Feb. 2, 2015
Ethics is the science of right and wrong in human action.” (Boyle, 2009, Chapter 1, Living in a World of Values). The overall purpose of this paper is to compare the similarities and differences between the three major approaches in normative ethics; virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics. I will do this by analyzing these ethical theories and by describing them along with presenting the facts on how each theory relates to ethics and morality. It will also include a personal experience to explain the relationship between virtue, values, and moral concepts as they relate to one of the three theories.
We have all been faced with the circumstances that have pushed our moral boundaries. Virtue ethics refers more specifically to one character embodying for determining or evaluating ethical behavior. In other words virtue ethics emphasizes one moral character. According to Boylan (2009), virtue ethics is also sometimes called agent-based or character ethics. It takes the viewpoint that in living your life you should try to cultivate excellence in all that you do and all that others do. (Chapter 11, It’s All About Your Character: Virtue Ethics). For example, finding a wallet with money in it, and returning it to the rightful owner is an act of virtue. One of my proudest moments growing up as a 15years old was to find a wallet and returning it to the owner. To this day, I remember being proud when the owner thanked me. As we mature we are, as humans, programmed to understand the difference between right and wrong. However, we sometimes choose the wrong path, and lean toward the immoral behaviors.
Utilitarianism theory of ethics advocates “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,
References: Boylan, M. (2009). Basic Ethics (2nd ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook