Virtue Based Ethical Systems

Topics: Ethics, Virtue, Virtue ethics Pages: 2 (696 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Virtue-Based Ethical Systems

For centuries, philosophers have argued over a controversial issue of morality. Could a person who makes moral decisions unhappily be as moral as a person who makes them happily? One philosophy on that issue ranges as far back as Plato and Aristotle, this is the concept of virtue-based ethical systems. Pojman writes, “Virtue ethics centers on the heart of the agent-in his or her character.” Virtue ethics seeks to mold the agent into a better person, not only guide their actions. The Aretaic Critique Of Action-Based Ethical Systems

Quite recently in history many philosophers have begun to disagree with rule-governed ethical systems. These philosophers have four major criticisms about these systems. The first is that they lack a motivational component. Critics claim that action based ethics are uninspiring and boring, and that by creating a mentality of mindless conforming, they fail to motivate and inspire action. The second complaint is that the theological-legal system that action-based ethical systems are modeled after is no longer appropriate. In the days of old, the notions of right and wrong where drawn from cultural views on God. In modern days, ethics has been detached itself from it’s theological roots and has lost it’s original appeal, thus calling for a better system to reject this model and guide it’s followers onto a better path. Critics also dislike how action-based ethical systems overemphasize autonomy and neglect the communal context of ethics. Pojman states, “It is in communities that such virtues as loyalty, natural affection, spontaneous sympathy, and shared concerns arise and sustain the group. It is out of this primary loyalty that the proper dispositions arise that flow out to the rest of humanity. Seeing how people actually learn to be moral and how they are inspired to act morally is vital to moral theory itself, and this seems, has everything to...
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