Similarities and Differences in Virtue Theory, Utilitarianism, and Deontological Ethics Eth/316

954 Words May 31st, 2013 4 Pages
Similarities and Differences in Virtue Theory, Utilitarianism, and Deontological Ethics
When talking about ethics it is hard to distinguish between ethics and morality. It is also hard to distinguish exactly what realm of ethics contributes to my everyday decisions. Ethics can be defined as “well-founded standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues [and] ethics refers to the study and development of one's ethical standards” (Andre, Shanks, & Velasquez, 2010, para. 8-9). According to Psychology Today (2013) morality is, “ethics, evil, greed, sin, and conscience” (para. 1). “Morals can vary from person to person and culture
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153). In essence, utilitarianism is maximizing everyone’s happiness, which can almost be considered a universal acceptance (Boylan, 2009, p. 154). Jeremy Bentham is one of the proponents of modern utilitarianism and states, “nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure” (Boylan, 2009, p. 154). In business utilitarianism shares the nonmoral views that the best decision that had no moral conflict would be to maximize profit, which would be the greatest good of the company and its employees (Boylan, 2009, p. 162). Utilitarianism does not always hold true in some minds. Utilitarianism does not take into account motives of the people (Boylan, 2009, p. 165). “If one acts in accord with the general principle and its corollaries, then one is moral” (Boylan, 2009, p. 165).
“Deontology is a moral theory that emphasizes one’s duty to do a particular action just because the action, itself, is inherently right and not through any other sorts of calculations – such as the consequences of the action” (Boylan, 2009, p. 171). In many aspects deontology is contrasted with utilitarianism. Deontology is based upon principle and does not calculate the consequences (Boylan, 2009, p. 171). Deontology attracts those seeking a stronger moral attraction because it refers to commanding rather than commending and commanding is a stronger structure (Boylan, 2009, p. 172). The
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