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Ethical theories: Aristotle, Aquinas, Kant, and Mill

What makes right actions right and wrong actions wrong? Our readings for this week have defended three kinds of answers to this question: the normative theories of deontological, teleological, and virtue ethics. Which of these theories provides the best foundation for our ethical values? In defending your choice, you may certainly employ arguments from Aristotle, Aquinas, Kant, and Mill, but you will also need to take into account the objections each makes to alternative approaches.

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I find the use of the phrase "best foundation for our ethical values" interesting. I am not sure that in America or in the world there is such a thing as "our ethical values." Every day there is discord regarding any number of moral or social issues. There are disagreements about sexuality and how it should/can be expressed, illegal immigration, race, financial status, bias in the media and the environment just to mention a few.

I believe that deontological ethics provides the best and really the only foundation for ethical behavior. This is due to the fact that deontological ethics claims there is an absolute standard to which one is duty bound to obey. This absolute standard ...

Solution Summary

Right and wrong; good and bad. What determines whether actions fall into one category or the other? Over 450 words of original text. This solution is written from the perspective of the author who has taught humanities, religion and ethics classes for over 15 years. No sources were used in this response.

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