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Ethics - Essay Example

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Ethical Systems number: PHI208 Megan McLaughlin Date submitted: 6/27/13 ETHICAL SYSTEMS Introduction In order to explain morality and ethics, about five or more systems of ethics have been developed. Ethical relativism is one such ethical system, which contends that there are no universally valid principles (Wundt, 2010)…
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Download file to see previous pages A third system of ethics is the deontological theory that lays emphasis on self-rule, acts of kindness, and universal justice. The fourth ethical theory is the virtue ethics. This theory contends that morals exist internally, laying more emphasis on the production of individuals who act ethically because they are naturally good people. Utilitarianism is the fifth widely accepted system of ethics. According to this theory, utilitarianism as a theory of ethics contends that actions need to be considered as wrong or right with regards to the consequences that the actions have. The theory makes an argument that good actions are those that give great happiness to as many individuals as possible (Wundt, 2010). Despite the fact that utilitarianism as an ethical theory has come in for some criticism, especially from the philosophical side, the theory is the most convincing of all the other mentioned ethical systems. Utilitarian Ethical System Utilitarianism as an ethical theory can be dated as far back as the 17th century. The theory is attributed to Thomas Hobbes, who was an ancient student of philosophy before it was reviewed Bentham in the 18th century and Stuart Mill reviewed it later (Ekland-Olson & Dirks, 2011). Stuart mill is regarded as the utilitarian theory’s father with research showing that, following his review of the theory, the theory became part of modern thought. Many people view the theory as a viable alternative to the more accepted Christianity. The reason that it is the most convincing of all the other ethical theories is because it tends to make a judgment on an act as either wrong or right depending on the act’s outcome (Ekland-Olson & Dirks, 2011). The implication of this is that, the utilitarian theory enables people to consider what consequence the act has before they elect to pursue a policy or action over other options that are available to them. When an individual considers the consequences of their individual actions, the theory allows them to take other persons’ interests into account, rather than just their own personal interests. This is highly convincing when considered as an ethical system. Ethics involves doing what is right with regards to the interest of other individuals instead of doing it to suit one’s own interests. Thus, it is clear that the utilitarian ethical system is focused on the creation of a happier existence for as many persons in the society as possible (Ekland-Olson & Dirks, 2011). This factor makes the theory more convincing than others do. Utilitarianism is also made more convincing as a system of ethics by yet another factor that is its practicability and rationality. The utilitarianism ethics have their basis on a balanced calculation on how many persons can have their happiness and satisfaction maximized by the actions taken and their consequences (Smart, 2011). This is simple and clear, and through the application of utilitarianism as a fundamental standard for the judgment of what is wrong and what is right, it avoids the contamination of the moral of morality with perceptions that are irrational, feelings, as well as prejudices. The most essential factor that conveys the highly convincing status to this particular system of ethics is the fact that there is practicality in the rational computation principle (Smart, 2011). As an ethical system, the utilitarian t ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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