Basic Principle Deontological Analysis

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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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