Our method is related to Carl Rogers` style of discussion (client-centred method) (Rogers & Dorfman, 1951; Rogers, 1966). Rogers focuses primarily on the consultant`s attitude (reality, acceptance and respect, and empathetic understanding) (Rogers & Freiberg, 1969). What this means for actual consultant interventions became clear to us when we began using William Stiles` (Stiles, 1992) taxonomy to analyze these interventions. For discussion, we used concepts drawn from the work of Paul Ricoeur (Ricoeur, 1992). In these concepts, the focus was on the content of the client`s statements, the what. Through the reflection of our courses and our consulting practice, we have acquired new ideas that Hans Evers describes elsewhere as contemplative listening. With the ideas of this approach, we look at how customers talk about themselves. Following Evers` example, we have decided below to use the terms “contemplative listening to moral issues” and “listener” instead of “consultant.” He had a keen sense of moral hypocrisy, and I know he would not have missed a glaring example of that. Once the client has had every opportunity to make moral statements, the auditor and the client will attempt to establish a consistent link between the statements. To do this, we used an auditory grid with labels based on Ricoeur`s concepts (Ricoeur, 1992).

The client and the auditor are primarily guided by what the client has said. Ricoeur points out that when people make a morally charged decision, they can justify their decision based on what they aspire to in terms of values (ideal-teleological) or what they consider the norm for themselves (command, prohibition and duty – deontology). For the first perspective, he relies on the ideas of Aristotle, for the second on those of Kant. Ricoeur argues that the two perspectives should be linked. He uses the image of a sieve. To arrive at a wise decision, Ricoeur explains, people must guide what they call “good” through the “sieve” of what they consider “right.” “Fair” is about universal standards, standards that apply to everyone in all situations. Ricoeur advocates wisdom in a practical situation, a wisdom found by transmitting what is considered valid through the sieve of what is generally considered right. Plato`s disciple, Aristotle, tried to bring Platonism back to earth and established a moral value in the essential nature of organisms. Moral counseling is defined as the professional assistance or supervision of clients in making decisions whose outcome may be morally justified, as good, just or wise. Together with the client, the moral advisor examines what the moral problem is: is it a choice or a dilemma, or is there an inevitable need to make a decision? The goal is to see what possible decision suits the “me” that needs to be rediscovered.

Moral advice can therefore be recommended to clients who feel they must make a decision that does not correspond to their self-image – in short, if the decision to be made catapults them into a crisis situation. If an examiner notices that a client is faced with a moral dilemma, he or she may suggest contemplative listening to moral issues. The client indicates what the moral problem is and what decision he intuitively tends to make. She is then invited to explore her “moral map” by indicating all sorts of considerations relevant to her decision. The auditor keeps a low profile: he does not go beyond the client`s frame of reference. The most common and effective intervention here is “reflection” (Stiles, 1992), in which the listener “reflects” what the client is saying. This is usually done in the form of a simple repetition or summary in the listener`s own words (e.g., C3). The listener can also reflect on the previous discussion (a more complete summary, e.g. C4).

This gives the customer the space to talk about everything they can think of – more or less associatively – about what touches them most deeply. “Recognition” is another appropriate intervention. Small verbal and non-verbal encouragement can help the client continue her story (e.g., C2). During the discussion, the listener takes notes for his own benefit. He may write something to recall a certain statement. It can also make an audio recording of the discussion for later analysis. Prodicus, whom Plato himself admired, seems to have been primarily concerned with the moral problem. That is why I am here to fulfill my moral obligation as a meat eater. We present a listening grid for moral advice in which, in addition to which, we pay particular attention to the way clients talk about themselves: as if they were spectators; be aware of what this speech is doing to them; how they perceive what is good about the past; and what they will strive to achieve in the future. Through this moral conversation, customers discover an image of conviction that allows them to make a decision.

In contemplative listening, the listener briefly records all relevant statements (facts, norms, virtues and values) as if he were the secretary during the internal consultation. As soon as the subject has been examined from all angles and the client does not make any new statements, the client and the auditor end the open discussion. The client heard herself speak and gained a new understanding of herself and her moral problem. When you speak, new ideas often come up. However, the conviction or choice of leadership may not yet be clear. In order to facilitate the classification by the client of the many – sometimes contradictory – statements, auditors and customers return to the recorded statements. They now agree on a new direction for the discussion: once collected, statements are formulated more concretely and then classified. The client is asked to formulate a statement she made during the interview as a personal position (e.g., C101-103). For very general statements, the auditor encourages the client to customize them (e.g. C150-152).

When formulating, the listener tries to pay attention not only to what is said, but also to how (from what angle) it is said. If the customer says that a sentence really reflects what he meant, this statement is recorded. In previous publications, we have described moral counseling as a form of discussion support where the focus is on the questions (what) raised by the client (De Groot & Leget, 2011). The strength of this technique is that it allows the client to look at the moral spectrum from different angles, supported by an auditory grid in which values and norms are interconnected to arrive at moral conviction. The history of fluoridation reads like a postmodern fable, and the moral is clear: a scientific discovery may seem like a blessing. But bashing the good police officers who made the city safe and saved thousands of lives remains a moral crime. This form of contemplative listening can be used in moral counseling, which we have therefore renamed “contemplative listening on moral issues.” While contemplative listening can refer to a life, moral questions concern the “moral life,” which Ricoeur called the “good life.” In this article, we follow Ricoeur when he talks about the “good life”. Clients express their opinions on the moral aspects of what they should decide. Morality (which we understand as a metaphor) is not something that can be summed up all at once, but a “picture of what is moral” emerges when people talk about it from four different angles.

Maria E.C. van Hoek, MSc, is an assistant trainer in moral counseling and moral counseling. She has studied biomedical sciences and conducted research on various issues of medical ethics. The report is distinguished by the fact that it does not explicitly discuss the moral and ethical issues related to CRISPR babies. These may be the smallest in the kingdom of heaven, but by the law of the moral equation they cannot be excluded. The differences are extremely interesting, both as a story and as a moral lesson. Even the city of Philadelphia is not exempt from this moral scourge. Ricoeur`s key concepts in moral counseling. Biohackers, true to their promises, manage to easily address some related ethical and moral issues such as genetic modification of stem cells, access to advanced gene therapies, confidentiality and consent to genomic data. This was to give them an enormous reservoir of moral strength and comfort.

The client returns home with a photo of a new conviction. It is not yet necessarily clear to which decision it will bind him. The listener must curb his curiosity and not insist that the client make a decision in his presence. As a rule, it is enough to express the customer`s confidence that he can make the decision himself.