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Thang NguyenPhil 102BProfessor LopezDecember 15th, 2011Deontology vs. Virtue EthicsWith the advancement of technology, man’s life has been improved significantly over the past few decades. Along with the benefits that technology brings is the degradation of human values and qualities. While it is important to go with the flow of life and do what can be done to enhance the living standards, there are times when one should look back and examine the path where he/she is heading and ask himself/herself that whether he/she could have done any better with what was available. The concept of praxis, or being the best possible whenever a person can, is ultimately what one should focus on. Axiology is a branch of philosophy that explores the human values and character. It includes several philosophical theories that serve as sets of tools a person should know, to better approach praxis. By fully grasping these theories, it will undoubtedly help a person to progressively improving his/her values, character and eventually, finding the path to morality. Among these ethical theories, specifically are deontology and virtue ethics. Even though virtue ethics and duty based ethics are unique approaches to ethics that both share some similarities and differ from each other on many grounds, ultimately, one should know the distinction between them not only to improve his/her state of character, but also to better serve the community at large. First, goodwill is the foundation for both deontology and virtue ethics. Second, deontology and virtue ethics have two entirely different ways of approaching “truth”. Lastly, these two theories have different strengths and weaknesses that make one of them more prevailing in different situations than the other. First of all, both a deontologist and a virtue ethicist act according to his/her goodwill. While many would argue that it is within the human nature that many individuals act to their
benefits, a deontologists and a virtue ethicist would denounce such actions. One similarity between deontology and virtue ethics is that both theories require a person to act purely out of goodwill of his/her inner-self, not because of the punishments, rewards, or consequences. Deontologists’ decision-making process is not influenced by other motives in anyway, and for that reason, people around them can always count on them to do the right thing no matter what. Deontologist Immanuel Kant believes that an action, no matter how praise-worthy, if it comes from any other place than a person’s obligation of duty and goodwill, has no real moral worth (Boss 28). In the same way, virtue ethicists are the ones whose actions are motivated by respect and the well-being of others around them. Virtue ethicists act in ways they believe that would benefit society. For Instance, they would only tell the truth, because they understand that a community that is built on the foundations of lies and deceit will soon fall apart. It is much like