Over the course of thousands of years, various theories have been offered to explain the best way to determine what is ethical. The search for “good” or correct actions and thoughts has provided several strong approaches that are actively used today. While all of the various ethical theories seek to lead one to being ethical, they differ on how this should be accomplished. Each approach has its own strengths and weaknesses. It is important to understand these differences when analyzing ethical decisions from various perspectives.
For this Assignment, you are to add to the chart you began in unit 2 by adding virtue theory. As with the Unit 2 chart assignment, you will be providing the following for virtue theory, written in your own words:
How is “good” determined? Explain in one or two sentences what the theory argues is the correct way to determine what is right. This is the main argument of the theory in a nutshell.
Most Noted Philosopher(s): Name the philosopher or philosophers most closely associated with the theory.
Major Strengths: Using phrases or sentences, list at least two major strengths that are specific to that theory.
Major Weaknesses: Using phrases or sentences, list at least two major weaknesses that are specific to that theory.
You may format the chart any way you wish to include all of the required elements. You will be adding to the chart again in Units 5 and 7.
February 16th, 2021
There’s importance to express a justifiable rationale for why to believe that one decision seems to be right while another seems to be wrong.
Utilitarianism holds the idea that the consequences of actions and policies determine whether they are wrong or right, making it consequentialism (Savulesau&Wilkinson 2020). Generally, whatever matter is on evaluation, the one that produces the best overall results gets chosen.
The modern theory of utilitarianism is closely related to a British philosopher known as John Stuart Mill. John developed the utilitarianism theory from a plain hedonistic version put forward by Jeremy Bentham, who as his mentor.
Some of this theory’s strengths were; Too many people happiness is essential to them in decision-making. It is also simple to follow. The theories weaknesses include; The theory seeks to foresee the penalties of an impossible deed. It also fails to identify that people have obligations.
This theory explains that one is promoted to following good morality. It says that it is moral to promote ones well.
Henry Sidgwick introduced ethical egoism in the book of the methods of ethic. The strengths of this theory are that everybody is provided for, and it promotes improved self-awareness. The theory also has weaknesses: it is destructive to the community, and it is also judgemental about people(Wijaya 2020).
Kantianism disputes that a person can be morally worth if he or she gets inspired by morality. If someone’s emotions causes one to do something, then according to Kantianism, the action done cannot give them moral worth.
German philosopher Immanuel Kant is the one most closely related to this theory. He was an opponent of utilitarianism. The leading proponent of this theory was Professor Elizabeth Anscombe in the twentieth century.
The strengths of this theory are that it provides a basis for human rights. It is also universal such that it provides laws that morally hold universally. The weaknesses include: The consequences of this theory might break the law. They also bring about conflicting duty where one is confused about what to choose to do.
Divine Command Theory
In this theory, good is determined by God’s motives entirely from what he has commanded (Plaisted 2017). This theory considers agent’s characters to whether they agree with Gods moral standards values.
This theory is mostly related to philosophes known as, William of Ockham and Duns Scotus. The theory’s strengths are that the theory has absolute rules, for example, the ten commandments. It also takes away human responsibility by following Gods law. The theory also has its weaknesses that include: In believing in God, whether he exists or not. It’s hard to make an atheist believe in a being that isn’t real. The second weakness is that the theory conflicts with modern life and human laws. This theory is against homosexual for in Leviticus it is rebuked, but in human laws, all human rights are protected.
Plaisted, D. (2017). On justifying one’s acceptance of divine command theory. International journal for philosophy of religion, 81(3), 315-334.
Savulescu, J., Persson, I., & Wilkinson, D. (2020). Utilitarianism and the pandemic. Bioethics, 34(6), 620-632.
Wijaya, I. (2020). Treasure Hunt: Ethical Egoism vs Individual Anarchism. Kata Kita, 8(1), 116-123.