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Ethical frameworks

The lessons that were taught in this week were really useful and interesting for me. By today, I have noticed that there are many kinds of ethics and in fact each individual has different ethical and moral perspective, which can be quite different even from his family members and his nearest relatives. There were about 5 different types of ethics that were discussed during this week which were Relativist ethics, Divine ethics, utilitarian ethics, Deontology ethics and Virtue ethics.

Ethical relativism is the position that there are no moral absolutes, no moral right and wrongs.  Instead, right and wrong are based on social norms. It depends on situation, beliefs and culture. People who have this kind of ethical principle usually follow what seems more comfortable because it seems like everybody is doing that. In my opinion, following the majority is not always a good way. If just because a group of people think that something is right, does not make it so. For example slavery is a good reason. Two hundred years ago on America, slavery was the norm and it was morally acceptable for people, but now it is not and most of people condemn it as it is absolute discrimination against a particular group.

The next is Divine ethics. Divine ethics essentially teaches that a thing (i.e., action, behavior, choice, etc.) is good because God commands it to be done and evil because God forbids it from being done. Thus to say that it is good to love our neighbors is semantically equivalent to saying God commands us to love our neighbors. Similarly, it is evil to commit murder because God forbids us to murder another. People with these principles are often religious people who do whatever their religion asks them to do and therefore culture and majority do not matter for them.

Utilitarian ethics is an ethical framework which focuses on outcomes and consequences of actions rather than anything else. People in this category believe that everything or anything can be ethical only when if more people benefit. Utilitarian people when face any ethical dilemma ask “what is my goal? What outcomes should I aim for?” which are clear that depend on the result.

Deontology ethics is another type of ethics which is totally about duty, rules and obligations. It says that moral rules and duties are the most important and they should be obeyed and followed all the time. On the other hand, the other type of ethics which is Virtue ethics insist on what a person himself or herself thinks. It also depends on situation and more on a person’s character.

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