ETH 316 Individual Essay Week One
Virtue, deontological, and utilitarianism theories have similarities and differences. Each theory applies to morals and ethics in specific ways, just as virtue, values, and morality have a specific relationship with one another. Virtue theory relates to ethics by defining the character of an individual as upstanding, trustworthy, dependable, honest, or as unreliable, devious, careless, or self-serving. Basically, a person is characterized as “good” or “bad,” or a combination of both. People develop traits throughout life as a reflection of his or her morals. Virtue ethics define a person’s character more so than his or her actions. The downside of this theory is that it does not make allowance for good people who make bad mistake (Garrett, 2005). A teenager may give into peer pressure to steal a car. The teen may have high morals and ethics, but made a foolish decision. Virtue theory defines the teen as a bad person rather than as a good person who did a bad act. The utilitarianism theory of ethics focuses on weighing options for actions and the choice made depends on the course of action that has the best consequences for the individual. This approach gives little consideration to the morals as long as the outcome benefits one’s self, even at the expense of some individuals. Morality issues receive consideration if the action taken is a moral one. For example, a person may not personally believe in war, but a soldier will serve when called because he or she believes in serving his or her country (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2011). Deontological ethics considers the questions of right and wrong of an action instead of the consequences. The description of wrongness is considered when the action intentionally harms others. This approach defines ethics as either right or wrong, and has little or no middle ground for exceptions New World Encyclopedia, 2008). Some people believe abortion is okay in...
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