My Ethical Theory
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MY ETHICAL THEORY
My Ethical Theory
How we know what makes an action moral or immoral is a challenging task. Evidently, there is a wide variety of ways that people take to approach ethics. However, I think the best way to approach ethics is through the virtue approach. I believe so because this approach emphasizes one’s character as the key element in ethical thinking. The personal character is inseparable with good or bad actions of someone. As seen in the assigned reading, knowing what makes an action moral or immoral is not necessarily the intentions or motives of the action. However, one’s character and motivation have it all. To explain how we can know what makes an action moral or immoral one has to focus on understanding the Christianity morality. To do so, one has to know the key elements of moral action which include the objective action, subjective intention and concrete situation in which such an act is done. I will focus on this three principles eudaimonism, ethics of care and agent-based theories to explain how we can know what makes an action moral or immoral.
Eudaimonism is defined as the classical formulation of ethics virtue.[footnoteRef:1] Eudaimonism holds that the proper goal of human life is happiness, well-being or a good life. The advantage part of this goal is that the virtues can be achieved by lifetime practicing. In other words, one’s everyday activities that are subject to exercising practical wisdom to resolve conflict or ethical dilemmas that arise are helpful. However, this goal has a weakness of being seen as an objective and not subjective by a well-lived life. This means that the action would be moral if the objective is good. On the other hand, some actions would be immoral despite their intentions or reasons behind the actions. For instance, direct killing and rape are immoral despite the circumstances behind the actions. It is also important to note that virtue is habit or quality that allows one to be successful at their purpose. In general, this goal aspires to set virtues. [1: Besser, Lorraine L., and Michael Slote, eds. The Routledge companion to virtue ethics. ]
The next evaluating principle is the ethics of care. Ethics of care is meant to change how we view morality and virtues. This goal takes in to account the virtues exemplified by the women such as taking care of others, self-sacrifice, and patience. In doing so, the marginalized communities in the society are adequately valued through their contributions. The weakness of this goal is that the right thing can be put aside to consider the interests of those close to one. In simple words, one is finding the balance within and between the values. The idea is that motivation by good intentions to objectively do good makes an action moral. The opposite is also true.
In the last principle which is agent-based theories, common-sense intuitions about character traits are taken into account of virtues.[footnoteRef:2] The character traits that one can look at someone and admire include benevolence, compassion, kindness among others. Worth noting is that the evaluation of actions is dependent on ethical judgments of the agent’s inner life.[footnoteRef:3] In other words, the circumstances that are surrounding the action performed make the act moral or immoral. Circumstances include time, place and person involved in the action. More importantly, one cannot do a wrong action and expect the action to be moral and vice-verse. The aim of agent-based theories is to help in avoiding a set of vices. [2: Van Hooft, Stan. Understanding virtue ethics. Routledge, 2014. ] [3: Ibid. ]
Besser, Lorraine L., and Michael Slote, eds. The Routledge companion to virtue ethics. Routledge, 2015.
Van Hooft, Stan. Understanding virtue ethics. Routledge, 2014.