Different from consequentialism, people who tend to have the mind set of a deontologist believe that you should do your ethical duty, regardless of the outcome. Immanuel Kant designed ‘The Categorical Imperative’ theory which was associated with the fact that it was commanding us to practice our morals and desires in a specific way which was exercised through two rules. Kamm (2000) claims that these components were to ‘(1) treat persons as ends in themselves and (2) do not treat them as mere means’. Kamm is basically suggesting that we seek happiness of others, as that is morally right, however fulfill capacities of one’s own intellect. From following both of these we arrive at an imperative and it is categorical.
It should serve as a foundation for public justification among people who have differing notions of the good. The roots to this way of thinking lay in the concept of fairness. Rawls identifies justice with fairness however he does not imply that the notions of justice and fairness are the same. He assumes that the decisions made under the veil of ignorance are supposedly equal in every aspect ergo they are to result in fair and therefore just conclusions. The extent of fairness in this method is however, rather questionable and the same can be said for Rawls’s overall understanding of fairness, especially when looking at practicalities, because Rawls’s theory is highly idealistic and his methodology allegedly universal.
Rational humans should be treated as an end in themselves, thus respecting our own inherent worth and autonomy to make our own decisions. This part of Kant’s ideology may limit what we could do, even in the service of promoting an overall positive, by upholding the principle of not using people with high regard, thus serving as a moral constraint. Deontology remains as the stronger ethical framework as it explicitly lists out how one should act morally through absolute, universal laws, and also by promoting not using others as a mere means, but rather as an end in itself. On the other hand, Utilitarianism, a consequentialist theory, stems from the idea that every morally correct action will produce the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people. The morality of an action is determined by the outcome of that action.
(Hunter, 2001, p.306) There is no exception for rational individuals in the world to escape from the law of categorical imperative. The presentation of categorical imperative is somehow like a test of morality (Hunter, 2001, p.306), rather than just a moral concept. Moral maxim is of vital necessity in the determination of morality for an action. From Kant’s view, an action can be treated as moral when it is motivated by one’s maxim, while it also suits the universal law. (Hunter, 2001, p.306) Therefore, it can be concluded that moral maxim is the standard of deciding whether an action is moral or not.
While Mill takes a consequentialist approach, focused on the belief that actions are right if they are for the benefit of a majority, Kant is solely concerned with the nature of duty and obligation, regardless of the outcome. This paper will also reveal that Kantian ethics, in my opinion, is a better moral law to follow compared to the utilitarian position. According to J.S Mill, one should choose an action that maximizes the happiness
Utilitarianism makes ethical decisions based on the results that the action will cause. However, for the Kantian theory, it is believed that human reason is the only pure good, and they disregard the consequences. Kant discusses that the mentioned human reason should be devoid of the influence of desires or emotions. This opposes the Utilitarian view that ignores motives of an action as not important and approves the consequences. According to Kant, a purely good act is performed due to the person’s obligation to the categorical imperative.
Introduction Ethics is the theory of human behavior that could be seen from right or wrong and as long as it was rational and doesn’t harm other. Ethics have a strong relation to the Moral, and moral have a strong relation toward the Culture. Ethics shape the way we live, what should we do, and also show us whether it was right or wrong behavior. Ethics also act as the measurement for everyday live whether it was good or not. Professional ethics is the characteristic of how should the professional do toward its profession.
A Defense of Ethical Relativism Benedict views morality as something that depends on the different\ histories and environments of different cultures. Yes, I believe she is correct stating that our culture is “but one entry in a long series of possible adjustments”. Why? Because what is considered moral in one society may be considered immoral in a different society, but each individual society is correct. She asserts morals are culturally defined based on what’s considered the appropriate behavior in each society.
“Descriptively, morality refers to certain codes of conduct put forward by a society or a group (such as a religion) or accepted by an individual for his/her own behavior. Normatively, it refers to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons.” (“What Is Moral Philosophy?”). Moral Philosophy appeals to some of the world’s most astute and intellectual minds. Nevertheless, anyone seeking to better understand themselves, the world they live in, and their relations to the world and each other, should study moral philosophy. Interestingly, the birthing of new ideas and sound reasoning results from inspiration gained via philosophical concepts.
Ethics is a formal study of morality and moral standards of particular group such as engineering ethics, medical ethics, etc. Consequentialist theories emphasis consequences of actions. Besides, consequentialist theories assess good and bad consequences. Act-utilitarianism which encourage choosing action with greatest net benefit over costs while rule-utilitarianism encourage choosing rule with greatest net benefit. Consequentialist theories have practical difficulties such as assessing chance occurrences, measuring on common scale and distribution of benefits may seem unfair.