[Ethics] Samples questions based on ethics courses of San Diego and Texas University

ethics-dev vs pran

[Ethics] Samples questions based on ethics courses of San Diego and Texas University

Few weeks back, UPSC had uploaded Ethics case study sample questions for the GS paper IV click me. Continuing on that line, here are some more sample questions on “ethics”. Although this article itself is full of not-so-ethical-behavior, because I haven’t designed most of these ethics case study questions, I’ve shamelessly lifted them from the ethics courses from Universities of San Diego and Texas, and gave them a bit of Indian flavor.

  1. Essay-ish / abstract
  2. Role Playing/ SRT
    1. Gender Bias (job)
    2. Gender Bias (Parenting)
    3. hazardous fumes
    4. Statistical Juggling part-I
    5. Statistical Juggling part-II
    6. Destabilizing government (Part I)
    7. Destabilizing government (Part II)
    8. Toxic waste (Part I)
    9. toxic waste (Part II)
    10. Good business
    11. Tax evasion
    12. DevAnand’s Diwali
    13. Chinese circuit
    14. Free golf membership
    15. Rapist Bapu
    16. Real Estate Mafia
    17. Million Dollar Baby (euthanasia)
    18. Cheater book

Essay-ish / abstract

  1. Do you agree with following statements? Justify your stand.
    1. According to Aristotle, a flourishing human life consists of courage, honor, goodness, generosity, growth, and resilience. But in the modern times, it not possible or practical to lead to such a flourishing life.
    2. Virtues are acquired by habituation. We are not born virtuous, we acquire them from our parents, teachers, friends and interactions with society. Therefore it is not correct to blame a corrupt cop, Rapist sadhu or fraud businessman entirely for their lack of virtues.
  2. “Private vices” produce “public benefits.” Can you think of a situation in which this works? If so, is it exceptional, or can we make it the rule?
  3. Was Gandhi courageous? If so, what does that suggest about the relationship between courage and violence? How does this contrast with the picture of the relationship between courage and violence during American war of independence? Is the willingness to fight necessarily a sign of courage?
  4. In recent years in countries where it is not illegal, poor people have begun to sell some of their own body parts such as eyes or kidneys to rich people in need of a transplant. Do people own their own bodies? If they do, are they entitled to sell parts of them if they wish to do so? Why or why not?
  5. There are typically some gender differences in our society in regard to virtues such as courage and compassion. Based on your own experience, do you think this is true? Are there any other virtues in our society that exhibit gender differences? Are there any vices that are valued differently in men and women? Are there reasons why virtues and vices should be different for women and for men?
  6. Studies have suggested that girls, especially from poorer neighborhoods, do better in classrooms without boys, at least in part because of social pressure not to appear smarter than the boys. Do single-sex schools have any legitimate place in our society? What does your answer to that question reveal about your views on the place of gender in the ideal society?
  7. Is it always right to tell the truth, even if it hurts or destroys someone else? What matters more, the life of an individual or the majesty of the moral law?
  8. From an evolutionary standpoint, is “survival of the fittest” selfish or selfless? Is self-preservation a moral imperative or just a fact? Are there situations in which self-preservation is not the highest value? Is it selfish to prefer (saving) one’s own life to that of others?
  9. What are your own deepest moral values? What moral qualities do you look for in other people as well as in yourself? Are these values that you think everyone shares, or are some of your values ones that you feel are not always observed by our culture as a whole? How have your values changed, if at all? What influenced their development?
  10. When (under what circumstances) is it right to tell a lie? Give some examples from everyday life. What does your answer reveal about the scope (or relevance) of morality in general?
  11. What is the moral issue that you are most undecided about? Describe the pro’s and con’s in regard to this issue. How do you go about arriving at a decision when it is unavoidable?

Ethics Case Study Questions

Now some role playing / Situation Reaction test (SRT) type questions. The answer is not difficult to guess e.g. “ofcouse DevAnand shouldn’t help his friend evade sales tax” – but the challenge is how will you put that eloquently in a formal language, in 50-100-200 words as the question requires. Think about that, while you solve these questions.

Gender Bias (job)

Dev Anand, a Senior Manager with SAIL, has just learned that in two weeks HQ will be sending a new lady project engineer Miss Vaijanthi Mala to his division. The HQ is anxious to move more women into all levels of the company and has targeted Dev’s engineering division as a good place for Miss Mala. She will be the first woman engineer in this division. Upon learning this news, several of Dev’s employees opined that they don’t like the idea of a woman supervising their work and Dev should use his connections in the HQ to prevent Miss Mala’s posting here.

  1. What should Dev Anand do to prepare for Miss.Mala’s arrival?

Continuing further with the same case:

Share this post