ethical theories

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  1. Utilitarianism
    • -principle 1: "the greatest-happiness"
    • actions are right in proportion
    • right actions tend to promote happiness
    • wrong actions tend to produce reverse of happiness

    • -principle 2: "the end justifies the means"
    • looks at result of a decision
    • action is taken based on the result that produced the most good (happiness) for most people
  2. Kantianism
    • directly opposed to utilitarianism
    • states, it's not the consequence or end result that makes action right or wrong
    • what makes an action wrong or right is motivation on which action is based
    • -it should be based in the a sense of duty and a respect for moral law
    • "I make the choice b/c it is morally right and my duty to do so" (not b/c I consider the possible outcome)
  3. Christian Ethics (the Golden Rule)
    • "do unto others as you would have them do unto you"
    • "do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you"
  4. Natural law theory ("Do good and avoid evil")
    • grounded in concern for human good (but, "human good" is not explained)
    • Creator endows all things with a potential or tendency to serve to define a natural end
    • natural potential, or tendency, of human beings is ability to live according to dictates of reason; humans are able to choose "good" over "evil"
    • in natural law, evil acts are never condoned, even if they are intended to advance the noblest of ends
  5. Ethical egoism
    • "what is right is good is what is best for person making decision"
    • action may not be best for anyone else involved, but consideration is only for person making decision
    • there own advantage
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ethical theories
ethical theories
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