Day 57 – Q 3. Who is your favourite contemporary moral thinker/ philosopher? How do his/ her ideas impact you? Explain. 

  • IASbaba
  • August 14, 2020
  • 0
Ethics Theory, GS 4, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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3. Who is your favourite contemporary moral thinker/ philosopher? How do his/ her ideas impact you? Explain.  

आपके पसंदीदा समकालीन नैतिक विचारक / दार्शनिक कौन हैं? उसके विचारों का आप पर क्या प्रभाव पड़ा है? स्पष्ट करें।

Demand of the question:

It expects candidates to write about their favourite contemporary moral thinker/ philosopher. It also expects to write about the impact of those ideas on to you.


The world has witnessed some amazing people, who not only challenged the way of life of the contemporary society but stood for their own values and brought miraculous change in the society. One such name is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi i.e. Mahatma Gandhi, our beloved ‘Bapu’. 


The greatness of Mahatma Gandhi lies not only in his heroic struggle for India’s freedom, but also in his struggle to live with his own ideas of truthfulness such as Non-violence, Sarvodaya etc.  Mahatma Gandhi propounded some amazing ideas in the times of chaos, stood for them and yielded better result for Indian society and world. His following ideas have a greater impact on me.

  • Ethical Conduct: Mahatma Gandhi believed that as human beings, men can never reach the perfection of divine virtues. Still, they should strive with all their strength to follow the virtues of truth, love, nonviolence, tolerance, fearlessness, charity and service to mankind.
  • Truth: Mahatma Gandhi equated God with truth and designated his religion as religion of truth. He used to say God is Truth, which he later changed to “Truth is God”. However, his idea of truth was not taken from epistemology or theory of knowledge. Rather, he viewed truth in the form of an ideal of human conduct. He regarded that Indian struggle for freedom stands for truth and represents a just struggle for national and individual autonomy.
  • Service to Society: Service to the Society was another way in which Mahatma Gandhi’s concept underpins his practical actions. He believed that “only way to see God is to see him through his creations and identify oneself with it”. This is possible through service to humanity. He maintained that there is no escape from social service to those in search of God.
  • Cleanliness: Gandhi emphasised on internal (mental) and external (physical) cleanliness. There was no litter or dirt or filth in his Ashrams and surroundings. He said: “Cleanliness is next to Godliness“.
  • Ends and Means: Mahatma Gandhi believed that Men should adopt only good means to attain noble objectives. As per him: “No good can follow from bad deeds, even if they are well intentioned.”  
  • Ahimsa: Gandhi’s Ahimsa was not only refraining from killing but also show love for the whole mankind and all living beings. He believed that Man can only realize God by pursuing Ahimsa. 
  • Satyagraha: Mahtam Gandhi’s later work rested largely on a spiritual principle of satyagraha that he developed while working in South Africa..

These innovative ideas left a miraculous impact on me in following ways:

  • The value of ethical conduct teaches us to be ethical while acting in day to day life, as it will ensure the good for all.
  • Mahatma Gandhi equated truth with god. Being an aspirant for civil services, the value of truth teaches me to act truthfully in day to day life. As  it is the core value and symbol of right way of life.
  • The value of Ahimsa i.e. Non-violence has tells us that we should not resort to violent means to attain our goals. As Mahatma Gandhi rightly pointed out that truth and non-violence are inseparable and truthfulness and fearlessness is prerequisite for a pursuit of Ahimsa.
  • Mahatma Gandhi’s conception about the Ends and means tells us that we should always look for good path to attain what we want. As attaining bad path to get what we want is wrong.
  •  Mahatma Gandhi’s thoughts about cleanliness aware me about my responsibility towards environment. It helps me to act as a more responsible citizen.
  • Through the value of service to society Mahatma Gandhi tells us to serve the society in every possible way. A small act of kindness can also be a service to society.


In the field of moral thinking Mahatma Gandhi is considered as epitome of moral thinking. His ideas are not just relevant today but they act like a beckon of light in the times of darkness for us and will continue to act in the same way for future generation.

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