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Free «Moral Theories» Essay Sample

Moral theories signify the grand thoughts on which directing principles are based. These theories try to be systematic and coherent, attempting to give answers to essential practical ethical queries. Ethical principles usually emerge from moral theories and when safeguarding a certain action, moralists usually plea to these beliefs, and not on the original theory.

Consequentialism moral theory

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Utilitarianism also called teleology or consequentalism moral theory is the most commonly and more functional applied theory, primarily promotes valued or good ends, other than utilizing the correct means. Consequentialism is distinct form deontology which derives the wrongness or rightness of a person's conduct from the nature of the action itself other than the consequences of the action. It is also different form virtue ethics theory which emphasizes on the nature of the agent other than on the consequences or nature of the omission or action itself. The theory initiates advocates to work for consequences that will grant the greatest advantage to majority of the affected individuals in the most neutral way possible. In simple words, this theory supports attaining the most good for the most number of individuals.

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Consequentialism theory states that the thought of moral value of a deed is solely determined by its efficiency in minimizing negative utility and maximizing utility as summed amid all conscious beings. It is therefore a type of consequentialism, implying that the moral value of a deed is verified by its result. In the thought of outcomes the utilitarian involves or bad and good produced by an action, whether occurring after the action has taken place or at the time the act is being performed (Darwall, 2003).

If the diversity in the outcomes of optional deeds is not big, a number of utilitarians don't regard the alternative between them a moral issue. Mill argues that actions are supposed to be classified as ethically wrong or right only if the outcomes are of such importance that an individual would aspire to observe the agent coerced, not simply exhorted, and persuaded, to do something in a preferred way.

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In evaluating the outcomes of deeds, utilitarianism relies on some intrinsic theory of value which implies that a thing is regarded as superior in itself, apart from additional outcomes, and several other values are considered to get their value from their connection to this inherent good as a way to a conclusion. Mill and Bentham were hedonists implying that they examined happiness as equilibrium of pleasure above pain and deemed that these thoughts only are of inherent disvalue and value.

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Bentham judged that hedonic calculus is hypothetically probable. He maintained that a moralist, could calculate pleasure units and pain units for everyone who is likely to be affected by the action, instantly and in future, and could use the balance to measure the overall evil or good tendency of the action. Such accurate measurement envisioned by Bentham is probably not fundamental, but is however essential for Utilitarian to create a number of interpersonal contrasts of values of impacts of optional courses of deeds.

Deontology ethical theory

Deontology theory embraces that the greatest significant aspect of people's lives are directed by particular unbreakable ethical rules. Deontologists articulate that the rules might not be broken, even though breaking the rules might improve a consequence. This implies that the rules might do the correct thing even if the outcomes of that deed might not be good. Deontological moral theory is a non-Utilitarianism ethical theory. Whereas consequentalists deem that the results usually validate the means, deontologists emphasize that the correctness of a deed is not merely reliant on the maximizing the good thing, in that deed is in contrary in what is regarded moral.

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It is the intrinsic character of the action only that verifies its moral standing. For instance, in a situation in a case where there are four patients in critical conditions in a hospital and every one of them requires a diverse organ so as to survive. Then a person in good health comes to the hospital for a checkup. According to the consequentialism, and not deontology theory, the doctor is supposed to sacrifice this one healthy man so as to save the other four men therefore maximizing the good. Nevertheless, deontological opinion disputes this manner of thinking through asserting that it is not moral to take away life of the innocent in spite of the fact that the action would mean maximizing the superior.

Deontological moral theory develops concrete differences between things which are morally wrong or right and applies its ethics to as guidance when choosing actions. According to Roger, (2000), deontologists create limitations against getting the most out of the good. In addition, because deontologists place a great worth on the person, in some cases it is allowable not maximize the superior if it is harmful to the individual. For instance, a person does not need to impoverish himself to the extent of worthlessness merely to gratify individual's moral obligations. Deontology may be viewed as a usually flexible ethical theory that permits self interpretation.

An objection this theory is that it generates absolutes and cannot usually validate its standpoints. Deeds are either regarded as wrong or right with no gray area allowance. In addition, the strict rules apt to disagree with commonly recognized actions. For instance, telling lies is usually regarded ethically wrong even white lies and thus a person is not supposed to lie even if the lie can yield more good. Deontology theory neglects what may do the greatest good if it hinders the moral restrictions. Additionally, since everything is supreme there isn't precedence and each moral is viewed being the same with others.

Virtue ethics theory

Virtue ethics theory is a moral approach that stresses the characteristic of the ethical agent other than consequences or rules, as the major aspect of moral thinking. This differs with consequentialism theory which embraces that the outcomes of a certain deed develops the foundation for any applicable ethical judgment on that deed  and deontology theory which derives wrongness and rightness from the nature of the deed itself other than the consequences. The focus of virtue ethics theory is on being other than doing.

The theory identifies desirable characteristics and virtues that the virtuous or moral person embodies. Possession of these virtues is what makes one moral and individuals deeds are a meager reflection of a person's inner morality. Pojman (2009) argues that virtue ethic theory articulates that an action cannot be utilized to demarcate morality, since good value includes more than a mere selection of the deed. Instead, it regards a way of being which could cause the individual possessing the good quality to make particular virtuous options consistently in every situation.

The most convincing theory is the consequentialism moral theory.  It assert that the moral character of a deed is determined by its outcomes and rejects the virtue ethics theory that views the moral character of an action as being determined by the performing agent and the deontologist ethical theory which views the ethical status of a deed as being determined by the form of act it is. Consequentialism views the worth of an action as significance in determining if it is morally wrong or right. Therefore an action is right if it maximizes the good and minimizes wrong and if it outcomes grants the greatest advantage to majority of people being influenced by the action in the impartial method possible.


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