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Ethics

   

Added on  2022-12-18

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Running head: ETHICS
ETHICS
Name of the student
Name of the university
Author note

1
ETHICS
Response to question 1:
Act Utilitarianism – This is a consequentialist theory according to which, an individual’s
act could be considered morally right if it results in the best possible outcomes in a given
situation. The theory suggests that any action is morally right if it leads to the happiness of the
greatest number of people (Mulgan 2015). Jeremy Bentham was one of the pioneers of act
utilitarianism and stated that people tend to look for pleasure and avoid pain whenever they have
the opportunity (Brunon-Ernst 2015). Apart from Bentham, John Stuart Mill and Henry
Sidgwick also contributed largely to this theory. Imagine a situation where one has the option of
spending an entire day watching television or doing charity work. The consequences of both the
situations will bring happiness but while watching television would only make a single person
happy, doing charity work will make a larger section happy.
One of the biggest strengths of act utilitarianism is that it is an approach, which is
morally academic and seeks the fairest outcome. The weakness is that it focuses on the happiness
as perceived by the individual; what makes the individual happy. It also has the weakness of not
being able to predict the outcomes.
Response to question 2:
Kant’s duty ethics – Known also as deontological ethics, Kant’s duty ethics could be
defined as the ethics that is concerned with what individuals do or act and not with the
consequences. In simple terms, the theory lays emphasis on the actions rather than on
consequences (Vaughn 2015). An example of deontology could be given in a situation where a
person has to lie to save his friend. According to deontological theory, it is wrong to lie even if it
means saving someone because lying is not a right action.

2
ETHICS
The strength of duty-based ethics is that it lays stress on each individual’s value and gives
respect to every human being (Ward 2018). As given in the example, lying is wrong because it
might result in saving a guilty person from punishment. Kant believed that whatever is good is
an essential and inseparable part of ethics. The weakness of the theory is that it is excessively
concentrated on the actions and gives no value to the consequences (Ward 2018). The example
demonstrates it clearly because if the person refuses to lie and save his friend, that person would
be thinking about his own happiness and not the happiness of the greater number of people.
Response to question 3:
Confucian role ethics – According to this theory, ethics relates mostly to the respect one
shows to one’s parents and family members. Here, the important thing is to fulfill the role of a
son, a daughter or any other role within one’s family. Confucian elaborated this in his text
Classic of Filial Piety where he stated, “In serving his parents, a filial son reveres them in daily
life” (Chungang 2015). Filial duty necessitates the wish to be filial and not just the act. For
example, a son looks after his parents and fulfills his role as a son completely. However, if the
son fulfills his role with the intention to gain something, then it is not right.
The biggest strength of this theory is that it emphasizes the virtues of an individual and
the way she or he uses these virtues to make other people’s lives better (Rosemont Jr and Ames
2016). The son is able to fulfill his role as a filial son only because he has virtues of a son. In
terms of weakness, the role ethics lacks focus especially regarding the determination of actions
that could be considered morally acceptable. For example, the son looks after his parents and
fulfills his responsibilities but commits sin in other role, it becomes difficult to state that the
person possesses virtues or he is ethical.

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