Ethics are a set of well found principles that control the doings of businesses or humans whether morally acceptable or not. One should consistently attempt to keep a check on their own ethical values and maintain their standards in order to be well reputed for the work they are engaged in. The values followed by them will affect the companies they are working for and based on them will the businesses have a downfall or progress.
Maximizing the amount of happiness for the general population is key to solving ethical problems within utilitarianism. Kantian theory follows the same principle, but with greater emphasis on the respect for all things involved with ethical quandaries. Both have their critiques, yet both ideas are conceived in an effort to understand and conceptualize some of the biggest controversies and questions that evolve around ethics. This paper will be an attempt to delineate the key components that fabricate each theory, first utilitarianism and then Kantian theory and further provide justification for which theory I would adopt for myself.
Virtue ethics are theories that highlight the importance of character and morals over dutiful behaviors. Many virtue theories are rooted in Aristotle's teachings, which argue that a "virtuous person is someone who has ideal character traits" (Athanassoulis, 2004). Virtue theories are founded upon the contention that sets of universal principles, virtues, can be applied across a variety of situations. Virtues are defined as conformity to a standard of right or particular moral excellence (Merriam-Webster, 2012). Presently, virtue theories have seen resurgence, specifically Eudemonism, agent-based theories, and the ethics of care (Athanassoulis, 2004). Eudemonism "bases virtues in flourishing, where flourishing is equated with performing one's distinctive function well" (Athanassoulis, 2004). Agent-based theories argue that individuals seek to emulate virtuous qualities they see in others based on common-sense intuitions, whereas the ethics of care argues that qualities such as caring and nurturing should also be considered as virtuous traits.
I believe that self-control is a very important characteristic of a moral life because it makes our actions, most likely, come out with a moral outcome. Let’s say that you are lying on the beach and you spot someone drowning in the water. What do you do? If you apply self-control and Virtue or Kantian ethics, you can perform the action.
Virtue ethics is concerned with the traits of character that make one a good person. Virtue ethics seems to be more personal because it is not about choosing which side of an issue one would prefer to take part in, but the kind of person one wants to be. A virtuous person is considered to be a morally good person, and virtues are good traits. For virtue ethics, the moral life is about developing good character.
Virtue ethics is a normative theory whose foundations were laid by Aristotle. This theory approaches normative ethics in substantially different ways than consequentialist and deontological theories. In this essay, I will contrast and compare virtue ethics to utilitarianism, ethical egoism, and Kantianism to demonstrate these differences. There is one fundamental aspect of virtue ethics that sets it apart from the other theories I will discuss. For the sake of brevity and to avoid redundancy, I will address it separately. This is the fundamental difference between acting ethically within utilitarianism, egoism, and Kantianism. And being ethical within virtue ethics. The other theories seek to define the ethics of actions while virtue ethics does not judge actions in any way. The other theories deal with how we should act, while virtue ethics determines how we should be.
Although virtue ethics and care ethics share similar beliefs and rejections, virtue ethics is clearly separate from care ethics. Virtue ethics, tracing its roots back to the Middle Ages, stresses the importance of an individual being virtuous, which comes from developing a virtuous personal character. It also allows for the possibility of many right choices, since virtuous people can make choices differently. Aristotle was the only person to come up with a “clear-cut” virtue theory. He believed that people should be virtuous in order to achieve happiness, or eudaimonia. Additionally, Aristotle found that in order to become virtuous, a person must know the right thing, intend the right thing, and have their actions stem from their established character. He also came up with term “golden mean”, which seeks to achieve a balance in one’s virtues. For instance, Aristotle felt that one should find a balance of anger. When seeking a balance of anger, it is
you ask what the virtues are, it is likely you would be told that we
I. Provide answers for five (5) of the following (6 points each, total of 30 points):
Luke is in charge of ABC Company’s land development project in building an adult entertainment store on the land they recently purchased. Unfortunately, his brother, Owen, happens to live in the same area. Luke remembers Owen once told him he is thinking about selling his house, since he recently received a decent offer from a real estate firm. However, he is debating whether he should sell it or waits for the real estate to rise. Luke realizes with the appearance of adult entertainment in the near future, the values of Owen’s house and other houses in neighborhood are likely to drop significantly.
Question 1: Williams thinks that the doctrine of negative responsibility, which follows from the principle of utility, undermines personal integrity. Do you agree that being held responsible for the consequences of not acting, of failing to prevent something, will (always or sometimes) erode the idea of personal integrity? Is there any way to be a utilitarian and still respect the integrity of individuals?
First and foremost, the best way to live requires one to be virtuous. Aristotle’s most notable theme in the Nicomachean Ethics is how one must be virtuous in order to live the good life. Virtue is defined by Aristotle as a disposition that aims at a mean. The key in this definition is moderation, which makes it applicable to so many virtuous. Whether you are contemplating courage, liberality, ambition, or gentleness the goal is to always be moderate and seek the mean. The one virtue that may not relate to the formal definition is justice because one can never be too just. Aristotle’s teachings on virtue provides great guidance on how to live on a daily basis.
Unlike happiness, virtue is not an activity, but a disposition and a state of being. More precisely, it is a disposition to behave in the right manner. In Aristotle’s description, virtues are the “means” and intermediate states between what he considers vicious states (excess and deficiency). In other words, they are the moderation of desiring too much and desiring too little. For example, the state of being courageous is considered a virtuous disposition because it moderates the states of being cowardly (deficit) and rash (excess). Furthermore, Aristotle describes the virtuous person as one whose passions and deliberation are aligned; someone whose possession of goodness allows their acts to be guided by the balance of their “means” and their rationality. This means that to achieve a virtuous state one has to consistently aim for the “mean” of their actions to the point where it’s instinctive. (Nic. Ethics II 6).
Virtue ethics was written by a Greek philosopher names Aristotle. Aristotle believed that every human’s goal was happiness. Some philosophers argued that happiness only came from following a set of rules, while Aristotle argued that the best way to have happiness is to cultivate a virtuous character. The two kinds of virtues he recognized were moral virtue and intellectual virtue. The virtue that should be focused on to develop a virtuous character is moral virtue. According to Aristotle, while we are born with a capacity to be virtuous, being virtuous is like a skill that we need to learn and practice to be good at. The key element to being virtuous is being able to find the mean or right amount of our various emotions, dispositions, and actions. Aristotle wrote: “Anybody can become angry- that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for
After filling out the Ethical Inventory again I found that Utilitarianism and Virtue Ethics are the two areas that made the most persuasive thinking for me. Utilitarianism looks at the consequences and weighs the positives to see if it is going to bring happiness to the greater number. Every situation is looked at from a pros and cons point of view and a decision is made from there. One statement that is on the inventory sheet says, “When I am trying to decide what the right thing to do is, I look at the consequences of the various alternatives open to me.” In this example for myself I usually don’t think about consequences and react on emotions. After reacting from emotions I think about the consequences and realize most of the time it wasn’t the right thing to do. There are many times that I react and then realize I could’ve done things differently in that situation. I think about my own self interest before I think about the effects of the greater number. I see myself now looking at the situation and seeing both sides of it. I look at the positives and negatives before I react on emotions. By learning more about utilitarianism and changing my thought process I see my virtue ethics in a different perspective compared to what I did before this class. All the virtues that are stated in the book are virtues I hold very deeply in myself. These virtues are courage, generosity, honesty, loyalty to friends and family. Courage was one I had a hard time with because I don’t always