Ethical Theories

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Ethical Theories
Connie Fassler
ETH 316
November 19, 2012
Ted Haas

There are different types of ethical theories and each one of them is different from the other in many ways. I am going to compare virtue ethics, utilitarianism, and deontology theories. I will describe each theory and show similarities and differences in the theories and then I will explain the theories.

Virtue Theory is explained as an action that is right if it is what a person with virtues would do under the same circumstances. Deontology Theory is an action that is right if it follows a moral rule or principle, and Utilitarianism is an action that is right if it promotes the best consequences (Brown, 2001). These are all similar in that they rely on virtues of the people who are making decisions.

Although these three theories do have similarities, they are also very different from one another. Virtue theory depends on a person doing right from wrong no matter how many or if anyone will benefit from the moral choice, but it is also based on what the normal person with virtues would do. Deontology Theory relies on a person doing the right thing by following the moral rules or principles that that person believes in. It does not rely on what others would do in the same situation. Finally, Utilitarianism is the theory that still relies on virtues, but it also relies on the person making a decision based on the good that a number of people will get from the decision. It is based on what the majority of people will get from the virtuous decision that is made.

As I am in the Army, I see many of these theories working almost every day. I see virtue theory when I have a Soldier who is faced with a decision and makes that decision based on what other people would do. For instance, my Soldier was faced with a decision of should he cheat and make his physical fitness test score more than it really was. If he made the score higher, he would have a better chance of...
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