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  • 08 Aug 2022 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions

    Day 29: What is morality? Differentiate between Public, Private and Political Morality. (150 Words)

    • Give a brief description about morality.
    • Differentiate Public, Private and Political morality.
    • Give a fair conclusion.


    Morality comes from the root word mos,' which meaning "customs." Moral principles address the concepts of good and bad action. Along with religion and art, morality as an institution may play a significant role. Morality is a system of rules that allow people to coexist peacefully in organizations. It refers to what civilizations and groups see as "right" and "acceptable." Geographical locations, religion, family, and life experiences all have an impact on morals.

    • Personal Morality:
      • Personal morality is the set of values and guidelines that people individually adhere to and think are ethically appropriate and sound.
      • We all have our own set of moral principles. Although it might not be morally or legally right, this is in line with each of our moral principles. A person's conscience is the source of personal morality.
      • Personal morality differs according to one's cultural background, religious beliefs, educational background, and family history, all of which have an effect on one's values and way of life.
      • Individuals in his personal life, dealings with persons we have frequent and close encounters with, such as family, friends, or "servants," etc.
      • All aspects of our life, such as family, relationships, job, and economics, are impacted by personal morality. Sometimes it could also cross over into conventional morality and ethics. For instance, while some people may believe euthanasia is appropriate, common morality may hold that it is not.
    • Public Morality:
      • Public morality refers to the values that a person should uphold in his or her public life.
      • Each profession has its own set of guidelines, standards, and values.
      • Laws have been created to regulate and preserve public values. These social norms can also aid individuals in performing their professions more successfully.
      • The oath that doctors take is an illustration of public morality practicing medicine; doctors must adhere to certain professional principles.
      • In this type of morality, people see themselves as members of a large political community, as citizens of a state.
      • Public morality is concerned with collective obligations and is generally based on the notion of consequentialism.
      • In this area, morality demands that we put aside our loyalty to blood relatives, look beyond our own interests, and commit to utilizing power based on common values.
      • Citizens in a democratic society must be tied together by a commitment to common values established through public reason, such as political freedom, solidarity, shared traditions, and cultural heritage, rather than by sentiments or self-interest.
    • Political Morality:
      • Political morality is governed by a dedication to justice and impartiality.
      • The fundamental ideals and standards of political morality have been formed from the concepts of justice.
      • Those in positions of political power must recognise that their actions have long-term effects that affect the lives of an unimaginable number of people.
      • Being morally upright in one's personal life does not necessarily translate into having high moral standards in one's political life.

    The prophetic words of Abraham Lincoln that “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power” still holds today. A just society can be built only if the highest principles of impartiality in public life can be adhered to.

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