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Means or End?

Brief Introduction

Sometimes we consider MEANS to be the most important step in judging the action right. For example- In an exam, if a person scores good grades, then we feel proud. In contrast, if a same person has cheated to get a good grade, we feel opposite.

Sometimes we think END to be the most important step in judging an action right. If a thief has saved a toddler from road accident, we are amazed on his present action and then we don’t count his past action.

What to prefer?

MEANS or END phenomenon is very interesting. Sometimes you support MEANS and some time you feel END is better. It’s completely a choice of your situations, conditions, characters, values, and demands. To study means or end adequately is not possible. For this reason, we may divide its studies into various chunks of theories for its better understandings. 

Means is right, End is wrong

Example – Helping a blind man to cross street only to realise that film shooting is going on.

Means is wrong, End is right

Example- Throwing a stone at neighbour’s window glass to trouble him and ending up in helping to escape fire smoke.  

Right Means and End, still failure

Example- Working hard in a factory to earn money for family. But the factory got raided for illegal operations making you to face overall trouble.

Let’s dive deep into some terms in understanding means or end.

  1. Consequentialism– It is a theory which believe in consequences or results as the ultimate factor in deciding the rights or wrongs of a particular case. Its role is mostly observed in legal subjects to decide on final judgements. For example- a murder in innocence or lack of intentionality will still be considered a murder and the punishment would definitely be conferred. The type of punishment to be given is considered after taking other factors based upon deontology and virtue ethics.  
  2. Deontology– It means good and bad depends on the actions and not on its results. Kant believed that right morality is based on the principles of deontology and it is intrinsic. In case, a person is breaking signals on lonely road, then it will be announced as wrong on the principles of deontology.
  3. Utilitarianism – It considers the welfare of large sections of society. With the utilitarian perspectives, universally applicable law is created. For example- environmental projects, civilization projects, education schemes, farmers schemes, etc.
  4. Idealism– For any action, you have some ideas behind it. It is your values or beliefs or thoughts that brings successful completion of an idea. The intention should be morally appropriate. Here end is pre-determined, and means is uncertain. Example: A person wants to win gold medal in country’s sport would do all hardships to make it possible.
  5. Hedonism– In modern hedonism, nothing is considered as end, but means to end of happiness. Charvaka promoted hedonism or pleasure theory to judge every cause. They believe we receive one life, and we should do anything to maximise pleasure. In hedonist principles, drinking, loud music, late night parties are allowed because it makes a person happy.
  6. Gandhian Means or End -Mahatma Gandhi has promoted moral means to achieve an end. For him, achieving virtue is the main award. We can foresee means and have a control over it. However, we couldn’t control end. So, we should take care of means, end will take care of itself.   

    Let’s understand Means or End through some eye-opening examples (It is just for general opinions. The views may vary from person to person)

In present times, space tourism has turned into a luxury than needs. Rich people are spending millions or trillions to secure their seat in a space shuttle and poor people are left behind to look at skies and make prayer to invisible entities. How much right is the means of luxury to reach the end of finding life beyond Earth?

In an interview we speak white lies. We hide our blots, failures, and moments of misfortunes. We only reveal the goody-goody things. How far the means of harmless lies is valid to secure a good employment position?

Doctors telling lies to its patients for their early recovery. Is it good means or bad?
Mining is important for developmental projects. But for mining, forests are cut down. Could the wrong means of mining could challenge the future projects?
Is scolding or slapping your child to improve their habits or performances is right?
We use animals for human experiments to discover medicines or finding reasons for on-going disease. Is using animals for our ends is valid?
Marketing companies purchases products in low prices and then sell it in very high prices. How far the means to grow income is valid?
Is it valid to make our housekeepers do multiple or excess work just because we are giving them salary?
Are we doing right by distributing our torn or old clothes among poorer? How could we give something to others which has turned useless to us? It is the wrong means to attain right ends?

We buy expensive materials from malls or shopping complexes. And then we complain to poor seller of too much price? How far our approach is correct?

I hope you enjoyed this overall outline on means and ends. Feel free to look into the matter with different perspectives. This article is my personal analysis. Therefore, I apologise for any divergence from conventional viewpoints. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

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Happiness index and its efficiency

What is happiness?

Generally, happiness is the perception of human being towards the quality of life. Happiness depends on multiple factors which varies from person to person. The context of this article is to explore happiness and multiple factors benefiting individual as a whole.

Cause of happiness

Physical satisfaction: Adjustment to climate, surroundings, and individual living conditions.

Needs fulfillment (both primary & secondary): Primary as hunger, thirst, shelter, sex. Secondary as education, achievement, profession, business, social support, family background, motivation, etc.  

Goal accomplishment: includes both short term goal and long-term goal.  

Good social connection: friends circle, peer groups, social media activity.  

Supportive family: family cooperation in education, career and life partners.   

Emotional wellbeing: emotionally satisfied and not affected by any mental and psychological disorders.  

Growth of conscience: ability to choose between right and wrong.  

Correlation of happiness with wealth

Happiness doesn’t depend on wealth. People nowadays accumulate a large amount of wealth and still feel empty from inside-out. It is a common belief that desires are met when the money source is accurate. In real world, money can’t buy happiness. It could only help to reach the stage of happiness. The real happiness is the state of mind.

Happiness and meaning of life

Life could be enjoyed only when it is well understood. The life definitions by others couldn’t help to secure a good life. It is only by the self-effort that a true meaning of life is explored. Meaning of life is determined by individual’s mentality, attitude, expressions and values it denotes to other beings. The factor of stable life is achieved when a person is fulfilled in his achievements and maintain a proper balance in between needs and desires.

Happiness and needs

A minimalist with least needs could be happier than a materialist with excess of needs. The idea is very clear- needs doesn’t determine happiness. Needs only keep you well composed and not well disposed. To be inclined well in life, one needs to throw the unnecessary likeliness towards the outer pleasure. In case, the inner pleasure is given value than a person is both happy and satisfied.

Happiness and values

Inner happiness results into morality, morality results into conscience, conscience results into good thoughts, good thoughts result into resourceful action, and action brings fruitful result. We see happiness creates a chain of goodness. The values of truth, morality, justice is always complementary to happiness.

key variables of a happiness index

GDP per capita: The wealth of a country is related to its happiness index.

Social support: it is defined by responsiveness of people to help someone in problems.  

Healthy life expectancy: Average number of happy years a child is expected to live.

Health infrastructure: In a situation of pandemic, the most important worry for people is a proper health infrastructure provided by their country. Health providing resources should be abundant in a country to help its citizens in timely needs.  

Freedom to make life choices: Are you satisfied with the daily choices you make in your life? Freedom to choose make sure that you are responsible for your choices and not dependent on others.

Generosity: It is measured by people’s interest in charity and support.  

Perceptions of corruption: It is determined by depths of corruption rooted in a country.  

Unexplained happiness: other endless causes for happiness like people interest, fashion, lifestyles, music choice, connectivity, welfare.  

Other factors to explain happiness index

Sustainability– It is the factor which gives attention to future needs and manage consumption statistics of present days.

 Risk analysis and management– we need to calculate the future risks and show preparedness. Like disaster management, health insurance, accident insurance, and other safety causes.   

Dignity of labor– Each work is important and each carries equal values. The cleaning staffs, mining workers, construction staffs need to be treated according to labor laws. They are liable for the fair treatments, paid holidays, sick leave, adequate and timely wages.  

Trust & Cooperation– we need to trust our neighbors and cooperate well with the surrounding developmental activities.

Stress management– Stress is the main cause for unhappiness. When one could manage to reduce stress in life, the happiness factors would automatically reach high.

Changing mentality– We need to change our mentality and cultivate the values of acceptance and love.

Generating awareness– one needs to keep pace with the world by being aware on different issues of life.  

Happiness in profession– we should be happy and satisfied in the work we choose for living. It doesn’t matter how much we are earning in a particular work. The thing which really matters is we are enjoying the work processes or not.

Deconstruction of old values– As we step in future, we should drop down some of the values of past so as to accept the newest and healthiest values of future.

Non-judgement in appearance– when we judge others based on appearance, we miss the real values which defines a person.

Spirituality– the cultivation of spirituality within could give effective results to achieve inner happiness.

There are numerous approaches for calculating the happiness index. Drop your own suggestions in the comments area so that we could create a comprehensive lists for the calculative theory of happiness index.

Being Egoist

1. Philosophically, Egoist is not a bad word. It’s a human biased behavior towards the self, particular community, or group. Even animals have this biased behavior wherein they give preference to their basic needs like hunger first.

2. It is an idea popular from the time of Aristotelian Nicomachean Ethics wherein he promotes that it’s good to be selfish and to think about self. Aristotle has said that to think about self is the noblest deed. And we couldn’t argue on this because self-love trend is gaining popularity day by day.

3. To get to the meaning, we need to understand the difference between ego, egotism, and egoism. Ego is a person’s sense of self-esteem, self-importance, and self-respect. Egotism is a sense of absolutely being absorbed in one-self and giving excessively importance to oneself. Egoism is to Act in one’s own self-interest or desires. To make this more clear, Ego will not compromise with other people, its self-respect would be lowered. Egotism will talk mostly concerning the subject matter “I”, and Egoism would not do charity because he feels he would be left penniless during critical time.

4. Why Humans are Egotist? For humanity, it’s difficult to be altruistic i.e., a person having concern for others without caring for self. Altruism is occasionally observed at a time of duty, obligations, culture, pride, and belongingness. Even a Doctor treats patients because of his nature of Profession. Also, Love & care of parents towards their children is because of sense of belongingness.

5. Humans act in relation to consequences, and mostly they feel it should be in their favor. A person gaining nothing by an altruistic Act would rarely commit to it. A person suffering by a good deed would most likely to avoid it.

6. The concept of individuality, human rights, freedom, liberty, democracy is the result of human’s egoistic nature. Humans interest towards their own gene is reflected through humans popular subjects of concern like Politics, History, Psychology, etc.

7. Normative Egoism proposes that humans should/ought to act in a way that feels right to them, and maximizes their self-interest. Humans build society, community, country because they want to preserve their traditions, cultures, values, interest for longer generations.

8. Ethical Egoism means that it is right to help others because helping others reflects back. Once you help others, people will help you back. Ethical egoism is a part of Normative egoism. A neighbor lends you his car, because in future you might help him in need.

9. Rational Egoism is that which helps you to achieve overall growth and happiness in life. It is concern with your interest, needs, and effectiveness. In case, you are hiring someone, you will check your company demands and needs rather looking into that person needs.

10. Psychological/Descriptive Egoism believes that we are always attracted or motivated by those which concerns us. A person will prefer joining Yoga class rather donating money in charity, it is because the Yoga class could help to stay fit, healthy, and achieve higher goals. A charity may not help that person for long run, but a yoga class will do.

To conclude, Egoist is a healthy term in Philosophy. So next time, your friend blames you with such words, you don’t need to feel low. This particular word is an important part of human life. Human beings are mostly driven by needs rather choice. Thus, the need to be egoist is okay and could go well with day-to-day situations.

Eudaimonia- Classifying wellness

Eudaimonia in a general term denotes happiness and well being. Here eu is good or well, daimon is spirit. So, basically, it is the wellness of spirit. It is realizing one’s spirit. This concept of happiness is taken from Greek Ethics. The original definition of Eudaemonia is flourishing as well as well being. Why we need to study happiness is a major question asked by various subjects of science, philosophy, and ethics?

Simply, we need to study happiness because we need it. Nobody wants to live in misery. Everyone wants to live their life full of happiness and fulfillment. The philosophers of Greek have provided deeper meaning to the term ‘Eudaimonia’. The thoughts of the greatest believer is put down here.

Nichomachean Ethics is the best work of Aristotle. It deals with various concepts that help man to live a life of happiness. This work has a great impact on our practical thinking. In this book, chapter 10 covers ‘pleasure, happiness, and upbringing’. It raises the basic question of why pleasure doesn’t last for a long time? We seek pleasure because there is a desire to live life, and the desires won’t last for a long time, and so, the pleasure. Chapter 6-8 of Nichomachean ethics discuss happiness. Aristotle says that happiness is the attainment of the highest virtue. Happiness is that which requires the least possession and highest satisfaction. Aristotle completely denies materialistic life as sources of happiness. He focused upon the contemplative path which gives a greater inner satisfaction.

“…Some identify happiness with virtue, some with practical wisdom, others with a kind of philosophic wisdom, others with these, or one of these, accompanied by pleasure or not without pleasure; while others include also external prosperity…it is not probable that…these should be entirely mistaken, but rather that they should be right in at least some one respect or even in most respects.”

Aristotle, Nichomacean Ethics, Book I, Chapter 8 (excerpt from, 2019)

“He is happy who lives in accordance with complete virtue and is sufficiently equipped with external goods, not for some chance period but throughout a complete life.”

– Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book I, Chapter 10 (excerpt from, 2019).

Aristotle believes that Eudaemonia is to understand our human nature and act for its growth. It is reaching towards the perfection of humanity by continuous reflection on self. By realizing our inner good, and committing to it for life, we can get ultimate happiness.
Philosophy is a place where virtues are given the topmost position. Virtues are the mean between two extremes. The two extremes could be right or wrong, good or bad, sane or insane, real or unreal. It is balancing the situation of two opposite force. And then, finding a path in the middle of it. We need to look at the situation, perceive it, and find the mean. Virtue or excellence is whatever enables good of a particular person, object, theory, or situation. The philosophy of Eudaemonia gives the reason for achieving virtue. This virtue ethics is most important philosophy that enable us to understand the ultimate good and live accordingly.

“At the right times, about the right things, towards the right people, for the right end, and in the right way, is the intermediate and best condition, and this is proper to virtue.”
The concept of Eudaemonia is important because it not only helps to differentiate between good and bad, but also guides us to make the best decision.

According to Plato, Eudaimonia is the ultimate aim. It is the destiny of human life. It is the greatest achievement that humans desire. In every action, one should commit goodness. Because the final end of action is realized in action and is not a consequence of action. Further, Eudaemonia doesn’t always relate the ultimate goals to happiness. But could also aim for morality, kindness, compassion, etc. The concept of Eudaemonia can’t just be limited to happiness. Happiness is a state of mind for some period of time. For example, I am happy because I met my cousin. This happiness may cease to exist after 2-3 days. And this can’t be classified as Eudaemonia. Eudaemonia lasts for a longer period of time. It’s the well being which can’t get destroyed easily. Even Dalai Lama says “kindness is the way to happiness.”

Socrates believes that Eudaemonia is the highest virtue. Excellence in morality is the truest happiness. It is because it involves the happiness of oneself as well as others. Socrates believes that acquiring knowledge is important to reach the goal of virtue. Knowledge can give us the truest idea of morality, courage, justice, wisdom, etc.

The difference in Aristotle and Socrates quotient of happiness is the ‘happiness for oneself’ and ‘happiness for others’. Socrates looks for universal happiness, but Aristotle is inclined to the happiness of self. Plato is looking for the ultimate aim to which happiness could be subscribed. Hence, we know that there are different philosophers who came up with their unique ideas of happiness. Happiness is within self or it may be outside. The real point is to realize happiness and make our life fulfilled. This philosophy of happiness is important to make us understand the true happiness. The true happiness isn’t in materialistic goals of life. The true form of happiness is visible in the morality we chooses. It is not in the success we achieve, but in the values we learnt.

Happiness is very misunderstood term. The concept of Eudaemonia links happiness in terms of well being. And therefore, it helps us to choose the values that keep us achieving long term happiness.

Meaningful Address practices

The moment you start caring about others, the love is mirrored back in one way or another. Once the belief for a person is positive, the thoughts and actions changes completely. The communication increases and relations turns stronger. The greetings become genuine and social life flourishes.
With the implications of effective measures to live life post corona, meaningful address practices seems reasonable.

The world has got unlimited source of learning. Then, why stop learning? Learn wherever you are, whatever you can and whenever you feel so. I am stressing so much on learning because I just had a feeling of sharing such an important thing which I learnt from my neighbor aunt. I totally disagree when she calls herself uneducated just because she can’t understand English. But, believe me, she got a plenty of knowledge about the life and world. And here is such words of wisdom which I learnt and felt like sharing.

First of all, it’s necessary to a form a belief about people, object, place or a thing. The belief is the gate to the world of acceptance. Once you believe, you accept. You don’t believe and no one can make you ready to accept a thing. My aunt will introduce people she knows as her very own people or close one. It doesn’t mean that she is over-friendly to everyone, but she is eagerly welcoming everyone and cares for all. The moment you start caring about others, the love is mirrored back in one way or another. Really, the stream of goodness is infectious.

Once the belief for a person is positive, the thoughts and actions changes completely. The communication increases and relations turn stronger. The greetings become genuine and social life flourishes. Humility, affection and confident in other-self increases and the world appears a totally amazing place to live in.

When child addresses the father as papa, it reflects closeness. When teacher addresses the student by name, it reflects friendliness, when owner addresses servants by prefix based on age (like bhaiya, didi, aunty, etc), it reflects trust-worthiness. Address practice depends on variety of factors like age, relations, society, politics, common interest, profession, etc. Address depends on different social relationships and different social context. The way politician address its people says a lot about the intentions and expectations. You can do a simple exercise and note down the way a particular politician addresses its people before or after winning elections. You could guess the authenticity of the leaders by this practice.

At different social locations, people may perform different address practices. For example, a marriage and funeral address is extremely opposite. In all this way, we understand that address practice is a very important lesson one should know very well. A respectful, familiar and healthy address practice could make your relations stronger with others. It doesn’t matter whom you are addressing- your way of addressing speaks a lot about you. Therefore, choose your words carefully wherever and whosoever you are addressing.

With the implications of effective measures to live life post corona, meaningful address practices seems reasonable. Forget the greetings that we normally do by shaking hands, hugging or kissing others, as a new custom we should all adopt beautiful words to address or greet others.

Reference- The cultural semantics of address practices by Gian Marco Farese.

Dharma- the all time victorious!

Dharma is the secret force behind all the happenings of the universe. The subject philosophy mostly refers to the Dharma, its source, virtues, variations, outputs, flow and its misuse. There’s a lot to talk about Dharma. And I hope we are all acquainted with it. And so I wouldn’t take a lot of time to clarify the Dharma Theory, rather I would propose a few brief points that make it the iconic theory of all time.

As a student of philosophy, we are aware of the four types of purushartha (purusha:human, artha:meaning)- the qualities which gives meaning to human life.

Dharma or duties : the duties or virtues which humans follow for the accomplishment of an action.

Artha or wealth : the possession acquired by humans throughout its life.

Kama or sexual appetite: the innate desire of a person.

Moksha or liberation : one’s final destiny or end of the chapter of soul life cycle.

Throughout our life, we race towards the possession of money or fulfillment of appetite. The duties to be sought are rarely look after. The so called necessity or compulsion makes one active towards one’s duties. But, the self desire is known to be minimal towards the accomplishments of duties. And why there is lack of this self desire? This is because we are not motivated for it. Our mind and heart doesn’t recommend it to us. Our family doesn’t make any pressure for it. Our society rarely appreciate the duty bound person. The success is always measured by the quantity of wealth acquired. The unsuccessful are detested and looked down. The authority of money-loving personality works. The meaningful actions are rarely noticed unless it brings a tremendous change.

Despite all this shortcomings, the Dharma is always victorious. During the situation, when entire Nation is fighting the pandemic corona virus, only duties towards humanities are getting counted. The selfless actions and meaningful contributions of doctors, cleaning staffs, security officers and farmers are reflected to its truest form. We must never forget such duties which is for the welfare of the Nation in danger. In all the purusharthas, Dharma has the voice whose echo could be heard for long.

The Hindu dharma includes the religious obligations, moral rights and duties of each person, as well as actions that allow social order, the right conduct and the virtuous. Dharma is what all existing beings must recognize and value in order to preserve peace and order in the universe.

Dharma Quotes (taken from webpage

  1. Aapadi praanaraksaa hi dharmasya prathamannkura: Bharat Manjari

Saving a life in jeopardy is the origin of morality.

2. Eka eva suhrud dharma: nidhane pyanusyaati ya: MS 8-17 Hitopadesa 1-66

Dharma is the only constant companion who comes along in death.

3. Ghoramapi svam cared dharmam – sup

Though appalling one’s own duty ought to be performed.

4. Jayasyaayatanam dharma: paapam varthma kshayasya ca rm 6-11-371

Dharma is the abode of victory; sin, the path of doom.

5. Yató dharma: tató jaya: Vidura Niti 7-9; Susasita Ratna Bhandaagaara 3-35

Where there is Dharma, there lies Victory.

6. Dharmena hiinaa: pasubih samaanaa: — Hitopadesam 1-25

They are animals who lack dharma.

7. Vedókiló dharma muulam – Manu Smrti 2-6

The entire Vedas form the foundation of Dharma.

No doubt, this is the best time to teach our children about Dharma and the importance of fulfillment of duties. We must follow our duties towards self and others.With the passing of time, all other things lose their meaning, but the Dharma remains evergreen and victorious.

pc: Diksha Hemane @artistic_affair

Finding Good in Impulsive Behavior- Moore Theory

Have you ever reacted weird without giving it a second thought? This may have occurred to many of us. And many of us may have felt uncomfortable for it. The important question arises, ‘Is there any goodness in our impulsiveness?’

To sort out this confusion, Let’s understand the qualities of good in a philosophical way.

G E Moore concepts of Good points out the uniqueness of the quality of Good. Good is a simple and indefinable quality. Just as we can’t explain the color red to anyone and so same goes for good. We can’t explain anyone what’s good and what’s not unless some object is specified.

“Good,’ then, if we mean by it that quality which we assert to belong to a
thing, which we say that the thing is good, is incapable of any definition.”

-G E Moore

The second step to judge a thing as good is consequences. If a certain action produces right consequence, then it’s good.

An act is right if and only if it produces more good than any other available action.

-G E Moore

Moore has distinguished between the two state of affairs- the good action and the right action. The good action is consequentially right. And the right action is one which produces more or better good.

The third step to judge goodness of an object is its ethical implication. If an action is ethically acceptable, then it’s good otherwise not.

Conclusively, there are three steps to judge the qualities of Good as per G E Moore-

  1. Nature of an object
  2. Consequence
  3. Ethical impacts

By understanding the concept of Good, we are in a stage of finding goodness in an impulsive behavior. The impulsive behavior, if had no negative consequences, then it’s good. But ethically it’s not right to behave unnaturally and so it’s not good. And if acting impulsively is not in my nature, and still I am acting such. Then, definitely it isn’t good.

By analyzing the impulsive behavior, we come to conclude that impulsive behavior lacks the qualities of goodness and is hazardous not only to our health but also to others.

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