Contributions of Moral Thinkers and Philosophers [IAS (Admin.) IAS Mains GS Paper 4 (Ethics)]: Questions 1 - 3 of 12

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Question 1

Contributions of Moral Thinkers and Philosophers
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Appeared in Year: 2018

Describe in Detail

Essay▾

What do each of the following quotations mean to you in the presence context? “The true rule, in determining to embrace, or reject any thing, is not whether it has any evil in it; but whether it has more evil than good. There are few things wholly evil or wholly good. Almost everything especially of governmental policy, is an inseparable compound of the two; so that our best judgement of the preponderance between them is continually demanded.” – Abraham Lincoln. (150 words)

Explanation

  • The statement by Abraham Lincoln refers to the necessary evil which exists within the context of the formulation of the policies. This demands the need of astute judgement on the part of the public official or the deliberation body for drawing definitive conclusions.
  • This belief tries to show that there is no absolute good/bad right/wrong dualisms w…

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Question 2

Contributions of Moral Thinkers and Philosophers
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Appeared in Year: 2018

Describe in Detail

Essay▾

″ Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding - Mahatma Gandhi. (150 words) .

Explanation

  • In the field of Ethics, Anger refers to the strong emotion that we feel when we think that someone has behaved in an unfair, cruel, or unacceptable way. In this case, Anger is something that could be directed towards others which are completely innocent in the situation.
  • On the other hand, Intolerance refers to someone՚s refusal to accept behaviour,…

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Question 3

Contributions of Moral Thinkers and Philosophers
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Appeared in Year: 2018

Describe in Detail

Essay▾

Edward Snowden, a computer expert and former CIA systems administrator, released confidential Government documents to the press about the existence of Government surveillance programmes. According to many legal experts and the US Government, his actions violated the Espionage Act of 1971, which identified the leak of State secrets as an act of treason. Yet, despite the fact that he broke the law, Snowden argued that he had a moral obligation to act. He gave a justification for his “whistle blowing” by stating that he had a duty “to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.”

According to Snowden, the Government՚s violation of privacy had to be exposed regardless of legality since more substantive issues of social action and public morality were involved here. Many agreed with Snowden. Few argued that he broke the law and compromised national security, for which he should be held accountable.

Do you agree that Snowden՚s actions were ethically justified even if legally prohibited? Why or why not? Make an argument by weighing the competing values in this case. (250 words)

Explanation

  • Here the case refers to the former CIA employee Edward Snowden. Snowden had collected top-secret documents regarding NSA domestic surveillance practices which he found to be disturbing and leaked them. Newspapers began printing the documents that he had leaked, many of them detailing the monitoring of American citizens. The U. S. has charged Snowde…

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