Ethics Essay

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Virtue Pages: 5 (730 words) Published: May 28, 2015


Ethics Essay
ETH/316
Ethics Essay

Ethics has been used as a basis of human morals from Greek times to today’s hectic and fast paced society culture; it is based on a number of factors both of a personal and cultural aspect focusing on a people’s conception of right and wrong. Either way philosophers use logic, critical thinking, and reason to find the answers to a wide variety of non-empirical human questions to what is morally right and wrong. Below I have provided information on three ethical concepts of utilitarianism ethics, virtue ethics and deontological ethics. Utilitarianism distinguishes between right and wrong unlike many other ethical theories it was theorizes and founded by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill around the 1800’s but its roots date back to ancient Greece from the Hellenistic philosopher Epicurus from 341-270 B.C.E. viewed as the knowledge of good and evil are sensations that we feel where pleasure is good and pain is evil. This ethic is viewed as what we ought to do morally to produce the greatest good for the most people possible. This utilitarianism theory is the ethical belief that most of society widely uses today. It focuses on producing good outcomes for the greatest good, like a law that would benefit more than harm people. There are two forms of utilitarianism: act and rule, act focuses on choosing the action that would produce the most happiness in a given situation while rule attempts to modify the act by reconciling the good ideas with non-consequential insights about moral rules and prescriptions. Virtue ethics was voiced by Socrates, Plato and Aristotle around 400 B. C. in Athens, Greece, it focuses primarily on personal character and the development of certain virtuous character traits. To act well in various circumstances by doing the right thing is the center focus of a person’s character traits as in their self-control, courage, wisdom, honesty and respect that makes the person what they are over time. This life of a virtuously ethical person emphasizes achieving human excellence by always doing the right thing, the mere meaning of virtue from both the Latin and Greek culture means “excellence”, to be a model citizen and is founded on the assumption that the purpose of life was to achieve happiness and fulfillment. Aristotle though, has the most prolific virtue ethics theory, he held that understanding the meaning of a virtue was necessary but not sufficient to make one virtuous and that there are many specific virtues: intellectual, and moral, whereas moral virtues are those we would need in order to conduct affairs in daily life such as self-control, courage, gentleness and wittiness. Intellectual virtue reflects what is unique and important about human nature, human reasoning and rationality, calmness, wisdom and knowledge to name a few. Virtue ethics is the embodiment of being all you can be by making the most of our talents and abilities. Deontological ethics was theorized by Immanuel Kant from Koenigsberg, Prussia who lived from 1724-1804, he lead a sheltered life and had never traveled more than 30 miles from his hometown, his theorizing was based on the process of moral reasoning, based on the notion that logical thinking is universal therefore it is assumed the same for everyone everywhere. The word Deon is the Greek word for “duty” which is the central focus on Kant’s moral reasoning. It is the fulfillment of one’s moral duties and obligations to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do by the use of reason, logic, critical thinking and moral intuition, the moral duty to just do the right thing. The main ethical reasoning of Kant’s deontological ethics is based upon the concepts of duty and goodwill, the intention to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do which should be based on consistent and logical thinking and putting aside our personal interests and desires. From our governmental and court systems to where we work...
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