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The Moral Theories Utilitarianism Deontology and Virtue Ethics Essay
Respond to one of these prompts and be clear about which one you are referring to:
PROMPT #1: MORAL THEORIES. Which of the three moral theories discussed in lecture — utilitarianism (Mill), deontology (Kant), and virtue ethics (Aristotle) — do you support? Explain your answer. Could these theories be combined?
PROMPT #2: TECHNOLOGICAL INSTRUMENTALISM. Kevin Kelly (founder of Wired magazine) claims that no technology is ever completely out of bounds. Having a new technology is always an unalloyed good. It is always better to have a new technology at our disposal and simply seek to manage it properly. Do you agree with Kevin Kelly? Explain your answer.
PROMPT #3: RISK ASSESSMENT. “Cost-benefit analysis is designed as a method of quantification, so it surely is better able to deal with more quantifiable aspects of the issues it confronts. But this limitation is in itself ethically neutral unless it can be shown that the quantifiable considerations systematically push decisions in a particular direction.
Its detractors must show that the errors of cost-benefit analysis are systematically unjust or ineffective – for example, that it frequently helps the rich at the expense of the poor, or despoils the environment to the benefit of industry, or vice versa.” (Leonard & Zeckhauser 1983: 8). Do you agree with this position? Explain your answer.
Student 1: Prompt 1: Moral Theories
When it comes to the three moral theories, I think they are all severely flawed. If I had to pick one between all of the three, I would pick virtue ethics because it is not as rigid as the other two. Plus, it allows you to access the situation and make adjustments on the fly. I don’t like utilitarianism because in the end it promotes the greatest happiness for the most people.
This means that sometimes this could be at the expense of the minority population. An example would be the Myanmar Rohingya situation. According to a utilitarian killing the Muslim minority Rohingya and taking away their homes is in the best interest in promoting the greatest happiness in the Buddhist majority country, so therefore it is ok to do since the rest of the population would benefit.
Kant’s categorical imperative does sound good and is close to the golden rule. One problem is that it is too rigid. One example states that you must never lie no matter what. This is a big deal because in some situations it is better to lie. A better example on when it is ok to lie that doesn’t involve life or death at least in some cases is lying because some people can’t handle the truth.
Let’s say for instance that your significant other asks you if they look fat. Well according to Kant you must not tell a lie. This means pretty soon you won’t have a significant other much longer. Another flaw in Kant’s moral theory, and I’m pretty sure PETA will agree with me is his treatment of animals.
Aristotle had a list of problems with his moral theories and ideology overall if we judge him to today’s standards, such as owning slaves and being a misogynist. The best thing to do when it comes to the moral theories, as painstaking and time consuming as it may be is to access the situation first and use an amalgamation of sorts.
Student 2: PROMPT 1: MORAL THEORIES
Among the three moral theories, I support most on utilitarianism. It considers the moral goodness of decision-making or action by positioning its moral superiority in human feelings to bring greater happiness and happiness to most people. People can make decisions based on what will benefit the majority.
However, utilitarianism has some negative impacts and consequences. Decision-makers are forced to guess the potential outcome of their choices, rather than looking at the preferences or actions themselves, to determine ethics. All moral theories are ethical philosophies that describe the morality of an action or a decision.