The chart below outlines 5 ethical perspectives.
Read each one and make a determination about what perspective you personally identify with.
As a group, create a set of questions and answers that could test a person (like a personality test) to determine which theory they subscribe to. Create at least 5 questions.
Sample question: You are at a restaurant and when you receive the bill you find that the server forgot to put your drinks on the bill (saving you about $15 dollars). What do you do?
a) Inform the server, you shouldn't not pay for an item or service you received. (Moral Rules)
b) Inform the server, it is the right thing to do and you want to be a good role model to your children. (Virtues)
c) Do not inform the sever, but give him a larger tip, that way you both benefit. (Outcomes)
d) Inform the server, it would harm the company to not pay for item . (Principles)
|Ethical Theory||Duty-Based Ethics||Virtue-Based Ethics||Consequence Ethics||Principle-Based Ethics|
|Description||Actions (independent of consequences) are right or wrong. We are all obliged to fulfill our duties and to act to fulfill these duties||Attitudes and character traits enables us to develop our human potential (honesty, integrity, faith..)||Consequence of actions must uphold the well-being of all. Choose actions that produce the overall greatest benefit||Four principles form a set of pillars for moral life: respect for autonomy, justice, doing no harm, and ultimately doing good|
|What would a person from such an approach say?|| “Whenever I am , I shall . Whenever anyone is , he or she will .”
“The ends do not justify the means.”
"Rules should not be broken, they are there for a reason"
| “What is ethical is what develops moral virtues in ourselves and our community.”
“It takes a virtuous person to act in a virtuous manner; if you always act in a virtuous manner, you are a virtuous person.”
| “Of any two actions, the most ethical one will produce the greatest balance of benefits.”
“The ends do justify the means.”
| “Uphold the pillars whenever possible according to the situation.”
“Take the agent, act, and consequence all into consideration and proceed in the path that follows the principles.”
|Contributions|| -Offers consistent rules to follow
-Recognizes role-related duties in society
|Encourages cultivation of human excellence|| -Directs attention to consequences
-Considers interests of all persons equally
|Draws on principles familiar to American life (Truth, Justice, and the American Way)|
|Challenges||Sometimes obligations conflict||Lack of consensus regarding essential virtues, could be based upon religious doctrine|| -Bad acts are permissible
-Interests of the majority can override minority
-Can’t predict all outcomes
|Principles can conflict|