Theories Of Ethics

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Virtue ethics Pages: 3 (617 words) Published: February 1, 2015

Theories of ethics
Patrick Reagan
November 5, 2012
Jack Killough
Theories of ethics
Ethics refers to reasonable standards of right and wrong that advise what humans should to do regarding benefits to society, obligations, fairness, or specific virtues (Velasquez, Andre, & Shanks, 2010). Utilitarianism, virtue, and deontological are three ethical theories that deal with individual beliefs and actions. Each person possesses ethics and morals but may not know what they are or how they are used in certain situations. Comparing the three theories will help understand where ethics stand in an individual’s life. Definitions

Utilitarianism is an action which is morally right producing an effect benefiting the group. Individual beliefs and concerns are set aside and the outcome is based on the group. Ttwo types of Utilitarianism are act and rule utilitarianism. Rule utilitarianism measures the amount of good a specific action does. Act utilitarianism does not critic the value of an action instead the actions are moral when they benefit the most people ((Boylan, 2009).  A team sport is a good example of utilitarianism. Virtue ethics looks at the moral character of an individual and striving to be as good as an individual can be. Virtues like generosity, unselfishness, and honesty will define a person and his or her character. Deontology refers to duty and the action that must be performed. Obligations will fall in this category. The military will fall under this category. Comparisons of similarities and differences

The similarities between the theories characterize the good in people, the pursuit for excellence, and acceptable good. The result of a situation or dilemma is through sound ethical and moral decisions. The differences between the three theories are virtue is an individual assessment, utilitarianism is for the group, and deontology is the duty of the individual or group. Virtue and the goal of achieving the best can cause an...

References: Boylan, M. (2009). BASIC ETHICS (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Velasquez, M., Andre, C., & Shanks, T. (2010, Fall). What is Ethics?. Marcula Center for Applied Ethics, (2), .Retrieved from
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