Difference Between Virtue Ethics And Utilitarianism

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In this essay, I will examine the ethics of virtue. To begin, I will outline the most evident differences between virtue ethics, deontology, and utilitarianism. I will go forth to explain in depth what virtue ethics are according to Aristotle and provide an example of how they may be applied in reality. Part two will look at the perception of virtue ethics over the course of history and ask whether virtue ethics are valuable and complete enough to reintroduced in society today. In part three, I will outline my objection to the theory of the ethics of virtues and its flaws as result of moral luck. Finally, I will bring my argument to a close with a strong and coherent conclusion that virtue ethics is inherently flawed, and, as an alternative, …show more content…

Essentially, it may be identified as placing emphasis on the virtues and moral character as opposed to deontology which places emphasis on rules and duties, or consequentialism whereby emphasis is placed on consequences as a result of certain actions. However, this is not to say that each of the above approaches cannot all make room for virtues, consequences, and/or rules and duties. In fact, any plausible normative ethics approach will have something to say about all three. Essentially, virtue ethics can be distinguished from consequentialism and deontology as the importance of virtue within the theory itself. Unlike the alternative ethical theories mentioned above, virtue ethics is not associated with a moral imperative. It is the idea that acting virtuously will result in virtuous consequences. Most virtue ethics theories are embedded in Aristotle's teachings which declare that "a virtue is a trait of character manifested in habitual action". These traits are derived from a natural internal inclination which needs to be guided, yet, over time, may become stable. Aristotle also defined virtues as a ‘golden mean’ which ultimately is the middle ground between two extremes also known as vices. For example, a virtuous person would be generous and may give to charity, however, giving away all you have is extreme and is therefore not virtuous as it is deficient may come across as …show more content…

There is a noticeable concern that virtue ethics leaves us hostage to luck. This is commonly referred to as ‘Moral Luck’. Morality is concerned about the responsibility and relevance of praise or blame. Nevertheless, only actions performed under conscious choice are praised or blamed. The assumption that a ‘good’ person should be formed from one mould is challenged by Friedrich Nietzsche. Friedrich Nietzsche argued that it is absurd that there is only one kind of human goodness. It is naive to suggest that we all ought to have the same virtues and vices considering we are all nurtured in different ways, therefore, we have our own understandings of what is deemed

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