Topic: dimensions of ethics;
7. Moral norms are aspirational and prescriptive rather than functional and descriptive. Critically analyse. (150 words)
Difficulty level: Tough
Why the question:
The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Philosophical Mondays’ in Mission-2022 Secure.
Key Demand of the question:
To write about the natures of moral norms.
Critically analyze – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a balanced judgment on the topic.
Structure of the answer:
Start by explaining moral norms.
First, explain as to how moral norms are aspirational and prescriptive – contains ideals, principles and policies which are sensitive to positive outcomes, action-based, and focused on what we should do.
Next, explain as to how moral norms are functional and descriptive – people’s beliefs about as values, which actions are right and wrong, and which characteristics of moral agents are virtuous.
Conclude with a balanced opinion regarding moral norms.