1. The crisis of ethical values in modern times is traced to a narrow perception of the good life. Discuss UPSC (GS-4) 2017

Ans: In this fast pacing world, we all aspire to get a feel of pleasure with shortest possible effort. This attribute in a personality can be traced to the fast moving world, that doesn’t give time to stop by and think about the consequences. However, this idea of life is very narrow in its perception and can misguide the journey of an individual. 

A good life is the realization of all the values – material, social, psychological, aesthetical, moral, ethical and human. The classical Indian tradition throws light on the realization of the four purusharthas (pillars) – Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha (religion, wealth, sensual pleasures, salvation).

The crisis of ethical values in modern life can be traced to the narrow perception in terms of material values i.e., Artha and Kama (wealth and sensuous pleasure) alone.

The misguided life: The sole aim of all life has become attainment of personal success – defined in terms as acquisition of money, power and prestige. Its guiding slogan is, ‘higher the quantity of consumption, better the quality of life’. 

Therefore, the modern value crisis is mainly due to the narrow perception of a good life which overplays of the importance of material values of life and downplays other life values like the moral and ethical.

Important Life Values: Life values like happiness, peace, contentment, etc which give meaning, worth and fullness to human existence are seen as roadblocks and unnecessary diversions from the high road to material success.

Since a narrow way of good life cannot sustain in the long-run, there is need for the society in general to focus more on the broader aspects of values to lead a better quality life. 


Adherence to our established principles, value systems and the judgement of right and wrong can help us avoid this perception. A good way could be to attend a spiritual gathering at regular intervals, association with people who are above the material life, listening to spiritual discourses, spending time with elders can also bring in a desired change.