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Compare and contrast the key features of Natural Moral Law & Virtue Ethics

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  • Essay length: 1649 words
  • Submitted: 15/02/2010
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AS and A Level Christianity

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Compare and contrast the key features of Natural Moral Law and Virtue Ethics

Virtue Ethics is a character based ethical theory. This means that it looks at the virtue or moral character of the individual carrying out an action, rather than at ethical laws, or the consequences of particular actions. Rather than attempting to reason what should be considered 'good' or 'bad', virtue ethics focuses on how adopting certain attitudes may lead to certain fulfilments.

Virtue ethics is principally concerned with the idea of the human character and asks how you can be a better person. In this way it is different to many other ethical theories as it puts right character before right behaviour. It argues we should be less concerned with actions and consequences, and much more with the character of the moral agent. The question 'what is it right or obligatory to do?' is nowhere near as important in virtue ethics as the question, 'how should we be?'

The principles of virtue ethics are that 1. An action is only right if it is an action that a virtuous person would carry out in the same circumstances. 2. A virtuous person is

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