Ethics Essay

Topics: Ethics, Deontological ethics, Virtue ethics Pages: 4 (601 words) Published: April 19, 2014


Ethics Essay
ETH/316
February 17, 2014
Tana Romero

Ethics Essay

According to Michael Boylan’s book Basic Ethics the study of ethics concerns itself with “right” and “wrong, judgments that assign praise or blame. In the case of ethics, these judgments are usually assigned to people or to actions (Boylan, 2009). This essay will discuss three major ethical theories, virtue ethics, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics. It will also provide a personal experience to help explain the relationship between virtue, values, and moral concepts as it relates to utilitarianism. The three ethics theories discussed herein are the virtue ethics theory that examines a person’s character over a long period of time and is forgiving of an occasional mistake that is not consistent with a person’s past character. Deontological ethics or duty-based morality is a theory based on a “nonconsequentialist” view of people and moral decision-making. Deontological ethics supports that actions are not justified by their consequences. Rather, factors other than good outcomes determine the “rightness” of actions (Deontological Ethics, 2014). Utilitarianism in the most basic term is based on measuring “good” in terms of usefulness. Utilitarianism is often defined as an effort to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number. Also this principle advocates that the ends justify the means in other words if a negative action must be used to reach a greater good then its justified (What Is Utilitarianism?, 2014). There are marked differences between the three ethics theories. Unlike deontic or action based theories of morality that focus on the actions a person performs, the virtue theory, aka character ethics focuses on helping people develop good character traits, like kindness and generosity, “The deontological ethics is grounded in the “Categorical Imperative,” The Categorical Imperative simply declares, “Act as if the maxim of thy action were to become by thy will a...

References: Boylan, M. (2009). Basic Ethics (2nd ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Deontological Ethics. (2014, February 17). Retrieved from allaboutphilosophy .org: http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/deontological-ethics.htm
What Is Utilitarianism? (2014, February 17). Retrieved from wisegeek.org: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-utilitarianism.htm
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