Premium Essay

Virtue Theory, Utilitarianism, and Deontological Ethics Paper

In: Business and Management

Submitted By CCOTHRON
Words 576
Pages 3
Virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics are all examples of morals and ethics and have their similarities and differences. In this paper the similarities and differences will be explored a personal experience shared. Virtue theory is how a person acts and does not take into consideration particular acts, rules, or consequences, the only consideration is if the person is acting morally or unmorally. Virtue theory is composed of three main ideas eudemonism, agent-based theories, and the ethics of care. Eudemonism is based in reasoning, agent-based theories are based in common sense and intuition, and ethics of care is solely based on justice and it should be noted as a primarily feminist idea. Utilitarianism is maximizing pleasure over pain not for only oneself but for the greatest number of people possible. Utilitarianism is often seen in a religious sense and can be attributed to the Christian teaching of Jesus Christ or the Buddhist teaching of the Buddha. Utilitarianism can also be seen as a hedonist as written about by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, since the act does not cause a negative effect for others. Utilitarianism’s main lesson is maximizing pleasure over pain, but can be interpreted in more than one way. Deontological ethics is basically making the correct moral choices; this can be seen through a religious spectrum as following the rules of the (Christian) church and doing the Lord God’s will. The person committing an act may act immorally but not break a moral rule, but the action behind the motivation to commit the act is not seen as morally correct. A religious person may commit a crime but still be morally justified in the eyes of the church. It can be summed up as “The law of God is higher than the laws of man.” While this may not always be seen as socially acceptable, it is morally acceptable. The theme…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Virtue Ethics

...The virtue ethics theory is presently one of three most well known points of views in normative ethics. Virtue in itself is moral excellence and righteousness and goodness. It can simply be defined as the theory that establishes the virtues, or moral character. Deontology in contrast to the virtue theory is a theory that governs duties and rules and emphasizes that for every action there is a consequence. Deontological ethics is in staying with Scripture, natural moral law, and intuitions from common sense.In the same sense, the utilitarian theory also focuses on consequences, but in a different light. The utilitarian theory states that people should try to maximize overall well-being. There are many different utilitarian theories, but they all have one thing in common. Each theory basically says that no moral rule or act is intrinsically right it wrong. Morality is a matter of the non-moral good produced that results from moral actions and rules, and moral duty is instrumental, not intrinsic. (Moreland J.P. 2009) Values are the regard that something is held to deserve or the importance or preciousness of something. Values, virtue and morality all go together. People have different beliefs, morals, and values because different people have different perspective on what are right and wrong. One theory I think can relate to a lot of things that have happened in my life is the utilitarian theory. I think I always try to maximize the most good that I possibly can. The world will...

Words: 365 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Virtue Theory

...book Basic Ethics the definition of a “virtue theory also known as virtue ethics is also sometimes called agent- based or character ethics” (Boylan, 2009, p. 133). This can be non-moral or moral. A non- moral example would be achieving excellence in whatever one may do. A personal experience that I have experience with virtue ethics is that when I played volleyball in middle school and I was the best player on the team. I always achieved excellence when I played. When you are the key player and your team is counting on you then all you want to do is strive to be the best. You don’t want to let your team down, you want to give it your all and you want the rest of the team to give it their all as well. “Utilitarianism is a theory that suggests that an action is morally right when that action is morally right when the action produces more total utility for the group than any other alternative” (Boylan, 2009, p. 153). A personal experience that I have had with utilitarianism is working in teams for school projects. We thought that doing the project one way was the right way until we turn it in and get a poor grade. The reason is that they wanted it done another way and the way that they wanted it done made more sense then the way that we did it. A good lesson that I learnt from this is that if you are having trouble with something then don’t hesitate to ask the teacher for help or if they can explain what exactly you have to do on the project. “Deontological is a moral theory......

Words: 357 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Similarities and Differences Between Virtue Theory, Utilitarianism, and Deontological Ethics

...Similarities and Differences Between Virtue Theory According to Boylan (2009), “ethics is the science concerning the right and wrong of human behavior.” It is a method that allows us to organize our values and go after them. It helps us answer questions like: do I seek my own happiness, or do I sacrifice myself for a greater cause? According to "Ethics - Definition And More From The Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary" (2012), ethics is “the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation.” Because we are beings living together in society, we all go through tough moral decisions like a father deciding whether his son’s end-of-the-year school concert is more important than his business meeting, or accepting gifts from vendors when a contract bid is under evaluation. Moral decisions require moral reasoning and deliberation, which takes place within certain perspectives three of which are virtue ethics, utilitarianism, and deontologism. Virtue ethics focuses on how to be; studies what makes the character traits of people. A person who has these traits will act by habit in certain ways not because of its consequences but because it is what a virtuous person would do. The Boy Scout pledge is an example of virtue ethics because he pledges to be a certain person. Utilitarianism is the view that says “if an act will produce more happiness than will alternatives, it is the right thing to do, and if it will produce less happiness, it would be wrong to do......

Words: 640 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Comparison Between Deontological and Utilitarianism Ethics

...Comparison between deontological and utilitarian ethics Deontological ethics Deontology is a normative theory attributed to Immanuel Kant, which focuses on the concept of the duty. It is concerned on fulfilling what is believed to be a moral duty without considering its impact to other people. It takes the stand that the duty defines the right actions regardless of the consequences. The hold of deontological ethics is that doing right is what conform the moral laws. According to Kant, right actions are not done by following inclinations, impulses or obeying the principle of greatest happiness but are done simply and purely from the sense of duty. Kessler says that some ethical truths and norms are appropriate to everyone in the society, and therefore, people should always act morally irrespective of the outcome for their morals. In deontology ethics, actions are done for the sake of duty. The intrinsic moral feature determines the rightness or wrongness of the act taken by individuals. The duty should always be done by taking the right. For example, duty of a teacher is to benefit a student, and he would like to know the impact of different teaching techniques to the student so as to help him determine the technique which can and cannot benefit the students. Therefore, the rightness of the action is dictated by the rule of the act and not by the outcomes of the act. Rather, outcomes helps to determine the best action to up keep the established duty. Kant says that in...

Words: 1539 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Compare the Similarities and Differences Between Virtue Theory, Utilitarianism, and Deontological Ethics.

...Ethics Essay Sandra Faye ETH/316 March 6, 2012 Irma Flores-Brothers Ethics Essay Ethics is the science of right and wrong in human action.” (Boyle, 2009, Chapter 1, Living in a World of Values). The overall purpose of this paper is to compare the similarities and differences between the three major approaches in normative ethics; virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics. I will do this by analyzing these ethical theories and by describing them along with presenting the facts on how each theory relates to ethics and morality. It will also include a personal experience 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 Boylan (2009), virtue ethics is also sometimes called agent-based or character ethics. It takes the viewpoint that in living your life you should try to cultivate excellence in all that you do and all that others do. (Chapter 11, It’s All About Your Character: Virtue Ethics). For example, finding a wallet with money in it, and returning it to the rightful owner is an act of virtue. One of my proudest moments growing up as a 15years old......

Words: 665 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Ethics Paper

...ethics paper Ethics Essay Curtis Menezes ETH/316 April 11, 2013 Kevin Burke Ethics Essay When discussing similarities and differences of virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics, one will notice that the differences outweigh the similarities. Utilitarianism states that an action is in the right but only if it stays true to the principle of utility. Deontological ethics is a little different as it's basis of right and wrong has to do with nothing else that an individual's duty. The virtue theory is based on the two types of virtue which are intellectual and moral(Fahey, 2010). Utilitarianism was founded in the Victorian era by Jeremy Bentham. Bentham came up with this idea because he wanted to have a way for people to have the ability to be as happy as possible, and in doing a morally correct action it would make that person feel good which would give a sense of happiness. Deontological ethics can be seen in a quite different light. this theory is based on the duty of an individual. it could be used during a war because in any other time it is wrong to kill, but during a war if one kills because it is the duty of a soldier then that makes it ok and in most cases morally correct (Fahey, 2010). The virtue theory is more modern and ethical. Like utilitarianism it was invented to bring happiness, but it has more freedoms along with it. the virtue theory lets the individual become the one in charge and decide from learning what is morally......

Words: 487 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Natural Law Theory and Virtue Ethics

...Moral reasoning using natural law theory and virtue ethics One of the primary debates in ethics is not whether a certain action is right or wrong, as most can agree that acts such as murder are not ethically right, but in what specific situations that these actions become permissible. There are certain absolutist views that determine an action is right or wrong, despite any extraneous circumstances; however, many moral reasoning ethics fall into a grey area where certain acts that would normally be considered wrong are justified in certain conditions. The natural law theory, along with its doctrine of double effect, and Aristotle’s virtue ethics both fall into the aforementioned category of moral ethics. Natural law theory originated from the religious view that a human’s ability to reason sets them apart as higher beings, and with such reasoning we have the responsibility to follow the righteous path set forth for our lives, “to do good and avoid evil”.1 In this manner, a certain act cannot be justified or viewed as “good” because it leads to the satisfaction of desire, setting natural law theory far apart from utilitarianism ethics. The principals laid out by the natural law theory gave birth to the doctrine of double effect, which is the belief that many acts may have both a good and a bad effect. The Catholic Church defends that some acts that would normally be considered immoral may be justified under three distinct conditions: the act itself is not intrinsically......

Words: 1014 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Ethics Essay: Virtue, Utilitarianism Theories, and Deontological Ethics

...paragraphs the three ethical theories virtue, utilitarianism theories, and deontological ethics will described relating factors to ethics and morality. Definitions for each will be given followed by how they relate in comparison to ethics and morals. Conclude by explaining the relationship between virtue, values, and moral concepts as they relate to ethics. Comparing morals and ethical theories helps one to understand a person’s guidance method, which helps or aides a person through their decision making process. Each theory will emphasize the different points including predicting the outcome or end results. To compare the similarities and differences between virtue, utilitarianism theories, and deontological ethics, you will see the breakdown what is meant by virtue and utilitarianism concepts and how they are defined. Stemming from my research, we understand ethics is the study of the person’s action and how that person determines right and wrong. And morals are our ability to determine right from wrong influenced by our upbringing in a religious environment. According to Merriam Webster Dictionary (n.d.), virtues are “conformity to a standard of right” and “a commendable quality or trait”. When I think about virtues, I imagine a person who does what is right no matter what the situation. This person must possess a quality trait that makes him or her believe that there is a higher power they have to eventually have to answer to in the end. “Virtue ethics is also......

Words: 923 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Virtue Theory

...Virtue Theory, Utilitarianism, and Deontological Ethics The most widely utilized approaches today to ethics consist of virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics. Each are for doing the right thing, but have different ideas on what is the right thing. During this paper I will be discussing the differences in these approaches to ethics Virtue Theory This approach to ethics has to do with one’s moral character and how one should live. Aristotle was a famous mind who believed in this form of ethics. Utilitarianism In this approach to ethics one considers the consequences, and what maximizes happiness. If my son was dying of some disease and there was a cure that I could not afford. It would be ok to steal it to save his life, as long as it is saving his life without really hurting others. There is no shortage and the doctor could most definitely afford it. Deontological Ethics Deontological ethics deals with duty, and maxims, or universal law. Unlike virtue theory dealing with just ones virtues, deontology deals with the effects of the mass. With utilitarianism it was ok to steal to save a life as long as it maximizes happiness without truly hurting others. But with deontology if stealing for anything should become a maxim then the world would be without ethics. Conclusion During my time in the Army the word values was imprinted into my head. The way I conducted myself from day to day would be to live by these values for others to follow. My......

Words: 361 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Virtue Theory and Utilitarianism

...According to Michael Voytinsky, (2011) he stated that Utilitarian theory have the concept that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes the overall happiness. It is therefore a form of consequentialism, which means that the moral worth of an action is determined only by its resulting outcome, and that one can only weigh the morality of an action after knowing all its consequences. So in other words the consequences in utilitarian includes all of the good and bad produced by the act, whether arising after the act has been performed or during its performance. According to John Stuart Mill, Bentham’s successor which is the leader of the utilitarians, he stated that Utilitarianism is often described by the phrase "the greatest good for the greatest number of people", and is also known as "the greatest happiness principle". This is in the view that no action is in and of itself bad or god, what is important is the state of the world that the action brings about. If the overall happiness is good result, then the action is good. For example, a healthy person walks into a hospital with broken fingers; however in the same hospital three different persons with the same blood type happens to be dying due to organ failure, but with different organs in each case. In this case the utilitarian theory says that it would be justify and more favorable to kill one healthy person for their organs, which therefore can be transplanted into several people dying for an organ which will......

Words: 621 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Ethics Paper

...Ethics Essay Anthony Gonzalez ETH/316 2/23/15 Arthur Murphy Introduction Utilitarianism, deontological, and virtue theory ethics are three normative approaches to ethics. This paper will go over the similarities and differences between virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological principles. It will include information of the variations in how each concept details ethics, morality, and it will also discuss a personal experience to describe the correlation between virtue, values, and moral perceptions as they relate to one of the three theories. Similarities and Differences   Virtue theory emphasizes character traits rather than the rules or consequences while deontology is described as an action that is right only if it is in accordance with a moral rule or principle. Utilitarianism puts more emphasis on the consequences and that decisions should be made based on happiness for the greatest number of people. Virtue theory does not judge a person as good (or not) based upon one single action in their lives. Rather, it takes a look over time to judge ones character. Virtue theory also looks at past mistakes that are not normally in a person’s historical nature. For example, a virtuous person is someone who is kind across many situations over a lifetime because that is their character and not because they want to maximize utility or gain favors or simply do their duty ("Virtue," 2010).Utilitarianism usually relies on predicting the consequences of an action.......

Words: 733 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Utilitarianism Ethics

...Kimberly Avera Dr. A. Brown, Professor Business Ethics 368 September 5, 2015 Utilitarianism Unlike so many methods which try to define morality, utilitarianism philosophers simply believed that morality is about happiness and not about following rules. It is ultimately the child of egoism and Kantian duty. Often defined as what views are best for individuals and the people that may surrounded by them who will be affected by the actions taken. Utilitarianism can be describe in two units, act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. In this paper, we will look at it from three different philosophers’ perspective: Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant and will show how utilitarianism played a major part in the withdrawal of the acquisition between Lockheed Martin and Northrop. Utilitarianism seems to be an easy thing to grasp and comprehend. Well, it should be since so many recognized philosophers adapted and jointly bridged the differences of this subject. One in particular, Jeremy Bentham, contributed to this subject greatly. His writings and dissection of laws was a craft lie none other. Throughout his life, several writings of his has made him famous regarding the definition of Utilitarianism. Being the avid reader that he was, after the publishing of the Declaration of Independence, Bentham began to write. He wrote the essay “Short Review of the Declaration” that was in the British response to the Americas. After this piece, he then published his first book A Fragment on......

Words: 1112 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Virtue Theory, Utilitarianism, and Deontological Ethics

...Virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics In this composition, I will equate the relationships and variances between virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics. I will examine the disparities in how each principle tackles principles and virtues, and finally illuminate an individual experience concerning virtue, values, and moral concepts, and how they relate to one of the three theories. Individually ethics has elements that are the similar and different. Virtue Theory is a method to ethics that highlights a person's character as the main component of moral thinking, rather than guidelines about the actions themselves or their costs. Utilitarianism is the examination we should do is justly generating the highest conceivable value for the highest achievable amount of people. Deontological ethics is in observance of the Scriptures, accepted ethical rule and perceptions from common logic. The similarities between the three are that they define moral and immoral characteristics about an individual, and with the determination of their activities, it also governs the quality of the person that is virtue ethics. Utilitarianism is comparable that finds the decency in an individual. A subject it avoids is finding the immoral in an individual. Per deontological ethics, the outcome of the act is moral not immoral. It holds actions that are ethically necessary for penalties made by individual activities. The differences amongst the three ethics......

Words: 624 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Utilitarianism & Virtue Ethics

...© 2009 Ethics in a Nutshell By Matt Deaton, M.A. MattDeaton.net Ethics is the systematic reason-guided study of what we morally ought to do. It’s one of the four main sub-disciplines of philosophy, the other three being logic, metaphysics and epistemology. While most people defer to religion or society or their gut when deciding moral dilemmas, ethicists think through them for themselves. Whether or not we fully adopt their approach, we can all learn a thing or two from ethicists about asking the right questions, paying attention to the right factors, and holding a consistent set of moral beliefs. Oughts Based On Reason The difference between ethics and other ways of deciding what one ought to do is that ethics entails the rigorous use of reason. What we ought to do is one of those slippery questions to which conclusive answers are hard to pin down. All the traditional authorities have their flaws. Because religions ultimately appeal to faith, not evidence, and different religions proscribe different moral mandates, the objective thinker has no principled way to decide which to follow. Citing the Koran won’t convince a Christian, citing the Bible won’t convince a Muslim, and citing either won’t convince an atheist. Therefore, since ethicists want to appeal to reasons anyone can accept—regardless of their religious position—they can’t defer to holy books. Also, because societies disagree what morality entails, each just as confident in their......

Words: 3408 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Virtue Ethics Paper

...In this paper I want to focus on Virtue ethics and why I believe virtue ethics is the way to go when it comes down to personal and professional development in life and business. In personal/life development, virtue ethics transforms the paradigm of doing “what is right and wrong?” to a freedom of thinking in “what kind of person you are and does this action fit into what you are?”. Virtue ethics in personal development allows a dynamic way of thinking that allows a person to grow and learn that everything isn’t black and white as Kantian ethics suggest neither is it as dutiful as Utilitarian ethics. Virtue ethics in professional and business development allows for definition or a guiding light in a sense, in terms of question if your business is performing for your patients best interests if you’re in medicine or are you looking to provide a real solution for your prospects financial trouble and not stealing homes, if you’re in the buying real estate business. To explain and understand virtue ethics, you would first need to know Aristotle and understand his philosophies on virtuous society and what he considers virtuous behavior. Aristotle was an intelligent man being a student of Plato and teaching Alexander the Great. Aristotle’s written and spoken works were very serious and influential in subjects from logic to biology, meta physics to ethics and poetry that he was literally known to his colleagues as “The Philosopher”.......

Words: 1480 - Pages: 6