Comparing Ethical Theories
Several ethical theories are available for study, while there are differences among them there are also many similarities. This paper will discuss the similarities and differences in Virtue Ethics, Utilitarianism, and Deontological ethics. Virtue ethics are based on what is meant to be good. A person is of good moral character after a lifetime of habits that lead to excellence (Boylan, 2009). Virtue ethics are composed of standards accepted by the community. These standards are defined by the community and therefore can change throughout life. The morality of an action is not that something be done simply because it is right, but because it contributes to the community (Boylan, 2009). Utilitarianism is the theory of the team player. A person would give up personal excellence to promote team excellence. Utilitarianism is how the group as a whole can improve or achieve excellence. According to Boylan (2009) An action is morally right when it produces more utility for the group rather than for the individual; “the greatest good for the greatest number” (pp. 12-1). Deontology is defined by the moral obligation of rules and duties. The rules and duties are based on the correctness or principle of an action without regard to consequences. This compares to utilitarianism where the right action is determined by how the action brings about the greatest utility to the group as a whole (Boylan, 2009). Both theories disregard the consequences of that action. Deontology ignores the all consequences, where utilitarianism ignores the consequences to the individual. Deontology is a moral theory that guides and assesses the choices of what we should do where virtue theory guides and assess what kind of person we should be. In deontology right is more important than good. If the act is not deemed to be in the right no matter how much good it does the action would not be the correct moral action to take. All three...
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