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7) Discuss about the Schweitzer’s ethical concept of reverence for life. (250 words)

Topic – Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

7) Discuss about the Schweitzer’s ethical concept of reverence for life. (250 words)


Directive word

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the Schweitzer’s ethical concept of reverence for life. We have to explain the concept in detail and bring out its significance/ importance.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Schweitzer. E.g Albert Schweitzer was an Alsatian theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician.


Discuss about the concept in further detail. E.g

  • Schweitzer’s central ethical concept is “Reverence for Life”.
  • He sees this as stemming from a fundamental will-to-life inherent in all living things that, in self-conscious beings such as ourselves, establishes a drive towards both self-realization and empathy with other living things.
  • Unlike Nietzsche’s will-to-power, it is not egoistic or individualistic. As living beings we are not only concerned for our own lives and development but also for the lives of other living beings and the environments in which we live.
  • Along with the inclination towards self-perfection that this drive engenders, it gives rise to a nature-centered spirituality and to a form of ethical idealism.
  • Rather than obeying moral rules which are conceived of as external impositions, the soul of the ethical life for Schweitzer is the drive towards fulfillment and authenticity. Insofar as we are a will to live, such authenticity will be felt as a need to show reverence for life in all its forms.
  • The virtues that this gives rise to – which include compassion, gratitude, justice, hope, and the pursuit of peace – will be understood not as norms or principles to be followed, but as ideals and values in the light of which particular decisions must be made creatively and sincerely etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.