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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. What is Ethics? Explain its significance in society. (250 words)

    27 Feb, 2020 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Introduction - give the definition of ethics. You can also use quotes from some great scholars.
    • Explain different branches of ethics in brief
    • Explain the significance of ethics in society
    • Conclusion - describe how low ethical standard in the present world has created problems, and what is need to be done to solve that.


    Ethics is concerned with what is good for individuals and society and is also described as moral philosophy. The term is derived from the Greek word ethos which can mean custom, habit, character or disposition. At its simplest, ethics is a system of moral principles. They affect how people make decisions and lead their lives.


    Significance of Ethics in Society

    • Ethics plays a critical role in shaping the individual’s behaviors within society. Ethics acts as a self-governing system to keep human self-interest and the good of society at equilibrium.
    • Ethical choices promote social and human well-being by being impartial, i.e., no one person’s well-being is regarded as more worthy than any other’s.
      • This can be in the case of business - not keeping profit as the sole objective, technology-making use of innovations and advancements that are constructive and non-threatening to humanity etc.
      • Instead of being hedonist and materialistic, we care about the consequences of our actions on the lives of others.
    • By living a virtuous life, not only does a person live a morally satisfactory life but also ensures that other people are not adversely impacted by his/her actions.
    • Ethics abridge separation in society which are created by communalism, regionalism, casteism, sexism, etc
    • Ethics helps in the creation of an inclusive society by providing equal opportunity to marginalized groups such as minorities, women, poor, etc.


    In the present world, discord among people is increasing at the societal level. Due to the increasing influence of materialism and consumerism, people are willing to do unethical acts. Crime against women and children is increasing and polarization among the religious group has widened. Since laws are not enough to prevent the degradation of society, it is very important to inculcate ethical studies at all level ie family, school and society level.

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