Ethical Theories

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Ethical Theories

What are ethics? Ethics are a set of principles and practices that govern human conduct. To me, ethics are values that guide us in everyday choices and actions.   They assist us in determining the course of our lives. There are many people in our society who do things that are ethically right to them based on their culture. There are others who do ethical things as an individual. Who is right or wrong? There are many theorists who believe that ethics is based on reason and not emotions or vice versa, some theorists who strictly go by the social contract theory, and others who believe whole hearted in virtue ethics. No theorist is wrong or right, but one thing that is correct for all of them as stated by Waller in Consider Ethics: Theory, Readings, and Contemporary Issues , is that “Regardless, all of them give arguments for their views, and those arguments must be critically examined” (waller, p. 1).

In our reading we have examined four ethical theories.   They are the rights theory, justice theory, utilitarianism, and profit maximization (mallor, et al p. 130).   The rights theory focuses on the individual.   The text offers the following description of the rights theory, “rights theory may protect a person’s right to clean drinking water regardless of its cost, …”(mallor, et al p. 134).   The justice theory focuses on the idea that it is right for governments to redistribute wealth to help the poor and disadvantaged (mallor, et al 2009).   It argues for “a just distribution of society’s resources by which a society’s benefits and burdens are allocated fairly among its members“ (mallor, et al p. 132).   Utilitarianism needs the decision-maker to examine society as a whole and act in a way that benefits everyone in society (mallor, et al p. 133).   The last of the...