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virtue ethis

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Explain Virtue Ethics.(33) Many important philosophers have made theories on virtue ethics from early Greek philosophers like Aristotle and Plato to modern philosophers such as Carol Gilligan, Alasdair MacIntyre, Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa foot, Slote and Noddings. Virtue ethics was originally introduced to society by Aristotle in ancient Greek times. Virtue ethics tells us that we should look at the character of the person instead of the actions or duties a person performs. Instead of concentrating on what is the right thing to do, virtue ethics asks how you can be a better person. Ethical questions, therefore, should not be about whether one or another choice is morally right, but whether the person himself or herself is a good person. The personal character of the person is what matters; morality is involved with developing your own virtues in order to become the right kind of person. Virtue ethics then, does not ask: "What is the right thing to do?" but "What sort of person should I aim to become?" Aristotle claims that leading a virtuous life is easy, and those who do, do so to be happy. Happiness is the ultimate goal for everyone in life. This is known as Eudaimonia. ...read more.


The virtue theory is therefore better suited to real life as the definition of a word doesn't always matter if people understand it any way without an exact definition. MacIntyre is also trying to find a way of enabling everybody to face or cope with different moral situations even though virtues improve or become clearer over time. Therefore what was seen a virtuous in the past may no be relevant in today's society because of changes to it, so virtues must adapt to suit the times, however this does not mean that virtues haven't been picked up and passed on and MacIntyre has identified this. 'Moral relativist theories are too vague to be used as guides to decision-making.' Discuss.(17) Many people would agree with this statement and argue that natural law theories are better to be used as a guide to decision-making as it is an absolute deontological view of morality. Natural law enables people to establish common rules in order to structure communities. Natural law goes beyond and religion or culture and works in the same way for every nationality. Natural law lays down rules that many people need to be able to walk in the right direction throughout life. ...read more.


Situation ethics encourages people to think for themselves and use their common sense instead of just following rules. Situation ethics also lets people decide on what is the most loving thing to do in a situation. Virtue ethics also places much less emphasis on what rules people should follow in their everyday life on earth an instead focuses on helping people develop their character such as kindness, caring and generosity. Therefore we are made into a better person. Certain virtues are necessary for correct moral decisions is to say that correct require correct motives. Also virtue theories promise that once we are successful in creating the sort of person we want to be, then arriving at and making decisions will come to us naturally for the rest of our lives as we have achieved the good person we want to be. Therefore many people would argue that natural law and absolute theories are too vague to be used as a guide for decision making as they does not give people the opportunity to be independent and make moral decisions using their own common sense in the same way as moral relativist theories do. Instead it just lays down rules that we should all follow without giving any independency or choice of what we believe is right and wrong. ...read more.

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