What is morality


Requirements for Replies to Other Threads:

  • At least two of the four posts required should be in the form of replies to fellow classmates in threads other than your own.
  • Each of your replies should be at least 200 words and informed by the course material. As such, the replies must have citations and references in APA notation. Your list of references for each reply should include all of the course material that has informed your reply, in addition to any research that you have obtained on your own.
  • One of your replies should identify the notion of the moral good in deontology and compare that to the account of utilitarianism in Starbucks presented in your fellow student’s post. Analyze how these different notions of the moral good lead to different approaches with regard to how to address the problem even if, ultimately, the result turns out to be the same or similar.
  • In your second reply, you should identify the notion of the moral good in virtue ethics and compare and discuss that to the account of utilitarianism in Starbucks presented in your fellow student’s post. Analyze how these different notions of the moral good lead to different approaches with regard to how to address the problem even if, ultimately, the result turns out to be the same or similar.
  • Your replies should focus on the specific examination presented by your fellow student and should include an examination of whether or not the characteristics of the ethical theory were identified well, and whether or not their application and analysis were also carried out successfully. Providing such an examination is not an attack on your fellow student but an attempt to work together with your fellow student toward the better understanding of the ethical theories employed, as well as their application.;


  • Below is the responnse that needs a 200 word reply following the instructions above



What is morality? Morality can be defined as the principles concerning whether an action is right or wrong, or, good or bad. It is important to note that, morality can be socially or even culturally objective. For example, many Americans view abortion as a difficult decision that must be made by an expecting mother for the better good of her life and the potential life of her baby, yet others see abortion as illegally murdering an unborn child. On another hand, China’s views on abortion are on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. It is not until recently that China abandoned its One Child Policy (Jian, 2013).

When discussing the moral good of one’s decisions philosophers utilize three main ethical theories to assess a choice or action. These ethical theories are; John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism, Immanuel Kant’s Deontology, and Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics. Although many times these theories may come to the same conclusion, they arrive there by in different paths.     

            Aristotle’s theory of Virtue Ethics revolves around building habits of good behavior that we develop through practice (Fisher, 2015). With Virtue Ethics, you should strive to live at the Golden Mean. In other words, we should ensure that our actions or behaviors are not at the extreme of excess or deficiencies, that they simply fall somewhere near the middle.

            The Deontology theory revolves around one’s moral duty. Kant’s theory insists that we should never treat people as a tool that we utilize for our own benefit. People should be treated as beings that have value in and of themselves (Fisher, 2015).

            Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill is a theory that ensures the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people. In this theory, the most morally correct answer to a problem or dilemma is the outcome that brings the greatest happiness to the largest group. With this said, the morally correct choice may not be good for one or some and could have very severe consequences for the minority.         

            One ethical dilemma faced by the Starbucks Corporation that I would like to discuss is the rising price associated with ethically sourced coffee beans. Although I do not believe this is morally just, if we are to only utilize the Utilitarianism Ethical Theory to decide what the Starbucks Corporation should do in this situation then we must first review the facts; 22,000 stores in 66 different countries, 30,000,000 customers a week, 7,000 hand crafted beverage and/or food offerings to customers every minute of everyday (Starbucks, 2015). If we are to only evaluate what is good for the greatest number of people we could conclude that serving the same product for less would provide the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

            If Starbucks were to remove itself from the many extremely expensive extra programs that it is a leader of within the coffee production business worldwide, then the overhead costs for the coffee they purchase would be greatly reduced. This could translate into reduced prices at the cash register and subsequently affect more people in a positive manner, providing a greater utility to many more customers than coffee farmers worldwide.        


Fieser, J. (2015). Introduction to business ethics. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/

Jian, M. (May 21, 2013). China’s Brutal One-Child Policy. Retrieved from:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/22/opinion/chinas-brutal-one-child-policy.html?_r=0

Starbucks. (2015). Starbucks Financial Performance. Retrieved from:https://news.starbucks.com/news/starbucks-2015-annual-meeting-of-shareholders


2nd response following instructions listed above


Virtue ethics


Virtue ethics, “is the view that morality is grounded in the virtuous character traits that people acquire.” (Fieser, 2015) Virtue is like a behavior/ skill that can be practiced and learned. This is about our actions and the exercise of moderation relating to our actions. The idea is that finding a middle ground between extremes delivers us to virtue.




  1. The virtue of temperance is to enjoy lots of things in moderate amounts, without overindulging on the one hand, or completely not living on the other.
  2. The virtue of courage is to respect the dangers present whilst overcoming fears when appropriate.




Deontology, is also known as duty theory. “The idea behind duty theory is that we are all born with basic moral principles or guidelines embedded in us, and we use these to judge the morality of people’s actions.” (Fieser, 2015)




  1. One approach is that we have a “long catalog of instinctive obligations (Fieser, 2015.) These are a basic, moral values that act as a universal guide to tell us instinctively right from wrong.
  2. The second approach is referred to as the golden rule, a single guiding principle, “I should do to others what I would want them to do to me.”




An action is morally right if the consequences of that action are more favorable than unfavorable to everyone;there is an emphasis on the consequences of our actions to guide our moral judgements.






  1. “Cost-benefit analysis is the distinguishing feature of the moral theory ofutilitarianism.”(Fieser, 2015.) This means that if the consequences of something are better than if that something didn’t happen. In other words, weighing the good against the bad regarding the consequences of an action.  
  2. Another element is that there is a focus on the benefits felt by all, the good consequences for everyone, “the greatest good for the greatest number of people.“(Fieser, 2015.)

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