Ethical Similarities and Differences

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Ethical similarities and differences Ada Bren ETH/316 February 4, 2013 Paul Betancourt Ethical similarities and differences Ethical theories in contrast deal with how our society as a whole believes humans should behave in relation to one and another. However, theories are often easily challenged do to the lacking support or solid evidence. Most people generalize ethical theories as right vs. wrong. There never seems to be a gray area. There are three major types of theories among ethics, utilitarian, deontological, and virtue ethics. In this paper I will discuss the differences and similarities among these three types of ethical theories. Virtue ethics dates back to Aristotle. Aristotle believed virtue ethics had to do with justice and bravery. Every so often virtue ethics are communicated through ones actions. Historically, soldiers who would fight to protect land and kings would not have ever caused harm nor taken anything that did not belong to them. This is why Aristotle believed that bravery and rightful justice had to be connected to moral right doings. Virtue ethics theory is not only concerned with how a person would act, but how they should strive to become. This is a forward thinking process. However, there is a negative aspect to virtue ethics as it has a grey area when using precedence within decision making. The lack of guidance carries a negative similarity between virtue ethics and deontological theory. Deontological theory is defined in contemporary moral philosophy, deontology is one of those kinds of normative theories regarding which choices are morally required, forbidden, or permitted. In other words, deontology falls within the field of moral theories that guide and assess our choices of what we should do (deontic theories), in contrast to (aretaic [virtue] theories) that — fundamentally, at least — guide and assess what kind of

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