The Ethical Theory Of Virtue Ethics

Decent Essays

According to Holland (2011) there are few criticisms of virtue ethics. First, virtue ethics is really complicated and multiple varieties of the theory of virtue ethics exist. Hence a single summary of VE cannot completely do justice to this theory and the complexity it encompasses. Second, as VE is attempted to be used on more specific cases and is tried to be made more concise, the theory tends to become more inaccurate. The article further suggests the needs for a more comprehensive and specific explanation of virtue ethics. Although there are criticisms of virtue ethics, there are positive remarks about it as well. Stephen (2011) cites McDougall, according to whom, virtue ethics might be the best way to think about and approach …show more content…

Utilitarianism focuses on the greatest good of society rather than of individuals” (Garbutt, Davies 2011) and the theory makes the assumption that prediction about the results of action can be made and thus “end justify the means” (Garbutt, Davies 2011) if the result leads to greater good. So if the technology can be perfected harming as few individuals as possible and if it can be used to enrich the lives of many people, more than that was harmed, then a utilitarian approach would approve of this technology.
Virtues and Vices of Utilitarianism/Consequentialism
A major issue with a utilitarian approach is that when looking at the greater good it sometime neglects the needs or values of the smaller group. This approach somehow devalues what the smaller group needs. And this is does not seem just to treat people. Just because a greater number of people requires a certain treatment, the happiness of the other group should not be sacrificed. But that is what utilitarianism is about, to make the greatest number of people happy at the cost making the smaller group unhappy. This aspect of utilitarianism to provide happiness to the greatest number of people at the cost of others does not seem like a fair approach for an ethical principle. And especially in medicine this kind of approach should

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