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Do the Weaknesses of Virtue Ethics Outweigh Its Strengths?

Virtue Ethics is a theory which focuses on becoming better people by developing traits which are known as virtues. Because it aims to do this; it enables people to achieve their potential and not have to put all of their focus in to the right and wrong of their actions. The discussion of this essay is claiming that the strengths of Virtue Ethics are outweighed by its weaknesses. While some may argue that the weaknesses of Virtue Ethics outweigh its strengths because it is hard to apply. Others may argue that the weaknesses don’t outweigh the strengths because it focuses on the individual rather than the situation, it helps individuals achieve eudaimonia and it covers intentions and motives.

Firstly, one way in which it can be argued that the weaknesses do not outweigh its strengths is because Virtue Ethics is an agent-centered theory which means that the approach focuses on the individual rather than the situation. This is a strength because although an individual will be held accountable for their actions, whether right or wrong, the most important part is the moral development of the individual. Focusing on the development of an individual will have great impact because it allows them to learn from mistakes while working on their virtues at the same time. These virtues are known as moral virtues- they are developed by practice and habit. For example, an individual will have to practice the virtue of kindness by doing kind things such as helping an old person or sharing. This strength of Virtue Ethics shows that the strengths outweigh the weaknesses because it is important to make sure that people fulfil the best of their potential in order to reach their eudaimonia. Therefore, because this is such an important aspect of life overall, it must outweigh the weaknesses simply because of its importance.

Another strength of Virtue Ethics is that it helps achieve eudaimonia. Eudaimonia is the ultimate goal for humans. Humans reach their eudaimonia by flourishing and achieving the most that they can in their life. Virtue Ethics helps an individual achieve eudaimonia because of its encouragement to act virtuously and to avoid vices. By doing intellectual and moral virtues, humans are gradually reaching their eudaimonia. This is important to the theory because it has been put I place to help humans act in a way that will benefit them reaching their eudaimonia. This outweighs the weaknesses of Virtue Ethics because it helps humans want to be better people.

Finally, another strength of Virtue Ethics which can argue against this statement is that the theory does not simply do away other moral theories. Instead of Virtue Ethics not involving other moral theories completely, it teaches it in a different way. For example, Christian Ethics teaches humans to not kill or steal. Virtue Ethics approaches this by teaching us to act wisely and justly. By doing these virtues it will be highly likely that individuals will not kill or steal. This is important because humans can incorporate Virtue Ethics in with other theories that they may follow making it easier for them to understand how to act morally. This outweighs the weaknesses of Virtue Ethics because by not ignoring other theories, it makes it a strong theory to follow.

In conclusion, it is easy to argue that the weaknesses of Virtue Ethics do not outweigh the strengths because there are many good strengths in the theory that benefit humans a lot so therefore, the strengths are of great importance which are hard to be outweighed.

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