Ethics, Virtue Ethics And Ethics

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There are several different opinions on how certain situations or events should be handled based on people morals and ethics. Is it ethical to torture a terrorist prisoner who has potential of advocating a devastating attack in the united states soil, possibly killing a numerous number of citizens? There are several different theories that I will be giving examples to how each theory may handle this particular situation as well as providing my personal opinion. The different theories are: utilitarianism, Kantian duty-based ethics, virtue ethics, and Christian-principle based ethics. Considering how a utilitarian would handle this situation is he or she would first ask the question is reducing moral judgments to the question maximizing benefits for oneself or for the general whole of the population? From the facts giving this could possibly be an endangerment for the majority of the populations. According to Mill, “we should respect the rights and liberties of others for the sake of maximizing the common good and only restrict those liberties to avoid harm to others” (Holmes, 2007, p. 47). In this case the utilitarian would torture the potential terrorist even though he hasn’t legally committed a crime only to protect the greater good of the population.
In order to understand Kantian duty-based ethics one must understand deontology, which is the study of the nature of “duty and obligation.” The Kantian duty-based ethics is an example of a deontological moral theory. In this particular theory Kantian believes that the rightness or wrongness of actions does not depend on their consequences but on the bases of fulfilling our duty, which he called The Categorical Imperative. For example, “would you lie to save a Jewish neighbor from ...

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...lso between the nations of the world: these should be our concern as they are God’s” (Holmes,2007, P. 54). This evidently shows that one can’t display justice, love, and peace, therefore, from a Christian-principle perspective it wouldn’t be ethical to torture the potential terrorist based upon the Christian-principle based ethics theory.

From my personal worldview, I believe Kantian duty-based ethics is the best way to handle this situation, even though, I am a Christian. I feel like there should be an obligation or duty to do what is good especially in a cause such as taking the proper procedures on handling a terrorist that is withholding information that could bring potential disaster to the country. The rightness or wrongness of actions should not depend on their consequences, but whether they fulfil our duty in the act of doing something for a greater cause.
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