Virtue Theory, Utilitarianism, and Deontological Ethics Essay

441 WordsMay 8, 20122 Pages
To satisfy the requirements of this assignment I will begin by explaining virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics. Virtue theory in its basic form is the theory of what it means to be good. Coming from the Greek word of excellence, virtue theory or ethics is the explanation of a lifetime of acts that makes up a person’s character. We do not judge individual events when it comes to virtue theory or ethics, we judge the sum of events or decisions the person made throughout a long period of time. There may be outliers in the form of singular events that do not follow the same path as most of the decisions that have created a virtuous life. It is for that reason we drop those outliers and look at someone’s long history to evaluate. Utilitarianism is the thought or the theory that is defined by providing the best scenario for the group or largest group possible. It does not focus on the individual. Utilitarianism focuses on the belief that actions can be morally correct if the masses get more of the benefit than any one person. This differs from virtue theory greatly. While virtue theory looks at the history of one individual and those virtues effecting one individuals character, utilitarianism is a focus on the group. It is ones action that gives the group greater good, not an individual. Deontology is the theory that an individual does something because the individual believes it is the right thing to do. They do not look further into the action or bring the possible consequences to mind. They simply believe it is the correct thing to do and act upon it. Deontology is similar to Utilitarianism because it is again based on singular decisions of an individual. Utilitarianism and Deontology are more of a structured belief or theory while virtue theory is more flexible. Deontology is stricter in its practice than that of utilitarianism, however. A
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