The Final Theory Of Morality Essay example

The Final Theory Of Morality Essay example

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The final theory of morality that I will discuss is the virtue theory. The virtue theory is simply based on virtues and vices; virtues being good or desirable character traits and vices being bad or undesirable character traits. This theory focuses more on living a good life and striving to have good virtues rather than just focusing on actions alone. Virtue ethics also believes that is important to not only do the right thing, but to have the proper motives behind doing what is right. The greatest emphasis is placed on being a good person.
Aristotle is the one who laid down the foundation for virtue-based ethical viewpoint. His theory is called nicomachean ethics and states that virtues are characteristics that allow people to live well in order to achieve what he called eudaimonia, meaning the ultimate happiness. He believed that there were moral virtues and intellectual virtues and explained that one may be taught intellectual virtues, but moral virtues must be learned through experiences or acquired over our life. Moral virtues are things like kindness, honesty, and fairness whereas nonmoral virtues are things like patience, self-control, and courage. Aristotle also believed that the character of a person is something that is developed and something that we can work on. Without Aristotle’s work there may not have been a virtue theory.
The key weakness that the virtue theory has, in my opinion, is that it seems like a person can being displaying a virtuous quality such as courage, but they could be doing something that is wrong. For example, I think that a thief would need to be courageous in order to rob someone. So in the eyes of the virtue theory would the thief be a virtuous person since he was displaying cour...


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...st to determine what the right thing to do is. The virtue theory does the best job in recognizing that morality is a complex matter which is why I find it be the strongest theory. I mentioned that the key weakness of the virtue theory is that a person can be displaying a virtuous quality but not acting morally. If I was to argue on the behalf of the theory I would make the point that if one is of high character they would not display their virtuous qualities in morally wrong acts. Another common objective to the virtue theory is: how does one determine what is a virtue and what is vice in a world of different cultures? I would argue that it is up to each individual to interpret what constitutes as a virtue or vice. There is never going to be a theory of morality that is universally accepted or without weakness but the virtue theory gives the best overall case.

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