Similarities and Differences in Virtue Theory, Utilitarianism, and Deontological Ethics Eth/316 Essays

Words: 939
Pages: 4

Similarities and Differences in Virtue Theory, Utilitarianism, and Deontological Ethics
When talking about ethics it is hard to distinguish between ethics and morality. It is also hard to distinguish exactly what realm of ethics contributes to my everyday decisions. Ethics can be defined as “well-founded standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues [and] ethics refers to the study and development of one's ethical standards” (Andre, Shanks, & Velasquez, 2010, para. 8-9). According to Psychology Today (2013) morality is, “ethics, evil, greed, sin, and conscience” (para. 1). “Morals can vary from person to person and culture
…show more content…
172). There are many practitioners of deontology and if one was to choose one to follow it would probably be Kant (Boylan, 2009, p. 173). “Kant understood the ethical enterprise was for an individual to contemplate about acting in the world and what reason requires us to do in order to obtain/create a good will” (Boylan, 2009, p. 176). Kant believed by following his supreme principle of morality that all questions about mortality could be decided (Boylan, 2009, p. 176).
Whether to follow a realm of virtue theory, utilitarianism, or deontology one must first ask if they are commending or commanding. “Moral theories operation in the realm between commending and commanding” (Boylan, 2009, p. 172). Commending represents something as worthy if it is recommended to do and commanding is what must we do (Boylan, 2009, p. 172). I think that I fall under the “what must I do” theory unless I was put into an executive or managerial position that would put me into the realm of utilitarianism because I would be making decisions that affect the business as a whole and the general masses. In my line of work management takes the utilitarianism approach to ethics, but it does not always fall under what I would consider to be the better for the mass, but rather the better for the business. They tend to make decisions that make more money, but affect the mass (the employees) negatively. We need more coal to fulfill orders (makes the company money), but the employees have