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Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from india and world

4 Solved Questions with Answers
  • 2016

    2. (b) Discuss Mahatma Gandhi’s Concept of seven sin. (2016)

    Seven Social Sins is a list that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi published in his weekly newspaper Young India in 1925.

    Politics without Principles: Gandhi said when politicians (or anyone else, for that matter) give up the pursuit of Truth they, or in the case of parties, would be doomed. Partisan politics, lobbying, bribing, and other forms of malpractice that are so rampant in politics today is also unprincipled. Politics has earned the reputation of being dirty. It is so because we made it dirty. We create power groups to lobby for our cause and are willing to do anything to achieve our goal.

    Wealth Without Work: Gandhiji's idea originates from the ancient Indian practice of Tenant Farmers (Zamindari). The poor were made to slog on the farms while the rich raked in the profits. With capitalism and materialism spreading so rampantly around the world the grey area between an honest day's hard work and sitting back and profiting from other people's labour is growing wider.

    Pleasure Without Conscience: This is connected to wealth without work. People find imaginative and dangerous ways of bringing excitement to their otherwise dull lives. Their search for pleasure and excitement often ends up costing society very heavily. Taking drugs and playing dangerous games cause avoidable health problems that cost the world hundreds of billions of dollars in direct and indirect health care facilities. Gandhi believed pleasure must come from within the soul and excitement from serving the needy, from caring for the family, the children, and relatives. Building sound human relationships can be an exciting and adventurous activity.

    Knowledge Without Character: Our obsession with materialism tends to make us more concerned about acquiring knowledge so that we can get a better job and make more money. A lucrative career is preferred to an illustrious character. Our educational centers emphasize career-building and not characterbuilding. Gandhi believed if one is not able to understand one's self, how can one understand the philosophy of life. An education that ignores character- building is an incomplete education.

    Commerce Without Morality: As in wealth without work we indulge in commerce without morality to make more money by any means possible. Price gouging, palming off inferior products, cheating and making false claims are a few of the obvious ways in which we indulge in commerce without morality.

    Science Without Humanity: This is science used to discover increasingly more gruesome weapons of destruction that threaten to eventually wipe out humanity. The NRA says guns don't kill people, people kill people.

    Worship Without Sacrifice: True religion is based on spirituality, love, compassion, understanding, and appreciation of each other whatever our beliefs may be — Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists, Agnostics etc. Gandhi believed whatever labels we put on our faith, ultimately all of us worship Truth because Truth is God.

  • 2016

    3. (a) Analyse John Rawls’s concept of social justice in the Indian context. (2016)

    John Rawls in his theory of social justice attempts to solve the problem of distributive justice. Rawls derives two principles of Justice: the liberty principle and the difference principle.

    In his concept of the liberty principle, Rawls explains that each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others. In his concept of the difference principle, social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that:

    1. They are to be of the greatest benefit to the least advantaged members of society, consistent with the just saving principle.
    2. Offices and positions must be open to everyone under conditions to fair equality of opportunity.

    A important aspect of Rawls’s theory of justice is that decisions on the distribution of resources should be from the perspective of “not knowing” what your own position in life is.If you decide to deprive others because you do not have a particular need, you are not operating in a just way for all of society. If your choices are all about you and your needs, first this is unjust to everyone, and second, you may find yourself at the mercy of others someday.

  • 2017

    5. (a) “Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.” – Napoleon Bonaparte.

    Stating examples mention the rulers (i) who have harmed society and country, (ii) who worked for the development of society and country.

    (b) “If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.” – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Analyse. (2017)

    Great ambition has been a double edged sword since the time immemorial. There are many examples around the world where it changed the course of history and mankind in both negative and positive manner.

    Hitler’s great ambition led by greed, thirst for power and supremacy - to make Germany the most powerful nation resulted in World War-II, the deadliest conflict in the history of mankind. It eventually brought the horrors of holocaust and massive destruction not only for the Germany and Europe but for the whole world.

    On the contrary, Ashoka, the great Mauryan ruler, was responsible for one of the earliest welfare state - guided by the principle of Dhamma comprising compassion, charity, purity, self-control and truthfulness. Despite, the territorial vastness of the empire, the state was dedicated to harmony and wellbeing of not only its subjects but even animals.

    The above two examples bring out the contradiction in actions when guided by differing principles – one wherein, ambition based on weak principles resulted in harm to society (Hitler) and one where  ambition based on ethical and moral principles led to development of society.

    The role of parents and teachers in ensuring that the citizens of a country grow up as - ethical, moral, law abiding citizens with a strong knowledge base – cannot be overstated enough.

    Role of Parents

    Parents, especially the mother, are called a child’s first teachers. A child’s first lesson on right and wrong comes from his/her parents – when he/she is taught not to steal, never lie and not to intentionally harm others. Lessons learnt at this age are reinforced over the lifetime of an individual and form their basic character. Example- Gandhi through his close contact with his mother during childhood learnt and imbibed the moral values of truthfulness, non-violence through the stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata. These values instilled in Gandhi’s thoughts, feelings and actions as a child, functioned as ideals and standards that governed his actions in the course of Indian freedom struggle.

    Role of Teachers

    Teachers have a very important responsibility of laying the foundation of an individual’s future. They are the most important nation builders as they are not only responsible for the intellectual nourishment of young minds but also for moulding the overall personality of children. At young impressionable ages, teaching them about discipline, being responsible for their actions; inculcating values like team spirit, sharing, fair play, cooperation – a teacher sets the stage for a responsible citizen of the country.

    Therefore, the nurturing done by parents and teachers determines the course of a nation – whether it will be made of upright, moral and argumentative Indians or dull-minds ready to compromise on their ethics.

  • 2016

    8. “Max Weber said that it is not wise to apply to public administration the sort of moral and ethical norms we apply to matters of personal conscience. It is important to realize that the state bureaucracy might possess its own independent bureaucratic morality.” Critically analyse this statement. (2016)

    According to Weber, there is a popular perception that public experiences a sense of personal frustrations in its dealing with state bureaucracy. However, such frustration is a by-product of the achievement of other objectives that the public also values highly such as desire to ensure fairness, justice and equality in treatment of citizens – a crucial qualitative feature of modern government that is largely taken for granted. For example, sometimes the detailed information that offends or irritates the individual from whom it is requested is exactly the requirement of efficient and effective administration. This implies that an office-ridden, form ridden, regulation ridden existence is largely in evitable as long as one wants a modern and democratic government.

    However, this idea that bureaucracy might be a substantive ethical domain in its own right has been criticised as being inherently unethical. This one sided rationality sustains itself through repressing and marginalising of values. This results in the bureaucracy developing into an elite class at the cost of other sections of the society.

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