Virtue Ethics Theory Essay

1459 Words Jun 18th, 2012 6 Pages
1. Why are Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle usually considered to be the founders of Western philosophical ethics? * Because it was their determination to base ethics on reason, rather than on superstition or authority, laid the foundation upon which virtually all philosophers who followed would base their ideas and theories about morality.

2. Why do many people consider Socrates to be a martyr for truth and integrity? * Socrates is considered by many to be a martyr for truth and integrity because of his courage and adherence to traditional beliefs. He was charged with charges of atheism, treason, and corrupting the youth of Athens – all death penalties, just for trying to question tradition. In spite of all the powerful people
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Which are the best virtues? Which virtues are controversial? There are many different lists of key virtues and the inability to find a logical basis for the best virtues to live presents a chronic difficulty for modern day adherents of virtue ethics. 2) Secondly, Virtue Ethics can lead to ethical relativism because powerful groups select the virtues for their society. Is one nation morally better than another? If all virtues are equal in worth, can everyone pick their preferred virtues as individuals? 3) Third, in Aristotle’s version, is that his foundational premise may be a fallacy. What we ought to be is based on what we are. Critics have referred to this as the naturalistic fallacy, an offshoot of the is/ought fallacy. Human nature is a certain way; therefore we ought to act that way. 4) Lastly, looking at moral right and wrong only through the virtue ethics window can lead to a kind of “character trap.” This theory is basically about being a good person. Most people think that they are already good, so how good is good enough?

13. Explain the assumptions behind John Locke’s natural rights theory. * Humans have rights – morally authorized claims that impose legitimate obligations (duties). * Rights come from God or nature. * Rights are the foundations of ethics. * The individual is more important than the group. * Human nature is self-interest. * We have a moral duty or obligation to avoid violating the rights of