Ethical Systems: Which Is Best?

1068 WordsMar 11, 20135 Pages
Ethical Systems: Which is Best? PHI 200 Mind and Machine Instructor Lisa Linkin February 4, 2013 * Ethical Systems: Which is Best? Good, bad, right, wrong…how do we know? Ethics is the study of how we determine what is right or wrong, good or bad (Mosser, 2010). While there are many ethical views, I focused on the three classical approaches for this paper. Utilitarianism states when given a choice between two acts, the one that creates the greater happiness for the greatest number of people is the ethical choice. Deontology stems from obligation or duty. This view takes the position that one has a duty to choose the right or moral act. Virtue ethics focus on the character of the individual rather than the act. If the individual…show more content…
My research has led me to take the position that deontology is the better-defended ethical system for several reasons. Utilitarianism is a procedure for making social choices and allowing for trade-offs. It supposes to treat people as equals, each person counts as one and no more than one. This does not take into account that people are distinct and unique. The problem with this approach is how does one treat distinctly different people fairly? Morally, people’s interests matter equally (Kymlicka, 1988). Each person’s interest should be given the same consideration, regardless of preference or material well being of the individual. This utilitarian approach is really deontological in nature, because it demands the individuals’ preference be respected. If this doesn’t happen the individuals have been treated unjustly or wrongly. To state is conversely, to respect the individuals’ preferences is to be just or right. Through reading, I have come to the conclusion that to be truly utilitarian is to follow a set of rules that respect the individual. By following rules, the approach becomes deontological. Following the rules that respect an individual is moral, making the rules right. Deontology establishes the priority of right over good. I have learned about a wide variety of ethical approaches during this class. The

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