Theory Comparrison

Topics: Ethics, Virtue ethics, Utilitarianism Pages: 2 (727 words) Published: December 2, 2012
Write 550- to 750
Provide a formal definition for ethics with citations, references etc. Describe the differences between theories
Describe the similarities between each theory
Describe how each theory addresses ethics and morality
Tell me based on your own morals and ethics, which theories do you think you most closely follow in your life (there is no right or wrong answer)

Ethics is the science of right and wrong in human action. (Boylan, 2009). Many theories exist that explores how people come to what they believe is the right or wrong decision. A few examples include virtue ethics, utilitarianism, and deontology. Virtue ethics’ position is that we become good when we cultivate excellence (virtue) by pursuing the moderate course between excess and defect. (Boylan, 2009, p.133) This basically means that this theory considers how humans should interact with each other meaning that there is a right way and a wrong way. Utilitarianism suggests that an action is morally right when that action produces more total utility for the group as a consequence than any other alternative does (Boylan, 2009, p.153) Those who practice utilitarianism take into consideration all of the consequences and each action. Utilitarianism can be divided into two theories; act and rule utilitarianism. Act utilitarianism is the interpretation of utilitarianism that says that each moral situation should be subjected to the utilitarian formula “the greatest good for the greatest number.” (Boylan, 2009, p. 164) This idea of ethical decision making seems to be the least emotional due to the fact that it is pure numbers in the equation. This might hurt one person but more people will benefit from it. Rule utilitarianism says that each moral situation should be guided first by prima facie rules (that themselves are justified by utilitarianism).Thus, the agent assesses a situation on act utilitarian principles but within a framework of prima facie rules that can override apparent...
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