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Virtue Ethics is of little practical use to someone faced with a dilemma. Discuss.

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Introduction

Virtue Ethics is of little practical use to someone faced with a dilemma. Discuss. On the surface, it appears that virtue ethics is a plausible theory; however, when analysed critically, this is not so. Virtues Ethics merely concentrates on what a person should be and what is that that makes a person good, rather than determining what is good. This, as expressed by Louden, is not of a benefit to someone faced with a moral dilemma. Louden writes that 'We ought, of course, to do what the virtuous person would do, but it is not always easy to fathom what the hypothetical moral exemplar would do were he in our shoes.' ...read more.

Middle

This is echoed in the view of Rosalind Hursthouse. In her book, she shows how virtue theory might apply to issues such as abortion. When Virtue theory is assessed, it is said that to strive for the ideal, which is to strive towards the virtuous person. But what is the virtuous person, if they do indeed exist? Do all virtuous people bare the same qualities? If not, which one do we opt to be like? However, although many arguments suggest that virtue theory is of little help when faced with a moral dilemma, an argument in favour of this premise is that a virtue, when practiced enough, becomes habit. ...read more.

Conclusion

There must, therefore, be some sort of relation to the end result. In conclusion, Virtue Theory does not determine what is right, or wrong, and looks at 'being' rather than 'doing.' Although it could be said that the doing follows on from the being, it is sometimes harder to determine what the being is. How do we know the right way to live? If we think correctly, then surely, in turn, we will act correctly. But what is the definition of living 'correctly?' Virtue theory can help those with a moral dilemma, if a person follows certain virtues, but, virtues can be misinterpreted, and mean different things to different people. Therefore, the virtue 'be brave' could be misinterpreted and an empty statement. ...read more.

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