Ethics- theory of Virtue Ethics

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Explain the theory of Virtue Ethics

Virtue Ethics was originally introduced to society by Aristotle in ancient Greek times. Virtue Ethics tells us that we should look at the character of the person instead of the actions or duties a person performs. Instead of concentrating on what is the right thing to do, virtue ethics asks how you can be a better person. Aristotle claims that leading a virtuous life is easy, and those who do, do so to be happy. Happiness is the ultimate goal for everyone in life.

To become a better person, one must practice virtuous acts regularly. After a while, these acts will become habitual and so the virtuous acts will be nothing more than everyday life and the person a virtuous person. Aristotle said that although virtues should become a habit we must never forget that we behave in such a way because it is right.

For example, if a singer practices singing everyday, they will become better at it and used to doing it. This is the same as people who practice their virtues and soon automatically act in the right way, by practicing our skills we improve them, becoming happier. Virtues should not be an effort, but simply a part of everyone's personality. Aristotle says that virtue is something that we acquire and are not just born with, people are not inherently good or bad, but become good or bad according to the habits they develop. Phillipa Foot discusses whether a person who is born virtuous is better then a person who struggles to become virtuous? According to Aristotle the person who struggles to become virtuous is better as they are happy and deserving of that happiness as they have worked hard for it.

Aristotle said that a virtue was a 'Golden Mean'...