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Compare and Contrast Three Ethical Theories - Research Paper Example

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The benefit of this ethical theory is that the utilitarian can compare and contrast similar predicted solutions and with his knowledge use a point system to determine which of the choices has more benefit to a majority of people. We always, or, rather, mostly focus on actions but we can have a change and focus on consequences. When we focus on consequences we wind up with consequentialism and utilitarianism is one type of consequentialism and the founding father was Jeremy Bentham. (Lafollette, 28)
Utilitarianism is divided into two, rule utilitarianism and act utilitarianism. In act utilitarianism, a person performs the acts whose end results are beneficial to a majority of people, without taking into consideration personal feelings or the societal constraints such as laws. Rule utilitarianism on the contrary takes into consideration the law and upholds fairness. A rule utilitarian uses fair and just means to benefit most people. Utilitarianism just like any other ethical theory has flaws. This can be seen in the sense that it is very hard or almost impossible to determine the amount of pleasure that will result from the action. This is because we cannot quantify pleasure and that the pleasure of one person is not the same as the pleasure of another person.
The deontological theory spells out that people should adhere to their duties and obligations when analyzing ethical dilemmas. This ethical theory elaborates that the most important aspects of our lives are governed by certain unbreakable moral rules. Deontologists argue that these rules are not to be broken even if their absolution will improve a situation. Whoever follows this theory is bound to produce very consistent decisions since they are mostly based on the individuals set duties. This theory provides ground for obligations and special duties to specific people, such as family. A good and simple example is where an older brother has an obligation to offer protection to his little when they cross a busy road together. Praise is also offered to those who exceed their obligations and duties, which is referred to as supererogation. A good example of supererogation is a scenario where a train full of students has been hijacked and the hijacker demands that one person will have to die for the rest to live, the person who volunteers to die is exceeding his or her duty to the other students and is performing an act of supererogation. (Copp, 76) Albeit deontology has a number of positive attributes, it as well has its fair number of flaws. For example, there is no logical or rationale basis for deciding someone’s duties. For example, a clerk might decide that he has the obligation to be on time for meetings. This appears to be a noble duty but we don’t know why this particular person has to be on time for meetings, maybe the reason is because he has to sit on the same chair. Because of deontology’s lack of context of each situation, it offers no guidance when one is in a complex situation in which there are conflicting obligations. The ethical theory of virtue judges an individual by his true character from within and not from an action or incidence that may deviate from his normal behavior. When an analysis is being carried out on an irregular and unusual behavior that is considered unethical, it takes into account the individual’s motivation, morals and reputation. This theory asks what a good person would do in specific real life situations. This recently revived theory has its roots from the character traits discussed by Thomas Aquinas, Plato and Aristotle. Timeless and cross-cultural ...Show more
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Summary

This paper will consider three ethnical theories: the utilitarian theory, the deontological theory and the virtue ethical theory, consider their advantages and disadvantages. For instance, the utilitarian theory has its stronghold on the ability to predict the consequences of an action…
Compare and Contrast Three Ethical Theories
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