Morality UPSC | Moral Values | Moral Education | Religious Education | Difference between Moral Education and Religious Education | Type of Morality | Theory of Morality | IAS TARGET IAS Target


No education can be deemed complete, if absence of morality in the individual person. Mere literacy does not make an individual educated. Rather, being educated is being capable to reflect and evaluate the social world around us. Absence of moral values can bring adverse impacts for the society. An immoral, but skilled person is more dangerous to the society, than a moral but unskilled one.
 Ex: Hitlar who led world war - II
That is why the saying goes- 'ignorance and illiteracy are better than half-knowledge. Most of the pathological practices (involving or caused by a physical or mental disease) result from this half-knowledge. The growing incidence of criminal activities like murder, rape, arson, violence, and terrorism is nothing but a product of wrongly conceptualized theories and ideas. These crimes show degraded morality.
There is an urgent need to introduce moral content in education. There is a need to check the uncontrolled expansion of desires and wants. The expansion of our wild, worldly desires has been taking place at the cost of our moral stature. Thus, there is a need to raise the moral consciousness of man.

Moral Education Vs Religious Education

Very often, moral education is mistaken for religious education. However, there exists a gap between the two. It needs to be understood that- while a good part of the moral education emerges from religious principles and ideas, it is not necessary that morality is necessarily based on religion. It is possible to live with high moral ideals while being agnostic. Another point of divergence between morality and religion is that- while the ideas and principles of religion have an authoritarian force, the principles of morality are largely open to one's rational evaluation.
A rational mind is able to see the foundational base of moral principles. Thus, he follows the moral principles out of his free reason and not because of some transcendental order. Such freedom might not be available in religion, as religion is based on complete surrender and faith, whereas reason tries to evaluate different things. Thus, there might be some instances of divergence between morality and religion.
There is a need to revise the moral principles being followed according to the changing times and circumstances. However, religious codes provide little room for this. Only a morality based on free reason can provide such room to adapt to the changing times and circumstances. This religion can provide no firm moral foundation. However, it might also not be denied that our moral codes are often conversing with religious ideas. This happens because- generally, the religious ideas are nothing but a result of the experiences of the ages that the society has undergone.

Morality: Objective Vs. Subjective

TThe Objective theory of morality believes that moral precepts are objectively valid; that is, they are valid for all times, all places, and all conditions, irrespective of our cultural context and beliefs. However, such a conception of morality is highly contested. An important principle of human society is the idea of man as a free, active agent responsible for his actions. This idea is the center of the concept of Existentialism, which beliefs in the individual's autonomy and freedom to choose. However, this concept also implies that man, as a free and self-motivated agent, does not have the freedom to invade the rights and freedom of others.
This concept also implies that a person's values are his own. A man cannot be called free if his actions are forced. Thus, moral education cannot be imparted by instructing the children about the values to be followed. One should only be made capable of evaluating the different ideas and deducing the moral principles for oneself. Thus, the subjectivists believe that morality is defined by time and circumstances. Also, it varies from person to person. It is imperative for a free society that every person is able to decide for himself while not invading the sphere of others' freedom. A rational person's morality is a reasoned response to the situation as an autonomous and rational being. Thus, the moral education of the schools should aim at enabling the students to think and evaluate, rather than forcing them to follow certain external rules.
Objectivists believe that the goodness of something comes from its intrinsic goodness of it. It is a conception held by idealist thinkers. Subjectivists, on the other hand, believe that goodness/badness cannot be attributed to anything objectively. Rather, good or bad depends upon the experience of the individual. Subjectivists believe that each individual is capable of experiencing only the partial truth.