[Introduction] Metaphorically, both “conscience” and “moral consciousness” have similar meanings as both are representative of an “inner moral voice.” In this article “moral consciousness” is used with reference to an active, intentional, and communal “moral awareness” considerate of feelings that are personal and collective. Thus, rather than being a depository for one’s beliefs and moral sentiments, an inner voice that somehow reaches out and speaks to us, the moral consciousness is a revolving flow of ideas and opinions offering views, sifted through reason and communal consultation, about what is or what is not moral behavior. Utilizing an analysis by Roy Woods Sellars, a case is made that knowledge, including moral knowledge, is not an isolated or individual phenomenon lying deeply within the conscious mind. Rather, it is a culturally influenced and sharing of our opinions and values with others, malleable and often inconsistent. Understanding this, especially for values-based leaders, places a strong emphasis on the importance of human relationships and communication utilizing insight, intuition, and the moral imagination as tools for effective values dissemination. Recognizing our communal nature, attached emotionally as well as physically and occupationally, the difficulties of this explication are apparent. Consequently, this reflective tour may be more of an idealized vision than a substantiated empirical assessment given the intrinsic nature of moral consciousness, moral beliefs, and sentiments. This being said and owning up to my idealism, my purpose is to set forth what I believe are the rational conditions for being actively moral. But one should be careful, for being rational doesn’t deny the importance of emotions, sentiments, or the intuitions of the conscious mind; reason doesn’t create our values, it only brings structure and consistency to our moral musings.
Hester, Joseph P.
"Reflections on Humanity’s Moral Consciousness: Uncovering the Foundation of Values-based Leadership,"
The Journal of Values-Based Leadership: Vol. 13
, Article 14.
Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/jvbl/vol13/iss2/14