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Ethical Decisions in a Dilemma Situation

Critical philosophers in the world contributed a lot to promote the aspect of ethical morality and Decision Making.

Ethical Theory of Plato

I believe Plato was one of the greatest thinkers of all time. According to Plato’s eudaimonistic view of ethics, which many other ancient philosophers share, morality is founded on a person’s good qualities. A person’s ultimate moral goal—or eudaimonia—is to make them happy or well-adjusted, and the virtues—a Greek word meaning “excellence”—are what will help them get there. Several factors explain why Plato’s view of happiness and his support for a morality based on it are ambiguous. The first problem is that he never defines or investigates the concept directly, instead of introducing it in the context of other inquiries. Readers are presented with the question of what to make of the inconsistencies in different works because of how diverse the conversations are in their portrayal of the human good. This raises an essential question about Plato’s work: whether to take a “unitarian,” “revisionist,” or “developmental” approach to the philosopher’s writings. In contrast to unitarians, revisionists, and ‘developmentalism,’ who believe that Plato’s thought evolved significantly throughout his career, revisionists maintain that Plato’s thought underwent a fundamental transformation later in life, while developmentalists believe his views became considerably throughout his career. Developmentalism has risen in importance, while revisionism has declined.

Ethical Theories of James Rachels

The ethical theory of cultural relativism is essential, and James Rachels’ argument is vital since it provides evidence to verify or deny the idea. Attention to and understanding cultural differences is critical. Cultural Relativism also makes use of the concept of tolerance. The Greek word “demon,” which means duty or responsibility, is the root of the term “deontology,” an ethical philosophy. Numerous ethical theories focus on finding what is right or good by applying a rule or set of norms that appear to be consistent with the outcomes we most commonly view as desirable. Moral deontology is a non-consequentialist approach to ethics known as deontological theory. Conversely, a deontologist will argue that intent rather than consequences determine an action’s rightness. The morality of an action is determined only by its inherent nature.Utilitarianism requires people to give away their riches until they are as impoverished as the people they are assisting, for example, as stated by James Rachels. According to utilitarianism, the happiness and wealth of every citizen in the world are more important than the happiness and prosperity of any one individual. He adds that the problem isn’t just that utilitarianism would require us to give away most of our possessions. In addition, it would also put an end to our life. An ethic that demands us to promote the well-being of everyone on the planet would force us to sacrifice our objectives and interests. “Utilitarianism also undermines our relationships,” says Mr. Rachels. In reality, no one is willing to give up their relationships with friends and family to treat everyone equally. We see our loved ones as more than just members of the human race. All of this is contrary to the ideals of objectivity. A person can miss out on the connection, love, and camaraderie from being a part of a group. Utilitarianism is not a wise ethical theory, given the difficulties it encounters(Zembaty,2019).

Aristotle’s Ethical Theories

According to Roman Aristotle(2012), In Aristotle’s view, human reason sets humans apart from other creatures. Suppose you want to lead a happy and fulfilling existence. In that case, you should spend your time engaged in intellectual pursuits such as scientific research and philosophical debates and creative endeavors such as music or art. To enhance our lives, we study ethics, which focuses on the nature of human well-being as its primary concern. Virtue is essential to a well-lived life, according to Aristotle and Plato.Similarly to Plato, he views the ethical virtues (such as justice and courage) as complicated logical, emotional, and interpersonal skills. However, he opposes Plato’s view that one must understand what goodness is by instruction in the sciences, mathematics, and philosophy. Understanding how various commodities, such as friendship, pleasure, virtue, honor, and money, work together is what we need to live successfully. To apply that basic understanding to specific instances, we must develop the ability to discern which course of action is best supported by reasoning through correct upbringing and habits. This means that, in his view, the only way to gain practical wisdom is to study general rules. To put our broad understanding of well-being into practice in inappropriate ways for each situation, we need to develop our cognitive, emotional, and social abilities via training.

Kant’s Ethical Theories

Ethics based on Kant’s deontological ethics theory are known as Kantian ethics. They are founded on the idea that “It is difficult to think of any good that might be contemplated without limitation, not only in the world but also beyond it.” To be morally correct, an action must have as its maxim—the idea behind it—a sense of obligation and adherence to the moral code. This view was established as a result of Enlightenment rationalism. For example, deontology is a sort of ethical theory that focuses on whether or not a person’s actions are by particular moral obligations. A deontological theory does not consider the consequences of one’s actions. If a specific action were motivated by duty or anything else, deontological theories would focus on this issue(Anscombe,1958). In many deontological views, an action’s moral correctness is predicated on its motivation by moral responsibility alone, rather than other factors like self-interest. A proponent of deontology argues that specific measures should be taken simply because they are morally correct (they “align with obligation”).

Ethical Theories of Mill

Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) is the most comprehensive expression of Mill’s ethical philosophy to date (1861). It aims to demonstrate that the utilitarian principle is the foundation of morality. According to this guiding concept, actions are right in proportion to how they tend to enhance general human happiness. In my opinion, John Mill’s utilitarianism theory is one of the most critical ethical ideas ever devised. The term “largest-happiness principle” refers to the idea of maximizing happiness. One must always do activities that benefit the most significant number of people possible.In contrast, Immanuel Kant’s moral philosophy emphasized the importance of imbuing morality with a sense of philosophy. It was designed to provide the average person with a broader knowledge of character in terms of philosophical concepts. Although they both deal with ethics and morality, the fundamental distinction between Mill and Kant’s views is the emphasis on happiness versus philosophizing morality(Miller, 2009).

Utilitarian Approach

They are approaching Problems from a Practical Perspective using Utilitarian. The subsequent decisions would be made according to the practical viewpoint. If we follow the utilitarian principle, the rescuers in Rescue Case No. 1 will not respond to the outcry of just one person in favor of the five people whose lives are in danger due to an ocean tide. Concerning Rescue Case Two, the Utilitarian Theory states that rescuers must run over a single man who has become stuck on the narrow route to reach and save its five members. According to the Utilitarianism principle, acts are right in proportion to the extent to which they contribute to the well-being of the general population. According to the practical guide, killing or avoiding rescuing a single person to save five others is entirely acceptable. When it comes to utilitarianism, the five take precedence over one, whereas the one doesn’t matter in the grand scheme. Because if we save one, we have to give up on the other five, which is unjust. It is the goal of utilitarianism to ensure equal treatment for all people.

Categorical Imperative Version One

Decisions based on deontological ethics would have followed—rescue Case One’s Categorical Imperative Version One. For those five victims, the rescuers will keep quiet about a single person’s screaming and go and retrieve the Five Persons. Second, in the instance of Rescue. To save the five members, the rescuers will have to run over the solitary man who is stuck on the right road and keep the Five Persons.”It is difficult to think of anything in the world or even beyond it that might be judged good without limitation except a goodwill,” wrote German philosopher Immanuel Kant in his deontological ethical theory. One individual will be avoided out of goodwill to save the Five People. In this case, the guiding principle is what motivates the activity. A single man’s death will allow me to save five other people, or the five others will perish. Only if I kill a single person will I be able to save five other people, or else the five others will die in the second case. As a universal rule, it makes sense in both of these situations.

Categorical imperative – Version 2

Version 2 of the Categorical Imperative states that the Rescuer must first free a single man before saving the other five. In this situation, preserving a single human life is just as important as saving the lives of five. Regardless of how many people you have, your life is priceless. Even if five people drown, the rescuers will not run over the man trapped on the road. Humans have intrinsic value, and no one can be sacrificed to save the rest of us. All people have a moral obligation to rescue the lives of others. It is impossible to justify a morally incorrect action to achieve the desired outcome.


A common criticism of Mill’s utilitarian theory is that it can justify immoral behavior when it serves the greater good. Kant’s Theory Criticism presents a wide range of philosophical approaches that are difficult to comprehend for many academics. In my opinion, version 2 of the categorical imperative should be implemented to eliminate the possibility of morally incorrect actions being justified in the future. The most crucial thing to remember is that any subsequent action cannot explain any ethically questionable action. Ethically, no theory can defend an intrinsically wrong act. This is critical to comprehend. It doesn’t matter how many lives are spared if just one of them is saved. To save even a single human life, I am biased against the other approach because the different approach is morally incorrect and biased.


Anscombe, G. E. M. (1958). “Modern Moral Philosophy”. Philosophy. 33 (124): 1–19. doi:10.1017/S0031819100037943. ISSN0031-8191. JSTOR3749051

Miller, C (2009). “The Conditions of Moral Realism”. The Journal of Philosophical Research. 34: 123–155. doi:10.5840/jpr_2009_5.

Roman Aristotle(2012)” in Philosophia Togata II: Plato and Aristotle at Rome, Oxford University Press (Oxford:1997), pp. 1–69.

Zembaty, Jane S. (2019). Social Ethics: Morality and Social Policy. McGraw-Hill. p. 389


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