What Are Virtue Ethical Theories

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Disaster strikes Many ethical theories can be applied to the situations in our lives. People tend to be consistent in their actions from day by day. This means that people act according to an idea of how they think they should act. However, what if a disaster strikes suddenly? Do people act the way they normally do or does behavior change because of the situation. This is the story of Sarah and her children. A disaster strikes and Sarah has to make some hard choices. A variety of ethical theories can be applied to Sarah’s situation from our textbook and many would help Sarah to guide her in this intense circumstance. The ethical theories that I think best apply to Sarah in the disaster are Act-utilitarianism, Virtue Ethics, and Ethical Egoism. …show more content…
Virtue Ethics argues that the “theory of morality that makes virtue the central concern (136). As virtue is the focus of this ethical theory, it is best to define specifically what it means. According to Vaughn “Virtue is a stable disposition to act and feel according to some ideal or model of excellence” (137). Applying virtue ethics to Sarah’s situation, she has to agree that with behavioral extremes it is important to have a middle ground because if she becomes too overwhelmed or even not caring in this situation it could cause a degree of backlash. A virtue ethicist would tell Sarah that her character trait, such as honesty, should guide her in the disaster situation just like it guides her in daily life. The situation really does not matter, rather it is the constant character trait that is vital. Sarah’s action in the disaster should be consistent with her actions at other times. Sometimes, the right thing doesn’t always work out to make a person happy, but it is still important to act with virtue since it is seen as the right thing by society. Therefore, Sarah needs to adhere to the “Golden Mean”, the “balance between two behavioral extremes” (137). In essence, doing the right thing in this situation is what matters, even though it might not make her happy, will be the middle ground. The ethics of virtue would tell Sarah to be brave and put others before herself. She would have to come up …show more content…
I thought this was interesting because it’s about doing what’s best for yourself and not others. I think people use this every day whether they know they are or not. When we are put in a hard situation, we normally think about how the outcome will affect ourselves before we think about others. Applying Ethical Egoism to the disaster, Sarah needs to pay attention to one 's own interests since it is the most effective means to furthering the interests of Sarah and her children. There are times where we need to do what 's best for ourselves, such as the disaster that Sarah and her children are facing, and forget about everyone else for a while. I would assume that Sarah would certainly not follow this theory all the time because she would feel like that could make her a very selfish person. However, I found it most interesting because most of us are raised to be humble and honest. This theory almost seems to be the opposite of that. The textbook brings up the fact that most people would probably begin to resent you if you acted upon this theory all the time. Many of us have told white lies in order to prevent some sort of conflict from arising. If preventing this conflict was in your own best interest, this would be ethical egoism. Of course, egoists don 't always disregard the welfare of others,

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