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Examination Of Ethical Theories Essay

861 words - 4 pages

Examination of Ethical Theories

August 5, 2013

Examination of Ethical Theories

There are seven general ethical categories used in defining the ethical values and morals people follow. Each category has different subsections and expectations for a person’s behavior. A person’s morals and ethical beliefs develop from a mixture of values from these various theories; therefore he or she does not necessarily fit snugly into one category. The top three ethical theories are deontological, utilitarianism, and virtue-based ethics – these are the theories under examination.

Deontological Theory

Also known as ‘duty-based’, ‘categorical imperative’, and ‘The Golden Rule’, ...view middle of the document...

A difficulty that arises with utilitarianism is that the decisions made cannot account for every possibility. This means that the person is “unlikely to arrive at a completely accurate assessment of all future consequences [and] … the rights of a minority group can easily be sacrificed for the benefit of the majority” (Treviño, 2011, pg. 42).

Virtue Ethics

Virtue ethics tend to fit in more with the deontological category than with utilitarianism. In this category, the focus is on making good decisions because it reflects the type of person one wants to be. A good person makes good decisions and exerts effort “to cultivate excellence in all that [they] do and all that others do” (Boylan, 2009, pg. 133). In this category, people take a personalized approach to decision-making that not only accounts for societal expectations but also for how the person wants to be perceived, focusing on the act or decision instead of the consequences. Virtue ethics are beneficial to people working in specialized professional communities. A professional community or organization, such as physicians or lawyers, has a highly developed set of ethical standards. These standards give the members of the community guidelines to follow when trying to be good moral agents.

Personal Experience

In a gambling casino, deontological values are important. In any position, there are local, state, and federal laws that govern the activities within the casino. State regulations are especially strict on how employees handle money and gambling chips. As a surveillance employee in a local casino, my deontological ethics followed company and state policies. Because of the possible legal ramifications, I chose to place state regulations before company obligations....

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