Virtue Theory Vs Prima Facie Theory

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Prima Facie Duty Vs. Virtue Ethics As humans being a part of a grand society, we have a moral obligation to do what is right, and make just decisions. As a guide to address everyday issues, humans have an intrinsic and intellectual capacity of morality. Morals shape an individual’s beliefs, behavior, values, and character. Morals are the principles on which one's judgments of right and wrong are based, coexisting with ethics, which are principles of right conduct. According to Philosopher John Rawls, “The two main concepts of ethics are those of the right and the good. The structure of an ethical theory is, then, largely determined by how it defines and connects these two basic notions.” Moreover, a moral theory concerns the nature of the…show more content…
To have a prima facie duty is to have a moral reason to exhibit a certain action. In relation to the prima facie theory, individuals have basic duties to perform in a given situation. In other words, whatever one’s duty may be, one is morally bound to perform it. According to Ross and this theory, there are basic prima facie duties that can be used to determine what we ought to do. The prima facie duties are the moral reasons to perform the action. The theory is interplay of Ross’s intrinsic goods and prima facie duties. The intrinsic goods are: virtue: a disposition to do what is morally right; pleasure: states of pleasure are intrinsically good; it is good to experience pleasure in proportion to virtue; and knowledge: having knowledge is intrinsically good. The basic duties are, justice: pleasure should be distributed according to merit; beneficence: one ought to help those in need, and increase the virtue, pleasure and knowledge; self-improvement: one ought to increase one’s own virtue; and knowledge: no maleficence: refrain from harming others (Class Slides, May 7, 2015). For example, an individual carrying nothing helping out an individual trying to lift something heavy is representation of…show more content…
As a result, one decision must be made over another, such as overriding decisions. However, according to this theory, there must be a moral justification to perform that action; hence this theory determines what we ought to do. For example, a student having an exam is a prima facie duty because it is the student’s responsibility, the duty, to arrive to that exam on time, and prepared. However, the day of your exam, there is an immediate family member’s death, another prima facie duty. Though both are prima facie duties, the student decides not to write the exam that day. This dilemma of conflicting duties was overcome after all considerations, knowing that the student can write the exam on a later date, in addition to having a valid reason to miss the exam. Therefore, one develops the ability to make sound judgments with experience. Deciding among conflicting duties interplays the concept of obligation, of what one is obligated to do. Simply, an obligation itself is a duty; it is morally, emotionally, mentally, or legally bound. In contrast, the basic duties make a reference to the intrinsic good. The three obligations consist of fidelity, reparation, and gratitude. Fidelity is that one ought to keep ones’ promises; reparation is that one ought to make amends with other for any wrong done to them; and gratitude is that one ought to show gratitude to one’s

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