Ethical Theories and Criminology

Four Ethical Ideas and exactly how They Relate with Criminology

This paper covers four ethical ideas and how they relate or don't relate to the field of criminology today. The four theories deal with ethically making the right decisions and what influences the actions. Every action has a reaction and the response is the results of each action. The results of the consequences can dictate if a theory can be justified as moral or immoral. The four ideas are Utilitarianism, Virtue ethics, Divine demand theory, and Hedonism. These fore are extremely important on the globe we stay in each in its own decision making process, but the main question that paper will answer is does these theories have a strong impact in neuro-scientific criminology. The first theory is Utilitarianism. Just how Utilitarianism is assessed is exclusively by how useful or helpful an action is. How exactly does an action donate to all people's pleasure or happiness decides the moral well worth of the action. The situation with Utilitarianism is whenever a person will not do what's right even if doing this causes pain or will not make the receiver feel better or will not bring the receiver pleasure at the end of the action. The principle of Utilitarianism requirements to approve or disapprove every action, according to the impacts of the action if it seems to improve or reduce the happiness of the person or individuals' that are in interest. Matching to Mill (1861) he believes that serves should be labeled as morally right or morally incorrect only if the results are of such relevance that a person would desire to see the acting person required, not merely influenced when behaving in the most well-liked manner. What this means is that every take action should be assessed by its effects and the recipient of the action would wish or want the acting person to help make the same choice without having to be influenced by outdoors sources. In the notion of repercussions the Utilitarianism includes every one of the good and bad produced by the act, whether the consequences happen after or through the action is being performed.


In the field of criminology Utilitarianism occurs on both sides of the law-enforcement. If I was to look from the side of law-enforcement there a wide range of situations were Utilitarianism is affective. First, the key role of legislation is to provide the community and provide help and basic safety to the public. When something will go wrong and the outcomes of the activities from the law are not pleasing to the public then that action is not considered to be moral. Alternatively if a person is killed to conserve others by the justification of regulations, this makes the outcome pleasing to the majority so the action could be seen as morally accurate. Secondly, I'll take a look at how helpful the general public is to the success of regulations. This may be seen as a form of Utilitarianism or not, depending on the situation. For example a offense happens and members of the city are called as witness, this would be considered as a moral action. There exists another side to this, the person who dedicated the criminal offenses is not getting any pleasure or delight from the witness and so on the criminal aspect this action is not Utilitarianism. The second theory is Virtue ethics. Virtue ethics concentrates or highlights moral personality of an person depending on a person's job or requirements. In a few ways Virtue ethics has a detailed marriage with Utilitarianism, because Virtue ethics also emphasizes on the consequences of actions. The differences is the fact that Virtue ethics is not assessed with regards to the repercussions, but Virtue ethics says that acts are either good or evil, whatever the repercussions that follow. The primary focus of Virtue ethics is aiding people develop good character characteristics, such as kindness and generosity and less on what guidelines should we follow. By expanding these traits it'll allow people to make the correct decisions without having to be in a job or job. Virtue theorists work with people to help them break bad identity vices such as anger or selfishness which stand in the way of learning to be a good overall person. With every theory there are problems that arise and with Virtue Ethics the situation is that expanding character attributes is much less simple as it might seem. Although the common moral decisions will come easily to the people concerning doing what is right, but there are numerous moral dilemmas that want a person to consider careful reasoning and pondering before committing to a decision. According to Cline (2009) having the right character qualities is just not enough for a person to make the right decisions, there are just no guarantees. There is nothing at all that shows that a person with good character is more likely to help make the right decisions. In the field of criminology Virtue ethics has a major role, because every decision made within the law is looked at on the action itself whatever the consequences. When the action was within regulations and of good wisdom then whatever the consequences of that action it can still fit within the effects of being Virtue ethics, because the work can be regarded as moral. Whenever you work in any field of criminal justice I believe you have to develop good characteristics, because you package with people's lives. And since Cline said it requires more than good figure to help make the right decisions it take good morals. The 3rd theory is called the Divine order theory. Simply by the name it allows me better understand how decisions are assessed as incorrect or right. WHILE I hear divine I think of higher ability or God is in charge of the situation. Matching to Austin "Divine control theory includes the claim that morality is eventually based on the orders or figure of God, and that the morally right action is the one that God commands or requires" (Austin, 2006, pg 1). What this means is that mankind is in some ways dependent on God and our moral responsibility comprises in obedience to God's directions. Also, Austin feels that within the divine command theory of ethics that an act can't be said to be either moral or immoral, because God either directions us or prohibits us from carrying it out. So the only way to classify an become being morally incorrect is by committing an act that God prohibits us from doing.


According to Augustine, (2008) the proper execution of Divine order theory can be characterized by directing out two major features. First, "it can be an analysis of only one set of moral ideas to be specific; it is an research of "right, " "wrong, " "ought, " and the other ideas that shape in the branch of normative ethics known as "the theory of moral obligation. " Second, "not all uses of the terms "right, " "wrong, " etc. , are linked to divine command word; and, of those that are, not absolutely all are from the same set of commands" (Augustine, 2008 pg 1). In neuro-scientific criminology Divine command line theory really does not connect with the law, because it is more of someone's personal religious beliefs. When I think of criminology, I don't feel that every decision being made is viewed as being predicated on God's commands and being obedient to what God permits or prohibits. The fourth and final theory that paper covers will be Hedonism. You can find two types of hedonism that I am going to talk about to be able to give a standard description of what hedonism means. "Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign experts, pain and pleasure. It really is for them together to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do" (Bentham 1789). Hedonism is a idea that says that pleasure has an ultimate importance in mankind. The first from of hedonism is motivational hedonism. Motivational hedonism claims that only pleasure or pain is exactly what motivates a person. Bentham (1789) believes that if pain and pleasure determines just what a person can do that makes them a hedonist when it comes to the persistence of their actions. The second type of hedonism is normative hedonism. Normative hedonism says that only pleasure has value in support of pain has disvalue, but anything that may cause or prevent the pleasure or pain is unbiased of normative hedonism. In neuro-scientific criminology Hedonism I really believe does play a tiny part, more on a personal effect. I feel that we act out of what feels good to ourselves and make others feel good, while leaving pain or what does not feel great. In legislation when decisions are made they are made based on previous pain or unpleasantness that were inflicted on other. Also to stop the pain of innocent people users of regulations make decisions based on what will eliminate pain and cause happiness

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