After completing your assigned reading for the week, please join with your classmates to deliberate about the three primary approaches to ethics: virtue ethics, deontology (rule–based ethics) and consequentialism (the consequences of an act determine whether the act is good or not). Use your posts to figure out what exactly and specifically are the crucial differences among these three approaches and which approach seems to have the most merit.
Rather than think about these three approaches in the abstract, please ground your discussion and deliberation about these approaches by examining the approaches as they would apply in the following scenario:
“You live in a neighborhood community that is restricted to those 55 years of age and older. One day, however, Jim and Barb Smith bring their 11 year old grandson home to live with them after becoming his legal guardians. His unwed mother, Jim and Barb’s daughter, has been committed indefinitely for mental health issues. As an officer on the local neighborhood association, you have heard from several neighbors that the 11 year old has to leave or the Smiths have to go. You’ve approached the Smiths about the situation. They’ve been trying to sell their home, but they cannot get anything close to their asking price, and they cannot afford to leave without selling their home first. If their grandson doesn’t stay with them, he’ll have to go to foster care. The Homeowner’s Association meeting is this evening. Will you vote to file suit against the Smiths or not?”
Figure out what would be required of you to do from a virtue ethics perspective and from a deontological perspective and from a consequentialist perspective. Would the result be the same regardless of the perspective? If the results are different, how do you decide which is the right “result”? Or are all results equally correct? But even if they are all correct, are all results equally appealing and acceptable?
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