Every individual adheres to different sets of values. These values are manifested in the form of attitude of a person. Attitude consists of the acquired state of mind, consisting of feelings, thoughts and tendency to act towards anything we come across. Based on our mindset, we may attribute a positive or negative character with any particular thing.
It is not necessary that we carry the same attitude forever. We might react to a thing different in different times. Also an individual can also have multiple attitude for any object. Read More…
Men and society has always been concerned about the social milieu in which we live. Thus, men of great intellect and vision have made deep insights into the issues of ethics and morality, in their attempt to explore the appropriate ‘means’ and ‘ends’ of the human life.
Education of an individual has a long-lasting impact. Thus, there is a great emphasis on the nature and scope of education system in reforming and inculcating the human life with ethical principles. There has been a realization of the urgent need to control our materialistic impulses through the development of cognition, belief and emotions. That is why, the theme of value education has become very important in the contemporary society.
In India, the National Policy on Education (1986) reiterated the same need for value education. Read More…
Many of us wonder, why did UPSC introduce a subject of this kind?
The whole framework of the Ethics paper has been based on values and ethical principles, that guide the actions and behaviour of an administrator. Given the frequent complaints in the public administration, no wonder there is a growing emphasis on ethics in public servants.
The experience of the previous years paper has proved a few facts:
Introduction: Ancient Greek Philosophy
Greek Philosophers believed virtue as excellence of any kind. A virtue is a character trait or quality that is valued as good, by the society. Virtues generally further the good of the society and the individual. It is a disposition of the character to act in an appropriate and beneficial way.
Virtues can be seen in the context of values. A value is a core yardstick of measuring the desirability and appropriateness of the things we observe around. Every individual abides by some values that guide his actions and beliefs. Likewise, every society upholds certain values that are valued as important for the establishment of a good life. However, it is not necessary that an individual’s values are in conformity to the social values.
Given the broad spectrum of human values, values can be broadly categorized into four groups- Read More…
Emile Durkheim, John Stuart Mill, and Immanuel Kant represent the thinkers of the modern age who, not only changed the fate of several social sciences but also, changed the human perception towards Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude. The insights that these thinkers made in the universe of ethics, is very useful and rich for the contemporary society.
So, let’s discuss some of the important ideas of these thinkers:
Why do we Need to Study Western Thinkers?
Let’s make a basic idea clear first: there is no such thing as Ethics for a particular country/region/religion. Ethics and morality refer to a way of viewing things, and deliberating about the best possible ways to achieve human happiness. Thus, it might not be a good strategy to outcaste the western philosophers while trying to understand such issues.
Another thing to be kept in mind is that, it is important to understand the ideas and perspectives of the western thinkers, for they enrich our understanding of the human psyche. By bringing different perspectives, and standpoints, the study of western thinkers add to the knowledge that we try to unlock.
Thus, any aspirant should try to understand these thinkers, with a purpose other than securing good marks in exam.
Jawaharlal Nehru has been hailed as one of the chief architects of the modern Indian state. Nehru was a great statesman and an idealist. He never vowed before the conservative forces, that tried to obstruct the development of the nation. However, unlike Gandhi, he did not put the concept of spirituality at the centre of his concern. But, his ideas remained equally humane, rational and this-worldly. He stood against the forces of communalism, casteism, landlordism and religious taboos. His accommodating attitude guided the infant Indian state through the most challenging phases. Read More…
Principle of Character
Gandhi idealizes a moral and ethical character. Character comes from within. It is the key to success. One’s character must be clear, truthful and self-controlled. Gandhi believed that the true test of a civilization and culture is the degree to which these are able to inculcate moral-ethical values in the character of an individual. It is a moral character that guides the human beings towards progress. A weak character breaks in the wake of adverse situations; but a strong and stable character faces every adversity with courage. Also, a good character radiates itself to the society, bringing goodness all around. Thus, a noble character alone can make an impact on the masses. Read More…
The ideas of Mahatma Gandhi, not only influenced the currents in the Indian society, but also influenced the global philosophical debates. Gandhi is seen as a champion of the modern ethical philosophical thinkers. His life, itself, became an example of moral-ethical conduct. He viewed human life as an integrated whole, which grows through our actions and beliefs. Gandhi gave moral values, a predominant role in the process of reform of the human society.
Ethics in Hinduism
Doctrine of Karma
This doctrine asserts that whatever a person suffers/enjoys is a fruit of his own deeds. This doctrine introduces the concept of cycles of births, in which, an individual take rebirth after living a life. Through his karma of the previous birth, his fate is determined for the present birth. Karma can be of four types- Sanchit karma, which means the accumulated past actions; Prarabdha karma, which means the part of karma which has been done in the present birth; Kriyamana karma, which means the present voluntary actions of the free will; and Agami karma, which means the immediate result caused by our present actions. Read More…