June 23, 2014
Ethics is the science of right and wrong in human action.” (Manias, 2013, Chapter 1, Ethics Applied). With the reading, we can find the similarities and differences between the three major approaches in normative ethics; virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics. This will be done by analyzing these ethical theories and by describing them along with presenting the facts on how each theory relates too ethics and morality. Personal experience will be used to explain the relationship between virtue, values, and moral concepts as they relate to one of the three theories.
We have all been faced with the circumstances that have pushed our moral boundaries. Virtue ethics refers more specifically to one character embodying for determining or evaluating ethical behavior. In other words virtue ethics emphasizes one moral character. According to ...view middle of the document...
However, we sometimes choose the wrong path, and lean toward the immoral behaviors.
Utilitarianism theory of ethics advocates “that an action is morally right when that action produces more total utility for the group than any other alternative”. This is also stated as, “The greatest good for the greatest number” In other words, utilitarianism specifically aims at maximizing happiness, providing the greatest balance of pleasure, along with reducing suffering.
Deontological theory is a “moral theory that emphasizes one’s duty to do a particular action just because the action itself is inherently right and not through any other sorts of calculations—for example, the consequences of the action” With this deontology the right action is defined by duty and according to the leading proponent of this theory Immanuel Kant “Human beings, says Kant, are, by nature, rational beings and as such need have a rational basis to their lives: they need to know what make right actions right. Ethics, he maintains, is concerned with identifying moral imperatives, and providing rational explanations as to why we should obey them.” This is almost a daily thing for most people, telling the truth, or rather not lying. Although the truth will, in some occasions, get people in trouble, many people choose it because it’s the right thing to do. . When I tried to impose a curfew on my oldest son at 18, he asked me at what time I was expected to be home at that age. I told him that I didn’t have a curfew. I also told him that I lived in a small city where people knew each other.
These three things make up normative ethics the way we preserve them today. Let’s use the example of cheating on a group assignment. From a Utilitarianism perspective, it could make the better part of the group happy: therefore, morally right. From a deontological viewpoint, that action would be morally wrong. Virtue Ethicist would make the same action a manifestation of someone’s character.
Manias, M. (2013). Ethics Applied (2nd ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook
Rainbow, C. (2002). Descriptions of ethical theories and principles. Retrieved from