One of the most regarded ethical theories in contemporary period is deontological ethics. From historical point of view, contemporary or recent refers to the early or middle part of the twentieth century, and even the late nineteenth century. There are some features of these contemporary ethical theories that appear to express relatively modern points of view. One of which is the emphasis on plurality or multiplicity and relativity; another feature is the denial of absolutes and universality. Theories in this era focus on the importance of lower-level rules, judgements or decisions that are said to test, enhance or even replace principles. Hence, theories in this period move people closer to actual application due to the issues that arise in attempting to apply the kind of principles defended by traditional theories. …show more content…
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
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Kant's categorical imperative is a belief that certain actions are absolutely prohibited even that if it would bring more happiness as an alternative. There are two things you must ask yourself before doing the action. One would be can i rationally say that everyone would act as I supposed to act and two is, does my action respect the goals of human beings rather than merely using them for my own purposes. An example of this belief would be unconditional rule sayings don’t cheat on taxes. So even though the cheating on your taxes would serve your own interest, you cannot cheat because it is a universal law.
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.
Ethical theories are ways of telling right from wrong and include guidelines of how to live and act in an ethical way. For example when faced with a difficult situation in your life, you can use ethical theories to assist you in making the right decision. One key theory is consequentialism, which says that an individual’s correct moral response is related to the outcome/ consequence of the act and not its intentions/ motives. Early writers on this theory were Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, a modern writer is Peter Singer. For example Brenda Grey has asked for the asthma specialist to visit her weekly, and to decide if this is necessary the professionals involved have to look at how it would affect her wellbeing.
For Kant, his ethics are grounded on reason and pure reason alone. It is a matter of a priori vs a posteriori. A priori is knowing the truth of the judgement, regardless of empirical view. An example of a priori would be that a single
Developing from the reasoning of (Russ Shafer-Landau, p.p 13), it is clear that there is a difference between normative ethics and metaethics. Normative ethics are those values that develop from within a personality and are always employed whenever ethics are breached. On the other hand the metaethics is basically the diverse elements that are considered crucial for building positive ethical believes. (Shafer-Landau, p.p 29), also brings forward other moral ethical elements such as the moral error theory, the desire-satisfaction theory, ethical particularism and the doctrine of double effects. All the above elements are crucial for shaping ones ethical perspectives and inclinations leave alone resolving ethical issues within a society.
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.
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).
Kant also thought it was possible for pure reason to discover objective ethical truths. Kant believed that ethical truths must be categorical, universal, and be the product of reason. Kant’s categorical imperative states that a person should always act in such a way that they could will that act should be a universal law. This means that Kant thought that it was best to do the right thing, even if the person didn’t want to. This view of ethics focuses on what is right to do.
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. First we must understand what is Deontology. The word deontology when broken down to its roots literally means, the study of the nature of duty and obligation.
Suppose a conductor is driving his train and the breaks are defect. The rails lead directly into a cluster of five people who would all die if the train will go this direction. However, the conductor can change onto another track where only one person is standing hence only one person would die. How should the conductor react (Hare, 1964)? Is it possible to condense the problem to a rather simple maximization problem in example that the action is taken, which would kill the least people?
Margarita Rodriguez Philosophy of Nursing Millers College of Nursing October 16, 2015 How does deontology relate to an individual nurse?s professional practice of nursing? According to the American Nurses Association, Deontology, an ethical theory founded by Immanuel Kant, applies judgments based on the underlying morality, or the rightness or wrongness of an action. It is based upon adherence to rules.
Hypothetical imperatives are duties that people ought to observe if certain ends are to be achieved. Categorical imperatives are the absolute and universal laws that guide moral actions. Kant believed that moral actions must be based on unconditional reasoning. Kant’s deontological principles of hypothetical imperatives and categorical imperatives have significantly influenced the medical field.
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.
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.
A limitation of Deontology stems from the fact that it is so strict on how one should or should not act, but yet humans need clearly defined laws to serve as guides. Although laws are not followed one hundred percent of the time, the mere fact that there are laws telling us what is right or wrong result in a higher success of people acting morally good because there is a strict guide of how to act and how not to act. Yet Deontology provides a strong ethical framework that enables moral agents to act in such a way that is towards good will and ethically correct