The divine command theory, utilitarianism, Kant’s duty defined morality, natural law theory, and Aristotle’s virtue ethics are the five types of ethical theories. The divine command theory states that what is morally right and wrong will be decided by God. Utilitarianism states that “Action “A” is morally right if and only if it produces the greatest amount of overall happiness. Kant’s duty defined morality states that what is important is acting for the sake of producing good consequences, no matter what the act is. Natural law theory states that people should focus on the good and avoid any evil. The last theory is Aristotle’s virtue ethics which states that we should move from the concern towards good action and to focus on the concern with good character. This paper argues that Aristotle’s virtue ethics is better than the other ethical theories.
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 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.
Utilitarianism and Deontology are two major ethical theories that influence nursing practice. Utilitarian principles of promoting the greatest good for the greatest amount of people parallels the nursing tenet of beneficence. Deontological principles of treating individuals with dignity, and promoting the well-being of the individual parallels the nursing tenet of non-maleficence. Utilitarian and Deontological principles can be utilized to resolve ethical dilemmas that arise in the nursing profession. The purpose of this paper is to define utilitarianism and deontology, discuss the similarities and differences between the two, and to address an ethical dilemma utilizing utilitarian and deontological principles.
Decisions about right and wrong fill each and every day. Turmoil exists due to deciding if Deontology, where one acts based on the right motives, or if Utilitarianism, where one should act in a way that would produce the best results and consequences, should govern decisions and their morality. However, I believe Deontology, which is reason and duty based, serves as the superior way to dictate morality. In this paper, I will explain both the principles of Deontology and Utilitarianism, discuss the superior aspects of Deontology as compared to Utilitarianism, as well as grapple with objections to Deontology. While both ethical frameworks contain parts of ideologies that could be seen as valid, Kant’s theory on Deontology holistically remains
A law enforcement organization is an agency with an ethical system which must display their allegiance and integrity to the public. And the ethical system in policing context refers to the moral values that are generally accepted as professional standards in policing. According to the Encarta electronic dictionary, ethics can be explained as the study of proper standards and how they affect a system of moral values governing the suitable conduct for a person or group. To further understand the concept of ethics, ethics can be divided into two perspectives or theories, commonly known as deontological (non-consequentialism) and teleological (consequentialism). These two perspectives are important for a police officer to carry out their duties
The final ethical theory is Kant’s deontology. Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher who admire the stoics for their dedication to performing their duties and playing their part. He based his theory on duties, obligations, and rights. Its main focus is that everyone has an inherited right. It highlights the importance of respecting a person autonomy. Autonomy is a person ability to lead a self-directing life. Unlike egoism and utilitarianism, Kant’s deontology looks into how the information was gather to determine if its ethical to use. Because of the focus on how the information was gather Kant’s deontology would consider the using of the information as unethical. It takes into consideration what the Jewish prisoners were submitted to during
Utilitarianism is a teleological ethical theory based on the idea that an action is moral if it causes the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people. The theory is concerned with predicted consequences or outcomes of a situation rather than focusing on what is done to get to the outcome. There are many forms of utilitarianism, having been introduced by Jeremy Bentham (act utilitarianism), and later being updated by scholars such as J.S. Mill (rule utilitarianism) and Peter Singer (preference utilitarianism). When referring to issues of business ethics, utilitarianism can allow companies to decide what to do in a given situation based on a simple calculation. Many people would agree that this idea of promoting goodness
When discussing both act and rule utilitarianism, it is important to understand that both of them agree in terms of the overall consequence of an action, because they emphasize on creating the most beneficial pleasure and happiness in the outcome of an act. Despite this fact, they both have different principles and rules that make them different from each other. Act utilitarianism concentrates on the acts of individuals. Meaning that if a person commits an action, he/she must at least have a positive utility. The founders of utilitarianism define positive utility as happiness and pleasure and consider it to be a driving force of all positive and morally right acts. According to Jeremy Bentham, and John Mill Stuart happiness to them comes from
When studying philosophy, a student becomes very aware of the contradiction and different opinions of highly remarked philosophers. Many students become frustrated with the opposition and question the importance of the study all together. Others choose to indulge in these differences to further their understanding beyond what he/she thought capable of beforehand. The obvious contradictions between Kant’s deontology, and Bentham’s and Mill’s utilitarianism is a perfect example of such occasion in philosophy. However, even though these are two opposing philosophies, with very different ideas governing their conclusions, we should look to learn from both and apply the knowledge we identify with, thus creating our own philosophies. In this essay I wish to do exactly that; to compare and contrast these two ideologies in order to better understand them and help others do the same.
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.
Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill are two of the most notable philosophers in normative ethics. This branch of ethics is based on moral standards that determine what is considered morally right and wrong. This paper will focus on Immanuel Kant’s theory of deontology and J.S. Mill’s theory of utilitarianism. 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.
Utilitarianism is a highly acclaimed theory that is morally based on consequentialism. In essence, consequentialism is the ideology that justifies its action by producing the greater good (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Some may refer to the principle of utility as the greatest happiness principle. Utilitarianism was fully developed by a British philosopher named John Stuart Mill. There are two types of utilitarianism: Act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. Act Utilitarianism is a belief in which, an individual’s actions are moral as long as the actions produce the greatest outcome possible. Rule utilitarianism is a belief in which, an action is morally right, as long as it justified in accordance to a particular law. Utilitarianism is less complicated to understand (compared to other moral theories) because it consists of “doing whatever produces the best consequences” (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Virtue Ethics). Mill viewed the greatest happiness principle as the cornerstone of morals, he
The distinction between right and wrong has been a matter of discussion for centuries, whether expressed through philosophical essays, social organisation or artistic creation. Deontological ethics is a philosophical theory which dissects acts into right and wrong on the basis of the adherence of an act to a specific rule. One of the many formulations of deontology is Kantianism, a view introduced by Immanuel Kant, which argues that the basis for morality are motives for one’s action rather than the consequences of it and searches a justification for one’s duty to behave in a certain manner. One of the critiques or counter positions of Kant’s ethics is Sartrean existentialism as it denies the possibility of an absolute moral system and focuses on the individual morality rather than social one and bases on one’s commitment to his chosen values. Yet drawing parallels between the two positions is far from impossible, despite Sartre’s strong opposition to Kantian moral theory.
Deontology is contrasted with teology, which maintains that the rightness or wrongness of acts depends solely on ends or consequences. For deontologists, moral law is not defined by consequences, unlike that of egoism and utilitarian theory; instead, moral law is an end itself. There are four levels of deontological theory namely, basic-principle deontology, general-principle deontology, rule deontology and act deontology. Basic-principle deontology deals with logical priority to basic, fundamental, or ultimate principles. One known proponent of such level is Immanuel Kant, who gave rise to some of the most influential philosophy in Western history. Kant believes that most people know right from wrong; the problem most people have is not in knowing what is morally, but in doing it. Kant also argued that rightness or wrongness of particular acts is determined by rules; these rules could be determined by his principle of universalizability. He also argued reason require not only that moral duties be universal but also absolutely binding. For instance, when lying is the only option to save someone’s life, still we shall not lie for it is morally wrong to lie. Kant introduced categorical imperative which states that people ought to do something regardless of the consequences. Moreover, categorical imperative is a formal principle that provides a framework for deriving moral maxims, such as ‘honor your parents’, ‘do not steal’ or ‘do not lie’. However, there is another class of philosophers called rule deontologists who differ from Kant in denying that moral rules can be deduced from higher principle. These rule deontologists believe that rules must be known directly by intuition. David Ross, the chief proponent of view, argued that people are morally bound to