Virtue Ethics is an approach to Ethics that emphasizes an individual's character as the key element of ethical thinking, rather than rules about the acts themselves or their consequences, so if the person’s character is good so then should he or hers personal choices and actions be good. Aristotle is considered the founder of virtue ethics, in his work “Nicimachean Ethics” Aristotle laid out twelve moral virtues that include two vices. Virtue ethics attempts to take away the influence of societal laws and norms and place these virtues on the person alone. The principles of virtue ethics are that; An action is only right if it is an action that a virtuous person would carry out in the same circumstances. A virtuous person is a person who acts virtuously.
A person acts virtuously if they possess and live the virtues. A virtue is a moral characteristic that a person needs to live well. Natural Moral law is the theory that we can discover through observation what is right and what is wrong by observing nature. These are our God given laws, if anything interferes with the natural flow of things the natural moral laws is affected. If a woman has an abortion this is a crime against the natural moral law. Deontology as defined by philosophybasics.com, is an approach to Ethics that focuses on the rightness or wrongness of actions themselves, as opposed to the rightness or wrongness of the consequences of those actions or to the character and habits of the actor. Defining right or wrong is decided on whether or not the situation dictated that action. I myself more closely align myself with a Deontology mind set but believe in some of the natural laws as well. I for the most part attempt to always act in a moral way, living by a set of personal standards. Although, my actions have led to adverse reactions, those initial actions were not based on an immoral precept. Natural laws effect my judgement also, I do not believe in abortion, but I do not have an issue...
References: Hursthouse, R. (2003, July 18). Virtue Ethics. Retrieved July 8, 2015, from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-virtue/
Deontology - By Branch / Doctrine - The Basics of Philosophy. (n.d.). Retrieved July 8, 2015, from http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_deontology.html
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