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BPYC-132: Ethics

BPYC-132: Ethics

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for BPYC-132 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Ethics, you have come to the right place. BPYC-132 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in BAG courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BPYC-132/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BPYC-132

Assignment Name: Ethics

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


1. Give Answer of all five questions.

2. All five questions carry equal marks

3. Answer to question no. 1 and 2 should be in about 400 words each.


1. What is gender violence? Write a short essay on the role of gender discrimination in gender violence. Give some solutions to overcome this.

Ans) Gender-Based violence refers to harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender. It is rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power and harmful norms. Gender-based violence is a serious violation of human rights and a life-threatening health and protection issue. It is estimated that one in three women will experience sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. During displacement and times of crisis, the threat of GBV significantly increases for women and girls.


There are many causes of gender discrimination. The first one has to be illiteracy. When people do not educate themselves, they continue to live in the old times. Thus, they follow the old-age sexist traditions and norms. Education can bring about a change in this mindset because educated people will less likely partake in gender discrimination. Poverty is also another reason which is interlinked in a way.


It is the root cause in many places because the economic dependence remains on the male counterparts mostly. Thus, women suffer a lot from it because of the same reason. They never get out of this and stay financially dependent on men. Furthermore, the patriarchal setup in our society plays a big role. In this setup, the male dominates almost every aspect of life. Thus, they consider themselves to be superior to others. This way, a lot of violence and injustice is meted out against females.


Gender discrimination has a deep impact on society as a whole. It does not just impact a specific section of the society but every part of it. First of all, it impacts children as they fall prey to gender stereotypes from a young age. Next up, we have gender discrimination affecting adults because there is a gender pay gap between the working class. Men earn more for doing the same work as women. In addition, older women have more risk of becoming homeless than men. It also impacts the aboriginal women because they have it a lot worse. It is more likely to happen that they can die from family violence, 11 times more than men.


Even for men, it is not beneficial as it sets difficult standards for men to follow. It draws a line on men being emotional. Thus, they can never showcase their emotions truly without being judged. Similarly, men do not parental leave in many places. Ultimately, all this results in more suicide in men. Thus, it impacts everyone.


Work to change attitudes, or questioning gender roles and stereotypes that make gender-based violence acceptable in society. This can be done through organising campaigns, training, peer-to-peer education, or by including a gender equality dimension in all aspects of education policies; Providing accessible information about what gender-based violence is, about its different forms, possible remedies and existing support measures. This might include producing leaflets or websites, working on social media campaigns, creating TV spots, or making information available in youth centres and schools; Training professionals to be able to identify, address and respond to gender-based violence.


2. What is the idea of Natural moral law of Thomas Aquinas? What are the objections against his idea of natural moral law?

Ans) The master principle of natural law, wrote Aquinas, was that "good is to be done and pursued and evil avoided." Aquinas stated that reason reveals particular natural laws that are good for humans such as self-preservation, marriage and family, and the desire to know God.


The objections against his idea of natural moral law are:

  1. One of the difficulties for natural law theory is that people have interpreted nature differently. Should this be the case if as asserted by natural law theory, the moral law of human nature is knowable by natural human reason?

  2. Traditional natural law theory has picked out very positive traits, such as "the desire to know the truth, to choose the good, and to develop as healthy mature human beings.” But some philosophers, such as Hobbes, have found human beings to be essentially selfish. It is questionable that behaviour in accordance with human nature is morally right and behaviour not in accord with human nature is morally wrong.

  3. Even if we have certain natural propensities, are we justified in claiming that those propensities or tendencies should be developed? On what grounds do we justify, for example, that we ought to choose the good?

  4. For Aquinas, the reason nature had the order it did was because God had put it there. Other thinkers, such as Aristotle, did not believe that this order was divinely inspired. Does this alleged natural moral order require that we believe that there is a God that has produced this natural moral order? Evolutionary theory has challenged much of the basis of thinking that there is a moral natural order, since on evolutionary theory species has developed the way they have out of survival needs.

  5. It is doubtful that one can infer moral principles forbidding adultery, rape, homosexuality, and so forth, either from biological facts about human nature or from facts about the inherent nature of Homo sapiens.

  6. Critics of natural law theory say that it is doubtful, however, that the inherent nature of Homo sapiens establishes laws of behaviour for human beings in the same way as it may establish laws of behaviour for cats, lions, and polar bears. It is especially difficult because so much of human behaviour is shaped by the environment, that is, by deliberate and nondeliberate conditioning, training, and education.

  7. Two philosophers integral to the theory have different views about god’s role in nature, which confuses the issue, especially when trying to decipher if the theory relies on the existence of god.

  8. The intrinsic nature of humans as it pertains to establishing laws of behaviour may not be the same for animals, which presents difficulties within the theory.

  9. Human behaviour may be solely reliant upon the environment that one is exposed to, which includes social classes, education and upbringing, this opposes the theory.


3. Answer any two of the following questions in about 250 words each. 2*10= 20


a) What is the Anscombe’s idea of virtue? On what ground Anscombe criticized Mill and Kant? 10

Ans) Elizabeth Anscombe, often known as Miss Anscombe or Elizabeth Anscombe, was a significant figure in women's philosophy during the 20th century. She practised virtue ethics and was a religious believer. She is renowned for her writings on action philosophy and ethics. Her essays on "Modern Moral Philosophy" and "Intentions" are among her most significant works. She is renowned for having translated certain significant Ludwig Wittgenstein works.


Virtue Ethics

In her essay titled "Modern Moral Philosophy," Anscombe criticised the theories being advanced by English moral philosophers, which up to that point had culminated in a legal notion of ethics. She criticised philosophers like J.S. Mill and Immanuel Kant for relying on "universal principles," which ultimately results in an international standard of moral behaviour. The moral philosophers of England did not disagree with one another in any way. The word "obligation" has evolved into the core idea of their ethics. Her suggestion was that we revaluate and rediscover how we have been approaching morality and virtue.


She contends that moral obligation cannot be sustained by our own volition on its own. She criticised both Kant's and the utilitarian position. She responded to the English Moral Philosophers by saying that they acknowledge the existence of a morally observant God who is the source of our moral obligations. Only in light of divine law does moral obligation make sense. If not, they should abandon the idea of obligation, which is a key component of their ethical theories. The categories of intention, desire, pleasure, motive, action, and emotion—which have previously been disregarded by moral philosophers—need to be revaluated. She disapproved of both consequentialist and de-ontological ethical views.


b) What is naturalistic fallacy? Explain. 10

Ans) The naturalistic fallacy is an informal logical fallacy which argues that if something is ‘natural’ it must be good. It is closely related to the is/ought fallacy – when someone tries to infer what ‘ought’ to be done from what ‘is.’ The is/ought fallacy is when statements of fact jump to statements of value, without explanation. First discussed by Scottish philosopher, David Hume, he observed a range of different arguments where writers would be using the terms ‘is’ and ‘is not’ and suddenly, start saying ‘ought’ and ‘ought not.’


For Hume, it was inconceivable that philosophers could jump from ‘is’ to ‘ought’ without showing how the two concepts were connected. What were their justifications? If this seems weird, consider the following example where someone might say:

  1. It is true that smoking is harmful to your health.

  2. Therefore, you ought not to smoke.


The claim that you ‘ought’ not to smoke is not just saying it would be unhealthy for you to smoke. It says it would be unethical. The assumption that facts lead us directly to value claims is what makes the is/ought argument a fallacy. As it is, the argument above is unsound – much more is needed. Hume thought no matter what you add to the argument, it would be impossible to make the leap from ‘is’ to ‘ought’ because ‘is’ is based on evidence and ‘ought’ is always a matter of reason and opinion or prejudice. This is a fallacy. We act against nature all the time – with vaccinations, electricity, medicine – many of which are ethical. Lots of things that are natural are good, but not all unnatural things are unethical. This is what the naturalistic fallacy argues.


4. Answer any four of the following questions in about 150 words each. 4*5= 20


a) Explain briefly the idea of hypothetical imperative with an example.

Ans) In the ethics of the 18th-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant, a rule of conduct that is understood to apply to an individual only if he or she desires a certain end and has chosen (willed) to act on that desire which is known as hypothetical imperative. Imperatives serve as directives that explain what to do and how to behave. Between hypothetical and categorical imperatives, Kant makes a distinction. Conversely, hypothetical imperatives are a collection of guidelines that advise us what to do in order to accomplish a goal.


For instance, the hypothetical imperative might advise someone to find employment or put in extra effort if they want to become wealthy. We must study if we want to receive good grades. The hypothetical imperative in this case would instruct you to carry out that action. As a result, it also applies to those who are interested in achieving any goal; however, you are under no obligation to adhere to these hypothetical imperatives if your primary goals aren't getting high grades or becoming wealthy.


b) Explain Ethical Principles of Buddhist Moral Philosophy.

Ans) Buddhism places a high value on the sanctity of life and views a moral deed as one that causes no suffering. The Buddhist four noble truths serve as the foundation for moral reasoning and behaviour, especially as they are presented in the Eightfold path.


The five moral precepts are:

  1. To refrain from taking life, i.e., killing any living creature

  2. To refrain from taking what is not freely given, i.e., theft

  3. To refrain from misuse of the senses or sexual misconduct, i.e., overindulgence in sex or committing sexual offences

  4. To refrain from wrong speech, i.e., lying or gossiping

  5. To refrain from intoxicants that cloud the mind, i.e., drugs or alcohol


Buddhists do not believe in a deity, so the five precepts are suggested ways of living rather than commandments given by a god. A Buddhist must want to behave in a morally good way in order to achieve enlightenment.


c) Distinguish Normative Relativism and Descriptive Relativism.

Ans) Normative ethics is the study of ethical action. In simple words, it analyses how people ought to act, in terms of morality. It is also concerned with the criteria of what is morally right and wrong. Furthermore, descriptive ethics is a type of empirical study that incorporates research from the fields of psychology, sociology, anthropology, and history. Such empirical studies observe that all cultures and societies have their own moral standards that advocate or forbid certain types of actions.


The main difference between normative ethics and descriptive ethics is that normative ethics analyses how people ought to act whereas descriptive ethics analyses what people think is right. Basically, normative ethics is the study of ethical action whereas descriptive ethics is the study of people’s views about moral beliefs. Descriptive ethics, as its name implies, describes the behaviour of people and what moral standards they follow. In contrast, descriptive ethics is concerned with what is morally right and wrong. The other two well-known branches of ethics are metaethics and applied ethics.


d) What are Plato’s four cardinal virtue? Explain briefly. 5

Ans) Later, the term "cardinal virtues" was used to refer to the four qualities that Plato discussed in The Republic. The word "cardinal" is derived from the Latin word "cardo," which means a hinge, and the cardinal virtues are the qualities that serve as the moral life's hinges, just as a door does.

In The Republic, Plato discusses the four cardinal virtues.:

  1. Wisdom (calculative): see the complete

  2. Courage (spirited): keep everything intact

  3. Moderation (appetitive): serving the entire

  4. Justice (founding/ preserving virtue): Observe your own conduct, or "tend to your spirit" or "know yourself."


To acquire these virtues, Plato offers the following advice: When reason is used to exercise reason, reason is used to exercise wisdom, reason is used to exercise courage, reason is used to exercise moderation (or "temperance"), and justice, or a state in which all components of the mind are in harmony with one another, ensues. After mastering the other three virtues, justice is what keeps them all together, according to Plato, who considers it the founding and sustaining virtue. One must first master justice in order to master the other three virtues.


5. Write short notes on any five of the following in about 100 words each. 5*4= 20


a) Goodwill

Ans) To act of a “good will” means to act out of a sense of moral obligation or “duty.” In other words, the moral agent does a particular action not because of what it produces (its consequences) in terms of human experience, but because the agent recognizes by reasoning that it is the morally right thing to do and, consequently, there is a moral duty or obligation to do that action. The fact that a good will is the only thing with a certain value, in conjunction with the fact that an end in itself has that value, entails that a good will is an end in itself.


b) Hedonism

Ans) Hedonism refers to a family of theories, all of which have in common that pleasure plays a central role in them. Psychological or motivational hedonism claims that human behaviour is determined by desires to increase pleasure and to decrease pain. Normative or ethical hedonism, on the other hand, is not about how we actually act but how we ought to act: we should pursue pleasure and avoid pain. Axiological hedonism, which is sometimes treated as a part of ethical hedonism, is the thesis that only pleasure has intrinsic value.


Applied to well-being or what is good for someone, it is the thesis that pleasure, and suffering are the only components of well-being. These technical definitions of hedonism within philosophy, which are usually seen as respectable schools of thought, have to be distinguished from how the term is used in everyday language, sometimes referred to as "folk hedonism". In this sense, it has a negative connotation, linked to the egoistic pursuit of short-term gratification by indulging in sensory pleasures without regard for the consequences


c) Nishkama Karma

Ans) Nishkama Karma, self-less or desireless action, is an action performed without any expectation of fruits or results, and the central tenet of Karma Yoga path to liberation. Its modern advocates press upon achieving success following the principles of Yoga and stepping beyond personal goals and agendas while pursuing any action over greater good, which has become well known since it is the central message of the Bhagavad Gita. In Indian philosophy, action or Karma has been divided into three categories, according to their intrinsic qualities or gunas. Here Nishkama Karma belongs to the first category, the Sattva (pure) or actions which add to calmness; the Sakama Karma (Self-centred action) comes in the second rājasika (aggression) and Vikarma (worst-action) comes under the third, tāmasika which correlates to darkness or inertia.


d) Svadharma

Ans) Swadharma, meaning one’s own Dharma, is derived from the words Swa meaning for oneself and Dharma. Swadharma has been explained as the lawful conduct of oneself based on one’s ability. It requires one to be aware of one’s strengths, abilities and weaknesses. The idea of Swadharma is emphasised in the Bhagavad Gita. The Bhagavad Gita states that if one accepts Swadharma, the actions that one performs becomes effortless. This is because the ability to perform these actions come naturally and the complexity of the task is not an impediment. The Bhagavad Gita also says that it is better to perish while performing Swadharma rather than perform actions that should be performed by others. This is because one will perform one’s Swadharma with great conviction, but such conviction is not guaranteed when doing someone else’s Dharma.


e) Applied Ethics

Ans) Applied ethics refers to the practical application of moral considerations. It is ethics with respect to real-world actions and their moral considerations in the areas of private and public life, the professions, health, technology, law, and leadership. For example, the bioethics community is concerned with identifying the correct approach to moral issues in the life sciences, such as euthanasia, the allocation of scarce health resources, or the use of human embryos in research. Environmental ethics is concerned with ecological issues such as the responsibility of government and corporations to clean up pollution. Business ethics includes questions regarding the duties or duty of 'whistle-blowers' to the general public or their loyalty to their employers.

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