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Virtue Ethics Essay

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❶A question of values:

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Virtue Ethics Essay Sample


Virtue ethics is defined as an, inner disposition to perform morally right acts of a certain kind; the tendency to act rightly by habit in a particular manner; a character trait that is deemed morally praiseworthy. The virtues have also been understood to be those qualities of character that make a person morally successful.

Ethicists in both the Greek and Christian moral traditions have sought to determine what traits are virtues. Recent years have witnessed a renewed interest in virtues, especially with the renaissance in virtue ethics or the ethic of being p.

Other definitions of virtue ethics have been described as positive traits which promote health, harmony, and balance Engel, A virtue is an acquired quality of character that allows one to achieve personal happiness.

Velasquez, Shanks, Andre and Meyer illustrated that a person that has developed the virtue of generosity is often referred to as a generous person because he or she tends to be generous in all circumstances no page. People are by nature creatures of habit. Therefore, in order to become virtuous it is necessary to repeat virtuous acts so those acts become habits.

The opposite of virtues are vices, which are negative traits that detract from health, harmony and balance. A vice can either be a lack of effort or an act of self indulgence. Vices are caused by impulses which are not regulated by virtues and many times the individual is unaware of their emotions Engel, , no page.

Virtues and vices must work together and balance out. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being extreme, a person who values the virtue of honesty and vows to always tell the truth no matter the circumstance or situation lacks harmony and balance.

On the other hand one can be an extreme 1 where the individual does not ever tell the truth. It is important to understand that being an extreme 1 or 10 on any virtuous scale is not a good thing. Aristotle is the father of virtue ethics theories; he studied ethics in a broad sense. He defined virtues of character as dispositions to act in certain ways in response to similar situations Engel, , no page.

The good for human beings must involve the entire proper function of human life as a whole Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, B. Aristotle also gave consideration to the aspects of human nature involved in acting and accepting moral responsibility.

For example, individuals that consistently practice the virtue of being fair will continuously expound their knowledge of fairness in every aspect of life. Blackburn pointed out that Aristotle emphasized becoming virtuous requires education and practice p.

Moral character must be taught and instilled gradually. Morality is a major component of virtue ethics. The word ethics has often been used as a synonym for morality Frankena, , p. According to Frankena, conceptual thinking and analysis seek to clarify moral concepts like virtue to elucidate the logic of moral reasoning , p.

Morality has been referred to as an action guide or standard of conduct. What Makes Us Moral? Most often morality is deemed as a type of character formation which determines how people should act and shape their lives Frankena, , p Essentially morality has been linked synonymously with moral judgment. Hollinger referred to moral judgment as a behavior in which people have a sense of oughtness and obligation , p. Moral judgment involves those decisions in particular situations where one choice may be better or worse than another.

According to Cothran , determining what is moral or immoral comes from either the understanding of new information or the application of information p.

It is out of a sense of obligation, and knowing right from wrong that has caused people to debate the morality of an issue. Halberstam proposed that there are three basic confusions about moral judgment p. First, morality is not a matter of taste. Second, moral judgments are not social judgments. Lastly, being moral does not equate to acting legally. How people choose to deal with issues tells the world who they are. How do you make a moral decision?

You can flip a coin. You can roll dice. Usually people go with their gut instincts. Moral reflection is essentially self actualization which compels people to analyze their decisions. Typically people debate about social issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and everyday personal concerns.

These issues are moral judgments not a matter of taste or preference. Americans have enacted laws based on moral concerns not matters of taste. Moral issues are routinely taken to Congress in order to enact laws concerning American citizens. Many people confuse moral judgments with social judgments.

Halberstam researched Southeast Asians cuisine and found many Asians consider monkey brains to be a delicacy p. Asians frequently dine on monkey brains, which most Americans would find repulsive. However, consumption of monkey brains is no more a moral repulsion than consumption of fried chickens. The issue of whether or not to dine on monkey brains would usually be considered a social judgment not a moral judgment Halberstam, , p. However, if a particular culture worshiped monkeys then the issue could be considered a moral judgment.

Moral judgments, unlike matters of taste are supported by reason Halberstam, , p. People are allowed to prefer a certain food over another, the same as they are allowed to prefer wearing clothes made by a particular designer over another. An example of moral judgment would be presented if a designer employed children in sweatshops to make his or her clothes.

Moral beliefs are inner beliefs that ultimately guide outward actions. Morality and the law are often connected. For example some comedians tell sexist and ethnic jokes. Legally the comedian has a right to free speech, however those jokes may be considered morally offensive. In most societies people want the law to reflect morality, but there is a fine line between the two. Therefore most people haven chosen not to make being a liar an illegal act; only to question the morality and character of people that lie.

The main virtues that support business transactions are: Lack of any of the previously mentioned virtues can severely hinder and harm a business.

According to Lewis in A Question of Vales: Being honest and truthful has been found to be the most emotionally challenged and judged virtue. Integrity incorporates a broad range of ethical characteristics. You could say that to maintain integrity is to avoid situations that violate your sense of completeness or wholeness. You are a lawyer with a firm and you are propositioned by a client to do legal work outside of the firm. You feel this opportunity may help you advance in your career. Also the likelihood of anyone finding out about this business transaction is unlikely.

If you were a person of integrity what would you do? I you value the virtue of integrity you would likely decline the offer, due to your loyalty and commitment to the firm. Individuals that value integrity usually value honesty as well. On the other hand individuals that have not fully developed their sense of virtue emotionally agonize between being truthful and being dishonest. This is important to Aristotle's thesis because these choices are applied to virtue.

He arrives at the theory that virtue is a disposition through augment by elimination. Virtue is a character trait, and character traits are part of an individual. If virtue is part of the soul then it must be a disposition, a feeling, or a capacity.

In class we used the example of a drunk driver causing a car accident and seriously injuring another person. Most people would hold the drunk driver entirely responsible for the other driver's injuries and any suffering the other driver experiences in regards to the accident. It is not considered virtuous to drink and drive, meaning that a bad character trait is expressed by a drunk driver.

The action of drunk driving is important, but not because it is inherently wrong. Even if someone has a thought or feelings about driving drunk, they cannot be held accountable for the thought and feelings if they do not act on them. In the example, the drunken person acted on the desire to drive and created an unfavorable situation. The individual cannot be held accountable for the desire to drive, only for acting on the desire.

Since people can't be held accountable for their emotions, virtue is not an emotion. Using the same example, we can prove that virtue is not a capacity.

Everyone is capable of getting drunk, driving a car, and causing an accident. Just because everyone is capable of these things does not mean that everyone will do them.

Since we are all capable of basically the same things, but we do not all fulfill these capacities we cannot be held accountable for them. The only thing that virtue could be is a disposition, because it is not a feeling or a capacity. Since virtue is a disposition we are responsible for the choices that we make based on personal vice and virtue. How virtuous a person is determines how they will behave in a given situation.

Aristotle argued that since different people may act differently in the same situation there are no inherently bad actions. The Virtue Theory claims that an action is good if performed by a person based on virtue and bad if performed based on vice. This enforces the thesis that virtue is a disposition because a virtuous person will theoretically make the right choice in any situation.

Arguments can be made both for and against this thesis. One example of where the thesis can be applied is in the situation of self-defense. If a woman is attacked by a man with a gun and is about to be violently raped, but somehow gets the gun away from the man and shoots him to save herself, it will not be said that she is a bad person or that what she did was wrong.

It will most likely be said that she is brave and that she did what was right given the situation. An argument against the thesis is that some actions are morally wrong on every level.

Christianity and Judaism both describe actions that are bad, independent of the person performing the action.


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Aristotle Virtue Ethics Essays Words | 4 Pages. Aristotle's Virtue Ethics The philosophy of virtue ethics, which primarily deals with the ways in which a person should live, has puzzled philosophers from the beginning of time. There are many contrasting interpretations regarding how one should live his or her life in the best way possible.

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Virtue ethics is a system of ethics that emphasizes on the virtues or the moral character of the people. This means that it is based on what the person had done if he .

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Virtue Ethics Essay Examples. 12 total results. An Essay on the Principle of Virtue Ethics. 1, words. 3 pages. A Look at the Four Major Ethical Theories and Their Differences in Orientations. words. 1 page. The Adaption of the Philosophy of Ethics. words. 2 pages. Essay on Virtue Ethics - Virtue Ethics Virtue ethics is a theory used to make moral decisions. It does not rely on religion, society or culture; it only depends on the individuals themselves. The main philosopher of Virtue Ethics is Aristotle. His theory was originally introduced in ancient Greek times.

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- In this essay I will consider the objections to Virtue Ethics (VE) raised by Robert Louden in his article entitled On Some Vices of Virtue Ethics which was published in It is important to note at the . Introduction Virtue Ethics started in the years of Socrates and Plato’s era wherein they explained and argued that knowledge consists of both good and evil. They also stated that there is an inert quality in every man, the desire to be good and to perform kindness to others.