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Outline The Criticisms Of Action Based Ethical Systems

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Outline The Criticisms Of Action Based Ethical Systems One criticism would be that Action- Based Ethics lack a motivational component. Critics claim that action based ethics are uninspiring and very negative. They would say that it fails to inspire someone to action. Most of the commandments and rules in such systems are innately negative "Thou shalt not..." There is something unfit about a morality which is so unevenly defined in terms of "Thou shalt nots", emphasising innocence instead of an "energetic pursuit of the Good". The only sure principle is a reciprocal duty to do no harm. This kind of theory places a very low value on morality, judging it mainly as a necessary evil. The aretaist rejects this judgement, they see morality as an intrinsically worthwhile activity. ...read more.


In this regard, the legalistic bent of modern moral theory has the effect of weakening the spirit of morality. Rules often get in the way of kindness and spontaneous charity. Also, action based ethics often ignore the spiritual dimension of ethics. Action based ethics reduce all moral judgement to judgements about actions and neglect the spiritual qualities of gratitude, self respect, sympathy, having one's emotions in proper order, and aspiring to become a certain kind of person. Virtue ethicists often cite Kant's theory as a model of an anti- virtue ethics. They point out that a trial of Kant's extreme action- centred approach highlights the need for a virtue alternative. For Kant; natural goodness is morally irrelevant. The fact that you actually want to help someone is of no moral importance. ...read more.


We don't make moral decisions as rational atoms in a vacuum, and it is sheer ideological sightlessness that allows this disfigured perception. It is in communities that such virtues as loyalty, natural affection, spontaneous sympathy, and shared concerns arise and sustain the group. It is out of this primary loyalty that the proper dispositions arise that flow out to the rest of humanity. Seeing how people actually learn to be moral and how they are inspired to act morally is vital to moral theory itself, and this, it seems, has everything to do with the virtues. In conclusion, rule-governed systems are uninspiring and unmotivating, negative, improperly legalistic, neglectful of the spiritual dimension, overly rationalistic, and atomistic. Against this background of dissatisfaction with traditional moral theory, virtue ethics has reasserted itself as offering something that captures the essence of the moral point of view. ...read more.

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