Daily, every person has to choose how to act in different situations so the consequences of their actions would be acceptable to society. There are three basic criteria that can be associated with the treatment of others in everyday situations (Ruggiero, 2015); these criteria are consequences, obligations, and moral ideals. Actions can also be looked at from the perspective of the three schools of ethics: consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics (Thorpe & Roper, 2019). To see whether the three basic criteria get along with the three schools of ethics, it is important to collate resembling criteria and schools.
Firstly, the basic criteria and the schools of ethics both have a concept of consequence. Consequences in the basic criteria refer to positive or negative effects of decisions; those effects may be physical or emotional and may or may not be predicted (Ruggiero, 2015). In the schools of ethics, consequentialism focuses on the final result of actions and not the actions themselves; the final result is maximum happiness (Thorpe & Roper, 2019). As a result, the concept of consequence differs in the basic criteria and the schools of ethics.
Other resembling aspects are obligations in the basic criteria and deontology in the schools of ethics. Obligations refer to commitments towards other people depending on their relationship, whether it is family, friendship, or business (Ruggiero, 2015). Deontology focuses on the values behind the actions taken to achieve the final result; those values are based on moral duties (Thorpe & Roper, 2019). Obligations and deontology might seem different, however, they both concentrate on what is believed to be right.
The last basic criteria are moral ideas, and the last of the schools of ethics is virtue issues. Moral ideas refer to intrinsic values such as justice, compassion, honesty, etc. (Ruggiero, 2015). Virtue issues focus on individuals and their belief in what is good and what is wrong (Thorpe & Roper, 2019). Both moral ideas and virtue issues are centered on the internalized value system of each person.
Summing up, the three basic criteria and the schools of ethics have more similarities than differences. While they have a different focus on the consequences, their aspects come together in terms of commitment and what is considered to be morally right. Both the basic criteria and the schools of ethics have similar perceptions of the internalized value system and can be used when analyzing people’s actions.
Ruggiero, V. (2015). Thinking critically about ethical issues. McGraw-Hill Education.
Thorpe, A. S., & Roper, S. (2019). The ethics of gamification in a marketing context. Journal of Business Ethics, 155(2), 597–609.