Sample Essay On Ethics
One of the important tools that our society needs today is the ethical development. We discussed the similarities and differences of utilitarianism, the virtue theory, and deontological ethics. Thus, further understanding of these behaviors will enable an individual to realize that social responsibility and ethics are important when it comes to business and personal success. In this writing, we analyzed the differences in terms of how each of these theories addresses both morality and ethics. Thus, we include a personal experience that explains the correlation between moral, values, and virtue concepts as they relate to one another. In understanding these three theories, we can say that they may provide a major influence as to how we can develop our views towards ethics and morality.
In order to understand the difference and similarities between utilitarianism, the virtue theory, and deontological ethics, it is essential to know the definition of each of them. Virtue theory is generally about a person’s character. It is otherwise known as virtue ethic to which defines a person’s intentions and motivation (Trevino & Nelson, 2007). Also, virtue theory does not reflect either the rules or a result of one’s certain actions. It focuses on an individual’s action regardless whether or not it was executed with integrity. This is in fact the action that portrays the moral standard as a representation of a virtuous character.
On the other hand, deontological ethics mainly focus on the person’s action and not with its outcomes (bbc.co.uk). The deontological ethics theory’s philosophy is simple, only do the right thing because that is what a person must do. Thus, do not do otherwise because they are wrong. The similarity between these first two theories focuses on the righteousness of one’s actions, but the virtue ethics include a person’s motivation and intentions of his actions.
Conversely, utilitarianism is generally described by consequentialism and happiness (utilitarianphilosophy.com). Understanding utilitarianism enables people to realize that it is the happiness that every person wanted to experience, which is otherwise known as the utilitarian happiness. On the other hand, the other aspect that describes utilitarianism, which is the consequentialism, states that specific action should be judged based on its consequences on happiness (utilitarianphilosophy.com). Boylan (2009) says that utilitarianism theory suggests that a person’s action is viewed morally right when it produces more utility to largest number than any alternatives. With this, we understand that this theory refers to an action that positively affects more people than just oneself.
The similarities between utilitarianism, the virtue theory, and deontological ethics are all representation of good characters of people such as how they attempt to excel as well as how they justify goodness. However, their differences between them begin with morality and ethics. Virtue theory refers to a person’s character, which strives for excellence despite the challenges involve in such actions. On the other hand, utilitarianism talks about the morality and ethical issues through identification of good consequences and the bad ones. However, the deontological people always do whatever they say in accordance to what is right and to the law.
My personal experience discusses the ethical theory of virtue as a member of our big family. Our relationship with our family members is a good example of mixed theories such as utilitarianism and virtue ethics. It is normal for me to provide positive actions towards my family in order to promote a happy environment in our house. I am always motivated to do these things as I intend to make them feel the same thing that I do. Therefore, it also falls on the utilitarianism theory, which shows that my actions affect more than just my personal feelings.
As we understand the connection between the three ethical theories, we also realized that each one of them could change one’s character by exercising moral and ethical actions. As we also understand their similarities and differences, a person can comprehend how each theory can address morality and ethics.
BBC. (2014). BBC - Ethics - Introduction to ethics: Duty-based ethics. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/introduction/duty_1.shtml
Boylan, M. (2009). Basic Ethics (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall/Pearson Edu.
Trevino, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2007). Managing Business Ethics (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John.
Utilitarian Philosophy. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://utilitarianphilosophy.com/definition.eng.html
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