or transcend various paradigms in society today.
• Utilize different ethical orientations to examine the moral complexity of different issues.
Students will be introduced to some video clips for introduction of the topic to create common understanding and platform for induction of this project. Some links that will used are attached.
Random – groups of 4 ( total 7 groups- 28 students of IBDP year -1)
Timeline :- 8 weeks ( starting 1st July 2013)
1) Essay ( final product for IBO)
2) Journal of their explorations of understanding of a conflict
3) Presentation by each student
•How do human beings actually think about and make moral decisions?
•Where do our moral values come from?
•Are values universal and unchanging, embedded in the very fabric of existence, or are they the subjective constructs of human thought, defined and shaped entirely by their cultural and historical context?
•Can history be ethical?
•Is there always a ‘nation’ in nationalism?
Dimensions for Reviewing and understanding Conflicts.
•Internal – a conflict within oneself
•Interpersonal - a conflict between two or more individuals
• Intragroup – a conflict within a group (Groups can be institutions,organizations, or any groups of people who share a specific role or identity.)
• Intergroup – a conflict between two or more groups
• International – a conflict between two or more nations
• Global – a conflict that directly or indirectly has an effect on all people and nations in the world
• Transboundary – a conflict between groups that is based on their positions in relation to a geographical boundary
What is Source of Conflict? what is it over?
• Conflicts Over Resources (Human Resources; Things and Capital; Natural Resources; Land and Territory)
•Conflicts Over Values (Beliefs, Choices and Perspectives, and Preferences) Conflicts over “what is most Important”
•Conflicts over psychological needs (Power and Control, Emotional needs ,conflicts related to an individual’s or group’s need for respect, love, individual differences)
Relationship between/ amongst Conflicting parties?
•The type of relationship that exists between conflicting parties will often determine the intensity of the conflict and its outcome. Important questions to ask include:
– What kind of climate is present between conflicting parties? How can the climate change the outcome?
– Trusting or Suspicious
– Friendly or Hostile
– Open or Resistant
– Calm or Emotionally Tense
•Do parties come to the conflict with equal power or a power imbalance?
•What is the degree of interdependence between the conflicting parties?
•How well do the parties know one another?
What is the History of Conflict?
Usually the longer a conflict exists, the more intense and complex it becomes, and therefore, the more difficult to resolve. Yet, there is also a point when parties can become so “battle weary” that they finally see resolution as the best strategy.
•Factors that complicate a conflict:
• The duration of the conflict.
•The frequency of the conflict.
•The intensity of the conflict. How life threatening is the conflict?
•The perception of the conflict by both those directly involved and those
•who witness it but do not feel directly affected by it.
•Do people “see” the conflict as serious or irrelevant?
How do we choose to deal with the conflict?
In every conflict, all parties involved make choices to take some action they think will help them get what they want and need. These choices may be spontaneous or calculated, constructive or destructive. Conflicts can develop in stages and consequently may involve many different responses as the conflict proceeds. Some of those choices are:
Avoidance – deny, ignore, or back off the conflict
– Diffuse the conflict – postpone, wait, gather data, or check it out
Engage in the conflict – methods might include:
–Direct Force or Competition
–Accommodation – to adapt or adjust
–Use Collaborative Problem-Solving
Practice Restorative Justice- valuing community continuity and well-being in the solution
•Will this lead to understanding of conflicts and process of resolving them?
•Ways in which this can be internalized, rather than just being one more process/ subject for examination.
Youtube links for introduction of the topic and discussions:-
•https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV7uaWuxCog ( Maruti Car – Manesar - Industrial Dispute)
•https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1vFcItBZMw ( India China Border issue- international Border issue)
•https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fC6ZOqZ7av8 ( Maruti Car – Manesar- Perspectives)
•https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DItdYAN_I-8 ( Egyptian Crisis- Impact of international events )
•https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdG1BWuLZhg ( Attack on Prisoners in Pakistan/ India)
Some Films recommended
•"Million Dollar Baby”
•“The Emperor's Club”
•“Dead Man Walking”
•“Courage Under Fire”
• “Schindler's List”