Introduction In this essay, I will be comparing Deontology to Utilitarianism. I will attempt to substantiate why I am justified in arguing that Deontology is a superior moral theory than Utilitarianism. A Discussion of the Main Elements of Utilitarianism Utilitarianism is a moral theory developed by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1947 – 1832) and refined by fellow countryman John Stuart Mill (1806 – 1873). It is a results-based concept that gives no weight to the intentions that drive actions but, rather, places emphasis on the consequences of such actions. With specific reference to Bentham’s Utilitarianism and his incorporation of Hedonistic Calculus, this theory is simply derived from human being’s primal desires to seek pleasure and restrict pain, and suggests that morally good actions are those which would accomplish such. Furthermore, the idea of striving to achieve ‘the greatest amount of good for the greatest number’ fuels an objection to this theory when considering the minority, …show more content…
Utilitarianism’s consequence-driven ideology allows it to be manipulated to condone evidently immoral acts as appropriate if it benefits a majority group, as in the case of slavery (Anderson, 2004). Deontology, however, portrays all humans as equals and, thus, disregards immoral actions as a means to satisfy a majority. For example, the killing of a single man to aid several transplants would be justified by utility but is abolished by Deontology due to its irrational premises. Conclusion In this essay, I compared Utilitarianism and Deontology, and argued that Deontology is a better ethics system than Utilitarianism because, while Utilitarianism focuses solely on results, Deontology considers humans as more than just a means to an end and provides for a system of generally accepted
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Utilitarianism is the moral theory that the action that people should take it the one that provides the greatest utility. In this paper I intend to argue that utilitarianism is generally untenable because act and rule utilitarianism both have objections that prove they cannot fully provide the sure answer on how to make moral decisions and what will be the ultimate outcome. I intend to do this by defining the argument for act and rule utilitarianism, giving an example, presenting the objections to act and rule utilitarianism and proving that utilitarianism is untenable. Both act and rule utilitarianism attempt to argue that what is right or wrong can be proven by what morally increases the well being of people. Act utilitarianism argues that
An ethical dilemma today in society is that of abortion, which one would define as a deliberate end to a pregnancy. Various arguments exist questioning if an abortion is morally justifiable. Some say the state should decide on the legality of an abortion, some politicians say the federal government should decide, and many believe it should be up to the women since it pertains to their body. In this paper, I will analyze what a utilitarian’s perspective on abortion would be. First, let’s get a clear understanding of utilitarianism.
Deontology which is derived from the Greek words Deon (meaning obligation/duty) and logia (science/study) combined to be also known as duty or rule-based ethics or the study of duties or obligations. It is a branch of ethical theories that deals with ethics of conduct, which theories are based on the sort of actions people must perform. It is based on non-consequentialism where the ends do not justify the means and thus deontology is an approach to ethics in which a sense of duty or principle prescribes the ethical decision (Preston, 2007). Deontology affirms duties must be obeyed regardless of the consequences. The theory of Deontology has its flaws as well and this essay will present three criticisms of deontology namely that deontology relies on moral absolutes, allows acts that make the world a worse place, two permissible duties that are right can conflict with each other and will demonstrate these flaws with relevant case studies and dilemmas.
In the assessment of consequences, each individual's happiness gets "equal consideration." Through their efforts, this classical theory had influence on modern thinking. However, this theory is rejected by most moral philosophers today. Furthermore, the question of Utilitarianism always comes down do what is considered pleasure and if pleasure is all that matters.
Caleb Stephens April 15, 2017 Introduction to Philosophy The goal of this paper is to demonstrate that Philippa Foot’s objection, raised to her own argument against utilitarianism, is correct. Her initial thesis is that benevolence, while the foundation of utilitarianism, is an internal end of morality, rather than the ultimate end of morality. The possible objection to this that there must be some overarching reason behind morality, which must imply a form of consequentialism. The response she offers is that there should be some other form of morality, which is a weak argument, as it does not provide an alternate conception of morality itself.
Consequentialism is defined as the actions that should be more evaluated on the basis of the consequences. However, it’s the results from that particular consequence that actually strikes a nerve. In the mindset of utilitarian’s consequences focus on the happiness and pleasure of that particular end result. The understanding that the consequences are so good that it outweighs the negativity; maximizing happiness for all. However, for people such as Bernard Williams we shouldn’t regard consequences as happiness or pleasure for the multitude of people, but rather the happiness within ourselves.
Rule utilitarian’s believe that they must obey the rules and must have a moral code in order to fulfill and maximize happiness and pleasure. Meaning that rules and laws that produce better results should be enforced. Rule utilitarianism focuses on the deontological theories, meaning that their principle is that we as human beings should not do evil, and should be optimistic and that the good will follow after that. This type of theory focuses on the rules and duties that the individual must use in order to reach the greater happiness and pleasure. In addition, rule utilitarianism has adapted a couple of outlooks that emphasize the importance of the moral code after the action has been committed.
The greatest good is that which brings the most happiness to the most people. This idea is very easily found in todays society. For example if you find a lost child you will help him find his parents because it will bring happiness to the child, the parents, and to you. On the other side you will not abandon the child because it will bring pain to the child, the parents, and possibly to yourself. These quick pros and cons list that we think of on a daily bases is what Mills and Bentham build their philosophy off
However, in reality, it is almost impossible for society to completely wipe out crime through punishment. Nevertheless, everything worthwhile has to be done to reduce crime and make society better. Utilitarianism thus considers a means to an end, regardless of whether the means itself is bad, a true justification (Hooker, 2011). Whether bad or good,
Commonly, ethical systems are categorized into two major systems. The deontological approaches or normative ethical position which judges an action based on the adherence of the action to certain rules and the teleological approaches which judges primarily based on the consequences of an action (Hare, 1964). The Utilitarianism is assigned to the teleological approaches, as it does not evaluate an action by itself but by it’s
Utilitarianism is a moral philosophy that is credited to being created by Jeremey Bentham. Bentham believed that all humans make choices based on two feelings, pain and pleasure. Because of this, Bentham believed that motives are not good or bad in nature but instead on what feeling a human might feel more.
Bernard Williams’ essay, A Critique of Utilitarianism, launches a rather scathing criticism of J. J. C. Smart’s, An Outline of a System of Utilitarian ethics. Even though Williams claims his essay is not a direct response to Smart’s paper, the manner in which he constantly refers to Smart’s work indicates that Smart’s version of Utilitarianism, referred to as act-Utilitarianism, is the main focus of Williams’ critique. Smart illustrates the distinction between act-Utilitarianism and rule-Utilitarianism early on in his work. He says that act-Utilitarianism is the idea that the rightness of an action depends on the total goodness of an action’s consequences.
The theory of deontology states we are morally obligated to act in accordance with obvious set of principles and rules regardless of results. Deontological ethics focuses on duties, and rights. The term deontological was coined by the utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham, who described it as “knowledge of what is right or proper” Bentham thought that deontology points in the direction of principle of utility. But contemporary philosophers use the term deontological to indicate a contrast with the utilitarian focus on the consequences of action. Instead of focusing on consequences, deontological ethics focus on duties and obligation: things we ought to do regardless of the consequences.
The hedonic calculus has seven different criteria that must be considered to evaluate the balance between good and evil. This appears practical and easy to use in any situation; however, it has its issues. For example, Bentham suggested that all pleasure and pain should be measured equally. This causes a major problem when put into the context of business ethics, as it suggests that the pain experienced by a child forced to work in a factory is equal to a shareholder in a business gaining a little more profit – surely, this is unethical. J.S. Mill noticed this issue, introducing rule utilitarianism, in which he recognised the differences in different types of pleasures.