Ethical Frameworks

During this week, we had a very fascinating discussion with Mr. Jaime. At this point we learned new things which will help us in deciding very important matters in our daily life. We have discussed the 5 ethical frameworks namely: relativist, divine command, utilitarian, and deontology and virtue ethics.

Firstly, relativist ethics is when ethical decisions are based only on what looks right or realistic according to one’s own belief. It depends on everyone in the society. For instance, a relativist ethicist asks question like: Is this ethical in this community? The reply would be anything is good if the community believes so. This framework promotes tolerance of other cultures.

Secondly, divine command ethics is where a situation is determined by God’s law. Anything that complies with God’s law is right and anything that breaks it is wrong and not acceptable. For instance, a divine command ethicist asks question like: Is this considered ethical in the eyes of my God and my religion? (Anything is good if God says so and my religion permits it).

Thirdly, utilitarian ethics is where a situation depends on the consequences. This framework says that anything should be judged as right or wrong based on results or effects. If the outcome of doing something benefits a lot of people then it’s right and vice versa.

Fourth, deontology ethics is that a situation depends on the rules. If it follow rules, duty or an obligation then it is considered right. In this framework moral rules and duty is more important.

Lastly, virtue ethics is depends on a person’s character. If the one who did it is a good person so it is considered as good. In this case, the character of a person who is acting is more important rather than rules.

Honestly speaking, I was not aware of my ethical thinking style before until I got to know this. During the class, I found out that my ethical think style is based on relativist followed by the divine command ethics. If I am to do something, I check whether an action that I am about to take is right or wrong depends on the moral norms of the society in which it is practiced. The same action may be morally right in one society but be morally wrong in another. I personally prefer relativist ethical framework though there are some weakness in practicing that.

Prepared by: Wai Wai Ko


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