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Sample Essay on Philosophy

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Sample Essay on Philosophy

According to the divine command theory, acts are considered right or wrong if they agree or disagree with God’s commandments. God will only command us to engage in an act if the act is morally right. On the contrary, in virtue ethics, an act is considered right or wrong based on the role conveyed by the character of the actor. Deontological ethics posit acts are morally sound if actors adhere to obligations, duties or ethical principles (Rauhut 215-217). Under the utilitarian approach, an act is morally right if it benefit the majority and bring them happiness. The main difference in the four theories is the basis used to determine whether an act is right or wrong. The divine command theory uses the will of God; virtue ethics uses the role of the character; deontology uses duties and obligations; while utilitarianism consider an act morally upright if it benefits the majority (Rauhut 215-217).  

            One of the contemporary moral dilemmas is abortion. For instance, under the utilitarian approach one may in quire whether abortion brings the greatest benefit to the majority. Procuring for an abortion because of reasons such as financial problems, education, and problems at work may be justifiable under the utilitarian approach (Rauhut 242-245). Utilitarianism disapproved the tradition view that abortion was evil, which is in line with the pro-choice approach. Proponents of classical utilitarianism argue that it does not support the idea that a woman has the right to choose. However, rule utilitarianism argue that all the people should be accorded freedom of choice, and rules should be made to bring the greatest good (Rauhut 242-245).

            Abortion would be considered an immoral act under the divine command theory because it contradicts the teaching of most religions and their gods. To most religions, abortion touches on the sensitive issue of life and death. In addition, people who take part in abortion suffer deep emotional and spiritual problems (Rauhut 242-245). They are more likely to look for comfort in their religion. Abortion is more than an intellectual issue according to the proponents of the divine command theory because it affects both the heart and the mind of people. Hence, abortion is an issue that attaches on people and their gods (Rauhut 242-245).

            Under virtue ethics, an act is considered morally upright based on the character conveyed by the outcome of an act. This means that abortion may be considered morally upright under virtue ethics if it was performed to help others. On the contrary, if abortion is performed just to terminate the pregnancy with no good reason, then it can be considered illegal under virtue ethics (Rauhut 242-245). The deontological approah considers an act immoral based on whether the actor adhered to duty, responsibility or moral principles. Abortion could be considered illigal under deontological ethics because it violates the duty we have to protect and care for future generations.

            The divine command theory closely mirrors my views existence of god. Under the divine command theory god is considered the yardstick for measuring morality. If we engage in acts that does not violate god’s commands we become morally upright. This brings us close to god. On the contrary, if we violate god’s commandments we drift away from him. Hence, god is the moral ideal that humans compare themselves to and measure their moral standing.


Works Cited

Rauhut, Nils Ch. Ultimate questions: thinking about philosophy. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Education, 2009.

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