Morality – UPSC Ethics

“Morality is a private and costly luxury.” – Henry Adams What do you understand by this statement? How much of it true in the Indian context? (150 Words)

“We talk on principle but act on interest.” Being a man of morals and principles in this world has never been easy, but it has also never been as difficult as it is now.
With the rising inequalities in standards of living and temptations of the rich life brought to us through media, people are in a hurry to make a quick buck and settle down early in life. This leads to many being willing to accept corruption as a way of life.
People consider it “ok” to blink away injustice happening around them. We have seen incidents of crowds indifferently watching a helpless woman being molested in public spots. This is because they fear to involve foreseeing future consequences and let humanity take a back seat.
People who hold on to inflexible principles often tends to lose out on temporary paybacks. We have seen how honest public servants sometimes are punished with transfers for their sincerity. While easily bribed bureaucrats jump up promotions with political influence.
In the Indian scenario there have been instances of brave straightforward citizens who have had to pay with their lives for sticking to their principles. The best example for this is murdered whistle blower Manjunath who was killed by goons for revealing illegal practices taking place at the firm he was working for.
At the end of the day it is up to each personal choice as to what he or she considers valuable, an alluring temporary payback or a life with clear conscience free of guilt and regrets.


“Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike.”  Do you agree? Comment. (150 Words)
Answer 1 : Against Statement:
I personally DISAGREE to the statement because, it is the standards of morality in a person which helps him/her decide whether a person should be liked or disliked which later transforms into the attitude towards that person.
In personal life , if i am a person who believes in GENDER EQUALITY and if i find my aunt treating her son better when compared to her daughter will surely create an impression in me to dislike her due to the moral standard that i believe in .
Similarly in Professional life , as a Teacher who believes in FAIRNESS while evaluating answer scripts of students will surely dislike a colleague if he/she indulge in the act of favouritism to certain students while awarding marks, which is not based on their performance .
We should try to inculcate good moral values to make our judgments better to find people who are positive which will directly help us to be a better person in our life .
Answer 2: Favours statement:
Morality is an Individuals’ sense of right and wrong. I agree to the given statement as it rightly reflects the hypocrisy in human beings, who apply moral reasoning subjectively, where wrong done by people we like are often attributed to external factors or are even out rightly judged as not being wrong and all mistakes by people we dislike are termed immoral.
For example; we may blame the government for long drawn processes in government offices and not denounce the corruption which a known one Indulges in to over-ride such processes.
In a similar way, In our general dislike for ”politicians” we fail to judge each politician on his work and consider all of them equally amoral.
Morality may be relative to culture, situations, etc. but not people. If we tend to apply morality to different people differently we are failing our own moral upbringing.
Good questions:
  • “Without civic morality communities perish; without personal morality their survival has no value.” Discuss the meaning of the quote and its relevance to modern world. (200 Words)



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