Application of Ethical Theories based on Knowledge and Intuition

Ethically people should act in a manner that does good to the greatest many and promotes happiness in life. Therefore, to be ethical, one needs to be highly knowledgeable not to do bad out of ignorance. When all knowledge is employed when reaching a decision, it makes the decision maker feel happy and satisfied (Chonko, n.d). By doing that the four principles of ethics, which are- beneficence, doing the least harm, justice, and respect for autonomy make up the goals that decision makers strive to achieve. When faced with an ethical dilemma, there are ethical theories that are employed which are- utilitarianism that guides people to choose doing what will benefit the greatest many. The deontology theory is another one, which informs people that it is ethical to do things according to what they are obligated to do even on contractual basis (ethical contractarianism).  The virtue ethics theory is where judgments are based on a person’s character and not his/her actions (Basics of Philosophy, 2018). Apart from using knowledge to make ethical decisions, decisions can be made based on intuitions where every person is said to have some inner-sense that differentiates what is right or wrong (ethical intuitionism). Generally, therefore, ethical decisions form sentences which in linguistics, fail to be factual and these sentences are called non-cognitive sentences (ethical non-cognitivism) (Marturano, n.d). The case study presents an ethical dilemma where the decision makers need to appreciate the styles used to make ethical decisions and the rules followed (Basics of Philosophy, 2018). They need to gather all the knowledge needed, use their intuitions and come up with the best ethical theory to employ. Out of the six theories given, virtual ethics seems to be the one to help in reaching the best decision where the characters of Mr. Big and Mrs. Little are used to determine which one between them deserves to be awarded.


Basics of Philosophy (2018). Introduction. Retrieved<>.

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Chonko, L. (n.d). Ethical theories. Retrieved<>.

Marturano, A. (n.d). Non-cognitivism in ethics. Retrieved<>.

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