Virtue ethics as ethical framework
Week 7 lecture was the most interesting lecture that I have ever had in this whole trimester. In this week, the main topic is about the ethical framework and we have to examine ourselves which kind of ethical thinking style that we are applying or believing it is the best thinking style. I have never had a thought to examine myself that what kind of thinking style I am using now to determine the ethical issues. After this lecture, I have got a clear thought about the ethical thinking style and different kinds of framework to make the decisions of ethical issues. There are five main ethical frameworks was discussed under week 7 topic, they are –
Divine command ethics – ethical view as the religious point of view
Relativist ethics – as the view of society and following the majority beliefs
Utilitarian ethics – rely on the result of consequences
Deontology ethics – depends on the rules and regulations
Virtue ethics – ethical view depends on the intention of the doers
Among the above five frameworks, I have realized myself that I am applying and believing in the virtue ethics which is depended on the intention and character of the doer. Actually, I admit that virtue ethics is the best way of ethical thinking style in my point of view. Most of my ethical decisions are depended on my intention. As long as our intention is pure and good enough for others, whatever action we do is ethical. I think the most important thing in the consideration of ethical issue is our own intension because sometimes, although most people accept something as an ethical issue, if someone’s own intention is not in a good way, we cannot say that someone is respecting the ethics. For example, most people accept that helping to the weak people are good and it is ethical right decision. If someone is helping to the weak people but his/her intention is not pure, we cannot assume that it is ethically right decision. One more example is that people say that animal testing is ethically unacceptable, but if the intention of the doers are pure and they are aiming good for the people, I strongly agree on that it is ethical. Even though the result of some action is not good, however it is ethically acceptable for my point of view as long as the objective is good. But as everything has good and bad sides, virtue ethical thinking style has also strengths and weaknesses.
One of the most obvious weaknesses of virtue ethic is that although the intention is good, nobody can see the internal intention. So, it is hard for the people to know that a person is doing this action with good intention or not. People may think of our action in the wrong way unless we can show them. Besides, virtue ethics do not offer any guidance and it mostly depends on our own feeling, therefore, the ethical decision cannot be precisely true. However, there are still left many of the strengths of applying virtue ethics such as it internalize moral behaviors, it makes the person responsible for his/her own ethical behaviors, intention and character is more value than the effect, results, behaviors or actions. Therefore, everyone has different opinions about their own ethical framework and for me; everything is acceptable if their internal intention is good for their actions.