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My Ethical System and Its Justification - Essay Example

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My Ethical System and Its Justification

Divine command is a system where actions are made in accordance with those of a higher being, God, who is all-knowing. In this paper, I describe the ethical system which I ascribe to. Personal Ethical System My ethical system is one by which I live and use to decide which actions are moral or ‘good’. In my opinion, what is good is what allows my conscience to be clear and also what results in the greater overall good. My ethical system can be said to be an adaptation of the utilitarian and virtue ethics. The utilitarian ethical system attempts to maintain a balance between pleasure and pain, and in fact, rules that all actions should result in overall good (Rainbow, 2011). According to Rainbow, (2011), in case the moral consequences of alternative actions are not great, the utilitarian theory does not consider the choice a moral issue. While I ascribe to generally acting for good, the utilitarian theory sometimes does not help in distinguishing certain situations which in themselves are wrong, but do result in good. An example is ‘robbing the rich, to help the poor’; an act which is morally wrong, because while the rich man may not be significantly affected by the crime, it offers enormous relief to the poor. My theory therefore differs from the utilitarian theory, in that, virtue ethics does cater for such occasions where the ‘right thing’ to do is a matter of great debate. Virtue ethics emphasize the building of personal character, without focus on external opinions (IEP, 2011). I therefore employ virtue ethics where my actions are based on what I feel is most in line with my disposition of what is right according to my assessment of the situation. In applying virtue ethics, one is encouraged to cultivate virtues resulting in the greater good of one’s soul and results in happiness. In this way, I view the combination of virtue ethics and utilitarianism as a comprehensive effort towards the happiness of humanity. Justification of my ethical system My adaptation of utilitarianism and virtue ethics works very well and has assisted me in making many critical decisions. Utilitarianism considers what results in the greater good and then acts accordingly to promote this. Utilitarianism is most applicable in circumstances where the consequences of an action result in starkly different outcomes, where a decision has a significant impact on the individual and the society. However, it may be difficult to apply in circumstances where there is a thin line between right and wrong, and either action does not make a significant impact on the individual or the society. In such cases, utilitarianism may not regard such a decision as an ethical dilemma, which may be argued to propagate immorality as one may justify even a wrong action. These cases in daily living are very numerous, and use of utilitarianism alone may be insufficient. I therefore apply virtue ethics to be able to cover the loopholes which may be present the utilitarian theory. Virtue ethics involves making decisions based on what brings about the greater development of the person (Annas, 2011). This means that any decisions made must also reinforce my personal disposition of what is right. My decisions should result in greater achievement of virtue and progression towards achieving individual thriving, ...Show more

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My Ethical System and Its Justification Names Course Instructor Date Introduction Studying ethics entails examining what is defined as doing the ‘right thing’ (Rainbow, 2011). There are several ethical systems, all of which attempt to explain the principles behind an individual’s actions in everyday life and especially when presented with ethical dilemmas…
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My Ethical System and Its Justification essay example
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