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Based on the video, I have learned that virtue ethics is a theory which is relied on to make moral or good decisions. Making a decision using virtue ethics does not rely on either culture or religion but the person making such a decision. Virtue ethics starts from a natural way in which we think about our lives, something which is called ethical reflection. It involves thinking about emotions, commitments to other people and responsibilities. It also involves a person thinking deeply about his life as a whole and thinking about life as a narrative that one imposes on it rather than a meaning that is imposed by other people. The main goal of virtue ethics is to achieve the satisfaction that comes with a complete life and instilling the virtues that help to achieve it.
Virtue can be acquired if only it is approached as if it is a skill or a talent which needs to be developed. Virtue can be compared to skills which can be acquired by doing. Therefore virtues are acquired by doing virtuous acts. Virtue must be practised over and over again until it becomes a habit . There are several virtues that a person can have, for example, the special virtue for the rational part is wisdom while for the spiritual part is courage. Virtue ethics appeals because it considers an individual’s history and enduring commitments in the formation and nurturing of a character. It also considers social responsibilities, emotions, and social relationships. It recognises the role of emotions and desires in influencing satisfaction in life and how one can use reason to overcome bad desires. Also, it recognizes the fact that who we become is influenced by how we relate to other people. It works by helping one to acquire knowledge besides emotions and the appetite which it controls. Therefore, a person acquires wisdom, self-discipline, commitment and courage to focus on practising virtue. Virtue ethics involves the development of good character traits, for example, generosity and kindness, which in turn enable an individual to make good decisions. It also works by helping an individual to understand whom they want to be and rather than focusing on what is the right or wrong action to take, virtue ethics enables a person to inquire how they can be a better person through actions. Understanding a person whom we want to be and the virtues that are associated with the characters which we would like to possess enables us to break bad habits such as greed and take actions that develop the desired virtues. It makes a person act in a way that reflects their values. In summary, virtue ethics is a guide which some people develop to help them lives a good life, take actions that will help them develop virtues of their interest and achieve satisfaction.
The downside of virtue ethics is that it fails to inform people exactly what virtues are and what they are not. It also fails to outline the rules on what people should not or should do. It becomes very difficult to apply virtue ethics to our lives because it lacks clear rules that guide people on wrong and right things. It does not inform people how to conduct themselves or how not to conduct themselves in particular situations more so in extreme situations. Therefore it does not help me to go through a crisis. Another aspect which makes it an imperfect theory is that it does not assure that individuals are practising it will be stronger morally. Virtue ethics cannot and does not predict whether various societies that practice virtue ethics will develop similar sets of virtues and turn out to be a good society to stay in. It also fails to predict the number of people who develop moral characters as a result of practising virtual ethics.
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