Major Ethical Theories
• Deontological Ethics
• Justice & Fairness
• Virtue Ethics
➢ Study ethical behavior in terms of the result or consequences of ethical decisions
➢ Evaluate decisions whether good or bad in term of impact of the decisions
➢ Decision maker must take broad perceptive concerning who, in society, might be affected by the decision
Weaknesses in Utilitarianism
❖ The distribution and intensity of happiness
❖ Measurement problem
❖ Ignores motivation and focus only on consequences
• Evaluate behavior based on the motivation of the decision maker
• Action can be ethically correct if it does not produce a net balance of good over evil for the decision maker or for society as a whole
Weaknesses in Deontology
• Does not provide clear guidelines for deciding what is right and wrong when two or moral laws conflict and only one can be followed
Justice & Fairness
• Procedural justice concerns how justice is administered.
• Everyone is treated equally before the law and that rules are impartially applied
• There are 3 main criteria: need, arithmetic and merit
▪ One problem with justice is that the allocations may not be fair
➢ Focus on moral character of the decision maker than impact of the decisions or the motivation of the decision maker.
➢ Virtue ethics takes a broader view recognizing that the decision maker has a variety of character traits
• Not compromising on core value even when there is strong pressure to do so.
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