Are you an aspiring civil servant preparing for the UPSC Mains examination, and is Philosophy your optional subject of choice? If so, you’re in the right place! In the pursuit of a career in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) or other civil services, selecting the right optional subject is a crucial decision. Philosophy is a popular choice among UPSC aspirants due to its analytical nature and the depth of understanding it provides on various aspects of human existence. In this blog series, we will delve into the world of Philosophy, specifically focusing on the ‘Religion and Morality’ section, and explore a treasure trove of wisdom in the form of previous year questions from 2013 to 2023. These questions not only serve as valuable practice material but also provide insights into the evolving trends and expectations of the UPSC examiners. So, whether you’re an ardent philosophy enthusiast or a UPSC aspirant looking for guidance on this optional subject, let’s embark on this intellectual journey together.
Throughout this series, we will analyze and discuss the nuanced topics of religion and morality, touching upon questions that have challenged the intellect of candidates over the years. By exploring the past decade’s questions, we aim to help you gain a better understanding of the subject’s scope and how to approach it effectively in the UPSC Mains examination. Additionally, we will provide insights, key concepts, and potential ways to structure your answers to stand out in the competition. Philosophy is not just a subject; it’s a path to critical thinking and a deeper understanding of human existence, making it a truly fascinating subject to explore during your IAS journey. So, let’s embark on this philosophical exploration, unraveling the timeless questions of ‘Religion and Morality’ that have graced the UPSC Mains papers from 2013 to 2023.
Religion and Morality Philosophy – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains Philosophy Optional)
1. Does a committed religious person go against social morality ?Discuss from moral perspective. (2017/10)
2. What will be the authority and acceptance of the absolute ethical values in the non-theological system of social practices ? Discuss(2017/15)
3. Can a religious person take an elastic view about religious ideals, principles and practices, etc. which are supposed to be eternal ?Will it make religion progressive or will it demolish its authority? Discuss critically. (2017/15)
4. Is morality necessarily based on religion? Discuss.(2015/10)
5. “An atheist may be better man than a religious person bereft of moral values.” Discuss.(2015/15)
6. How far can religious morality incorporate individual freedom ?(2014/20)
7. Is religious consistent with individual freedom ? (2013/10)
8. “ If God does not exist then why one should one be moral all the time ?” Discuss (2012/20)
9. “I can be moral without being religious, but I cannot be religious without being moral.” Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer .(2012/20 )
10. Examine the view that the foundation of morality is possible only in a religious framework. 2011 – 15 marks
11. If morality has to follow from religion, can there a rational justification for moral actions? Discuss. 10/15
12. Proprietary of religion without morality. Critical notes. 08/20.
13. Distinguish between religious and secular ethics. Discuss in this context the view that holds that secular ethics are superior to religious ethics because religious ethics are essentially based on rules without decisive regard for consequences whereas secular ethics as their best aim at producing the best over-all consequences. 06/60.
14. Secular ethics cannot satisfactorily answer the question – “Why should I be moral all the time?”
15. Are God and religion necessary presuppositions of morality? Elucidate your answer following Kant. Also consider critically in this context the possible grounds of morality following atheists.
16. Religion without morality is empty and morality without religion is blind. Do you agree with this contention? Give reasons in support of your view.
Q: What is the significance of religious and moral values in the UPSC examination?
Answer: Understanding religious and moral values is essential for candidates to address questions related to social and ethical issues in the UPSC exam. A sound grasp of these values helps in providing well-rounded and informed perspectives on various topics.
Q: How can one incorporate religious and moral education into their UPSC preparation?
Answer: You can include religious and moral education by studying relevant philosophical and ethical texts, understanding the tenets of different religions, and critically analyzing how these values impact societal dynamics and governance.
Q: Are questions related to religion and ethics common in UPSC exams?
Answer: Yes, questions pertaining to religion and ethics are relatively common in the UPSC Mains examination. They often appear in the General Studies Paper IV, which focuses on ethics, integrity, and aptitude.
Q: What is the connection between religious and moral values and the role of a civil servant?
Answer: Civil servants are expected to uphold and respect the diverse religious and moral values of the Indian population. Knowledge of these values helps in maintaining social harmony and ensuring that policies and governance decisions are in line with the ethical fabric of the nation.
Q: How can one prepare for religious and moral value-based questions in UPSC Ethics Paper?
Answer: To prepare for such questions, study classical philosophical texts, understand the core principles of various religions, and develop a well-rounded ethical framework. Practice case studies that involve moral dilemmas to hone your ability to make ethical decisions in complex situations.
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