Master the Three Primary Schools of Ethics
Deontological theories are rules-based and focus on duties and rights, the principles we choose to follow in making tough decisions and our most general expectations for human behavior: be fair to everyone involved, respect the basic dignity of human beings, and simply do the right thing in every situation. Working with deontological ethics asks you what principle you will follow in making tough decisions, a decision about valuing the principle even before you meet the decision itself.
Consequentialist theories are ends-based and emphasize the good that result from human actions: the pleasure, wealth, or happiness that might come about as a consequence of our individual actions or social policies. Outcome-specific methods of thought often imply ideas like, “The ends justify the means.” Working with consequentialist ethics asks of you what outcomes you wish to have achieved after making the decision.
Care-Based theories ask you to empathize with others by making decisions based on what you would wish done for yourself if in the same circumstances as the people who will be impacted by your decision. Care-based ethics calls you to ask how you would make a decision if you were to be acted upon by it – then to make that decision as it impacts another person.