August 18, 2014
University of Phoenix
A brief definition of Virtue Ethics: "Virtue Ethics is a classification within Normative Ethics that attempts to discover and classify what might be deemed of moral character, and to apply the moral character as a base for one's choices and actions."
The general concept behind Virtue Ethics is that it focuses on what the individual should choose for his/her own personal inward behavior (character) rather than the individual relying solely on the external laws and customs of the person's culture, and if a person's character is good then so ought the person's choices and actions be good. There is value in ...view middle of the document...
There are many ways to spell out this general claim. One thing to note is that the theory is a form of consequentialism: the right action is understood entirely in terms of consequences produced. What distinguishes utilitarianism from egoism has to do with the scope of the relevant consequences. On the utilitarian view one ought to maximize the overall good — that is, consider the good of others as well as one's own good.
Deontological moral systems are characterized by a focus upon adherence to independent moral rules or duties. To make the correct moral choices, we have to understand what our moral duties are and what correct rules exist to regulate those duties. When we follow our duty, we are behaving morally. When we fail to follow our duty, we are behaving immorally. Typically in any deontological system, our duties, rules, and obligations are determined by God. Being moral is thus a matter of obeying God.
Deontological moral systems typically stress the reasons why certain actions are performed. Simply following the correct moral rules is often not sufficient; instead, we have to have the correct motivations. This might allow a person to not be considered immoral even though they moral duty.
Nevertheless, a correct motivation alone is never a justification for an action in a deontological moral system and cannot be used as a basis for describing an action as morally correct. It is also not enough to simply believe that something is the correct duty to follow. Duties and obligations must be determined objectively and absolutely, not subjectively. There is no room in deontological systems of subjective feelings; on the contrary,...