ETH/316 – Ethics and Social Responsibility
January 14, 2013
As an individual one is faced with ethics and morals daily. The way the individual handles them will vary based upon their beliefs, background, and viewpoints of the definition. Ethics is defined as a system of moral principles or values. Dictionary.com expands on ethics as the “rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc., and morals is concerned with the principles or rules of right and wrong conduct or the distinction between right and wrong.” Ethic and moral are instill into an individual from an adult when growing up to distinguish right from wrong as the individual develops into their own unique character just like the three branches of ethics: virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontology. Let’s discover the differences and similarities by comparing these three theories and add a personal experience to relate to one of the theories between virtue, value, and moral.
Moral are like rules they are used to guide conduct within an individual based upon one’s actions to uphold their values and beliefs. Deontology focuses on the duty to do a particular action just because the action, itself, is inherently right and not through any other sorts of calculations - such as the consequences” (Bolan, 2009, p.171). For example, a deontologist would say that telling a lie is wrong even if it ended with good consequences.
On the other hand, utilitarianisms are the opposite of deontology because it focuses on the individual as a team player who put the good of the team before their own good. “This theory suggests that an action is morally right when that action produces more total utility for the group than any other alternative” (Bolan, 2009, p. 153). For example, telling the lie would be justifiable if doing so results in greater good for...
References: Boylan, M. (2009). Basic ethics (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Dictionary.com. retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ethics?s=t
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