Virtue, utilitarianism, and deontology theories address ethics and morality. These theories contain similarities and differences. Furthermore, many people can relate personal experiences to each of these three theories.
Virtue ethics is based on a person’s character and is called agent-based (Boylan, 2009). This type of ethics pushes a person to do what she or he can for greatness. Ahearn (2004), “You can be all you can be, someone was paid a handsome fee to write that slogan.” The United States Army motto shows that each member should strive for excellence. This is a prime example of virtue ethics. Some people may believe it is better to delve deeper into a person’s character than to judge a book by its cover.
Utilitarianism occurs when a person puts what is best for the group before what is best for him or her. For example, the majority of an elementary school may believe is it good that the school provides vegetables for children to eat. Susan Green, a student, eats her vegetables. Therefore, Susan is a good student and an example for others. Boylan (2009), “Utilitarianism is a theory that suggests that an action is morally right when that action produces more total utility for the group than any other alternative.”
The deontology theory states that people should do what is right because they know it is right. For example, a person found a bag of money in the park. A person who follows the deontology theory would turn the money into the local police station immediately. A person would turn the money in because he or she may have thought it could belong to someone who needs it to pay his or her bills. On the other hand, this person would not turn it in because they were afraid of spending the money and getting caught. Boylan (2009), “Deontology is a moral theory that emphasizes one’s duty to do a particular action just because the action, itself, is inherently right and not through any other sorts of calculations—such as...
References: Ahearn, F. M. (2004). Be All You Can Be and Other Great American Slogans. Retrieved from http://www.peace.ca/beallyoucanbe.htm
Boylan, M. (2009). Basic ethics: Basic ethics in action (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
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