May 12, 2014
In this essay I will look to compare each of the three ethic theories, how they are the same, and how they differ in their end results. In doing so I would like to point out that in each theory it is ultimately to lead the reader into doing good versus evil. Ethic theories base these very differently, take Virtue Ethics. In this theory one basis everything on one’s character, and that through learned excellence you can achieve the highest moral and ethical character. This said, this is an individual role or agent-based. In our book it gave us an example of an athlete where through intense conscious training one can become a better runner or athlete which was a non-moral example. I am going to show you that as a Mason, our beliefs follow this line of theory but we try and teach the various habits and characteristics that are of a moral example, because we as Masons believe that one’s character is based on living your life by breaking down your days into three eight hour increments. Eight hours for your trade, or your work. Eight hours for rest and the other eight hours is for the betterment of mankind. Whether that is through philanthropy in your community, or to just try and attain excellence in others you come into contact with, by donating your time or volunteering, say at a Veteran’s hospital. That will lead us straight into the next theory I will cover here and that is Utilitarianism. In this theory, unlike in Virtue Ethics the reader here is being lead to believe that the moral good here is that the “The greatest good for the greatest number” is the way it was quoted in our book. And that teamwork is the only way to achieve this. In the United States almost all politicians run on this theory, and even though they almost all never follow through with their campaign promises, they are ran wholeheartedly on how this new candidate can get a greater good for more than the current one that is in office now. Another great example of this was given in our forum this week where one of the students’ people of choice was Barack Obama, and how they used the Affordable Care Act to show how the President took a Utilitarian approach to the subject. However, just as everything else in the land of smoke and mirrors (Washington D.C.), we as the American taxpayers are wondering if Colorado is the only place where they are allowed to smoke legal cannabis. Which leads us into our last theory, and this one shares the view as the last theory where the end result should better the largest number, but that is where it ends. It is a theory based on doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Here it is all about the principle, and that understanding your actions and determining whether they are prohibitions or obligations. Meaning to know the difference in doing something because it is something you have to do, because it is your responsibility to make sure that it gets done is your obligation and that when it is prohibited because of a law or moral issue that is the reason then if the act gets done or not. This is how it is different from the other two theories. In closing, I feel that all three theories have a long list of pros and cons. One can only hope that our governing politicians try and use a little of each. For all decisions cannot be for the better of the greatest utility. So I think, one should not place the value of your vote, solely for a candidate that is running on any one theory or the other. And again, until taking this class I would have never even known that a candidate was even doing this. The power of education, even on a subject such as ethics, what I mean is, I thought I knew them, what they were, now I do and I feel smarter. It is a wonderful thing when embraced. I definitely feel like I have learned something this week.
Boylan, M. (2009). Basic Ethics: Basic ethics in action (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
University of Phoenix. (2014). Participation Forum . Retrieved from University of Phoenix, ETH/316 website.