Normative ethics is a component of ethics that explores the criteria of what is right and what is wrong. It involves the creation of moral rules that affect our actions, those of larger groups and life in general. As it explores how basic moral standards are created and justified, the generated answers fall within certain categories. This paper will explore and contrast three types: virtue ethics, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics.
Deontological ethics place emphasis on the relationship between duty and the morality of our actions. Here, an action is considered morally good because of some trait of the action itself, not the end result. In other ...view middle of the document...
The reason I do this is because I believe it is my duty to follow the full and literal set of policies provided to me. If I chose to disregard this and ask new applicants to simply text me a snapshot of their ID’s, it might seem I am being time-efficient. However, I might be opening up my company up to liability for accepting potentially forged documents, for example.
Utilitarianism ethics refers to the view that the morally correct action is the action that produces the most good, maximizes happiness and reduces suffering. Unlike deontological ethics, it’s key concern is with the end result itself and not so much the action. As long as the course of action results in the maximum benefits for the collective, utilitarianism does not seem to care about the morality of we got there - even if said benefits were achieved thru manipulation and lies. This type of principle truly upholds the old adage, ‘the end justifies the means”. In many ways, it can be construed as a direct opposite of deontological ethics, because of its focus on the intent of arriving to a result that is better for the “greater good”. Deontological ethics dictate action regardless of the end result as long as this action upholds duty.
A personal experience I can relate to this type of ethics is one that hits close to home. During my teenage years, I discovered my father no longer loved my mother. We were a family of 5, myself being the oldest of three. My father lived a very unhappy life for many years as he no longer felt the satisfaction of a functional marriage. Rather than divorcing my mother, he continued on for 15 years. His rationale was that he would rather be unhappy than inflict the pain of a separation on our family and break us apart. Unlike many other families that have done this, but simply fight and make the situation worse, my father never showed us his unhappiness. I knew...