Pros and Cons of Ethical Theories

Topics: Ethics, Utilitarianism, Deontological ethics Pages: 2 (382 words) Published: November 11, 2012
Ethical Theories- Pros and Cons
Katherine Bryson
October 15, 2012
Mark Cobia

Ethical Theories- Pros and Cons

The similarities between the virtue theory, the utilitarianism theory and deontological theory are that they all support good and responsibility. Virtue theory not only concentrates on how an individual acts but also what a person should strive to be, for example a religious figure may personify perfection when in the public when they really should strive for that perfection at all times. The deontological theory states that people “have a moral obligation to follow certain principles.” I liken this to the Ten Commandments, rules or principles that we all are expected to follow. “The utilitarian theories, as supported by John Stuart Mill, call for generating the greatest aggregate good for the greatest number of people. One major benefit of such theories is that they take consequences into account. They seek specifically to promote the human good as a whole. They also provide guidance for behavior, enabling people to know what qualifies as the moral choice.” I will again use the religious area as an example because to me this is what the religious leaders do. They preach to the multitudes to be good and do good and they also offer guidance. The differences between virtue theory, utilitarian and decontological are that “virtue ethics cannot generate specific rules to guide behavior.” Under the utilitarian theory “only total human good or happiness matters.” Deontological theories “do not always clarify how to rank duties.” I lived in a very small community where everyone knew everyone and we all thought we were living the life of good moral standards and values, until one day I saw a very prominent member of the community, enter an establishment that everyone knew was a hangout for drug users. This person was there for a long time and when they came out you could tell...

References: Ridley, Aaron. 1998. Beginning Bioethics. New York: St. Martin’s Press
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