Utilitarianism, deontology, and virtues are all a part of ethical theories, what separates them from one another are their actual specifications and descriptions. But with the differences between them, they also contain a lot of similarities because although they each emphasize a different standpoint, they are addressing the same ethical dilemma. This paper will be comparing the similarities and differences between virtue theories, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics.
Virtue theories claim that ethics judges a person’s characteristics rather than their actions or consequences. In a more abstract description, it is an action in which it is right only if that is what a virtuous agent would do in that specific circumstance. For instance, if a person plagiarized a passage that was later detected by a peer, the peer who knows the person will understand the person’s character and will be able to judge the friend. (Rainbow, 2002) It is believed through virtue ethics that to live a good life, one must consists in having the right character traits (virtues), which will lead to the most ideal result. Unlike deontological, which focuses on living by the moral rules, virtue focuses on creating good habits of person. This means developing virtuous characteristics to act in a way that is considered morally accepted and avoid learning bad character traits. A personal example of virtues is a business that I use to work for, their name was DBA Solutions, and they were a sales/marketing business. Their slogan was integrity, loyalty, and trust, which are all virtues, so the purpose of the slogan was for all everyone in the business to be guided by those three virtues when making any decisions.
Deontological theory is an action which right only if it is in accordance with a moral rule or principle. This theory states that people should listen to what is right and what their duties are in analyzing any ethical situations. This theory base morality on the actions themselves and whether or not they are right or wrong within themselves, regardless of the consequences. (Rainbow, 2002) As long as it is in conformity with the moral norm, the action is considered as right, so people act in accordance with a moral norm. Those who follow this theory always stay true to their word, and keep their promises. Deontologist decision making will always be consistent as well because they are always basing their decisions on their set duties. A Deontologist provides sets a standard of duties and rules to specific people such as those within a family. A personal situation of this theory is where an older brother holds responsible of watching over a younger sibling, I may have an obligation to protect my little sister when we are crossing a busy road or in a dangerous neighborhood, because as an older brother, it is part of the moral norm for the older sibling to protect the younger one.
Utilitarianism is the moral belief of an action is right if it promotes the best consequence, in another words, it is the ability to predict the