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Director @Mitra's IAS | Philosophy (Optional) & Ethics (GS IV)


A beginner’s guide to approaching Ethics – Part 2

Thank you students for appreciating the thoughts. It is imperative that in current day and age we work out to mitigate the fears of GS and lay down and approach which works best and is all inclusive.

Moving on with the two factors which I mentioned before –

I. External factors:

  • Natural Law

It is a belief that every thing in this world is meant to fullfil certain purpose. Anything which disrupts this teleology then it will be considered as unethical. e.g same sex marriages

According to critics it is “unnatural” because they say that sexual intercourse is meant for new life i.e. for child. Hence, they denounce use of contraceptives , abortion, etc.

But at the same time we know it for sure that many societies/countries have legalised same sex marriages. Why ? Just think.

  • Consequences Based

In this approach it is the result which influences our choice/decisions. Formula being “ greatest good of the greatest number” (Utilitarianism).

II. Internal factors:

  • Conscience (inner voice)
  • Duty based – It is governed by the feel of “what ought to be”. It is basically Kantian ethics.
  • In recent years there is growing view that there are no predefined norms of morality such that we are supposed to be governed by those principles. Rather it is us who have to create values by the exercise of our free will. Most of the Existentialist thinkers fall under this category.

In nutshell this paper is all about ethical decision and courageously defending our stand without FEAR & FAVOUR.




Questions, suggestions and comments

  1. Profile photo of Mayur Barbole Mayur Barbole

    The means justify the end ,not the reverse!

  2. Profile photo of Srikanth Dabbikar Srikanth Dabbikar

    Thank you sir. It is helpful to understand things.

    Regarding same sex marriages legality,It is choice of the government to allow people and it can force or change conscience of people. It might look awkward choice/unethical from the perspective of people who don’t support but it has other side also who support for it. Same logic can be applied to death penalty I guess here (Victim family and state). Choice shall be such that it should try address concerns of people effected who most and there should be rationality. Do you agree sir ?. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    1. Profile photo of Rini Sen Rini Sen

      We are talking about democracy here Srikanth. How can an elected government make choices without having a proper dicsourse?

      How can govt. change the conscience of the citizens?

      1. Profile photo of Srikanth Dabbikar Srikanth Dabbikar

        I meant here ” Government can not change conscience of people” by restrictions . It can control few circumstances here and there should be rationality always behind any decision.

        I agree with you. In elected government, without proper discourse no one makes choices.

        In the case of same sex marriages,circumstances such that people involves in this activity even if there is restrictions because it is natural for them. They are making their choices and government legalized by considering concerns of involved people I guess.

        1. Profile photo of Rini Sen Rini Sen

          Thanks 🙂 now you are clearer.

          1. Profile photo of Srikanth Dabbikar Srikanth Dabbikar

            thank you 🙂

    2. Profile photo of Srikanth Dabbikar Srikanth Dabbikar

      please read statement as “it can not”


    i am of the belief that, all ethics can do is eliminate confusion and clarify the issues. After that it’s up to each individual to come to their own conclusions

    Ethics covers the following dilemmas:

    -how to live a good life
    -our rights and responsibilities
    -the language of right and wrong
    -moral decisions – what is good and bad?
    Our concepts of ethics have been derived from religions, philosophies and cultures. They infuse debates on topics like abortion, human rights and professional conduct.

    What use is ethics?
    -Ethics can provide a moral map
    -Ethics can pinpoint a disagreement
    -Ethics doesn’t give right answers
    -Ethics can give several answers

    Ethics and people
    -Ethics is about the ‘other’
    -Ethics as source of group strength
    -Good people as well as good actions


    justice is always elevated in comaprison to morals

    1. Profile photo of Sumer Shah Sumer Shah

      Nitin, can you explain this further…

  5. Profile photo of Karthikeyan N Karthikeyan N

    Rajaram mohan roy,Kabir,Gurunanak,Gandhi,Nehru,EVR Periyar.


    Every act can be justified. Like death penalty in one society and not in other. Same sex marriage in one & not in other. So what I infer is that a particular issue is not to be seen in isolation or absolutenism, it has to be seen in light of the externalities ie. Society. Plus what may be ethical for a society may be unethical for other & vice versa. Plus correct me if I am wrong

    1. Profile photo of Rini Sen Rini Sen

      I agree with you. No action can be seen or judged as correct or wrong. Everything is to be seen with perspective. Societal/ Moral/ Conscience/ Duty…

  7. Profile photo of Arun Muradnar Arun Muradnar

    Nice read..
    Thanks sir..

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