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Week 1 Ethics Essay


Kaitlyn McBride


ETH 316

26 May 2014
Professor Renae Szad

Ethics Essay

    There are some major similarities between virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics.

Ethical Theories
Virtue Theory
      Virtue theory emphasizes the role of a person’s nature and how virtuous they are in determining ethical behavior. This theory comes from the classical Greek meaning of virtue to bee “excellence”. Virtue ethics can also be known as agent-based or character ethics and “Through conscious training, for example, an athlete can achieve excellence in a sport (non-moral example). In the same way a person can achieve moral excellence, as well.” (Boylan, 2000)
Utilitarianism
      Utilitarianism is looking at whether an action is right in that it creates happiness. When you look at the theory of utilitarianism, it is to imply that an action is morally right if it is to make more happiness as a whole than anything else would. Sometimes this has been shortened to the slogan, “The greatest good for the greatest number.”” (Boylan, 2000)
Deontological Ethics
      Deontological ethics is looking at the ethical positions of something and deciding whether it is morally right to go through with it after looking at the rules and will propose an action based upon principle. ““Principle” is justified through an understanding of the structure of action, the nature of reason, and the operation of the will.” (Boylan, 2000)
Similarities and Differences
Similarities in the Theories
      Each of these three theories is different, but there are similarities between them. Both Deontological Ethics and Utilitarianism are both relying on moral decisions and looking at rules. All three of the theories also look at consequences, and how certain decisions can affect other things.
Differences in the Theories
      There are differences between all three of these ethical theories. One main difference is that one of the theories is based on...

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