San Joaquin Valley College Different Approaches to Virtue By Martin P. Aguayo Philosophy 1 C May 13, 2010 Virtue Ethics The Greeks though of virtue as excellence, but the biggest part of being virtuous is being human. Compassion, integrity and courage are some of the virtues that make someone human. Animals do not have a concept of what virtue is, so that makes it solely a human act. You never see animals being courteous to each other, nor do you see them offer assistance to each other. The only animals that come close to showing signs of virtue are pack animals.
Although, if an animal in the pack betrays the pack there is no second chances. (dictionary of world philosophy) Consequentialist Approach The Consequentialist determines what is right and wrong with virtue by action. (dictionary of quotations) The one thing that produces the most good will always prevail. This is similar to utilitarianism. I do not agree with this so let me give you an example, if the government wants to take over a dairy farm and it would benefit the community at large, they do.
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The people that own the dairy farm are unfortunately the victims and also a negligible risk. In my opinion, because the affected group is so small it does not mean they are insignificant. Consequentialist is the wrong way to go. In order to be virtuous all around you must care about everyone and everything. Although the greater good was going to benefit, the farmer does not have to suffer. The government only gives fair market value for the farm and to many people that is okay. I ask you were you the one doing all the work on this farm?
Is there a price that you can place on sentiment? In my opinion nothing is more important than family, and if this farm was passed down to me by my father and his father passed it down to him there is no price worth selling for. Because of the Emanate Property law this can be done to anyone at any time without notice. One day the property is yours and the next there is a man standing at the door with a check and a vacancy notice saying you have 5 days to vacate the premises. Non-Consequentialist Theory
I do not agree with this approach either; non-consequentialists believe that if something must be done, it must be done no matter what the price. This kind of thinking is destructive; it places irrational thinking into people’s minds. If this kind of thinking were allowed at all times there would be complete chaos. For example I will use the massive oil spill of the Gulf of Mexico as an example. Right now we are in a time of great need, our country and many like it are consumed with the thirst for oil. Unfortunately our great thirst is not quenched.
We cannot live off of the oil that we drill on land alone. So we justify drilling of shore by saying that we cannot survive without it, and as soon as some kind of oil spill happens all of a sudden there is no one to blame. The people want to blame the company that drilled into the oceans floor, but completely forget the people who voted for the drilling. With non-consequentialism there are no consequences for our actions, no one to tell us that we are doing a great injustice to ourselves and our land. (ethics and morality)
The only time that I would ever agree with this type of theory is when there is a child involved. For example if my child was abducted or in and kind of danger I would do everything in my power to get him back into safe and loving arm. The consequences are insignificant at this point. The only thing that matters if that my little boy is safe and sound. If I go to jail for severely hurting someone, so be it. There is a love between a child and a parent that nothing can ever compare to. I love my son so much that I would give an arm for him, and not the expression I would literally give an arm for him.
If we allow anything to happen to our children what will we have left? There would be no legacy of the human race; there would neither history of our past nor any joy. Without a doubt, this would be the only way that I would ever agree with the non-consequentialism. Contractarianist Theory This is the theory that I tend to lean towards and it is the one that the book talks about the least if at all. This theory states nothing that causes harm is to be ever implemented. I know that it is a little extreme but it is the one that I like.
It is kind of the theory behind world peace, if there was no harm would there be chaos in this world, I think not. References virtue. (2001). In Dictionary of World Philosophy. Retrieved from http://www. credoreference. com/entry/routwp/virtue Virtue. (1998). In Collins Concise Dictionary of Quotations. Retrieved from http://www. credoreference. com/entry/hcdquot/virtue Ethics and Morality. (1996). In Philosophy of Education: An Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www. credoreference. com/entry/routpe/ethics_and_morality