Between religion, feelings, society, rule, and results, the class and I was asked to choose which one I think has the most influence on ethical behavior. Many students including me answer for religion. I did choose this because I believe that every single thing I do should be based on what my religion (Islam) teach me to do. And, I do believe that since all religions encourage good behaviors, we will think and behave ethically if we follow our religion path. In fact, there were very view students who responded for ‘rule’. And the lecturer somehow associated this finding with the behaviors of AiU students who tend to disobey the rule. Perhaps he was just joking. However, I would like to give my view on this. I personally did not choose for ‘rule’ simply because it is the rule of human. It is created by human where sometimes it can be erroneous, inappropriate, unjust, and not applicable in some cases. But if we act based on what our religion teach us or in other words based on what written in the holy book ”Quran”, the rule that we follow is the rule of God “Allah” in which the truth is unquestionable and we cannot demand proof.
At the same time, I cannot deny that we cannot impose our religious thoughts on others all the time. As a Muslim, it may be alright to refer to Islamic perspective when dealing with the other Muslims. But, when we deal with people from different religion, it may not be acceptable for them. Even some Muslims sometime do not refer to Islamic thoughts when making decision. They are sometimes doing things based on what the majority in the society do, what the rules implied, or even based on what they feel is good.
I learnt a very great and important lesson in this week lecture. We were told a story of a scholar student who asked suggestions from five of her friends regarding her plan to take special drug for her immune. All the ideas given were different from one another. All the five friends looked at this issue from different perspectives based on their ethical thinking styles. This frequently happens to me. Whenever I feel doubt on a thing, I always ask the closes people I have e.g. my mother, my siblings, and my best friends. I most of the times face the same thing. All the people I asked give me different ideas from different angles which made me more confused. What valuable insight I learned from this story is that I have to digest and analyze all information received before using it as a reference for decision making.
Last question, will I have a problem if my ethical thinking style is not the same as that which is common in my environment? My answer is there should be no problem. Though it usually happens that when people do not have the same ethical thinking style as we have, it will result on mis-communication, conflict, disagreement, and even destroying the relationships. We have to bear in mind that everyone has their own believe, their own angle in looking at things. Thus, we cannot force them to think like the way how we think. Furthermore, AiU which is an international university where about 80% of the students and substantial portion of the academic staff are from all around the world helped to understand more about the many many kinds of ethical thinking styles that different culture accommodate.