Why Is Virtue Ethics Wrong

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I agree with Kant that lying is wrong. However, unlike Kant, I do believe there are exceptions that allow us to justify a lie when the greater good outweighs the wrongness from the lie. When I say greater good I do not necessarily mean the greater good for all, as in utilitarianism, but more the overall result from the lie is better than the overall result from not lying (e.g., a life is saved). So, I guess I prescribe to consequentialism here. If a murderer is at my front door looking for a friend I am harboring in my basement, I feel I have a higher moral obligation to my friend and his or her safety than to the murderer by not lying. If I don’t lie to the murderer, am I not, then, just aiding them in their quest for destruction? In which…show more content…
To quote our text, virtue ethics focuses “not on what to do, but on what to be.” Therefore, virtue of ethics is not a set list of rules to which we look to help us in making good decisions, but rather a guide to obtaining “excellence” in character. The idea is to do all things good for no other reason than to be good, not to obtain something else. His reasoning is a bit circular in the sense that he does not give a clear-cut definition of what qualifies a person as virtuous. However, to be virtuous is to be pure, good, saintly, and essentially have a high moral standard, and having that characteristic alone will guide persons to make good decisions. Being virtuous, then, is doing something for no other reason than to be good. Choosing to be nice or do good things for others with the motivation to have them help you in some way later, have them like you more, or really any reasoning other than just wanting to do something nice and good for them for nothing in return is what constitutes a person as being non-virtuous. I think virtue ethics can stand on its own without supplementation, but it requires more thought and action on the individuals part than simply looking to a set of rules for all the
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