Many perspectives of ethical theory do not take this mix into consideration and state that morals are either completely subjective or objective. One of the biggest strength of the virtue ethics arguments is the fact that it allows for morals to be both objective and subjective. Aristotle spent a lot of time thinking about virtue ethics and observing the traits that he valued in others. Through this he saw common traits that he admired in everyone from which he derived four traits he determined to be absolutes: courage, loyalty, generosity, and honesty (Rachels 176). Yet he still recognized that many other
The virtue ethics theory focuses on what actions or choices an individual should choose based on their own personal inward character. Therefore, if an individual’s character is good then his or her actions or choices should also be good. The virtue ethics theory places responsibility on the individual for their actions or choices when confronted with a moral dilemma. Whereas, “a utilitarian or a Kantian theorist asks, what should I do?, a virtue ethicist asks, in effect, what should I be?” (Vaughn, 2010, pg. 134).
There are seven perspectives on ethical theory: consequentialism, natural law, duty, rights, virtue, instinct, and authority. Each of them relate to morality and decision-making. Some, however, are debated more so than others by their properties and which are best to use when solving problems. Among the perspectives there is one that can be applied the best towards morality and solving problems. Virtue is one of the strongest of the seven perspectives on ethical theory that can be used best to solve problems a society is faced with, based on the premise that this perspective is tied in with the importance of character building, is related to the Golden Mean and Aristotle, has concepts that humans naturally prefer, and is a more natural and
Contemporary virtue theories do not grasp nor represents the Aristotelian theory, because they think that it is impossible to escape the charge of relativism in virtue ethics. According to the relativist approach, ethical goodness is relative to each society depending on its traditions and practices. It is thought that virtue can only be outlined locally with reference to a single locale. Relativists reject the idea that there is a general rule, based on specific virtuous actions, that leads to the good life i.e. they reject that there is a single virtue (or norm of flourishing life) that is able to flourish the life of all human beings.
Life of virtue is important to be happy. Virtue is an action. A “good life” is a life that you are constantly striving for greatness. You must want to push yourself to be successful. And only when you do this, you will live a life full of happiness.
Aristotle explains that a virtuous person is who can modulate passions and consideration. Aristotle thinks two kinds of virtue; virtue as consideration and virtue as characteristics. We cannot learn the virtue as characteristics by studying. Also, we cannot be virtuous naturally. Therefore, we all can be virtuous by learning from others and preparing.
Therefore, it is believed that only actions derived from duty have moral values, and those descended from inclination should not be considered worth morally in any case. This theory differs considerably from Aristotle’s beliefs in Nichomachean Ethics when he argues that taking the right action by inclination is a proof of a moral character. Moreover, duty is necessary to create universal rules. One of these rules states that we should act upon pure intentions because moral rules cannot be excused, hence lying is always wrong. Unfortunately, there is an issue with pure reasoning- every experience is different.
We seek out for people for different purposes, and this affects which virtues are relevant. For example, in looking for an auto mechanic, we want someone who is skilful, honest and conscientious. But we also assess people as people in a more general way, so we also have the concept of a good person which is known as moral virtues. In compliance to this, there is an arisen question on what the virtues are and which traits of character should be cultivated in human beings. In Aristotle’s approach, he included a list of virtues which can be applied to many situations we find ourselves in on an everyday basis.
Ethics also called moral philosophy, “is the discipline concerned with what is morally good and bad, right and wrong. The term is also applied to any system or theory of moral values or principles”.1 For Socrates “Ethics are the norms by which acceptable and unacceptable behavior are measured”.2 He believed that individuals develop ethics through maturity, wisdom and love. Ethics have developed as people have reflected on the intentions and consequences of their actions. Immanuel Kant however argued that “moral requirements are based on a standard of rationality he called the Categorical Imperative”.3 Kant’s theory can be seen as an example of the deontological moral theory. According to this theory, the rightness or wrongness of actions does
One of the first theories that separated from religion to explain morality is Utilitarianism. This theory was developed by Jeremy Bentham. Bentham argued that morality has nothing to do with pleasing god. He feels morality should be about manufacturing a world that has the greatest amount of happiest. At first glance this theory seems to be a wonderful idea, however throughout this paper I will argue that Utilitarianism is not a successful account of morality.