Think Learn & Perform (TLP)

The Only Dedicated Platform for UPSC Mains Answer Writing

Day 38 – Q 4.Does objectivity always lead to ethical outcomes? Critically examine.

4. Does objectivity always lead to ethical outcomes? Critically examine.   

क्या निष्पक्षता हमेशा नैतिक परिणामों की ओर ले जाती है? समालोचनात्मक जांच करें।


Objectivity means taking decisions based upon established facts and figures rather than personal opinion or bias. In administration it generally implies working as rules and regulations. It creates scientific and rational thinking. It is one of the foundational values of civil services. An outcome can be judged as ethical or unethical based on ethical analysis as per some ethical standards.   


Objectivity always leads to ethical outcomes 

  • Objective Ethics refers to a view that a person’s action can always be seen as right or wrong, regardless of the situation or the consequences. It focuses on rules for governing what is considered to be morally right, wrong, or obligatory.
  • If rules are made aligned with constitutional values, then objective decision will always be ethical. 
  • Suppose traffic rules are framed for the safety and wellbeing of all, then following traffic rules will always be ethical. 

Objectivity can lead to ethical outcomes 

  • Gandhiji’s principle of means over end is supported by objectivity, which focuses on rules and hence means. 
  • Deontological ethics or duty based ethics will be fulfilled if one follows the rule and be duty bound. 
  • Nishkama Karma’ – philosophy given in Bhagwat Gita – can be achieved by being objective and following one’s dharma or rules governing one’s behaviour.  
  • A police officer entrusted with mob management, may have to use force hurting certain individuals. Based on virtue ethics it may be perceived wrong. However his actions are in larger interest of peace and order in society. Hence just objectively focusing on one’s duty, ethical outcome can be achieved.   

Objectivity does not lead to ethical outcomes 

  • Consequentialism philosophy takes into account not only rules and regulation to complete an action but also the consequences of the actions.  
  • Teleological or end based ethics also not only considers rules and regulations but also end of an action.
  • Justice approach in ethical analysis calls for differential treatment of people in different situations. Farmer’s loan waivers are against set norms. However waiving them off brings temporary respite to farmers, as per P. Sainath.    


Ethical outcome depends on lots of parameters and situation. No one value can decide ethical outcome. Objectivity has to be subjected to ground reality and prevailing circumstance. These days blindly following objectivity is considered clerical expectation. What we must strive for is ‘enlightened objectivity’ where rules and laws have to be seen in context and then objectively follow them. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email