Moral theories include utilitarianism, Kantianism, virtue theory, the four principles method, and casuistry. Utilitarians believe that the goal of morality is to maximize the amount of happiness produced by each action. They try to do this by promoting societal benefits over harms and by encouraging people to be rational agents who use their minds in making choices. Kantians believe that only persons have a duty to act. Only persons can make a choice to act or not act. Thus, Kantians hold that only persons can be acted upon by duties. In addition, Kantians believe that one should act in accordance with one's values. Finally, the virtue theorist believes that we have certain traits or qualities that make us more or less likely to behave morally. The four principle method involves asking oneself questions such as "Is this act required by law? Would doing this act harm someone else? Could I do this act without violating another's rights?" One then decides whether or not to perform the act based on the answers to these questions.
Casuists are judges who decide how to apply the law to particular cases. They seek to find a clear and just solution that does not contradict existing laws or policies. Casuistry depends on knowing both what the law is and also how to apply it correctly in any given situation.
One of the most well-known and important moral theories is utilitarianism. Utilitarians think that morality's aim is to improve life by increasing the quantity of pleasant things (such as pleasure and happiness) in the world and lowering the amount of terrible things (such as pain and unhappiness). They believe that one should always act in such a way that leads to more good than bad.
Utilitarianism was first proposed by Jeremy Bentham in 1789. He argued that one should always act in such a way that produces the best possible outcome for the greatest number of people. His idea was that people would then behave in the best interests of society by trying to maximize utility (the pleasure they get from actions they take) and minimize harm (the pain other people experience because of their behaviors).
Bentham believed that his approach could be used to guide legislation and public practices. For example, he thought that if it were known that certain punishments prevented people from committing further crimes, then these punishments should be kept in place even if this meant that some innocent people were wrongly imprisoned.
Jeremy Bentham was an English philosopher who developed the principle of "utility". The term "utility" was not used in its modern sense by any previous thinker, but Bentham is considered the father of economic philosophy because of his work on psychology and economics.
Ethical Theories of Virtue According to the Virtue Ethical Theories, an individual's ethical value is defined by his character. The virtues, dispositions, and intents that drive a person to be ready to behave ethically are referred to as "character." The Three Major Types of Virtue Ethical Theories are Kantian, Aristotelian-Thomistic, and Utilitarian.
Kantians believe that morality is a matter of duty and that the only thing that can make an action right is if it is done from duty. Thus, they say that one should act in such a way that one's actions can be used as a guide for others. For example, according to this theory, it would be wrong to steal because stealing harms another human being. However, it might be acceptable to cheat on an exam because cheating doesn't harm anyone else. Kantians also believe that there are principles that can help us decide what to do. For example, they say that we should always treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves. This idea is called the Categorical Imperative and it can help guide our behavior by telling us how we should act toward others.
Aristotle-Thomists believe that ethics is a branch of philosophy concerned with human nature and the activities which must be undertaken to achieve and maintain a good life. They say that one's moral worth is determined by one's ability and willingness to live by faith alone - without relying on anything material or physical.
So, what exactly is a moral theory? A theory is an organized collection of assertions that are used to explain (or forecast) a set of facts or ideas. Ya A moral theory, on the other hand, explains why a certain behavior is wrong—or why we should act in specific ways. YY In a nutshell, it is a theory of how humans judge what is good and bad.
In philosophy, a moral theory is a proposed explanation of what makes something morally right or wrong. Moral theories differ in their assumptions about human nature, but they all attempt to describe when actions are correct or incorrect.
Moral theories can be divided up into two main categories: deontological theories and utilitarian theories. Deontological theories take a "thou shalt not" approach to ethics, stating that you should never do anything that would harm another person. These theories tend to have a high standard for what counts as harming someone else. Utilitarian theories, on the other hand, say that whatever leads to the greatest good for the most people should be done. Most modern ethical theories are some combination of these two approaches.
When discussing moral theories, it's important to remember that they are only tools for understanding morality. No single theory is perfect, so different ones may be better suited for different situations. As with any tool, if you put too much weight on one that is too thin, it will break. But if you use several together, they will provide sufficient coverage that nothing important will be missed.