Sherry Johnson Metz
Ethics & Theory
Ethics can be defined as the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, or class of people. Ethics also deals with the moral principles of an individual. Virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics are the three main categories of theory dealing with ethics and the human decision making process. According to Boylan, “Virtue ethics is also sometimes called agent-based or character ethics. It takes the viewpoint that in living your life you should try to cultivate excellence in all that you do and all that others do.” (2009) Virtue ethics is driven by what is called absolute good. Absolute good is characterized as striving for perfection or being a perfectionist. An example of how I have used the virtue theory is when I was in high school; I wasn’t good at pre-algebra so I practiced day in and day out on perfecting my algebra skills by staying after school and being tutored by my teacher. The decision I made to perfect my math skills is a form of absolute good and helped me to get myself prepared for the Georgia high school graduation test. The second theory of ethics is called utilitarianism. The theory of utilitarianism involves making decisions based on the greater good of the team or group. An example of utilitarianism theory can be observed when I receive a paycheck from my workplace that is just enough to pay bills, and instead of spending it all on things “I” want; I use it to pay rent to keep my two kids, wife, and dog living in a productive stress free environment. Deontology theory is the third theory that pertains to ethics. According to Boylan, “Deontology is a moral theory that emphasizes one’s duty to do a particular action just because the action, itself, is inherently right and not through any other sorts of calculations—such as the consequences of the action.”(2009)...