Ethical Theory Comparison
September 28, 2015
Ethical theory serves as the foundation for ethical solutions for to the difficult situations people encounter in life (Panza and Potthast, 2010). It is also something that is entirely personal. What works for one person may not work for another. There are so many shades of grey that it could fill up an entire box of Crayola 120 crayons. Ethical theory compares and relates one person's behavior to another. "What makes any action right or wrong?" is the starting place for any serious ethical study. (Manias, Monroe and Till, 2013). This paper will compare and contrast the virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics.
Virtue ethics is also known as character ethics. It is the theory rooted in a person's character. It states that character matters above anything thing else in a person's life. This theory centers on the idea every individual is responsible all of their ethical choices. Like utilitarianisms, its primary focus is on the outcomes of decisions. An individual is accountable to foresee the consequences of their decisions and to make the best choice according to one's moral beliefs, even if it breaks the rules or law.
Utilitarianism ethics is a form of consequentialism, and its main philosophy is a person's decision stems from the desire to provide the greatest happiness to the most people. A person's course of action is determined by the amount of happiness the action creates for the greatest number of people. Another factor is how long that happiness lasts. Ethical decisions are not based on a person's self-interest, but rather the interest of the whole community. Utilitarianism does not have a predefined code of laws, and instead it mainly focuses on the outcome of a decision.
Deontological ethics bases its theory on the belief that people have a duty to adhere to a well-defined set of...