Virtue Ethics And The Natural Law Theory Essay

1016 Words Jun 18th, 2015 5 Pages
A final perspective used to examine this dilemma is virtue ethics, or the natural law theory. Virtue ethics was first created by Aristotle and is centered on the idea that the chief end of humans is obtaining eudaimonia or happiness. Happiness, as Aristotle described it, is only truly obtained through virtuous actions. “Moral virtues can best be acquired by practice and habit. They imply a right attitude toward pleasures and pains. A good man deliberately chooses to do what is noble and right for its own sake.”1 Aristotle believed that moral virtues needed practice and that the underlying reason for doing them should be simply because they are morally right. Therefore it is important to note that, “What is right in matters of moral conduct is usually a mean between two extremes.”1 The two extremes are vices, either of excess or deficiency, which are usually seen as immoral and undesirable. It is our duty to examine these vices and find the average between them, which is the desired virtue. It is inevitable that we be drawn toward one extreme over the other. In order to arrive at the virtuous mean, Aristotle proposed leaning towards the opposite extremes so as to land in the middle. Also, he was a strong proponent of using role models for ethical decision-making1. In this case, one should ask themselves, “would my actions here be an instance of either a virtue or vice and how would a truly virtuous person act in this situation?”
Looking at the situation in the…

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