June 11, 2014
Dr. Deborah Stevens
Ethics are rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good and bad. (Merrriam-Webster.com) This paper is to compare the similarities and differences between virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics. I will do this by studying these ethical theories and by comparing them along with showing the details on how each theory relates to ethics and morality. It will also include an example of a personal experience to describe the relationship between virtue, values, and moral concepts as they connect to one of the three theories. Virtue ethics
Virtue ethics focuses on how to be; studies what makes the character traits of people. A person who has these traits will act by habit in certain ways not because of a person’s values, but because it is what a moral person would do. (Boylan, 2009) A police officer’s pledge is an example of virtue ethics because he pledges to uphold the law. Utilitarianism theory
Utilitarianism theory of ethics states “that an action is morally right when that action produces more total utility for the group than any other alternative. Sometimes this has been shortened to the slogan, “The greatest good for the greatest number” (Boylan, 2009). In other words, utilitarianism specifically looks at the advantages of happiness, providing the greatest balance of pleasure, along with reducing suffering. For example, if you are asked to go to two cookouts on the same Sunday, depending on which cookout you decide to go to, will affect the happiness of both sides. Deontological ethics
Deontology is defined by Boylan (2009) as 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 sort of calculations – such as the consequences of the action.” For example, if you find a wallet in the supermarket parking lot. Two decisions can be made,...
References: Boylan, M. (2009). Basic Ethics in Action: Basic Ethics (2nd ed.). : Pearson Education.
Merriam-Webster.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/
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