Essay: Ethical Theories: In Philosophy, Ethics

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Ethical Theories:

In philosophy, ethics is described as the systematic analysis of how people should behave toward themselves and others. It's also explained as the study of what character traits, things, or types of people are good, admirable, and estimable as well as those that are bad, worthy of condemnation, and at fault. While this field deals with general principles or rules, it also deals with specific cases. Some of the most common ethical perspectives that are used when analyzing the morality of various controversial topics include the Act and Rule Utilitarianism, virtue theory, and Kant's Categorical Imperative.

Approaches to Ethics:

The three major concerns in ethics is the certainty of correct moral beliefs, the process of deciding moral hard questions, and how to have a good life. These concerns are the basis of several approaches or perspectives of ethics that have been developed by various ethical theorists. According to Kant, the actual ethical concern is not the process of deciding what is right but it's the constant struggle to apply what is right regardless of the temptations and distractions.

The theory of ethical relativism states that the probability of an act to be right or wrong is dependent on the particular society that an individual lives in. In opposition to this theory, Kant argues that ethical principles are experienced as Categorical Imperatives or commands that order people to do something unconditionally despite of their aims, purposes, and wants. The other approach to ethics is the Utilitarianism theory which states that all people should always attempt to create the greatest happiness for a huge number of people. While it's also known as the Greatest Happiness Theory, the main doctrine behind Utilitarianism is the total identification of pleasure with good and pain with evil.

This doctrine is subdivided into the Act Utilitarianism and the Rule Utilitarianism with the former emphasizing that people should use the utility principle in deciding their actions despite of their position in the society. On the contrary, the Rule Utilitarianism states that governments should use utility principle in enacting general laws while treating everyone fairly. The virtue ethical principle focuses on character i.e. The kind of person an individual is instead of behavior i.e. The actions of a person (Wolff, 2012).

The Morality of Stem Cell Research:

One of the most controversial and hot button freedom limiting issues in today's society is the morality of stem cell research because it involves the destruction of a fetus or embryo. Stem cell research has generated a huge debate because some people consider it as the destruction of a potential human being. On the contrary, other people consider it as a significant discovery that could help… [END OF PREVIEW]

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