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What is Moral Action? Questions and Answers, Notes, Summary
I. Answer the following questions briefly:
In paragraph one, Gandhiji says that our conventional behaviour is :
c. neither moral nor immoral
(c) neither moral nor immoral.
What is a non-moral action?
Action which does not necessarily involve morality, but is born of prevailing conventions.
What is the difference between a mechanical act and an intentional act?
If the action is done mechanically and does not spring from our own will, there is no moral content in the act. It is a mechanical act. Such action would be moral if we think it proper to act like a machine and do so since in doing so, we use our discrimination.
Give an example each for conventional behaviour and a moral act.
Greeting everyone in the morning is conventional behaviour. It becomes a moral act when it is done with the intention of brightening up the lives of those people.
The first Paragraph discusses what is not a moral action. The second paragraph gives one important criterion to decide what constitutes a moral action. What is that criterion?
A moral act must spring from our own will, from the use of our discrimination. This is the criterion.
When can the messenger’s act become a moral action?
When the messenger, instead of mechanically delivering the order, does it because it is his duty to do so, it becomes a moral action.
When, according to Gandhi, can we regard ourselves to have stepped on to the moral road?
When we all care only for what our conscience says, then alone can we be regarded to have stepped onto the moral road.
What is the belief that Gandhi talks of in paragraph 2?
Gandhiji says that we cannot be truly moral if we do not believe and experience the belief that God within us, the God of all, is the ever-present witness to all our acts.
All good actions need not be moral acts. When does good action become a moral act? (paragraph 3). Give an example
Feeding poor people is an example of a good action. It is a moral act when the person, out of pity for the poor, feeds them.
In the example of feeding the poor, whose action is moral action?
When a man, out of pity for the poor, feeds them, it is a moral act. When he does the same act with the motive of earning prestige, the action is no longer moral.
The result of our action determines whether our action is moral or non-moral (say whether the statement is True or False)
Why does Gandhi say that Alexander’s conquests cannot be called moral actions?
Alexander’s conquests cannot be called moral actions because the intention behind all of them was only power and renown.
In each paragraph, Gandhiji adds one criterion to consider an action moral. What criterion is added in paragraph 4?
Gandhiji says that an action is moral if it is done voluntarily and without compulsion or fear.
When does simple living become moral?
Simple living becomes moral when the person, although wealthy, thinks of all the want and misery in the world about him and feels that he ought to live a plain, simple life and not one of ease and luxury.
When does an employee’s action of paying higher salaries to his employees remain non-moral?
When the employer sympathizes with his employees or pays them higher wages lest they leave him, his action remains non-moral.
When Gandhiji quotes Shakespeare (in paragraph 5), what argument does he want to strengthen?
When he quotes Shakespeare, Gandhiji wants to emphasize the point that any action, even one of showing love, done with a profit motive, ceases to be a moral action. Honesty should be resorted to, not because it dies the best policy of all, but because it is the right policy.
Gandhiji mentions the name of Henry Clay as an example of moral/ non-moral action. (Choose the right answer)
What qualities of David Webster does Gandhiji mention?
David Webster had great intellect and a wonderful sense of the heroic and the sublime.
What is the single mean act of Webster mentioned in paragraph 6?
He once sold his intellectual’ integrity for a price.
Why is it difficult to judge the morality of a man’s action?
It is difficult to judge the morality of a man’s action because we cannot penetrate the depths of his mind.
What arguments does Gandhiji give to justify that a moral act should be free from fear and compulsion?
He says that there is no morality in a person’s act if he rises early out of the fear that, if he is late for his office, he may lose . his situation. Similarly, there is no morality in his living a simple and unpretentious life if he has not the means to live otherwise.
To sum up, an action becomes moral when an action: (Complete the following)
a. springs from one’s will (paragraph 2)
b. is done with the intention to do good (from paragraph 3)
c. is done without compulsion or fear (from paragraph 4)
d. has no self-interest behind it (from par’1 u
e. is not done with expectations of benefit in life after death (paragraph 6)
is not done with expectations of benefit in life after death.
II. Close Study :
Read the following extracts carefully. Discuss in pairs and then write the answers to the questions given below them.
The great Saint Theresa wished to have a touch in her right hand and a vessel of water in her left so that with the one she might burn the glories of heaven and with the other extinguish the fires of hell, and men might learn to serve God from love alone without fear of hell and without temptation of heavenly bliss.
a. Why did Saint Theresa hold a torch in her right hand?
She desired to burn the glories of heaven with the torch.
b. What does ‘a vessel of water’ signify?
She desired to extinguish the fires of hell with the vessel of water.
c. What was her message to humanity?
She wanted people to learn to serve God from love along without fear of hell and without the temptation of heavenly bliss.
Wherever he went (in the course of his conquests), he took the Greek language and Greek culture, arts and manners, and today we enjoy the benefits of Greek civilization. It was all right that he was termed “great”, but moral he cannot be called.
a. Who does ‘he’ refer to?
‘he’ refers the Greek Emperor, Alexander, the Great.
b. What is his contribution to mankind?
He took the Greek language and Greek culture, arts and manners to different parts of the world, thereby enabling all of them to enjoy the benefits of Greek civilization.
c. Why doesn’t Gandhi consider him moral?
Though he went to different parts of the world, the intention behind Alexander’s action was only conquest and renown.
III. Paragraph Writing:
Discuss in pairs/groups of four each the answers to the following questions. Individually note down the important points for each question and then develop the points into a one-paragraph answer.
Write on Mahatma Gandhi’s comments on action prompted by the motive of happiness in another world.
- Gandhiji says that action done for considerations of comfort and personal happiness in another world is non-moral.
- St. Francis Xavier prayed passionately because it was man’s duty to pray.
- St. Theresa kept a torch and a vessel of water so that man learns to serve God without any fear or temptations.
- It is difficult to judge the morality of man’s action.
Paragraph: Gandhiji says that an action done for considerations of comfort and personal happiness in another world is non-moral. That action is moral which is done only for the sake of doing good. St. Francis Xavier prayed passionately that his mind might always remain pure. For him, the devotion of God was not for enjoying a higher seat after death. He prayed because it was man’s duty to pray.
St. Theresa wished to have a torch in her right hand and a vessel might burn the glories of heaven and with the other extinguish the fires of hell, and men might learn to serve God from love along without fear of hell and without the temptation of heavenly bliss. Commenting upon great men who have sacrificed their values for their ambitions, Gandhiji says that with one mean act, they have wiped out all their good deeds. This just shows how difficult it is to judge the morality of man’s action because we cannot penetrate the depths of his mind.
Why does Gandhi say that moral action should be done without compulsion?
- A moral act should be free from fear and compulsion.
- Even rising early out of fear of losing situation will render it non-moral.
- Similarly living a simple life because one doesn’t have the means to live otherwise is not a moral act.
- An employer sympathizing with employees or paying them higher wages for fear that they would leave him is not performing a moral act.
Paragraph: Gandhiji says that a moral act should be free from fear and compulsion. He says that there is no morality whatsoever in a person’s act if he rises early out of the fear that, if he is late to his office, he may lose his situation. Similarly, there is no morality in his living a simple and unpretentious life if he has not the means to live Otherwise.
Plain, simple living would be moral if, though wealthy, the person thinks of all the want and misery in the world about him – and feels that he ought to live a plain, simple life and not one of east and luxury.
Likewise, it is only selfish and hot moral, of an employer to sympathize with his employees or pay them higher wages lest they leave him. It would be moral if the employer wished well of them and treated them kindly realizing how he owed his prosperity to them.
IV. Vocabulary Exercises
A. Discuss in pairs the similarity or difference in meaning/usage between the following pairs of words (use a dictionary)
- Say × tell
- moral × morale
- custom × habit
- between × among
- enough × sufficient
- same × similar
- culture × civilization
- rise × raise
- sympathy × empathy
- practice × practice
- pardon × forgive × excuse
- mistake × error × blunder
- conscience × consciousness × conscientious
- Say × tell: The difference is in the usage :
‘say’ is used thus: Subject + say + to + indirect object.
E.g. I would like to say that he did a great job.
‘Tell’ is used thus: Subject + tell + indirect object.
E.g. I told him to come tomorrow.
- moral × morale :
Moral: a lesson about right or wrong that can be learned from a story or experience.
Morale: the level of confidence or spirits «
- custom × habit:
Custom: a traditional way of behaving or doing something that is specific to a society, place or time.
Habit: something that a person does often.
- between × among :
Between: at, into or across the space separating (two things) or relating to two people.
Among: shared by more than two people or surrounded by.
- enough × sufficient :
Enough: as such or as many as is necessary or desirable: is used after adjective and before both concrete and abstract nouns;
Sufficient: adequate: is used before concrete nouns.
- same × similar :
Same: one exactly like the other.
Similar: one having some features of the other, not all:
- culture × civilization :
Culture – the arts, customs, institutions of a nation, people or group. It is part of a civilization:
Civilization – an advanced stage or system of human social development.
- rise × raise :
rise – come or go up;
raise – lift or move upwards
- sympathy × empathy :
Sympathy: the feeling of being sorry for someone:
Empathy: understand and share the feelings of another.
- practice × practice:
Practice: the action of doing something rather than the theories about it;
Practise: do (something) repeatedly so as to become skillful.
- pardon × forgive × excuse :
pardon – the action of forgiving, someone for an error or offense; it is also used when one has to ask for a repetition of words or make a request.
Forgive – stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offense or mistake; not used when. one has to make a request.
Excuse – justify or try to justify (a fault or offense); allow (someone) to leave a room or gathering.
- mistake × error × blunder :
Mistake – a thing that is incorrect; also used to mean ‘confuse’ (someone or something) with
Error – a genuine mistake made in speech or writing;
Blunder – a stupid or careless mistake.
B. Give one-word substitutes to the following :
- The absence of government
- A story that gives a moral
- One who takes delight in the suffering of others
- Making atonement for one’s sins
- A decision which cannot be changed
V. Language Activities:
A. Paragraph Writing:
A coherent paragraph consists of a topic sentence (TS) – which gives you the main idea of the paragraph. Then there are supporting sentences (SS) that strengthen the topic sentence and a concluding sentence (CS)- which concludes the paragraph on a coherent note.
Look at the following paragraph:
Global advertising today is the biggest and most sophisticated thought-control project ever undertaken. (TS) Some statistics reveal the true extent of this phenomenon. (SS) Global advertising expenditures according to Benjamin Barber (in his book Jihad versus McWorld, 1996) rose “seven-fold from 1950 to 1990 from a modest $ 39 bn to $256 bn.” (SS) Barber adds that per capita global spending went up from $15 in 1950 to nearly $ 50 in 1996. (SS) One single company, the hamburger giant McDonald, spends more than 1.4 bn dollars each year on advertising. (SS) All these figures are huge indeed and getting bigger all the time. (CS)
The opening sentence: Global advertising… is the Topic sentence. This is followed by four Supporting sentences that strengthen the main idea and a Concluding sentence that sums up the paragraph.
Arrange the jumbled sentences in a logical sequence and develop them into a coherent paragraph: (Identify the topic sentence and supporting sentences).
- She founded the Missionaries of Charity -1950.
- Nobel Peace Prize -1979.
- Mother Teresa- known for her compassion and humanity- born in 1910.
- Worked in the slums of Calcutta.
- Bharat Ratna-1980.
- Rendered yeoman service to humankind.
- Title of the ‘blessed’- beatification- 2003.
- Passed away- 05 September 1997.
Mother Teresa who was known for her compassion and humanity, was born in 1910. (IS) She worked in the slums of Calcutta. (SS) She founded the Missionaries of Charity and rendered yeoman service to humankind. (SS) Her work was recognized nationally and internationally. (SS) She was honored with the Nobel Prize in 1979, and the Bharat Ratna in 1980. (SS) She passed away on 5th September 1997. (SS) In 2003, in a beatification ceremony, she was given the title of the ‘blessed’.(CS).
B. Note Making/Taking:
Note making/taking is an important skill. It helps to summarise and record information during reading/listening. Various methods like linear notes, flow charts, tree diagrams, spidergrams and different types of layouts like tables, lists and diagrams are followed. Given below is an example of note making using a flow chart.
M.K. Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869, in the princely state of Porbandar, now part of Gujarat. After matriculation, he went to England to study law in 1888. Having passed his bar examinations, he returned to India in 1891, only to proceed to South Africa where he hoped to do better as a lawyer, than in his own city. The future Mahatma was actually made here in the land of racialism and acquired a new weapon to fight the white oppressor. This was Satyagraha, which subsequently in India, was to be reinforced with truth and non-violence, and with which, he won freedom from the British Empire. Until his assassination in 1948, Gandhiji’s efforts were to wean his contemporaries away from wickedness, and rightly, he remained ‘the conscience of mankind.
Task: Make notes on the following passage using any method of your choice.
Louis Pasteur, born in a little French country town, was interested in chemistry when he was very young. After studying hard in Paris and showing great promise, he began to teach and lecture as Professor of Chemistry. He became a-Professor at Strasburg in Allace, and he married a wife who was always to be his closest companion and assistant.
Pasteur was deeply interested in all the new experiments that were being made in chemistry and decided to solve some of the difficult problems that were worrying chemists and other scientists. Sometimes he used to sit for hours, quite silent and motionless, thinking hard about one of his difficulties. He found this the easiest way to solve a problem: and when he thought of a solution, his kind, the tired looking face would brighten with pleasure and excitement and he would rush round to tell his discovery to his wife and to others who were helping him.
VI. Speaking Activity:
A. In groups of four each, prepare a list of ten people (alive or dead) who qualify for being moral as per Gandhiji’s specifications. Also, state the reason why you chose them. Then share your findings with your neighboring group.
Name Reasons for your choice:
- Lord Buddha: He gave up all his worldly pleasures because he was moved by the suffering of the people around him.
- Lord Mahavira: He renounced worldly pleasures in order to become close to common people and help them.
- Adi Shankaracharya: He chose to go away from his family in order to travel all over India and spread the knowledge of the Vedas and Upanishads.
- Lord Jesus Christ: Preached truth, non-violence, and sacrifice.
- Lord Basaveshwara: Preached equality of all human beings.
- Mahatma Gandhiji: Fought for justice for people in all areas and adopted a simple lifestyle in order to identify himself with the millions of poor India.
- Mother Teresa: Left her home and native country and settled in India in order to serve the poor and the suffering.
- Baba Amte: Dedicated his life to service of the poor and the suffering.
- Sunderlal Bahuguna: Created awareness about the importance of saving trees and dedicated his life to the protection of the environment.
- Nelson Mandela: Adopted Gandhian principles of Satyagraha and non-violence and fought for the independence of his country.
B. Do you support Sri? Anna Hazare’s crusade against corruption in public life. Discuss in groups of four each
and arrive at five important reasons for your support. Then share your: findings with your neighboring‘ group.
Yes. His crusade against corruption in public life has to be supported by everyone interested in the future of India. The reasons are as follows :
- He is the first person to actively take up the cause of removal of corruption in India.
- He follows the Gandhian principles of non-violence and satyagraha.
- Like Gandhiji, even he has gone on fasts for many days in order to get the Lokpal bill passed.
- He speaks eloquently and can inspire thousands of youngsters to join his movement.
- The country urgently needs a leader who can inspire Indians.
VII. Grammar Revisited:
A. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate form of the verbs (present simple, continuous or perfect) given in brackets.
- Sachin great innings (play)
- “Look! He there (go). I him walking this side every day (see)”. Yes, I too many times here (see).
- “Have you finished reading the book I gave you?” “No, still I it (read). I only half of it”, (read).
- “Where are you going ?” “I to school, (go) The H.M. to meet her” (ask)
- My sister medicine (study). She 4 years already, (complete).
- “Are you both still eating ?”. No, I mine (finish) but Panka still(eat).
- Prices up (go) and it very difficult to make both ends meet (be).
- ok! That light all night (burn)
- He the essay for the last 2 days (write) but he is yet (not complete).
- Ramesh in the same class for the last 3 years, (study)
- is going; see; have seen
- am reading; read
- a going; asked
- is studying; has completed
- have finished; is eating
- going; is
- has been burning
- has been writing; has not yet completed
- has been studying.
B. Choose the most appropriate form of verbs and fill in the blanks:
- I ____ (light) the light at 5 and it ______ (burn) brightly when Hari came in at 7.
- I ______ (make) coffee when the light (go) out.
- I _____ (not want) to meet Aziz, so when he entered the room I (leave).
- The car had nobody in it, but the engine _______ (run).
- My friend and I _____ (talk) about you the other day.
- She suddenly ______ (realize) that she ______ (travel) in the wrong direction.
- When I _____ (look) for my pass book, I _____ (find) this old photograph.
- “How did you ______ (damage) your car so badly? “I _____ (run) into a lamp post yesterday.”
- As I ______ (cross) the road, I (step) on a banana skin and (fall) heavily.
- While the guests _____ (watch T.V), thieves _____ (break) into the house and _____ (steal) a lot of gold.
- He ______ (discover) to his horror that his child_____ (swallow) a coin.
- The little girl _____ (ask), what _____ (happen) to her ice cream.
- It ____ (be) the mad man who _____ (do) the killing.
- Before I ____ (reach) the class, the teacher ______ (begin) the lesson.
- When I _____ (reach) the bus stop, I _____ (tell) that the bus ______ (leave) already.
- The test ______ (be) much easier thanI ____ (think) first.
- He _____ (refuse) to admit that he _____ (steal) the mobile.
- He ______ (give) me back the book,____(thank) me for lending it to him and ______ (say) that he _____ (enjoy) it very much; but I ______ (know) that he _____ (not read) it because most of the pages _____ (be) still uncut.
- I ______ (think) my train _____ (leave) at 2 and _____ (be) very disappointed when I _____ (arrive) at 1.45 and —(learn) that it just ______ (leave). I found later that I ______(use) an out-of-date time table.
- A woman ______ (come) in with a baby, who she ______ (say) just _______ (swallow) a safety pin.
- lit; was burning
- was making; went
- did not want; left
- was running
- were talking
- realized; was travelling
- was looking; found
- damage; ran
- was crossing; stepped; fell
- were watching T.V.; broke; stole
- discovered; had swallowed
- asked; had happened
- was; did
- reached; had begun
- reached; was told; had left
- was; had thought
- refused; had stolen
- gave; thanked; said; had enjoyed; know; had not read; were.
- thought; would leave; was; arrived; learned; had just left; had used.
- came; said; had swallowed.
C. Supply the correct Past tense:
When the old lady (return) to her flat she (see) at once that burglars (break) in during her absence, because of the front door (be open) and everything in the flat (be) upside down. The burglars themselves (be) no longer there, but they probably only just (leave) because a cigarette was .still burning on an ornamental table. Probably they (hear) the lift coming up and (run) down the fire escape. They (help)’ themselves to her whiskey too but there (be) a little left, so she (pour) herself out a drink. She (wonder) if they (find) her jewelry and rather (hope) that they had. The jewelry (be give) her by her husband, who (die) some years before. Since his death she (not have) the heart to wear it, yet she (not like) to sell it. Now it (seems) that fate (take) the matter out of her hands; and certainly the insurance money would come in handy.
When the old lady returned to her flat she saw at once that burglars had broken in during her absence, because the front door was open and everything in the flat was upside down. The burglars themselves were no longer there, but they probably only just left because a cigarette was still burning on an ornamental table. Probably they had heard the lift coming up and had run down the fire escape. They had helped themselves to her whiskey too but there was a little left, so she poured herself out a drink. She wondered if they had found her jewellery and rather hoped that they had. The jewellery had been given her by her husband, who had died some years,’ before. Since his death, she had not had the heart to wear it, yet she had not liked to sell it. Now it seemed that fate had taken the matter out of her hands, and certainly, the insurance money would? come in handy.
D. Future Time
The word Tense refers to the form of the verb and not to time. In this sense, English has only, two Tenses – Present and Past (come-came). But English has many ways of referring to future time with shades of difference in meaning.
Look at the following five sentences. Discuss in pairs and find out the difference in meaning: ” My father will meet the H.M. tomorrow. ? My father is meeting the H. M. tomorrow.
My father is going to meet at H.M. tomorrow.
My father will be meeting the H.M. tomorrow.
My father meets H.M. tomorrow.
My father will meet at H.M. tomorrow.
What is Moral Action Summary in English
Gandhiji mentions six qualities of an action which qualify it to be called moral and the absence of which make it non-moral.
Many actions are done because they are a part of society’s conventions. Without such behavior, there will be anarchy in society. Such acts are non-moral.
An act to be called moral should spring from our own will. It should not be performed mechanically, without any discrimination or thought.
A good act is not a moral act if the person does not have the intention to do good. Results of our action should be left to God. Alexander, though called Great, was not moral.
There should be no self-interest behind a moral act. Even honesty cannot be practiced as the best policy. It should be the only policy.
An act done for consideration of comfort and personal happiness in another world is non-moral. That action is moral which is done only for the sake of doing good. St. Francis Xavier and St. Theresa has devoted souls who prayed to God because they loved him. Henry Clay and Daniel Webster lived virtuous lives but sacrificed their virtue just once, thereby negating all the good they had done.
Gandhiji concludes that judging the morality of a man’s action is very difficult since we cannot penetrate the depths of his mind.
What is Moral Action Summary in Kannada