Ethics Of Duty And Virtue Essay, Research Paper
The most basic question in ethics of duty and ethics of virtue is what is human excellence, and how is it achieved?. However, the two fundamental approaches to answering this are significantly different. Ethics of duty focuses more on differentiating between what is morally right or wrong and on what our moral obligations are to ourselves and to our society. Some form of religion almost always goes along with ethics of duty because religions provide structured belief systems and moral codes that people could follow. An ethical person is someone who obeys the laws of the religion. On the other hand, ethics of virtue places more emphasis on the ideal of individual excellence and how each person has the ability to achieve it through reflection and the development of virtues. Virtues are attributes or traits that enable us to reach our full potential as human beings. In this approach to ethics, an ethical person is one who has developed many virtues, which help them act according to their moral principles.
Both approaches to ethics have pros and cons, but I think ethics of virtue/aspiration is more compelling because it places more focus on the individual rather than on his or her actions. Ethics of duty is good because people have a structured framework of what is morally right and wrong and gives them the knowledge of their moral obligations and what they should do to be an ethical person. However, ethics of duty often fails to recognize the importance of virtue in one s character. Instead of emphasizing how we should act, ethics of virtue focuses on how we should be and what we could become. I would much rather focus on improving myself and developing my full potential than focus on pleasing others by following a fixed set of rules that I may or may not like. Ethics of virtue doesn t have exact answers, which is good because it allows people to decide for themselves what they want to believe in. People have the capacity to expand their minds and develop without having to worry about how they are bad people because they disobeyed some ethical rule. They have the ability to form their own set of beliefs and make more contributions to their communities. Even though I like ethics of virtue better, ethics of duty is still a suitable approach to ethics because it works for many people.