What does Deliberation stand for?

The concept of deliberation, which comes from the Latin deliberatio, refers to the act and the result of deliberating: analyzing the benefits and disadvantages of a decision before specifying it or discarding it according to the expected effects.

For example: “The court decided to postpone the deliberation on the legality of the measure announced by the governor”, “The deliberation of the partners will last several weeks”, “The jury began deliberation on the verdict yesterday”.

Deliberations take place in all walks of life. Sometimes it is an informal and spontaneous process; in others, they are part of a pre-established mechanism and subject to certain rules.

It is important to mention that a deliberation can be individual. Suppose a person has to decide what to make for dinner. Before making a decision, he opens the cupboard and the fridge to see what ingredients are available to him. Then he initiates an internal deliberation to define the appropriate menu according to his possibilities.

The members of a marriage, on the other hand, can develop a deliberation before deciding the destination of their next vacation. Marcos suggests going to a beach, while Ana prefers to go to the mountains. Both debate the points for and against each option until they reach an agreement.

In other contexts, deliberation takes place in a more structured way. Legislators, to cite one case, deliberate before proceeding to a vote. The same is done by members of a court or jury before a verdict.

The steps to carry out a deliberation, regardless of whether it is in a formal or informal setting, are as follows:

* define the desired objective: it is not possible to start deliberating if there is no goal, the desire to make a decision or carry out an action. In the personal sphere, it may be about issues such as those mentioned in the previous examples, which do not entail very important consequences, while in the legal sphere it may weigh the defendant’s right to remain free or even alive;

* identify the pros and cons: deliberation consists precisely in consciously and carefully observing all the points for and against the decision we want to make, and that is why it cannot take place in a fraction of a second. We need to take some time to look around us and anticipate what would happen if we went ahead;

* the verdict: both in court and in our own home, after deliberation comes the verdict, that decision, judgment or opinion that we issue after reflection and that marks the course of our actions from that moment.

Given that deliberation is opposed to negligence or lack of awareness when acting, it is logical that the decisions that emerge from this moment of reflection and debate are worthy of punishment and reproach if they lead to serious consequences. We could say that in the absence of deliberation, one acts on impulse, although with certain nuances it would also be correct to attribute the lack of foresight to custom.

The adverb deliberately serves to describe the way in which we act after a deliberation, both internal and group. Depending on the context, it can be used to emphasize the careful planning behind a decision, but also to scold someone who has broken a rule, for example: “You can see that your steps are deliberate, that you carefully analyze the path and each step.” one of his moves before advancing”, “I don’t understand why you did this, let alone that you acted deliberately”.