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Virtue Theory, Utilitarianism, and Deontological Ethics

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Virtue Theory, Utilitarianism, and Deontological Ethics

Virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics highlight different aspects of ethical theories. The virtue theory involves judging an individual by their character instead of judging the person by actions that differ from their normal behavior. When assessing unusual or irregular behavior that is unethical, virtue theory takes an individual's morals, reputation, and motivation into consideration. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory focusing on the worth of actions or choices that benefit all of the parties involved for the greater good. For a utilitarian, the choice that produces the greatest benefit to the most people is the choice that ethically correct. Last, deontological ethics, or deontology, is an ethical theory that focuses on the rightness or wrongness of actions themselves. "Deontological ethics are about following universal norms that prescribe what people ought to do, how they should behave, and what is right or wrong" (Staveren, 2007).

In comparison, each ethical theory provides its own significant feature to the decision-making process. Each theory tries to follow ethical principles but eventually all of them come up short with complex flaws and weaknesses. One weakness of the virtue theory is that it does not take a person's change in morals into consideration. For utilitarianism, this ethical theory fails to recognize that an individual's rights could possibly be violated just for the sake of the greater good. Lastly, deontological ethics can present moral dilemmas when duties are conflicting and there is no method or procedure to solving them. So in conclusion, if all of these theories are used in combination, an individual can easily choose the most ethically correct answer that applies to the scenario.

Values, morals and virtue are intimately tied together. Human morals and ethics entail a set of principles that define the standards that govern the conduct of a person, group or culture while virtue describes a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards. As a soldier, we undergo constant training on military core values. When it comes to the battle field, a soldier must know the two moral assessments concerning the use of military force. First is jus ad bellum, or justice toward war, which tries to determine which sets of political and military circumstances are sufficiently grave to warrant a military response (Cook, 2002). The second body of assessments, jus in bello, concerns the right conduct of military operations when using force against those who are morally and legally responsible for the attack (Cook, 2002). In summary, military ethics is about knowing what is true and then doing what is right and even after my discharge from the military these moral principles continue to stick with me even till now.





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