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The Utilitarianism, Virtue and the Deontological Theories
Ethics can be described as the ways and means through which man is perceived and judged in the society. It is quite normal to find the society dictating the standards of morals and required behavior in a particular setting. As a result of the study onto the ethical standards in a particular setting, scholars have come up with a set of ethical theories that explain the whole concept of ethics and morals in the society. These include the utilitarianism, virtue and the deontological theories.
Similarities and differences between the utilitarianism, virtue and the deontological theories
Utilitarianism is a moral theory explaining that an action will only be considered as right only if the same conforms to the principle of utility. This theory was founded during the Victorian period. It was founded by Jeremy Bentham who claimed that it was better for the society to rely on reason rather than the metaphysics. The central pillar of this theory is the greatest happiness principle. This is because humans are by nature very rational and the most self-centred creatures in the universe. We continue to maximize on the pleasurable attributes in our lives and try as much as possible to minimize on the pains and sufferings in our entire lifetime. This implies that a morally right act is the one that yields maximum pleasure at a particular circumstance.
Deontology, on the other hand, is concerned basically with the study of duty. Peolple are tied to the obligation of fulfilling their moral duty. This will accordingly depend on their belief in this course of moral duty whether or not it will make the other individuals in the society happy or discontented. They believe that the right actions in the society are determined and gauged by the duties and responsibilities that several individuals possess in the contemporary society. It dictates that once an individual believes that whatever he or she is undertaking is right, concurrently there is no point of figuring what the others may perceive of the same act as it is a call of duty.
This theory was put forward by Immanuel Kant. He claimed that the right actions in the society are those that are simple done for the sole reason to the call of duty. He further clarifies that these actions are not driven by impulses from the individuals in question. What one does what is right then the action is right and then it is also very common belief that what is right is that which conforms to the moral right within a setting in the immediate society. This therefore pegs and pairs both the theories to one common goal.
Finally, the virtue theory was brought forth by Aristotle. Connectively, he claims that there are two types of virtues. These are the intellectual virtue and the moral value. Moreover, “virtue” can be defined as the disposition in the soul and mind of a person that is very voluntary in nature. In other words, this implies that virtue is basically attained in a very conscious manner as opposed to other two theories aforementioned. Moral virtue is achieved and expressed in the selection of a central course between deficient and excessive emotions in the life of an individual. Thus, it implies that under moral virtue there exists no middle ground. It is either hot or cold; there is no warm situation under this category.
It operates under the doctrine of the golden mean. This claims that each and every virtue lies somewhere between any two opposing vices. The virtue of courage or fortitude lies between the vices of cowardice and rashness while the virtue of temperance lies between the vices of insensibility and profligacy.