March 19, 2014
There are different systems in which an individual or a company could make ethical decisions. They can vary depending on the issue at hand and they relate and different in certain ways. In this writing I will compare the similarities and differences between virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics. I will include a description of the differences in how each theory addresses ethics and morality. And I will give a personal experience to explain the relationship between virtue, values, and moral concepts as they relate to one of the three theories. Ethical systems based on abstract values are described as virtue theory. Virtue theory is based on character ethics. It is the viewpoint that in living one’s life one should try to cultivate excellence in all they do and in all that other do. This is the system that would address ethics and morality from the perspective of living with high values and with great character (Boylan, 2009). Quoting Boylan (2009) from our book, “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” (pp. 153). Utilitarianism focuses on what is best for the group or team as a whole. This theory asks, “What ethical decision will profit the most for the largest amount of people?” 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 (Boylan, 2009). Calculations like what the consequences of that action might be. Deontology is a duty-based theory when addressing ethics and morality.
In comparing these three, a utilitarian working for ATT might overlook a bad credit report to make a deal because the deal would help the company and the client. Therefore it’s a win-win. A deontologist might make...
References: Thompson, S. (2014). What is the relationship among virtue, values & moral concepts in individual and business contexts?. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/relationship-among-virtue-values-moral-concepts-individual-business-contexts-69097.html
Boylan, M. (2009). Basic Ethics. : Prentice Hall.
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