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The Difference between Ethics & Morals

MORALS
These are basically parts of a “common agreement” of DOs & DONTs among a group of people to minimize conflicts and establish “Harmony”. The group can be very small to very big … expanding from a small village to a state, a nation, a continent of the whole world. Morality is the foundation of “Man Made Laws” for the legal systems – providing for rewards, awards & punishments. Morality will vary with varying choices of people in different locations at different times with different circumstances & environments. Some conditions of morality may be common across the world but many may not be.
Morality also forms the foundation of “Culture” of a society and thus culture & laws often get intermingled in that society, influencing the administration & governance as a whole. Morality defines the good & bad conduct in each particular society covering food & dressing, education & training, professions & careers, social & community behaviour. Monogamy & polygamy, matriarchy & patriarchy, gender differentiation for awards, rewards & punishments, distribution of duties & responsibility among the genders etc are all parts of cultural morality extending to legalities. Morals can be changed by those who are part of that community through common agreement. Religions also play an important role in defining the morality in any society as any religion is a common agreement dictated by common culture, belief & faith. But morals are “Never Universal”.
ETHICS

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What ails India ?

What ails India fundamentally?  To this simple question, one can expect 1.2 billion answers from the 1.2 billion people of this country – in complex permutations & combinations. Is it rich-poor divide? North-South divide? East west divide? Religious divide? Multiple political parties divide? Linguistic divide? Cultural (Indian – western) divide? Regional divide? Generational divide? Gender divide? Poor governance? Irrational reservations on cast basis? Power in the hands of incompetent?

Well … it could be all and none! One absolute common denominator of all the above is Corruption! Fundamental corruption of Minds – ie- loss of “Ethics & Morals”.  But why? What is the reason for our ethical & moral degradation? Spiritually the answer lies in the Karma theory – but philosophically it is in the History! Karma theory is good for knowledge – but history is a good source for solution. So, let us look at history! We have been ruled for centuries by Invading Mughals and Europeans.

They robbed our possessions first. They robbed our confidence later. Finally they robbed us of our “self-esteem”. Material possessions are easy to rebuild with some determination. Confidence can be rebuilt with some collective action & cooperation. But what about self-esteem? That of both individuals and collective population?  It appears that we lost it forever (individually & collectively) and never attempted to regain! We have not even recognized the need for it. We beg for importance from the powerful or impose it on the weak – but never attempt to earn it.

Material poverty can be more easily corrected than the mental poverty.  Mental prosperity will help us regain material prosperity easily – but not vice versa. We have fairly succeeded in progressively overcoming the material poverty – though not sufficiently as yet.  But our mental poverty, which is a more serious issue – has not even been recognized to exist and hence not addressed. The single most important issue to be addressed by both individual Indian citizens and collectively as The Nation (which aspires to become a super power) is to recognize the importance of regaining our lost self-esteem – which is the foundation of ethics & morals. What ails India? Absence of ethics, morals and self-esteem … corruption!

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Defining Politics, Ethics & Justice

Politics:

  1. The art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs.
  2. The activities or affairs engaged in by a government, politician, or political party.
  3. The methods or tactics involved in managing a state or government. The word politics may have been derived from the word “polite” implying polite manipulation of people!

Ethics:

Morals are social laws – or agreements collectively arrived at by all the members of any society over a long period in order to ensure a harmonious and stable social order. Hence “morals” can be looked at as time tested and stable working principles in the social context in a group.  Morals for different groups can be totally different – as we can see all over the world. Read the rest of this entry

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